The Bestselling Christian Books of 2008

A few weeks ago, Publishers Weekly published their list of hardcover bestsellers for 2008. They included all hardcover books that sold more than 100,000 copies. There were 155 fiction titles that made the cut and 119 non-fiction titles. I read through the lists, highlighting the ones that could be considered “Christian,” since I run a Christian publishing company.

a stage with a cheering crowd

Interestingly, only one Christian book made the fiction list—Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana by Anne Rice. Knopf published it, and it sold 112,000 units. (There may be others on the list, but I didn’t recognize them. If so, they were published by general trade publishers.)Non-fiction was a different story. Fifteen Christian titles made the list. In the table below, I have provided the overall rank, author, title, publisher, and the number of units sold. In the disclaimer, Publishers Weekly says,

As in previous years, all the calculations on the following pages are based on shipped-and-billed figures supplied by publishers for new books issued in 2007 and 2008 and reflect only 2008 domestic [i.e., USA] trade sales.”

Although Thomas Nelson didn’t have the top-selling title—that honor went to Howard (a division of Simon & Schuster)—we did have the most titles with five on the list. Congratulations to each of the authors, agents, and publishing teams who made the list.

Bestselling Non-fiction Christian Books of 2008
Rank Author Title Publisher Units
2 Rick Warren The Purpose of Christmas Howard 1,290,000
12 Jon & Kate Gosselin Multiple Blessings Zondervan 523,000
20 Victoria Osteen Love Your Life Free Press 325,000
28 Robin McGraw What’s Age Got to Do With It Nelson 289,000
34 Dave Ramsey The Total Money Makeover Nelson 252,000
35 Dave Ramsey Become a Better You Free Press 250,000
44 Don & Susie Van Ryn Mistaken Identity Howard 235,000
45 Mike Huckabee Do the Right Thing Sentinel 232,357
46 David Jeremiah What in the World Is Going On? Nelson 223,000
49 T.D. Jakes Before You Do Atria 212,984
55 Joyce Meyer The Secret to True Happiness Faithwords 190,851
65 Joyce Meyer Start Your New Life Today Faithwords 158,676
67 Tim Keller The Reason for God Dutton 155,104
96 John Eldredge Walking with God Nelson 118,000
100 Max Lucado Cast of Characters Nelson 110,000

Update: You might also want to take a look at paperback bestsellers for 2008. You’ll find The Shack by William Young as the number two bestselling paperback of 2008. We also had Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, Fireproof by Eric Wilson, and Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge.

Question: What observations do you have about this list?

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