Whether you call the genre Conscious or Alternative Spirituality, Body/Mind/Spirit or New Age, publishers of inspirational and personal development books are going strong. Despite recent difficulties that have hit the book industry as a whole, Red Wheel/Weiser sales are up 15 percent and those at Hay House are up 40 percent from a year ago according to a recent article in New Age Retailer.
Trends You Need to Know:
- Although most purchasers for these books are baby boomers, publishers are starting to see younger customers for their books. As a result, several publishers have begun to come out with books directly aimed at teens and twenty-somethings.
- What used to be called New Age is going mainstream. Joe Lawson, Wisdom TV, V.P. in a recent interview in LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) Journal, said that as many as 88 percent of Americans are interested in personal development topics. Today books on feng shui and aroma therapy are being sold at Wal-Mart and Target.
- New Age is old. Most magazine and book publishers have come up with alternative terms to avoid limiting stereotypes. The most obvious example of this is New Age Journal’s name change to Body and Soul.
- Speaking of Magazines, studying them is a good way to discover trends in the market. Excellent places to begin are Simple Living, Organic Style, O (Oprah’s Magazine) and Body and Soul. Don’t forget Yoga Journal. A recent re-launch caused sales of this publication to soar 300 percent.
- Other recent trends include animal communication, how-to and beginner books, Tantric sexuality, alternative health, world religions and books that give readers comfort and ways to live more fulfilling lives. On the whole, editors want books that are well-written and provide readers with substance.
Markets You Need to Know:
Although some of the bigger presses, such as Harper San Francisco, Hyperion and Hay House consider only manuscripts submitted by agents, a number of publishers continue to remain open to submissions by authors. Some of them are listed below.
Before you send out a query letter to a particular publisher, study their backlist in order to determine the specific types of books they publish. Be sure to read the guidelines and follow them carefully in order to give your proposal the best possible chance.
A.R.E. Press, the imprint of A.R.E., the Association for Research and Enlightenment, founded in 1931 by psychic Edgar Cayce is a nonprofit organization. The editors here are open to book ideas that focus on subjects consistent with Cayce’s readings. They welcome proposals from first time authors, but send unsolicited full length manuscripts back to authors unread. Complete guidelines for writing a proposal for them are posted at http://www.edgarcayce.org/are_press/guidelines.html.
Artemis Press , a royalty-paying electronic publisher specializes in fiction and nonfiction for women. They focus on non-fiction and want to publish work that reflects the diversity of the women’s community. Currently they are seeking New Age and spiritual topics.
Aslan Publishing concentrates on self-help books with a spiritual slant. They are looking for well-crafted and practical self-help books, inspirational books, and modern day parables that will uplift a reader’s mind, body, and spirit. Workout for the Soul and Thank God it’s Monday: A Toolkit for Aligning Your Life Vision and Your Work are two recent releases. Only one to three page queries sent by mail are considered. For more information, go to http://www.aslanpublishing.com.
Barrons, a publisher of test preparation materials for over 60 years, is now entering the Body/Mind/Spirit arena. Categories they look for include divination, religion, astrology and vegetarian cookbooks. Some of their recent releases are: The Book of Magical Herbs, The Book of Alchemy, The Book of Angels, Inner Magic and The Tarot Workbook. The editors, who welcome simultaneous submissions, want to see queries rather than proposals or complete manuscripts. For instructions about where to mail them, go to http://www.barronseduc.com/info.html.
Bear & Company Books is an imprint of Inner Traditions that publishes books on ancient wisdom, new science, visionary fiction, Western thought, indigenous traditions, Maya studies, extraterrestrial consciousness, and complementary medicine. For more information, see the Inner Traditions description below. Read their guidelines before submitting a proposal http://www.innertraditions.com/manuscrpt.htm.
