Sixteen years ago, an apocalyptic thriller titled Left Behind quietly released to Christian bookstores nationwide. Little did its authors, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, or its publisher Tyndale House know that it would become a phenomenon, resulting in seven number one bestselling titles and a product line with sales topping more than 63 million copies. This month, a decade and a half later, Tyndale is releasing the 12 primary titles with new covers and updated content to inspire a new generation of readers.
“Sales for the Left Behind Series have remained consistently strong since we stopped publishing new titles in 2007,” says Cheryl Kerwin, Tyndale senior marketing manager. “To this day, they are among our top-selling fiction month in and month out. We had begun this redesign process before the earthquakes and uprising in the Middle East this year. Events such as these tend to fuel interest in Bible prophecy, and we’re seeing that in our sales of Left Behind.”
The fresh covers have a feeling of immediacy, as if the action of the plot is happening alongside today’s headline news. “The new designs for the Left Behind Series imagine how TV networks would cover the end times as the sequence of events takes place,” adds Kerwin. “We approached the imagery and composition with an eye for photojournalism rather than pure fictional drama. The result is a collection of covers as arresting as a breaking news bulletin.”
In addition to the updated look, Tyndale has added some new content for readers who want to take their interest in prophecy to the next level. The new features include “Test your Prophecy IQ,” “Prophecy Behind the Scenes,” and “In the Meantime”—a look at events that have occurred since the series released.
The bestselling non-fiction title by LaHaye and Jenkins, Are We Living the in End Times?, has received a makeover as well. The revised and updated content with a new cover is available this month. Tyndale has sold more than a half million copies of Are We Living in the End Times? since it was originally published in 1999.
Using the prophecies from the Book of Revelation as its framework, the Left Behind Series became more than a publishing phenomenon. It sparked debate and discussion in churches, communities and across the internet about Christian beliefs in the End Times. More importantly, it motivated readers to take a hard look at their own beliefs with thousands writing to the authors LaHaye and Jenkins that they had made decisions to become Christian believers for the first time.
The Left Behind brand includes twelve adult novels, three prequels, one sequel, a set of 40 juvenile novels, audio books, devotionals and graphic novels. Seven titles in the adult series reached #1 on the bestseller lists for The New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly. All 16 adult titles have appeared on all the major bestseller lists.