How Many Christian Bookstores Remain?

The number of Christian brick-and-mortar bookstores has shrunk rapidly over the past few years. In 2017, Family Christian, the largest Christian bookstore chain, declared bankruptcy and closed the doors to its 240 stores.  Earlier this year, Lifeway announced that they would close all 170 of their stores by year end. The company is moving to an online only presence for selling books. A number of independent Christian bookstores have also shuttered.

How many remain?

All told, the Christian book selling industry has lost well over 400 Christian bookstores in the last four years. This raises the question:

Are Christian bookstores a dying breed?

The 2019 Walker Sand’s annual Future of Retail report looks at shopping behavior. This year’s report reveals:

1. Consumers are buying less

Two-thirds of respondents of all ages, and 72% of those age 18-35, say they are buying fewer things because they have become more conscious of keeping a clean, organized lifestyle.

2. In-store is still in demand

Brick-and-mortar remains popular with consumers for buying things like food and other daily necessities: Some 83% of respondents say they purchased groceries in-store in the past year, and 76% say they purchased consumer packaged goods.

One exception to in-store shopping is purchasing books. Books are the only type of product that consumers shopped for more on third-party online marketplaces like Amazon than in-store.

Shopping Behavior

Number of Christian Bookstores

The increase of online book buying raises the question:

Just how many Christian bookstores remain?

This is an important question for publishers and authors. While both the size and scope of bookstores focused on selling Christian products have diminished over the past decade, physical book browsing is still one way a number of Christians discover new books.

In 2018, CBA launched the Get It Local Today program. The program was designed to help drive traffic to brick-and-mortar Christian bookstores. The program recently reported that their database—the largest online directory of verified independent Christian retailers—features more than 1,800 stores.

Each of these stores is part of the Get It Local Today program and are featured on a new interactive map on the program’s website.

Get It Local Today Bookstore Map

I encourage you to check out the map and find how many Christian bookstores are near you. Then, make an effort to support these stores.

I find the news of 1,800+ Christian brick-and-mortar bookstores heartening. How about you?

Related Posts:
Where Will Christian Books Be Sold?
Why Christian Bookstores Are In Decline
What Authors Can Learn From Shopping Behaviors

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Do You Need a Marketing Template?

I am a list maker. I make a list, check off what I have accomplished, and then revise my list by making a new list that includes the items I have not yet completed and more that I need to complete. I frequently have multiple lists going at once.

Book Marketing Template

Do you like lists? What about a blueprint or template that shows you what to do?

One of the things I find is that I am often reinventing the wheel. Some tasks I do must be repeated weekly or monthly, yet I write them on each list. I find the same is true in marketing a book.

For each book I publish, I reinvent the wheel by creating a new list from scratch. I finally decided that I have had enough of that. To solve the problem, I created a Book Marketing Plan Template in Excel.

This Book Marketing Template is based on the marketing advice in my book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. It includes all the important marketing steps from pre-publication through publication and ongoing marketing after publication of a book.
I have decided to share this Book Marketing Template with other authors and publishers. The template is designed to be used as a companion to Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace, but it can be used as a stand-alone tool also.

Here is the best part. I am offering this re-useable Book Marketing Template in Excel for a bargain price. For just $4.99, you can have your own copy to use in marketing your book. Simply click HERE to purchase your copy today!

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