Thursday, November 3, 2011

...And The TWO Shall Become ONE ~ #1 and #2 Religious Publishers Soon to be Under One Umbrella

HarperCollins Publishers (Zondervan) Aquires Thomas Nelson Inc.
Religious publisher Thomas Nelson Inc. is being acquired by HarperCollins Publishers, a company owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. that already runs Nelson’s biggest rival, Zondervan.
The deal, which is expected to close at year-end pending regulatory approvals, comes as Nelson is riding success of its mega-best-selling book Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back.

HarperCollins, which runs publisher Zondervan, would have a 35% to 40% share of the evangelical Christian publishing market after acquiring Nashville-based Nelson.

The ownership change would be the latest in recent years for the more than 200-year-old publisher of Bibles, inspirational books and digital content.

HarperCollins spokeswoman Erin Crum said the company would continue to publish books, Bibles and other products under both the Thomas Nelson and Zondervan names.

Brian Murray, HarperCollins’ CEO, said Nelson would add further balance to the company’s existing publishing programs. Meanwhile, HarperCollins’ global print and digital publishing platform — which includes e-book distribution — should add marketing opportunities to boost the readership of Nelson’s authors.

Nelson and HarperCollins’ Zondervan unit have strong Bible publishing arms. Nelson is known for the King James and New King James versions; Zondervan publishes the New International Version. Both publishers have a roster of well-known authors, including best-selling Christian fiction writer Karen Kingsbury for Zondervan and Max Lucado for Nelson.

“They’re kind of the top two — it’s kind of surprising that they could be under the same secular parent company,” said Christine Johnson, managing editor of Christian Retailing magazine.

Nelson has 491 employees, including 400 in Nashville, with the others in Plano, Texas, at a live events division.
              --Above information courtesy of Getahn Ward of The Tennessean

What do you think of the deal?

God Bless!
T Denise Clary