Is religion a luxury? A couple of years ago, I would have thought that, for better or worse, lots of people would turn up at a Christian Book Expo. But the disastrous turnout at the first ever Christian Book Expo last weekend makes me wonder if this is a trend: if the recently lucrative Christian publishing segment will be hit even harder than other parts of the industry. At a time when people are focusing on keeping their houses and their jobs, is the investment in a book that will help them purify their souls one of the luxuries that can be cut back on? Publishers Weekly reports on the event:
Stacks of unsold books and glum publishers stood for three days inside the cavernous Dallas Convention Center this past weekend at the Christian Book Expo, a first-of-its-kind event designed to connect publishers and authors directly with readers in the evangelical Christian market. Only problem was there were few readers to connect with, despite the show’s location in Dallas, the buckle of the Bible Belt and a top market for Christian publishers. The show, sponsored by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, attracted 1,500 consumer attendees; it had hoped for 15,000-20,000.The PW story is here.