In February, we launched “The Million Bible Challenge.” The purpose of this campaign is to motivate non-Bible readers to read the Bible. We wanted to provide an inexpensive version of the NKJV Bible so that individuals and churches could “pull out the stops” and help us (literally) get the word out. This is a year-long campaign, running from Easter 2005 to Easter 2006.
The offer for consumers and churches is very compelling: “Buy 5 Bibles for $5.” The Bible is also available in case lots of 20 Bibles for $20. The market response has been amazing:
- So far, we have already shipped 500,000 Bibles. As of this morning, we have almost 326,000 copies on back order. We thought it would take a full year to move the million Bibles. Obviously, we underestimated how the market would embrace this program. We now believe that we’ll exceed a million before Mother’s Day.
- These results drove the NKJV to the #1 market share position in the Christian bookstore market. (This is STATs results for March, which are reported in the May numbers. The NKJV has a 33.55% share, the NIV a 22.38% share, and the KJV a 14.66% share.) Not that we are competitive!
- One store, in Kerrville Texas, has partnered with two car dealers in his town. The dealers will put this Bible into every new and used car they sell.
- A Los Angeles store has sent flyers to hundreds of churches in the Southern California area with incredible initial results.
- A store in Scottsdale, Arizona originally ordered 4,000 Bibles. Before they received their order, they had orders for 10,000 Bibles.
Besides tremendous ministry impact, this little Bible is also helping stores financially. For the two-week period ending with Easter, this $1 retail, give-away Bible, ranked sixth in gross margin dollars for all the books and Bibles sold through the Parable Group’s stores.
We could not have done this without some help: production, sales, and distribution have made significant contributions to the challenge and will continue to help us as we stretch our goal to 5 million by Easter of 2006.