2013 Bible Sale – Stats and Reflections

This past Saturday we had our annual Bible sale. All Bibles were 50% off! So here’s what sold by translation.  We sold a total of 233 Bibles.

NIV – 103

NLT – 39

ESV – 26

KJV – 23

NKJV – 23

NASB – 3

The Message – 2

CEB – 1

1599 Geneva Bible – 1

English Version for the Deaf – 1

HCSB – 1

NCV – 1

REB – 1

One Year Bibles – 2

Parallel Bibles – 5

Catholic – 1 (Catholic Children’s Bible – 9781599821788)

There are a few surprises for me on this list. Most notably was that ESV came in third with lower than expected sales. This looks like a trend. In the 2011 sale we sold 61 copies, in 2012 we sold 39 and this year we were down to 26. On the flip side NLT went up; 13 in 2011, 23 in 2012 and 39 this year. Both The Message and NASB are hanging on by a thread. KJV and NKJV continue to rise. Both sold 10 in 2011, in 2012 NKJV sold 8 and KJV sold 20. This year they tied at 23 each. Both the CEB and HCSB are terribly weak and do not even come close to the national sales that I see them getting.

That’s it for the 2013 sale. As always I’ll do a sales report for the entire year and post those numbers for you in January.

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About Louis

I am a 1997 graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
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4 Responses to 2013 Bible Sale – Stats and Reflections

  1. J.W. Wartick says:

    Do you have any ideas as to the trend? Do you think it is because the NIV is newer? Is it the audience your specific book store pulls in (I realize that this is on the internet and only text so I want to clarify this is not in any way to be read in a derogatory fashion)? I’ll admit I’m surprised to see the NLT as second!

    Thanks for sharing these stats. I found it very interesting, as always!

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    • Louis says:

      J.W.
      NIV has always been my best seller and it has consistently held first place for a long time. Many of the churches in my area are strong supporters of NIV and one church in particular has encouraged its members to buy the new NIV so they could all read along with what the pastor is using in his sermons. But to see the ESV slip in sales over the past three years is surprising. I can’t speculate on why this is happening other than those who want an ESV already have one. When people go to replace their Bibles or buy one for a friend they are opting for the NIV but this is pure speculation. It will be interesting to see what the annual sales show. Watch for that in January.

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      • J.W. Wartick says:

        Thanks for the follow up! I’ll speculate a tiny bit and just say it is because the NIV is so readable. I grew up with the earlier NIV. After learning to read Greek and Hebrew (NOT an expert! Just a couple years in college), I found I enjoyed the ESV a bit more. But the 2011 NIV is, I think, a really great translation and I have enjoyed its readability quite a bit. I wonder whether others are experiencing the same feelings about going back to the same “sound” with the new NIV.

        For the NIV statistic, did you combine the 2011 version with the earlier editions?

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        • Louis says:

          J.W.
          I think you’re probably right. People enjoy the readability of the NIV and are increasingly confident in the scholarship behind it. My NIV stats do combine the old and the new NIV.

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