ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 09 Apr 2002   For week ended February 01, 2002
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 31Jan02
By Kent Larsen
Download to My Handheld!

Deseret Book's Strong Season Makes Publishers Weekly

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- The strong Fall season at Deseret Book, the book publisher and retail bookstore chain owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, caught the attention of Publishers Weekly, a book publishing trade magazine. In a story published in its weekly Religion Bookline update, reporter Jana Riess interviewed Sheri Dew, executive vice-president of publishing for Deseret Book's Shadow Mountain imprint, about the publisher's four best selling titles for the Fall, including President Hinckley's "Stand a Little Taller," which has sold about 360,000 copies. The same issue of Religion Bookline also gave short reviews of four titles published by mainstream and religious publishers on Mormonism.

The success of "Stand a Little Taller" has been seen throughout the market for LDS products, and Religion Bookline noted that its sales work out to about 3,000 copies a day since its debut in late September. "Stand a Little Taller" is a small gift book containing thoughts from LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley for each day of the year. Dew told PW that this is Deseret Book's first real 'devotional' book -- providing readers with daily inspirational help. She says that the book is just the right combination for its audience, "Its bite-sized, with a very attractive design and a daily Scripture verse. It's a perfect combination of the author, the format and the content, plus a low price point."

According to Dew, three other Deseret Book titles are also selling very strongly. Gerald Lund's novel "Come unto Me," and Sheri Dew's own "memoir-cum-spirituality book" (as PW calls it) have both sold more than 100,000 copies, while Dean Hughes' Hearts of the Children series has reached about 65,000 copies. The coffee-table book "Beloved Savior," featuring the artwork of Simon Dewey, has sold 50,000 copies. [See below for links to more information about these titles.]

All this adds to a very successful season for the publisher, making the publisher's decision earlier this month to layoff 14 from its headquarters staff less understandable. Those cuts included reductions in the company's marketing and public relations staff, traditionally areas that helped increase sales. But Dew told PW that she "cannot remember a season where we have sold this kind of volume," and added, "I think the market is growing, and that our marketing is getting stronger and more creative."

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the same issue of PW's Religion Bookline, four new books about Mormonism from mainstream and non-LDS religious publishers are given short PW-style informative reviews. Former LDS Bishop W. F. Walker Johanson has written what may be the most favorable of the four, "What is Mormonism All About? Answers to the 150 Most Commonly Asked Questions about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Published by St. Martin's Press, the book tries to give non-Mormons an accessible, friendly way to find out about LDS beliefs. PW says "Sometimes his view is too narrowly LDS (such as when he asserts that other churches claim that "miracles are a thing of the past"), but readers looking for the Mormon perspective will find it clearly and competently presented here."

PW calls Carol Avery Forseth's "Gentile Girl: Living with the Latter-day Saints" a "refreshingly balanced memoir." Forseth, a Baptist, spent two years as an undergraduate at BYU in the 1970s and says that her experience made her a better Protestant. PW adds, "It is clear that she believes LDS doctrine to be wrong (and she includes three short appendices to hammer that point home), but she also presents the individual Mormons who figure into her narrative as three-dimensional people, not caricatures."

Probably the hardest of the four books for Mormons to accept is "One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church" by Richard Abanes, who has previously attacked the New Age movement, the occult and Harry Potter. This "heated diatribe" is simply an "agenda-driven expose" says PW. "Abanes's tirade is virtually indistinguishable from the anti-Mormon literature of the past, except that he seems convinced he is revealing "new" information to readers who have been dangerously ignorant of the horrifying dark side of, say, the Osmond family."

In marked contrast, Mormon apologists and doctrinal scholars may find the final volume worthwhile, from PW's description. "The New Mormon Challenge: Responding to the Latest Defenses of a Fast-Growing Movement" is, says PW, "One of the most theologically sophisticated evangelical critiques of Mormonism ever to appear in print." Taking an evangelical viewpoint, the essays in this 544-page volume take on specific points of LDS theology, practice and history in a tone that is "critical, but not unfair or overly strident."


Deseret Standing Tall After Stunning Fall Season
Publishers Weekly Religion Bookline 29Jan02 A3
By Jana Riess

Looking at the Mormons: Four Reviews
Publishers Weekly Religion Bookline 29Jan02 A3

See also:

Deseret Book Lays-off 14 From Headquarters Staff
Mormon News 5Jan02 B3
By Kent Larsen

Stand a Little Taller
More about "Stand a Little Taller" by Gordon B. Hinckley at

Come Unto Me
More about "Come Unto Me" by Gerald N. Lund at

No Doubt About It
More about "No Doubt About It" by Sheri Dew at

Writing on the Wall
More about "Hearts of the Children: The Writing on the Wall" by Dean Hughes at

Beloved Savior
More about "Beloved Savior: Images from the Life of Christ" by Simon Dewey at

What Is Mormonism All About
More about "What Is Mormonism All About: Answers to the 150 Most Commonly Asked Questions About the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" by W. F. Walker Johanson at

One Nation Under Gods
More about "One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church" by Richard Abanes at

The New Mormon Challenge
More about "The New Mormon Challenge: Responding to the Latest Defenses of a Fast-Growing Movement" Edited by Francis Beckwith, Carl Mosser, and Paul Owen at


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information