Also published on this date: Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017: Dedicated Issue: New World Library

New World Library: 40 Years of Publishing Books That Change Lives

Editors' Note

Happy 40th Birthday, New World Library!

With the support of the publisher, Shelf Awareness celebrates the 40th anniversary of New World Library, the publisher of such iconic titles as Creative Visualization, The Power of Now, The Seven Spiritual Laws of SuccessWay of the Peaceful Warrior and more.

New World Library: Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart by Scott Stabile

Books & Authors

New World Library: 'Changing Lives and the World at Every Level'

Marc Allen

In 1977, Marc Allen and his girlfriend at the time, Shakti Gawain, started self-publishing under the name Whatever Publishing in the kitchen of a small apartment in Oakland, Calif. They had no capital and as Allen cheerfully says, "We didn't know anything about publishing." One example of that lack of knowledge: the first copies of their first books were stapled together, not bound. No surprise then that total sales in 1977 were $800 and that Allen kept his typesetting day job.

But within a year, fortune turned. The nascent company published Gawain's Creative Visualization, which soon became an international bestseller: it's sold more than six million copies in English and has been translated into more than 40 languages. "It was the right book at the right time," Allen says with awe. "We did no marketing. We never sent out a review copy. It started selling because of word of mouth. Bookstores called and said customers who bought a copy would come back several days later and buy five more to give to others. We couldn't keep it in print." Publishers Group West began to distribute the company and provided valuable publishing advice. Creative Visualization was also then helped by a plug from Oprah, who was just becoming established as a book marketing force. After its success, "other books began coming in," Allen adds. "We had a lot of luck and good timing."

In many other ways, too, the company, which in the mid-1980s adopted the name New World Library, has come a long way: New World Library now has spacious quarters in Novato, Calif., 18 employees and revenues in the eight figures. Its backlist of more than 600 includes so many perpetual bestsellers that backlist accounts for 70% of the company's revenues. Almost all its books are profitable. And PGW is still its distributor, making New World Library PGW's oldest client.

New World Library has also grown through joint ventures, partnerships and acquisitions. More than 20 years ago, it started a joint venture with Amber-Allen. (The Allen in the name is a gesture of appreciation by founder Janet Mills to her good friend Marc Allen.) In 1995, that joint imprint published The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, which has sold more than three million copies in English.

Another joint venture, with H J Kramer, has included Diet for a New America by John Robbins and Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, which has sold more than one million copies and was made into a movie in 2005.

In 2001, New World Library began working with the Joseph Campbell Foundation to introduce the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell series, which now consists of 15 titles, including a revised version of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which has sold more than 300,000 copies since 2008. The latest book in the series, The Ecstasy of Being: Mythology and Dance, will be published this fall.

In 2007, New World Library bought Inner Ocean Publishing, whose list of 45 titles includes books by, Mark Coleman, Sondra Ray, Jean Houston and Barbara Marciniak.

In 2014, 15 years after publishing The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle joined with New World Library to launch Eckhart Tolle Editions. The imprint's titles are by teachers and authors Tolle knows from his two decades of teaching; the books include Parenting with Presence by Susan Stiffelman, Lost Masters by Linda Johnsen and two books by Steve Taylor, The Calm Center and The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening.

Throughout New World Library's existence, the company has published "what we love and what we think will sell well," Allen says. "Editors here have to fall in love with a project."

New World Library has expanded its focus over the years. Its categories include personal growth; mind-body-spirit; health and wellness; creativity and writing; philosophy; religion; Native American; parenting; women's interest; pets/animal spirituality; business and prosperity.

New World Library is also seeking to reach a new, younger generation who would benefit from ancient, traditional teachings. "People are moving more quickly, dealing with more stress," editorial director Georgia Hughes says. "We're looking for new voices with new ways of seeing the world who speak in the voices of their generation. These are authors who can empower those readers and bring them back to what's important in the same way authors have done since the beginning of the written word."

Among her examples are School of Awake by Kidada Jones (more about that book below) and Woman Most Wild: Three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within by Danielle Dulsky, a wiccan title published in May 2017 that recognizes "the power of earth and the earth mother," Hughes says. "This is about ancient traditions that are voiced by a young person in a fresh, inspiring way." Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood by Bailey Gaddis, published in May 2017, is another example.

She adds that all these books "deal with the reality of how we live and point to the importance of mindfulness, spirituality and connection with other people. They help people change their lives and the world at every level."

New World Library Culture
Allen remembers that the company ran "on a shoestring" for five years, until he hired Victoria Clarke, "who taught me how to make money and watch money." She is still with the company, a 35-year veteran. Then Munro Magruder joined the company, and "taught me how to market," Allen says. Magruder, too, is a veteran of the company, where the average tenure of the 18 employees is more than 16 years. "Everyone gets really good at what they do," Allen comments.

