faithbasedpublishingE-books with religious themes abound on the Internet—not only at Amazon and other e-stores but on sites such as the Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg.

If a title is even slightly well-known and is in the public domain, you can probably key it into Google and come up with the full text somewhere.

None other than the Vatican has joined the digital age, with full manuscripts online. Simply put, religious publishing has come a long way from papyri, scrolls and Gideon Bibles in hotel rooms.

Among commercial houses, one of the hottest areas of recent years has been “faith-based publishing (including books for children, among other subcategories). We’re talking about far more than actual religious texts—also, about novels, how-tos and other works written from a special religious perspective.

I’d welcome thoughts from TeleRead community members on this topic. I myself am not religious. And yet I recognize we serve readers, globally, with many different interests.

A related press release follows.

Book Industry Guild of New York (BIGNY) Panel Discussion To Explore Faith-Based Publishing’s Growth and Challenges

By Tim Hoey

“Exploring Faith-Based Publishing” will be the subject of a Tuesday, May 10, 2016 panel discussion with The Book Industry Guild of New York (BIGNY). A group of four leading editors and publishers will speak about the increased interest in faith-based content and the challenges they face. The discussion may include editorial approaches to the unique needs of their respective markets, as well as a consideration of current issues motivating strong interest among faith-based readers.


• Tina Constable — SVP and Publisher, WaterBrook Publishers/Penguin Random House

• Melissa Endlich – Senior Editor, Love Inspired/Harlequin

• Altie Karper – Editorial Director, Schocken Books/ Penguin Random House

• Alex Field – VP and Publisher, WaterBrook Publishers/Multmonah/Penguin Random House


Seth Satterlee – Religion and Spirituality Reviews Editor/Publishers Weekly


Random House, 1745 Broadway (between 55th & 56th Streets), 2nd Floor


Tuesday, May 10 2016. Beer, wine, and hors d’oeuvres at 5:15 p.m., program at 6:15 p.m.


$40 for BIGNY members / $60 for nonmembers. $5 admission for the speaker portion of the event only.

All major credit cards are accepted online and at the door. Cash and checks are also accepted at the door. Student admission is free (lecture only) with valid student ID and reservation.

Email or for reservations

About Tina Constable

Tina Constable is Senior Vice President and Publisher of Crown Business, Crown Forum, WaterBrook, Multnomah, and Convergent. She has been with the company for twenty-eight years in a variety of roles and has overseen the Christian imprints since 2014. As Publisher, she has directed the publication of numerous bestselling books and authors, including President George W. Bush, First Lady Michelle Obama, Charles Krauthammer, Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman, Deepak Chopra, Mindy Kaling, Arianna Huffington, Nick Vujicic, Chris and Kerry Shook, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Shaka Senghor, and upcoming titles from such authors as Tim Tebow, Mark Batterson, Eugene H. Peterson, and Jennie Allen.

About Melissa Endlich

BIGNY_MelissaEndrichMelissa Endlich has over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in the romance genre. She started her career working on illustrated reference books for Reader’s Digest, then joined Harlequin Books in 1999. She was instrumental in launching the Christian historical romance program, Love Inspired Historical, in 2008 with bestselling author Catherine Palmer. And in that same year, became Senior Editor for Love Inspired, the flagship program of the Love Inspired franchise.

During her career, she has worked with top CBA authors such as Irene Hannon, Marta Perry, and Lyn Cote. She currently works with top authors Emma Miller, Brenda Minton, Margaret Daley, Valerie Hansen and Arlene James. And just recently, she began working with New York Times bestselling author Diana Palmer. She has spoken on panels and publisher spotlights at conferences for the Romance Writers of America and the American Christian Fiction Writers. And she is on major forms of social media, including Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.

Twitter: @MelissaEndlich, Instagram: @nyc_editor_life

About Altie Karper

Altie Karper is currently Editorial Director, Schocken Books/Penguin Random House.

About Alex Field

Alex Field is currently Vice President and Publisher, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers/Penguin Random House.

About Seth Satterlee

BIGNY_Seth_SatterleeSeth Satterlee is Religion and Spirituality Reviews Editor at Publishers Weekly. Originally from New Orleans, LA, he received his BA in English from the University of Chicago and has an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University.

About the Book Industry Guild of New York (BIGNY)

BIGNY is a New York-based organization that serves the publishing industry and community. Since its inception in 1926, the Guild has provided professional development opportunities by hosting social and educational events, seminars, industry trips, and more. The Guild produces the annual New York Book Show, which celebrates outstanding achievements in book design and manufacturing. BIGNY also proudly organizes charitable events to promote literacy in the New York City metropolitan area.

For additional information about BIGNY, please contact Tim Hoey:,
Phone: 973.714.0707
Twitter: @bigofny
Instagram: @bigofny


  1. I think that in the near future we will see eBooks released in multiple versions.

    For example, consider a murder mystery. There will be the “average” version, which is what would be written and sold today. Then there could be an X rated version of the same book, where the author has added more–and more graphic–sex, more–and more brutal–violence, etc. And there could be a bowdlerized version with very little sex or violence. And yes, there could be a ‘religious’ version where the characters have openly stated religious beliefs and ask God for help and guidance at suitable points in the story.

    Without the need for mass production of paper books (i.e. printing) an author could modify the basic book to have versions that appeal to different audiences, thus possibly increasing sales.

    The shared experience of the same (best-selling) book being read by all sorts of people all over the world would be lost. An individual’s ability to choose what type of material he/she will read would be expanded.

    I really can’t decide if this would be a good development or not, but I think it will happen anyway.

    • Color me skeptical. A book that it can be altered in all these ways is probably not much of a book to start with. The characters would lack depth since they could be sex-crazy in one and devoutly religious in another. The plot would be shallow, since the motivations of characters would have to be radically altered for each version. Any drama that could be that easily changed wouldn’t be interesting.

      And that’s not getting into the unwillingness that people in each of those target audiences would feel toward those wholesale changes. People get ticked off enough when a movie deviates from the book. This would be much worse than that.

      Besides, it would be vastly easier to write several different novels that are only loosely similar. Rewriting on such a large scale would be a real pain.

      –Mike Perry

      • @Mike: Depends. If the book sells well enough and the main creator does not mind, the writers will be found. Keep in mind I’m talking about commercial books, not literary ones. Some big name writers have already agreed to license their works for fanfic. Same idea.

  2. I read a good amount of “faith based” fiction, and appreciate when I can find it in ebook form. I always have to purchase it myself, as my state library system refuses to carry such items. Of course, this means I often miss a lot of good “faith based” fiction as I have a limited amount I’ll spend on one-time read books. 😉

    If it’s a study book of some kind, then I prefer the printed form as I mark and scribble and like to go back and forth from the book to my Bible. Plus, I’ll often refer to study books many times over the years.

    I also have devotionals that I prefer in printed form, and the really good ones I buy and give as gifts—and I’ve yet to figure out how to wrap an ebook in pretty paper, with a ribbon and nice card. haha

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