In The New Yorker, Daniel Radosh looks at the business of Bible publishing, concentrating on the Nashville-based giant Thomas Nelson Publishers. Of particular interest to Radosh is the brand extension strategy — keeping the Bible sales up by endlessly repackaging the good word for various niche markets. One spectacular example is the “BibleZine,” aimed at teenagers.
[Thomas Nelson publisher] Wayne Hastings described a meeting in which a young editor, who had conducted numerous focus groups and online surveys, presented the idea. “She brought in a variety of teen-girl magazines and threw them out on the table,” he recalled. “And then she threw a black bonded-leather Bible on the table and said, ‘Which would you rather read if you were sixteen years old?’ ” The result was “Revolve,” a New Testament that looked indistinguishable from a glossy girls’ magazine. The 2007 edition features cover lines like “Guys Speak Their Minds” and “Do U Rush to Crush?” Inside, the Gospels are surrounded by quizzes, photos of beaming teen-agers, and sidebars offering Bible-themed beauty secrets….
In a related story, the Nashville-area weather forecast calls for 24-hour darkness and random lightning strikes.
Click here for the New Yorker story