Where are the Christian eBook Stores?

The sale of ebooks continues to grow. Publishers report that ebook sales rose another 252 percent in the first quarter of 2010.

Steve Haber, the head of Sony’s e-reader division has stated that he believes that within five years there will be more digital content sold than physical content.

With this type of exponential ebook growth, where are the Christian ebook stores? I did not know of any, so I decided to investigate.

Since there are a large number of online bookstores dedicated to selling just Christian print books, I thought I should first check to see how many of these stores carried ebooks. I was hard pressed to find any.

All the major online bookstores such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders sell ebooks alongside their print books. Yet, the largest online retailer of Christian books, Christian Book Distributors, does not yet offer ebooks.

Next, I thought I should check the websites for the largest Christian chain retailers (since they also host book sales on their websites) to see how many were selling ebooks. They all sold audio books. But, only two out of the top six Christian chain stores are currently selling ebooks: Family Christian and Cokesbury. Both these stores have a very limited selection.

Lastly, I checked to see if there were any online stores dedicated to selling just ebooks. There are many online ebook stores for the general market (most of which also carry Christian titles) such as FictionWise, eReader.com, ebooks.com, and CyberRead. Yet, I could not find one on-line bookstore dedicated to just Christian ebooks.

So I ask, how come the Christian market has not embraced the sale of ebooks the way the secular market has?

Traditionally, the Christian marketplace has lagged behind the secular marketplace. There has been a gap of three to five years between the trends in the secular market and the Christian market.

It appears the same trend is being played out with the creation, distribution, and sales of Christian ebooks.

Which leads me to think about a Christian ebook distributor? Thus far, other than Ingram (which is a secular distributor with a Christian division), neither of the largest Christian book distributors, STL nor Anchor, have begun to distribute ebooks.

Hopefully, they will soon. But do they first need stores to sell the ebooks to? This brings up the question of what comes first: the chicken or the e-egg?


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7 thoughts on “Where are the Christian eBook Stores?

  1. We talked about this at the Write!Canada conference this year… there’s a definitely need for Christian eBooks out there, and in particular, an eBook publisher that accepts ‘unconventional’ Christian fiction.

    Desert Breeze Publishing seems to be trying to break into the inspirational eBook market, but as they’re quite small and a fairly new face in the crowd, it’s going to be a long and tough slog…

  2. I have an answer for you! NOVO Ink is specializing in Christian eBooks from all your favorite Christian publishers like David C. Cook, B&H, Regnery, Barbour Books, Tyndale, Credo and so many more coming. Authors like Francis Chan, Dinesh D’Souza, Kathy Herman, Tom Davis, and more are on the site now with many many more coming. Also, a growing list of Christian Fiction titles are available on the site.

    NOVO Ink is constantly aquiring and formatting eBooks which are viewable on the Zinio Interactive Reader…full high definition color with all kinds of cool interactive features.

    So hopefully http://www.novoink.com can provide you with some great Christian eBooks. If there is something you want to see on the site, fill out the “Your Input Matters” form and every attempt will be made to get the title(s). Thanks for your post.

  3. Christian Book Distributors now has a decent sized ebook section, with books in epub and pdf format. Unfortunately other companies tend to publish ebooks in their own formats, so you have to download a whole bunch of different apps to read. I prefer to put everything on my ereader.

  4. You are right Debbie. They do now. However in June 2010 when I wrote this post, CBD did not offer ebooks.

  5. We have been selling Christian books and Bibles since 2002 and cannot find anyone to work with us on selling e-books. We sell on all major internet web sites i.e. ebay, barnes and noble, amazon and many others including over own web site at http://www.theseedofcalvary.com. Not one of the publishers we buy from will sell us rights to sell their ebooks but they will gladly sell us tens of thousands of dollars worth of paper books and Bibles. We cannot break through this ceiling. We work with other sellers like CBD and many others. CBD is just now selling ebooks since 2012 and hopefully we are next? I am thinking it has to do with Amazon buying rights. If anyone knows how to assist us with selling ebooks for Christians please contact us at theseedofcalvary@gmail.com we would love to hear from you.

  6. Evelyn, Both eChristian (www.echristian.com) and Deeper Calling Media (www.deepercalling.com) distribute ebooks to online retailers to sell. Additionally, online stores can sign up with Ingram also distributes ebooks to online retail stores through their CoreSource Plus ebook program. I hope this information helps. ~Sarah Bolme

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