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ECPA Wire: Industry News

September's Christian Bestseller Lists

Monday, September 4, 2017  
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by Stan Jantz, ECPA executive director

The ECPA Bestseller lists for September, reflecting sales in August as compiled by NPD BookScan, reveal a strong showing for new releases. Among the Top 50 bestsellers overall, 14 were released in August. This compares with 13 new releases in the Top 50 lists for June, July and August combined.

Four books released in August appeared in the Top 10 for September. Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker (Thomas Nelson) debuted at #2, right behind Five Love Languages. The signed edition appears as #40.  Last week, Hatmaker’s new book made it to #2 on the New York Times advice, how-to & misc. bestsellers list and #1 on the Publishers Weeklyadult hardcover nonfiction list.

Coming in at #4 is She’s Still There by Chrystal Evans Hurst (Zondervan). Hurst is the sister of Priscilla Shirer, whose August release Awaken (B&H Publishing Group) came in at #9. We could be wrong, but we’re guessing that this is the first time in the history of the Christian bestseller lists that books by two sisters have appeared in the Top 10 at the same time. Congratulations to the Evans family!

The other new release in the Top 10 overall is The Emigrant Edge by Brian Buffini (Howard Books). Ten other titles by nine different publishers debuted in the Top 50 overall. Space doesn’t allow listing them all, so check out the list for yourself:  #14, 16, 30, 32, 34, 36, 40, 42, 48, and 50!

New releases also made a strong showing on the Top 25 fiction bestsellers list. Eight of the 25 titles were released in August, including The Blessing by Wanda Brunstetter (Barbour) at #2, Taken by Dee Henderson (Bethany House) at #6, The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Revell) at #7, and Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall (WaterBrook) at #10. The Shack held its #1 position on the Top 25 fiction list, while also holding the #3 and #21 spot on the list. The only other author with three titles in the Top 25 was Wanda Brunstetter.

No surprises in the Kids Top 25 list. Two powerhouses, The Beginner’s Bible and The Jesus Storybook Bible (both from Zonderkidz), held the first two spots on the list.

Overall, it’s exciting and healthy to see the immediate response of readers to new titles and new voices from Christian publishers. Traditionally, Christian bestseller lists are anchored by those books that have proven to be foundational to readers through the years, and that’s something our industry can be proud of.  In fact, the classic The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (Chosen Books/Baker) placed at #46 in the Top 50 list this month.  This title was the #1 bestselling Christian book in 1974, the year ECPA was founded!  At the same time, when new books—whether written by established authors or those who are not as well known—are embraced by the reading public, it bodes well for the future of our industry.

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