By Rosemary Johnson
A new book about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is selling well nationally and gaining momentum.
The book, “Latter Days: A Guided Tour Through Six Billion Years of Mormonism,” by Coke Newell has risen quickly to the top one percent of sales at Amazon.com, said Jenny Dworkin, publicity manager for St. Martin’s Press.
“It appears the book is appealing to audiences well outside the Mormon heartland,” she said.
“I believe both Mormons and non-Mormons will enjoy it. It will probably be faith-promoting for members of the church and answer in an honest and forthright way many questions of non-members,” said Brad Mortensen from Brigham City, Utah in his book review on Amazon.com.
Newell has worked as a public affairs officer at the LDS Church headquarters for almost ten years. He was contacted by New York City’s St. Martin’s Press to write a book on the history and doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“I am encouraged that national publishers are printing books by qualified Mormon authors,” said Roger Toone, vice president of retail at Deseret Book.
“This book seems to have good sales potential.”
Newell has other books in the national market on other topics and was actually trying to sell a different manuscript when asked to write “Latter Days”, said Don Fossum, assistant manager of General Books and Buyer for BYU Bookstore.
“It’s a very approachable book, it’s a very readable book … (Newell) doesn’t avoid any of the hard issues, he addresses them hard on,” Fossum said. “He is a believer and I think his approach to the whole thing is absolutely correct.”
“The book has interest for members of other faiths. It explains things in a very matter of fact and down to earth way and fills a niche that hasn’t been addressed in the past,” said Miriam Anderson, Deseret Book corporate buyer.