Deal brings largest religion book publishers under one corporate umbrella
HarperCollins reached a deal to buy religious publisher Thomas Nelson making it the biggest publisher of religious books.
November 1st, 2011
09:36 PM ET

Deal brings largest religion book publishers under one corporate umbrella

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - Publisher HarperCollins reached an agreement Monday to buy fellow publisher Thomas Nelson, a move that will bring the two largest religion book publishers in the country under one corporation.

Lyn Cryderman, a former Zondervan publisher, said the move makes "HarperCollins the largest Christian publisher in the United States."

Brian Murray, president and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide, cited Thomas Nelson's wide reach into "books, Bibles, e-books, journals, audio, video, curriculum and digital applications" as a reason for the acquisition.

HarperCollins is the parent company of Zondervan, a Bible publisher whose Christian authors include megachurch pastor Rick Warren.

"Thomas Nelson adds further balance to our existing publishing programs," Murray said in a press release. "Its broad inspirational appeal is a good complement to Zondervan, which will continue to publish books consistent with its mission."

HarperCollins is a subsidiary of News Corporation, a multinational media company headed by Rupert Murdoch, the media magnate who earlier this year was plagued by hacking and phone-tapping allegations at some of his publications in the United Kingdom.

During the hacking scandal, some of Zondervan's authors questioned how a company who owns the rights to the world's best-selling English bible, the New International Version, could be associated with ethics violations.

Zondervan distributes books to over 100 countries.

Though HarperCollins' acquisition brings both Zondervan and Thomas Nelson under the same corporate umbrella, Casey Francis, director of corporate communications at Thomas Nelson said for the time-being the publisher is "still operating as competitors" with Zondervan.

According to a report by Publishers Weekly, HarperCollins expects to close on the acquisition by the end of the year and it is unclear as to whether after that point that two companies will publish separately.

"I know that we are very excited to be joining HarperCollins and I know that Harper Collins hopes to continue to publish both of us," Francis said. "As of right now, though, they are focusing on closing the transaction."

Francis was clear that "it is too early to say we are joining forces," because Zondervan and Thomas Nelson will continue to be published under their respective names.

Cryderman, the former Zondervan publisher, was not surprised by the move.

"For decades Zondervan and Nelson competed vigorously for authors and market share so it remains to be seen how this move changes things," Cryderman said.

The price HarperCollins paid for Thomas Nelson is currently unknown.

- CNN Belief Blog

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soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Haley Jones

    Thank You. It is useful for my 4 months old website. 🙂

    February 6, 2012 at 7:34 am |
  2. ___.__

    Humans wrote the bible.

    Prayer is a placebo.

    Atheists are generally smarter than religious people.

    The bible supports slavery, sacrificing your child, and stoning people to death.

    Morality does not come from the bible.

    Most of the 10 commandments aren'tīģŋ even laws..

    November 13, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • ChristFollower

      God wrote the Bible through people.
      Prayer is communication with God.
      Where are your stats for athiests being smarter than religious people...?
      The Bible supports equality, life and forgiveness.
      God's standard is the standard for morality.
      Most of the 10 Commandments should be laws.

      November 14, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  3. Reality

    And the march to religious oblivion continues:

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" are converging these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, religious books, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    November 2, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Bookss

      Covered a lot. Like bam in one shot.

      November 2, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
  4. Bo

    I've got to go and clean off my car. We got about 6" of snow last night; it has stopped snowing and I need to go shopping and a meeting later on.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      drive carefully !

      November 2, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Bookss

      Lets hold off on that.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  5. Bo

    @ cathoic engineer, I never heard that hell was a place of God's love experienced by those who refused it. That isn't even Biblical.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      It wasn't claimed to be Biblical. To put it another way: what would it be like to be eternally in the presence of One who loves you infinitely, but whom you hate with all your might.

      November 2, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @catholic engineer The people who Christians generally happily consign to hell don't generally hate god or much of anything, really. That is what is so sick about Christianity.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Free

      catholic engineer
      We atheists don't hate God, we just don't believe in him being real. Now, if we believed in him and if even half of what he did in the Old Testament was actually true, then there would be plenty to hate him for.

      November 3, 2011 at 12:08 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.