Genre Basics: Religious, Inspirational & Spiritual - article

The religious, inspirational and spiritual book genre encompasses a diverse collection of material. It includes both fiction and nonfiction books covering a wide range of religions, from Christianity to Buddhism to Wiccan. Books may be associated with one specific religion, or may be more general, focused on an inspirational theme with underlying religious lessons or ethics. This genre also includes books that cover both conventional and unconventional topics meant to encourage spiritual growth.

The market for the religious, inspirational and spiritual genre is strong and has outperformed market growth as a whole in the past few years. According to Nielsen book survey data, in 2014, U.S. book sales of religious titles increased 10.5 percent from the previous year, compared to 2.4 percent increase of the overall book market.

One book in particular in this genre that continues to be a bestseller year after year is the Bible. According to Nielsen reports, in 2013, religious books accounted for 14 percent of new books purchased—67 percent were Bibles, and 22 percent were religious nonfiction. While adult nonfiction leads the sales in the religious genre, one trend to watch is the recent jump in Children’s religion book sales, which increased 22 percent from 2013 to 2016.

So, who's buying these books? It depends on the subgenre. According to a 2015 Neilson report, Christian fiction buyers are typically female (72 percent) and 51 percent are over 45 years old. The demographics for Christian nonfiction buyers are more balanced between men and women, at 59 percent female and 51 percent over 45.

In the inspirational and spiritual categories, books that offer learning techniques for improving physical health, emotional well-being, and personal relationships continue to be popular. Readers also enjoy discovering concepts and practices from all over the world.

Whether your book idea is a calling or a passion, you can break into the religious, inspirational and spiritual book market by staying true to your purpose, understanding your target market, and following current trends.

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  • After a fall and Cervical infusion, I began to write my prayers down, which lead to my first published book. I asked for total healing and God 

  • My book has grown slowly. When it started is difficult to say. As a child I already had many unanswered questions. Or I should say unanswered feelings. This state of affairs endured during my theological studies (5 years). After my studies I became a highschool teacher and there the straight questions came from py pupils and I could only say. Yes, there are so many things in Christian thinking that are not OK. I was forced by them to look anew to everything I had learned and strangely enough, it appeared that their questions were to the point and the Bible began to reveal the answers on their questions that were in fact my questions.
    The result: this book 'Jesus' Stenographers' is historical, biblical, and positive. The main subject is the Gospels how they came to us. However it is not belonging to any theological genre or subgenre as it is completely written out of the box. Stronger, it does not fit into any current theological concept. All main subjects concerning the Gospels are approached in the book: Language of Jesus, dissimilarities between the Gospels, different styles of the four Gospels, purposes of each Gospel, what were the sources the gospel writers used, dates of the Gospels and so on. And believe me not one single answer on these issues are to be found anywhere in current theology. It's really frightening to me. On the other hand you can imagine: stenography? Do you suggest that Jesus' was followed by stenographers? Yes. Stenography was an invention by slaves in the Roman Empire and was introduced in the Roman Senate by Cicero in 63 BC on 5 December. I said it's really frightening to me, however there is one hope: this is also the only theological concept that keeps the very words of Jesus in tact, all of them. So,Yes, there is hope.

  • Yes this is where I feel I am between spirituality and the here and now relating to animals and life's experiences ready to share with the world.