Print vs. eBook

While ebook sales growth has stalled for the general book market, recent statistics show that ebook sales for Religious books is still growing.

ebook vs print

Faith-based publishers reported significant year-over-year ebook growth for November 2013, although net paperback sales fell by 21% compared with the previous November. Overall, sales of religious ebooks increased nearly 10% last year and now account for 11% of all religious book sales. That’s up from 10% the previous year.

Statistics like this can lead one to believe that if ebooks make up 11% of all religious book sales, then if you have a Christian book, you can expect 11% of your sales to be digital sales. Statistics don’t work that way.

It is difficult to answer the question of “Will my book sell more print or digital copies?” Whether a book sells more digital or print copies is often more a factor of what kind of book you are selling than whether your book is Christian or secular.

For example, the best-selling book in print last year (1.8 million copies, according to Nielsen Bookscan) was Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck. However, that book did not even crack the top 20 chart for consumers buying ebooks via Amazon Kindle. This may be because children’s book still, by and large, sell very few digital copies compared to print copies. On the other hand, romance books lead the sales charts for digital books. So, if you are selling a Christian romance novel, you can expect to sell a higher number of digital copies.

The bottom line is that in today’s book world, anyone who is not offering both the print version of a book as well as the digital version is missing out on potential sales.

With that said, I am pleased to announce that Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace:Third Edition is now available in both print and digital format. You can find the digital version in the Kindle store. It is also available as a PDF download on the book’s website. Now you have your choice of preferred reading: ebook or print.

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A Drinkable Book

A new book and its design are giving new meanings to the phrase “A Good Book Can Change Your Life.”

I am always amazed at the creativity of book publishers. However, this new book design is simply incredible. Having recently gone to Nicaragua on a mission trip, this book especially caught my attention.

Water is essential for life, yet many communities around the world lack fresh water that is free from contaminates. In fact, 3.4 million people die each year from preventable water-related diseases.

WATERisLIFE, an organization devoted to providing clean water to those in need, recently teamed up with researchers from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Virginia. The result is a Drinkable Book.

This Drinkable Book is revolutionary. It will change lives. You can learn more about it by watching this video.

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Are Reviews Important?

In my book, Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace,” one of the marketing fundamentals is:

Book reviews open doors for book sales.


This marketing principle is one of the reasons that Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) began the BookCrash book review program for our member publishers. BookCrash is a “books for bloggers” program, where, in exchange for a book, we ask that the blogger review the book both on his or her own personal blog and on one retail site.

Book reviews help sell books for several reasons.

  1. Reviews expose more people to your book.
  2. Reviews let readers know that your book is or is not worth an investment of money or time.
  3. Reviews provide you on-going testimonials about your book for use in your marketing materials.

The updated Third Edition of my book, Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace, recently garnered two great reviews. For the sake of space, I will not quote the entirety of the reviews here, just the salient points. I have provided a link to each review if you wish to read the entire review.

James Cox of the Midwest Book Review wrote:

Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace by Sarah Bolme will prove to be an indispensable 266 page instructional resource for authors and publishers of Christian literature whether fiction or non-fiction. Comprehensive, exceptionally well organized and presented, practical, informed and informative.”

Deborah Piccurrelli of TWJ Magazine wrote:

“I have to admit, my first thought was, ‘Another marketing book?’ because I already own a whole load of previously published ones. But once I began reading, I wanted to just go straight through without stopping. I never thought the subject could be so interesting. The formatting of this book is done in such a way that I never experienced tedium.”

If you have a new book you are publishing, make the push, get out there and get reviews. They will help you sell more copies of your book.

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Marketing for Success

The International Christian Retail Show is next month! This year will be the seventh year for Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) to host a seminar for publishers and independently published authors, as well as anyone interested in becoming a publisher, at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS).

CSPA is pleased to announce that we will host our annual Publishers’ Institute at ICRS this summer in Atlanta, Georgia. The theme of this year’s Publishers’ Institute is “Marketing for Success.” Speakers and topics will include:

davidweldaySpecialty Sales: Tap into Book Sales Sources Right Under your Nose!
David W. Welday III, President, HigherLife Publishing & Marketing

David Welday is President of HigherLife Publishing and Marketing, Inc. HigherLife is a strategic consulting, publishing, marketing and business development company that works with executives, authors and organizations to create innovative strategies and resources built on positive, life-changing messages. David has served in the publishing and marketing world for over 30 years and has vast experience in; direct response marketing, book publishing, curriculum and digital resource development. He has acquired and worked with multiple New York Times bestselling authors. His experience includes work in traditional, collaborative and self-publishing models. David is a gifted communicator, marketing strategist, copywriter, publisher and coach.

sarahbolme2Seven Essential Ingredients for Successful Book Promotion
Sarah Bolme, Director, Christian Small Publishers Association

Sarah Bolme is the co-founder and Director of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA), the owner of CREST Publications, and the author of the award-winning Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. She is also the editor of the CSPA Circular, the monthly newsletter of Christian Small Publishers Association. Sarah’s passion is educating others to help them market their books into the Christian marketplace.

Round Table Discussion
A round table discussion will also be held during the seminar. Attendees will be able to discuss publishing and book marketing strategies with each other and the presenters.

Publishers’ Institute will be held on Sunday, June 22, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center in Room 207, during The International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in Atlanta. The cost is just $20. You can register in advance on CSPA’s website by just clicking here. Registration will also be taken at the door of the event.

I hope to see you there!

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