Hodder looks to develop Bible app

Hodder looks to develop Bible app

Hodder Faith is looking to develop its bestselling Bible app by offering a text reordering service and creating a series of notes with a Christian youth group.

Speaking at the FutureBook Conference 2015, director of publishing Ian Metcalfe said the company will next year look to improve its Bible app offering after the popularity of the original product, which launched earlier this year.

Hodder published the New International Version (NIV) Bible app in the summer in two formats – one with audio and one without – after the success of an audio recording done by actor David Suchet.

“David got in touch and told us an amazing story about a woman who was visually impaired whose life was transformed after listening to an audio recording of St John’s gospel… She wanted more, so he said he wanted to read the whole thing,” said Metcalfe.

Hodder sold 15,000 copies of the original recording - which was publish in an MPV/CD box set - even though it cost £40. The success of that venture led Hodder to produce two versions of the app – one with Suchet’s audio recording and one without.

“We wanted the app to be as easy as possible for normal people, not geeks, so it’s easy to navigate and easy to listen to,” Metcalfe said, indicating a navigation bar on the left of the screen which takes readers to whichever chapter or verse they choose.

Hodder will look at adding additional functionality to the app next year and is considering creating a tool that will allow people to create bepoke audio playlists.  

Metcalfe said the NIV Bible is the most popular bible in translation in the world. Hodder has sold 125,000 copies in the UK this year, and global sales now top 450m.