Demand for Christian books among the American public is steadily rising, making it a profitable business venture. According to a study by the Barna Research Group of Ventura, California, 48 percent of American adults and 51 percent of teenagers said they had read at least one Christian book, other than the Bible, in the previous year. Christian book distributors buy the books from publishers and other sources and sell them to retail stores. Distribution of Christian books provides a satisfaction of helping people grow spiritually besides generating an income.
Research your target market to understand what gaps exist in the Christian book market, and decide on which ones you can fill. The research helps you create a niche and make important decisions on which books to sell, such as memoirs, theology-based books or independently published titles. Christian blogs, Christian bookstores, Christian magazines and Christian forums are some of the areas that provide good research.
A business plan contains various sections that outline steps that help ensure growth of your business. The executive summary states your company’s profile, goals and mission. An additional market analysis expounds on the target market and should look into your potential book distributor field. Take note of existing distributors, experts and potential competitors. The marketing section should state your plan to reach your target customers. For example, if your target market is young Christian adults, your strategy should include large Christian colleges in your respective region.
If you are financially capable, use your personal money as capital for the business to avoid paying interest rates. However, approaching potential investors and traditional bank loans are also viable options. Also consider seeking loans from local development agencies in your region or the U.S. Small Business Administration, which helps young businesses. Alternatively, apply for Christian business grants from sources such as the New Venture Labs that help equip Christian entrepreneurs.
Advertising and Distribution
Placing advertisements in the dailies, in magazines and in websites helps increase your visibility in the Christian book distribution market. You can also create a user-friendly website that lists the categories of books, their titles and prices, which makes shopping easier for your clients. Build a solid reputation with local Christian retailers through offering a unique value that your competitors are not offering, to ensure success as a book distributor.
Joseph Petrick has been a writer and editor since 2003. He writes career, business and education articles. His work has appeared in several online publications including Career Today. Petrick holds a Master of Arts in philosophy/economic anthropology from Pennsylvania State University.