...building strong relationships with authors is of great importance to us...
Last year, our parent company, Baker Publishing Group, had its best year ever, and we at Bethany House were overjoyed to be part of that success. We are encouraged that Christian fiction, our specialty, is a growing division within our industry, and we continually strive to produce high-quality books for our devoted readership.
As excited as we are to be a growing business, we have recently stepped back to reevaluate our guiding strategies and practices. Through this, we’ve launched a new strategy. Publishing houses tend to put much of their energy into keeping distributers happy, or trying to figure out what makes a consumer buy a book. While these are worthy pursuits and part of normal business operation, we have determined that we need to look more closely at who the real customer is in all of this. For Bethany House, the answer is simple: the ones without whom our books would never exist. Our authors.
Therefore, in order to get back to basics, Bethany House is focused on being a strongly author-centered publishing house. We believe our authors deserve our careful attention and our devoted efforts because, as previously stated, without them we would have nothing to sell.
In light of this focus, much of our news has to do with excitement building around our authors. We’re particularly excited about the upcoming American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Conference in September. This year it is conveniently happening in our backyard at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel. We have the privilege of being a platinum sponsor for the conference, and we see this as a great opportunity to reach out to our current authors and also to potential new Bethany House authors.
A recent exciting event for Bethany House was the announcement of the Christy Award winners. Out of five Bethany House nominees, three of our books won first place: Lynn Austin’s A Proper Pursuit in Historical, Tamera Alexander’s Remembered in Romance, and Athol Dickson’s The Cure in Suspense. We’re absolutely thrilled for these talented writers, and we’re now turning our attention toward their new releases. Athol’s new novel, Winter Haven, came out in April to great acclaim. In June, Tamera Alexander debuted a new series with From a Distance, the story of an independent female photographer in 1870s Colorado. In October 2008, Lynn Austin’s Until We Reach Home, the story of three Swedish immigrant sisters, will release.
Another of our authors, Linda Nichols, was recently awarded the 2008 ECPA Christian Book Award for her beautifully written novel, In Search of Eden.
In other fun news, our historical romance author Deeanne Gist was recently chosen to be Grand Marshall of the Derrick Days Parade in Corsicana, Texas, where her most recent novel, Deep in the Heart of Trouble, is set.
Fall 2008 brings many exciting new releases for Bethany House, including two emotion-packed women’s fiction stories, Waiting for Daybreak by Kathryn Cushman and Stepping Into Sunlight by Sharon Hinck. Tracie Peterson debuts a new series with A Promise to Believe In and releases the second in her BROADMOOR LEGACY series, co-written with Judith Miller. Cathy Hake gives us another hilarious romance with Whirlwind, and Lauraine Snelling takes readers back to the beloved setting of Blessing, North Dakota, in Rebecca’s Reward. Bestselling historical author Kim Vogel Sawyer’s new novel, Where the Heart Leads, features a young Mennonite man who must choose between his conservative upbringing and new opportunities.
In October, the wait is finally over for the next Beverly Lewis novel. The stunning conclusion to THE COURTSHIP OF NELLIE FISHER series is called The Longing.
And over in nonfiction, we have a book we believe every Christian should read: Being Christian by Stephen Arterburn, author of the EVERY MAN’S BATTLE series.
Since building strong relationships with authors is of great importance to us, we are always honored to welcome new voices to Bethany House. This fall, we look forward to the release of Alice J. Wisler’s Rain Song, a charming and unforgettable story set in the South and filled with lovable characters, romance, and even a little mystery. Siri Mitchell’s first Bethany House novel moves her into the historical fiction category. A Constant Heart is the captivating tale of one woman’s search for love and true beauty in the Elizabethan-era royal court. And debut author Christa Parrish has penned a compelling, emotional novel about one woman’s search for forgiveness and peace in Home Another Way.
Looking into the future, we eagerly anticipate the return of one of our most popular authors. Janette Oke has returned to writing, fulfilling her dream of retelling the time of Jesus from a woman’s point of view. She has again teamed up with Davis Bunn, and January will bring the release of The Centurion’s Wife, the first novel in the ACTS OF FAITH series.
The future looks very bright for Bethany House. Every day, we hear stories from readers about how our books have touched their lives, and we are moved and honored to be a small part of God’s work in this way. We are very aware that the Bethany House logo on the spine tells readers they are getting a high-quality, uplifting book. It is our goal to stay true to the standard of quality readers have come to expect from us as we strive to build stronger relationships and to bring aboard talented new voices.