Allen also attributes much of the success of New World Library to its profit-sharing plan. When he introduced the profit-sharing plan, "our corporate culture changed overnight," Allen says. "Everyone began thinking like owners and we got very profitable." Allen argues that profit-sharing leads to greater profits. "If owners give away half their profits to employees, they get more than double the profit back."

New World LIbrary: School of Awake: A Girl's Guide to the Universe by Kidada Jones

School of Awake

School of Awake: A Girl's Guide to the Universe by Kidada Jones, illustrated by Koa Jones ($18.95, 9781608684588, October 10, 2017), combines "consciousness and cool" into a spiritual and social guide for modern young women. Profound life lessons are paired with fun activities, affirmations and illustrations from Kidada's childhood friend, Koa Jones, and a foreword by Kidada's sister, actress Rashida Jones of Parks and Recreation fame.

"When I acquired School of Awake, I saw it as Be Here Now for a new generation," said Hughes. "It has age-old wisdom, but also information about bullying, particularly how to shrink your bully. It's addressing issues that children, tweens and teens as well as millennial 20-somethings face now, but with the wisdom of the ages."

"It's the book I have wanted to write since I was nine years old and the one I wish I had had as a tween," said Kidada. "It's the school girls need!" She will appear this October 22 on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in a "Super Soul Original Short," in which Kidada and several girls do activities from the book, airing directly following an all-new episode of "Super Soul Sunday."

New World Library: It Came from Beyond Zen!: More Practical Advice from Dogen, Japan's Greatest Zen Master by Brad Warner

Big Love

Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart by Scott Stabile ($24.95, 9781608684939, September 7, 2017) is written by a man who could be excused for being withdrawn, miserable, or bitter: at age 14, Scott Stabile's parents were murdered, nine years later his brother died of a drug overdose, and he spent another 13 years trapped in a cult. But Stabile is more stable than life's many knocks. He has managed, despite all this adversity and more, to remain rooted in love, in acting compassionately and without ego.

"So often the way to really reach people with spiritual wisdom is to personalize it, to tell a relatable story through good writing," said New World Library executive editor Jason Gardner. "In our fall release Big Love, social media sensation and teacher Scott Stabile demonstrates the inherent power of responding to life's difficulties with love. He writes about these seemingly life-derailing experiences in such a way that the reader actually comes away inspired. Cultivating love and forgiveness, stepping away from ego-driven behavior--these are practices that couldn't be more important right now, and it's really an honor to be able to publish books like this that inspire the best in us."

It Came from Beyond Zen!

It Came from Beyond Zen!: More Practical Advice from Dogen, Japan's Greatest Zen Master by Brad Warner ($16.95, 9781608685110, October 10, 2017). Brad Warner, a student and teacher of Soto Zen, continues his humorous paraphrasing of Dogen's work, which Warner claims was too far ahead of its time to find a wide audience. Part one, Don't Be a Jerk: And Other Practical Advice from Dogen, Japan's Greatest Zen Master, came out in 2016.

"Another writer who is bringing ancient wisdom into a very modern context is Brad Warner, a Soto Zen teacher, punk bassist, and blogger," said Gardner. "We've published five books with Brad; in all of them he applies Zen philosophy to modern life with humor and irreverence. There are a lot of very exacting translations of The Shobogenzo, but Brad is the first Zen teacher to attempt paraphrasing it in modern English."

New World Library National and Regional Bestsellers

Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

No Greater Love by Mother Teresa

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Five Wishes by Gay Hendricks

Ten Things I Learned from Bill Porter by Shelly Brady

The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo by Kent Nerburn

Voices in the Stones by Kent Nerburn

The Wolf at Twilight by Kent Nerburn

The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

Spiritual Envy by Michael Krasny

My Old Dog by Laura Coffey and Lori Fusaro

Soul Mind Body Medicine by Zhi Gang Sha

Expectation Hangover by Christine Hassler


New World Library Facts and Figures

New World Library's all-time bestseller is Shakti Gawain's Creative Visualization with more than six million copies sold in English and translated into more than 40 foreign editions. This is followed closely by Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now with more than five million copies sold in English and translated into more than 57 foreign editions.

New World Library has had seven New York Times bestsellers in its history.

New World Library is a member of the Green Press Initiative and prints almost all of its books with soy-based ink on 100% postconsumer-waste recycled paper.

The New World Library office, located in sunny Novato, Calif., is powered by solar energy.

New World Library gives back: at year's end, company officers decide on the percentage of profits designated for charitable causes. That amount is divided by the number of employees, and the employees get to donate their allotments to the organizations of their choice.

Four New World Library titles have been made into movies, the latest of which is Kent Nerburn's Neither Wolf nor Dog (in select theaters now).

Of New World Library's 18 employees, five have 10 or more years' tenure, four have 15 or more years' tenure, and six have 20 or more years' tenure.

New World Library: New York Times Bestsellers

New World Library Classics

New World Library: More Bestselling Books

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