06 July

Katherine Easter named acquisitions editor for Zonderkidz

Grand Rapids, Mich. (July 6, 2021)— Zondervan today announced Katherine Easter as acquisitions editor for Zonderkidz, the children’s imprint for Zondervan.

As acquisitions editor, Easter will identify and acquire authors to create picture books, nonfiction, middle grade, and young adult (YA) titles. She will work alongside Megan Dobson, the v-p and publisher for Zonderkidz, to steward brands including The Beginner’s Bible and The Berenstain Bears.

Easter joined HarperCollins Christian Publishing two-and-a-half years ago as an editor in the custom division, where she worked with publishing teams across the company to create special editions, box sets, and other custom products. Prior to this, she spent five years at Eerdmans Books for Young Readers where she worked with award-winning authors and illustrators including Bryan Collier, Melissa Sweet, and Lee Bennett Hopkins.

“Katherine is an innovative editor with a passion for the Zonderkidz list,” remarked Dobson. “We valued her collaborations with our team when she served as a custom editor, and we are so excited to have her in this acquisitions role as a dedicated member of the Zonderkidz team.”

For more information about Zonderkidz, visit www.zonderkidz.com or follow @zonderkidz on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Contact:  Chelsea Taff

              Manager, Corporate Communications

              tel:   615.902.2137

              web: [email protected]

04 December

Katherine Jacobs named senior acquisitions editor for Zonderkidz

Grand Rapids, Mich. (December 4, 2020) – Zondervan today announced Katherine Jacobs as senior acquisitions editor for Zonderkidz, the children’s imprint of Zondervan.

In this role Jacobs will work to acquire key authors and discover new voices in the children’s publishing space while also leading the editorial process for her acquired projects. Jacobs is a graduate of Calvin University with a master’s in children’s literature from Simmons College. She brings over 13 years of children’s publishing experience, most recently working with Roaring Brook Press, a children’s imprint for Macmillan Publishers. Some of Jacobs’ notable acquisitions there include the Nerdy Babies series of board books, The Unicorn Came to Dinner picture book, and the Woke Baby board book.

“Katherine’s general market experience combined with her interest in faith-based topics and publishing make her a great fit for the Zonderkidz team,” said Megan Dobson, vice president and publisher of Zonderkidz. “We’re thrilled to have her on board and excited to see how her contributions to the Zonderkidz list will inspire young lives and meet the spiritual and developmental needs of children and teens.”


Zondervan, a worldwide leading Christian publisher of books and Bibles, is part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc. Its publications include a variety of Bible translations for all ages; books in different  genres and subject areas for the general reader; curriculum for individual and group Bible study; books for children and young adults; academic resources including textbooks and reference books; ministry resources; and books on faith and culture. Zondervan is based in Grand Rapids, MI.  For more information, visit www.zondervan.com.

Contact:  Chelsea Taff, Assistant Manager

               Corporate Communications

               tel:   615.902.2137

               web: [email protected]

15 July

Megan Dobson named vice president, publisher for Zonderkidz

Grand Rapids, Mich. (July 15, 2020) — Zondervan today announced Megan Dobson as the vice president, publisher for Zonderkidz, the children’s imprint for Zondervan. She will begin on July 27 and report to Laura Minchew, senior vice president, Children’s and Gift Group publisher for HarperCollins Christian Publishing (HCCP).

Dobson joins Zonderkidz after serving as publisher for ChristianAudio. Prior to this she worked for HCCP for nine years, holding positions in both sales and publishing. Dobson served for two years as director of mass market sales for HCCP, and later shifted her leadership to W Publishing, an imprint of Thomas Nelson. As the imprint’s associate publisher, Dobson led the editorial team, helped drive business strategy, and acquired and edited works from authors including Lindsay Teague Moreno (Boss Up), Jess Ekstrom (Chasing the Bright Side), and Lisa Whittle (Jesus Over Everything). 

As Zonderkidz publisher, Dobson will drive the publishing vision, editorial process, and operational strategies and will ensure growth through strong financial and business leadership. Further, Dobson will acquire key books and maximize the extensive backlist, including industry-leading children’s brands such as The Jesus Storybook Bible and The Beginners Bible. She will be based in HCCP’s Grand Rapids, Mich. office, where the Zonderkidz program is predominantly located.

