Stephanie Newton                  
Director of Publicity                  
(615) 902-2320                  
twitter: @stephnewton  

Since its release in November 2010, “Heaven Is for Real” by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent has become a publishing phenomenon. For the week of January 29, 2012, “Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back” will be listed as the #1 “nonfiction paperback” on the New York Times Best Seller List – its 52nd week (non-consecutive) in the top spot and a record for Thomas Nelson, Inc.

“Heaven Is for Real” also reached No. 1 on the following lists since its release: USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, National Public Radio, Christian Booksellers Association and Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. In addition to being ranked near the top on numerous best seller lists, Thomas Nelson has printed the six millionth copy of the acclaimed title. “Heaven Is for Real for Kids” also has hit the top spot on the New York Times Best Seller List as “print children’s picture books.”

“We are so thankful for the way the Thomas Nelson team got behind ‘Heaven is for Real’,” says Joel Kneedler of Alive Communications, agent for the Burpo family. “Every division has played a part in sharing the contagious, life-changing message of this simple story.”  

"This is an astounding achievement for a remarkable book that has defied all odds and predictions since the day it was published,” says Matt Baugher, senior vice president and publisher at Thomas Nelson. “Even in a changing publishing industry, great books will always find their way. We’ve heard from people around the world that their lives have been changed by Colton Burpo’s story. And it continues to this day."  

A deluxe edition of “Heaven Is for Real” is one of a trio of new products by the Burpo family released by Thomas Nelson in November 2011. A “Heaven is for Real” DVD-based Conversation Kit features footage of the Burpo family talking about their experiences while offering discussion questions and suggestions for participants. “Heaven is for Real for Kids” offers Colton’s incredible story for children ages 4-8 with breathtaking images and heartfelt content that helps parents talk to their children about heaven.  

In March 2003, Todd and Sonja Burpo were on the verge of their worst nightmare – losing a child. Their 4-year-old son Colton’s appendix had unknowingly burst days before, and he was now fighting a life-threatening infection. To save Colton, surgery was the only option. But what would happen during that surgery was more than healing through modern medicine.
“Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back” (Thomas Nelson, 978-0-8499-4615-8, $16.99, November 2010) is the true story of the Burpo family and Colton, who during his life-threatening illness and sudden surgery, slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He narrowly survives. Several months later while passing by the same hospital that saved him, Colton begins talking about his experiences during surgery and making a trip to heaven. The family didn’t know what to believe, but soon the evidence was clear.  

Written in the first-person narrative of Colton’s father, Todd, with New York Times best-selling author Lynn Vincent, “Heaven Is for Real” walks readers through the revelation of Colton’s trip, his parent’s initial uncertainties and the lessons learned by such a small child.  

Todd Burpo is pastor of Crossroads Wesleyan and a volunteer fireman. His wife Sonja is a children’s minister, busy pastor’s wife and mom. Colton, an active eleven year old, has an older sister Cassie and a younger brother, Colby.  

Lynn Vincent is the New York Times best-selling writer of “Same Kind of Different as Me” and “Going Rogue: An American Life.” The author or coauthor of nine books, Vincent worked for eleven years as senior writer, then features editor, at the national news biweekly WORLD Magazine where she covered politics, culture and current events. A U.S. Navy veteran, Lynn is also a lecturer in writing at the World Journalism Institute and The King’s College in New York City.  


Thomas Nelson, Inc., headquartered in Nashville, TN, is one of the leading trade publishers in the United States. The Company has become the world’s leading provider of “inspirational” content, with product distribution in over 100 countries, including: books, eBooks, journals, audio, video, curriculum, digital applications for “smart” electronic devices and live events. For more information, please visit