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Bible teacher Joyce Meyer is leaving her charismatic publishing home of more than eight years for the mainstream media giant AOL Time Warner Books.

The Life in the Word radio and TV preacher is moving to the Warner Faith (WF) religious imprint in a deal with Harrison House (HH) announced at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) convention in Anaheim, Calif., in July. The move is expected to broaden the audience for Meyer, whose 50 HH titles have sold about 6 million copies.

"Her message is relevant to both Christians and seekers," said WF publisher Rolf Zettersten. "We will work very closely with her to develop new books and to revisit her backlist. Many of those titles deserve to be revised and repackaged because she is reaching a vast new audience today that is unfamiliar with her earlier works," he said.

The agreement involves more than 75 copyrights, including Meyer's entire HH library and several future works. No details of the terms were disclosed. HH will sell Meyer's existing titles through the end of September, after which the rights will transfer to WF. New ISBNs will be issued for the entire backlist, with the first major new title due to be published early next year.

Meyer's departure will have a major impact on HH, where she held 22 of the publisher's most recent top 40 best-seller spots. But Keith Provance, president of parent company Eagle Communications International (ECI), was positive about the changes.

They would "give us the resources and the finances we need to go forward and pursue our publishing program," he said. "That is one of the reasons we did it, to be able to grow the company."

Based in Tulsa, Okla., and a leading charismatic publisher for 25 years, HH has published books by writers such as Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Marilyn Hickey, Jesse Duplantis and Creflo Dollar among its titles. HH will be ECI's sole interest once a planned sale of Honor Books and RiverOak publishing divisions goes through.

Attorney Tom Winters represented both HH and Joyce Meyer in the negotiations with Warner Books. He said: "It was important to place all her books with one publisher who had strong sales in both the CBA and general market. We wanted to have a comprehensive strategy and approach to her publishing program."

In Warner Books' statement, Meyer said she was excited about the deal because their "vast distribution will complement the growth of my international radio and television ministry."
Andy Butcher in Los Angeles

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