“It’s an amazing privilege to join the Zonderkidz team in producing inspirational books that speak messages of hope, truth, and love to children and their families,” said Dobson. “I am excited to lead this team into the future while continuing our mission to inspire the world.”

“I am thrilled to have Megan join us in the role of Zonderkidz publisher,” said Minchew. “She has a passion for children’s books and will bring creativity and business acumen to the role. Megan’s experience in leading successful teams in both publishing and sales, and her extensive knowledge of HCCP make her a perfect fit.”


About Zondervan:  Zondervan is a world-leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications. Zondervan, as part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., delivers transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and translated into nearly 200 languages. Zondervan offices are located in Grand Rapids, MI. For additional information, please visit www.zondervan.com.

Contact:  Chelsea Taff

              Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications

              tel:   615.902.2137

             web: [email protected]

09 July

Jessica Westra hired as publicity director for Zonderkidz

(Grand Rapids, MI) July 9, 2018—Zondervan announced today that Jessica Westra will join the Zonderkidz publishing division as the new publicity director.

Westra comes to Zonderkiz with more than 23 years of experience, most recently running her own events and media consulting business handling an array of media relations campaigns for her cleints. Previously, she worked in event management for Tulip Time Festival, Inc. in Holland, MI, in addition to extensive freelance publicity work.

In her new role as publicity director for Zonderkidz, Westra will oversee all facets of public relations for the Zonderkidz catalog of products by leading general publicity efforts to generate brand awareness, develop and execute strategic campaigns, and support authors.

“Jessica’s passion for great content and dynamic approach to publicity will be enormously valuable for our authors and their books,” says Londa Alderink, vice president of marketing for Zonderkidz. “We are thrilled to gain Jessica’s comprehensive industry expertise as a resource for both our authors and our team.”

Zondervan, part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, is a world leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications. For more than 80 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products. The company’s products are sold in multiple formats, worldwide, translated into nearly 200 languages. Zondervan offices are located in Grand Rapids, MI. For additional information, please visit www.zondervan.com.

02 May

HarperCollins Christian Publishing Wins Four 2018 Christian Book Awards including Jesus Always named Book of the Year

Company also received two Platinum Awards for titles selling more than one million units

(Nashville, TN) May 2, 2018—HarperCollins Christian Publishing announced today the company’s two publishing groups, Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, received four Christian Book Awards®, cumulatively, including Sarah Young’s bestselling “Jesus Always” (Thomas Nelson) winning the 2018 Christian Book of the Year.

At this year’s ECPA’s Leadership Summit, held in Washington, D.C., Thomas Nelson was also recognized at the ECPA Awards Celebration on Tuesday evening, May 1, 2018, for two titles achieving major sales milestones.

The 2018 Christian Book Award winners include:

  • “Jesus Always: Embracing Joy in His Presence,” by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson)-Christian Book of the Year
  • “Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Life Changing Truth for a Skeptical World,” by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, PhD (Thomas Nelson)- Bible Reference Works
  • “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin and Pat Barrett, illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Tommy Nelson)- Children
  • “The Bible’s Explorer’s Guide” by Nancy I. Sanders (Zonderkidz)- Young People’s Literature*

The Platinum Award for outstanding sales achievements, reaching more than one million units sold, was given to “Jesus Always” by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) and “Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely” (Thomas Nelson) by Lysa TerKeurst.

In addition, HarperCollins Christian Publishing was honored to have eight additional titles to be named as award finalists in 11 categories:

  • “Faithlife Illustrated Study Bible NIV” (Lexham Press, Zondervan)- Bibles
  • “Kids’ Visual Study Bible NIV” (Zonderkidz)-Bibles
  • “The Gospel According to Paul” by John MacArthur (Thomas Nelson)- Bible Study
  • “God’s Great Love for You” by Rick Warren, illustrated by Chris Saunders (Zonderkidz)- Children
  • “‘Twas the Evening of Christmas” by Glenys Nellist, illustrated by Elena Selivanova (Zonderkidz)- Children
  • “Goliath Must Fall” by Louie Giglio (W Publishing, an imprint of Thomas Nelson)- Christian Living
  • “Standing in the Fire” by Tom Doyle (W Publishing, an imprint of Thomas Nelson)- Faith and Culture
  • “The Story of Reality” by Greg Koukl (Zondervan)- Faith and Culture

“Congratulations to the authors and publishing team award winners of the 2018 Christian Book Awards,” said Mark Schoenwald, president and CEO of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. “Special congratulations and thank you to Sarah Young for winning the Christian Book of the Year while also being recognized for one million units sold within a year.  The Jesus Calling brand continues to impact millions of people around the world, a true testament to our mission. All named winners and finalists are illustrating the breadth of influence our publishing groups have in delivering life-changing messages to people searching for inspiration.”

