Richard Bartholomew, “Religious Mission and Business Reality: Trends in the Contemporary British Christian Book Industry”, in Journal of Contemporary Religion, 20 (1), 2005, pp. 41-54. DOI: 10.1080/1353790052000313909


The publishing industry in the UK has undergone significant changes in recent years, with publishers being absorbed into conglomerates and the rise of book chains. These trends have affected the Christian book industry, with some Christian publishers coming under secular ownership and the growth of a Christian retail chain, publisher and distributor, Send the Light. Publishers that wish to sell Christian ideas through books have had to adapt to a culture where there is less explicit commitment to, or knowledge of, Christianity than in the past. Some publishers serve a Christian niche, while others, either through belonging to a powerful conglomerate or an ability to sign prominent authors, retain a presence in mainstream bookshops. Although the ownership of several Christian imprints by Rupert Murdoch and the prominence of Christian consumer products that mimic secular products are causes for concern to some, devotional works and Bible studies remain more significant sellers.

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