14 Pamaron Way
Twenty-five years ago, in the kitchen of a small apartment in Oakland, California, Marc Allen and Shakti Gawain started a publishing firm known as Whatever Publishing to put out a few books and booklets they had written. It was a shoestring operation, started with very little capital. Total sales in 1977 were $800.
Today New World Library owns its own spacious building in Novato, California, has eighteen employees, and had 2002 revenues in excess of $11 million. The company’s name changed in the mid-1980s to better reflect the quality of its developing list. One of its first books, Gawain’s Creative Visualization, became an international bestseller and has sold more than 3 million copies in English and been translated into more than thirty foreign editions.
In the early 1990s, Shakti Gawain formed Nataraj Publishing, and Marc Allen became sole owner as well as publisher of New World Library. In 1998, Gawain and Allen, still close friends, formed a new working partnership, and Nataraj Publishing became an imprint published by New World Library.
Many of New World Library’s books are categorized as New Age, though Allen says “there’s really nothing new in New Age; it’s been around for a long time. It’s the perennial philosophy, after all. Certainly for many, though, a New Age is dawning. Perhaps it will prove to be a great New Renaissance, possibly even an era of cooperation and global peace. We certainly hope so, and we are publishing material that can show us how to create far better lives for ourselves (such as The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle) and a world that works far better (such as The Power of Partnership by Riane Eisler).”
Two other joint publishing ventures, with Amber-Allen Publishing and H J Kramer, have contributed heavily to New World Library’s success over the past decade as well.
Between late 1993 and 1995, six books and six audio cassettes were published under the Amber-Allen imprimatur. One of those books, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, has gone on to sell more than 2.2 million copies in North America and has been translated into more than thirty foreign languages. It was on both the New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists for over eighteen months.
In 2000, New World Library entered into a joint venture with H J Kramer, the publisher of such authors as Dan Millman, Sanaya Roman, and John Robbins. New World Library assumed responsibility for many functional areas of H J Kramer, including sales, marketing, subsidiary rights, fulfillment, production, and accounting. H J Kramer has continued to focus on author relationships and acquiring and developing new books, particularly new childrens’s titles from Holly Bea.
New World Library has an active backlist of over 250 titles, including 25 audio titles. Spoken-word audio sales have made a substantial contribution to New World Library’s success over the years, led by Creative Visualization, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, and The Power of Now, with more than 300,000, 275,000, and 200,000 copies sold, respectively.
In order to give its books the care and treatment they deserve, New World Library publishes about thirty-five to forty new titles annually. “That way, our backlist gets the same attention as our frontlist,” says Allen. “We publish good books, and we want to keep them in print as long as possible.” Nearly 70 percent of New World Library’s revenues are generated from its strong backlist, which includes books by Joseph Campbell, Eckhart Tolle, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Brother Wayne Teasdale, Riane Eisler, Echo Bodine, Mother Teresa, Richard Carlson, Alan Watts, Kent Nerburn, Christina Baldwin, and, of course, Shakti Gawain.
The company does approximately 70 percent of its business in the book trade, with the balance being evenly split among New Age/metaphysical, health food, gift, and spa/relaxation retailers. New World Library has been distributed to the book trade by Publishers Group West since 1979 and is now PGW's oldest distribution client.
New World Library celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2002 buoyed by the continuing success of Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now and Practicing the Power of Now, with more than 1.5 million and 300,000 copies sold, respectively. In 2001, New World Library worked with the Joseph Campbell Foundation to introduce “The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell” series. By the end of 2006, there will be 10 books in this series, with two more scheduled for publication in 2007.
New World Library publishes books and audios that inspire and challenge us to improve the quality of our lives and our world. The ultimate goal of the company is a sweeping one: personal and planetary transformation - awakening both individual consciousness and global social potential by publishing inspirational and practical materials in spirituality, personal growth, and other related areas.