For more information about Thomas Nelson, go to www.thomasnelson.com. For more information about Zondervan, go to www.zondervan.com. For more information about HarperCollins Christian Publishing go to www.harpercollinschristian.com.

About HarperCollins Christian Publishing: The world’s leading Christian publisher, HarperCollins Christian Publishing Inc., comprises both Thomas Nelson and Zondervan publishing groups in addition to Olive Tree Bible Software.  The Company produces bestselling Bibles, inspirational books, academic resources, curriculum, audio and digital content for the Christian market space.  Also home to BibleGateway.com, the world’s largest Christian website, and FaithGateway.com, an online community dedicated to helping people grow in their faith. HarperCollins Christian Publishing is headquartered in Nashville, TN with additional offices in the U.S., and Mexico.  For more information visit www.HarperCollinsChristian.com.

09 February

Former NFL Running Back and Dancing with the Stars Champion Rashad Jennings Motivates and Inspires Others in Debut Book

Zondervan Announces Acquisition of The IF in Life from Former NFL Running Back Rashad Jennings

Grand Rapids, MI – February 9, 2018 – In his debut book, The IF in Life: How to Get Off Life’s Sidelines and Become Your Best Self, former NFL running back and Dancing with the Stars Season 24 champion, Rashad Jennings, shares his inspiring story, imparts practical advice, and encourages readers to follow their dreams.

Growing up, Jennings was overweight, had poor vision, suffered from debilitating asthma, and held a 0.6 GPA—yet he still hoped to one day play in the NFL as a running back. To say the odds were stacked against him is an understatement. Through hard work and determination, encouragement and tough love from his brothers and coaches, and the support of mentors too numerous to count, Jennings became a record-setting NFL running back. During his eight-year NFL career, he played with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Oakland Raiders, and the New York Giants. And now, through the Rashad Jennings Foundation, Jennings is focused on inspiring youth by making education an enjoyable experience, providing mentorship, and encouraging an overall healthy lifestyle. In 2017, he helped more than 30,000 students through his foundation read over 167,655 books.

“Whether you realize it or not, certain moments in life, no matter how significant or small they seem, can change your path and have a positive impact on where you go and how successful you become,” said Jennings. “The IF in Life is about those “IF” moments that have shaped the man I’ve become and brought about the realization of my dreams. My hope for this book is that it brings motivation and inspires young people to become their best self.”

In The IF in Life, Jennings writes about the decisions that shaped his destiny, both on and off the field. From overcoming injuries and setbacks, to setting goals and dreaming big, his transparency about his journey will encourage readers to hold on to faith during uncertainty and remind them that greater things are waiting if you stay focused and believe.

“Rashad’s contagious spirit will inspire countless people to take notice of the ‘IF’ moments in their lives that can help lead them down a path to becoming the best they can possibly be,” said Annette Bourland, senior vice president and group publisher at Zondervan. “We are honored to be working with Rashad to share his message.”

Featuring photos from Rashad’s childhood, college years, and professional career, The IF in Life will be available online and in stores on May 8, 2018.  The book is available for pre-orders now.

About the Author: Rashad Jennings is a national personality. Throughout his successful eight-year career in the NFL, as well as his championship performance on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, Jennings has gained the love and support of fans across the country. Today, Jennings is driven to make a national impact and lasting legacy. The Rashad Jennings Foundation is dedicated to inspiring youth by making education fun, providing mentorship for individual success and promoting health and fitness. Follow Rashad on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, @rashadjennings.

Zondervan, part of HarperCollins, is a world-leading provider of Christian communications and delivers transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and translated into nearly 200 languages. Zondervan offices are located in Grand Rapids, MI. For additional information, please visit www.zondervan.com.