In a statement, the company said both Zondervan and Nelson would retain their “unique editorial focus” and be maintained as distinct brands. “The two companies have different, though complementary, missions and both will continue to acquire and publish books specific to those missions, competing as they have in the past, but collaborating where appropriate,” said the statement.
I still think this makes sense — have Harper One focus on religious books with mainstream appeal, Zondervan focus on the books that go into Christian bookstores, and Thomas Nelson hits the sweet spot in the middle. And I know they say there are no plans to physically combine the two offices. But, man, if I were at Zondervan and I heard this news, I think I'd have one tab open on real estate listings in Nashville at all times, just in case.
The other thing I'm curious about when it comes to this story is whether HarperCollins intends to only dominate the Christian publishing industry, or whether they intend to exploit Thomas Nelson's digital expertise in order to compete in other religious markets. I don't know, but I have my eye on it.