The 2021 Advent devotional from Brethren Press, Do Not Be Afraid by Angela Finet, has broken previous sales records for the devotional booklets. More than 7,000 copies of the devotional have gone out so far this Advent season, including copies in regular and large print, and as digital downloads.
The regular print size has sold out but the large print version and digital download are still available at www.brethrenpress.com.
Brethren Press has been offering the seasonal devotionals for almost 20 years. The first devotional for Advent 2002 was published as preparation for Fresh from the Word, a devotional book for the 300th anniversary of the Church of the Brethren, said publisher Wendy McFadden. “The intention was to whet people’s appetites for a devotional resource. The response to the seasonal devotionals was so positive that the publishing house decided to continue the series through the anniversary year and ever since.”
Now, Brethren Press publishes a devotional for Advent and Lent every year. Sales of the seasonal devotionals have been growing in recent years: from 2019 to 2021, the unit sales have grown by 13 percent. More than 400 churches and individuals participate in a subscription program to receive the devotionals at a discounted price.
“We have heard from a few accounts that the seasonal devotional program was an opportunity to reach out and connect with congregants during the pandemic,” said Jeff Lennard, Brethren Press’s director of marketing and sales. “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and that has led to increased order numbers. It is one publishing project that has thrived in the midst of the pandemic.”
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