Beyond Words publishes over 100 titles including Animal Talk about interspecies communication and Native American books such as Wisdomkeepers: Conversations with Native American Elders. Recent titles include The Book of Intentions, Lore of the Dolphin and Path of the Pearl: Discover Your Treasures Within. The format required for submitting proposals to them can be found at http://www.beyondword.com/otherindex/submissionsmscript.html.
Blue Dolphin Publishing specializes in publishing books and tapes on comparative cultural and spiritual traditions, lay and transpersonal psychology, education, new science, self-help, health, healing, complementary medicine, ecology, interspecies relationships, and other topics pertaining to social awareness and conscious evolution. They prefer to see proposals and have guidelines on their site about the particulars of submitting. For more information go to http://www.bluedolphinpublishing.com/msguide.htm.
Celestial Arts is an imprint of 10 Speed Press. They publish a list of 26 spirituality books including The Art of Dying and Angels and Companions in Spirit. Topics include inspiration, creativity, journal writing, spirituality and business and self-help. The editors ask that writers provide them with a rationale about why they believe CA is the best publisher for their work. Guidelines for submitting proposals are posted on their site http://www.tenspeed.com/about/page.php3?pg=30
Conari Press, was acquired by Red Wheel Weiser and, although it continues to remain a distinct imprint, it has closed its California offices. View the Conari catalog at www.conari.com. They focus on parenting, personal growth, spirituality and social issues. Learn how to submit queries, proposals and complete manuscripts on the Red Wheel/Weiser site.
Destiny Books is an imprint of Inner Traditions that focuses on New Age and metaphysical titles with special emphasis on self-transformation, the occult, and psychological well-being. The editors are looking for original, substantive content that the reader can readily apply to his or her own life. Guidelines are posted at http://www.innertraditions.com/manuscrpt.htm.
De Vorss & Company wants to see only complete manuscripts. They publish metaphysical, inspirational, spiritual, self-help, New Age, health and healing, and New Thought books. The editors prefer manuscripts of less than 250 pages. They do not consider outlines or sample chapters. View their catalog at http://www.devorss.com. Send manuscripts to DeVorss& Company, 1046 Princeton Drive, Marina del Rey, California 90292
Findhorn Press publishes books on spiritual inspiration, healing, guidance, nature and transformation as well as nature and ecology, self-help, angels, a Course in Miracles and Findhorn. Recent releases include Praying Peace, Opening Doors Within and the Angels of Light Deck. They do not consider unsolicited manuscripts but will consider a short synopis of your book emailed to them.
Hampton Roads Publishing Company publishes quality metaphysical fiction and non-fiction that makes a difference in people’s lives. Types of books they do include visionary fiction, New Thought, New Science and alternative medicine. Authors they have published include Neale Donald Walsch and Linda Goodman. They will only consider proposals.
Healing Arts Press is an imprint of Inner Traditions that focuses on works about alternative medicine and holistic health that combine contemporary thought and innovative research with the accumulated knowledge of the world’s great healing traditions. Topics include natural foods, cooking, and self-help. Submissions guidelines are available at http://www.innertraditions.com/manuscrpt.htm.
Health Communications began with recovery books, but has expanded their line to include self-help and psychology, health and wellness, spirituality, inspiration, women’s and men’s issues, relationships, family, teens and children, gift books, young-adult fiction and children’s illustrated books. Bestsellers they have published include Chicken Soup for the Soul and A Boy Called It. The editors look for authors who are experts and consider proposals, rather than manuscripts.
Humanics publishes material related to personal growth, self help, body work and spirituality focusing on Taoism and Zen. Recent books include Life Before Death: A Spiritual Journey of Mind and Body, Playful Mind, Expanding Creativity in Your Life and The Tao of Calm – Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age. The editors will consider complete manuscripts, but insist that authors include a resume or curriculum vita.
Inner Ocean Publishing, a new company, currently has a list of 16 books including one by Jean Houston about animal communication and one by Paul Pearsall on the healing energy of Maui. They will consider book proposals on conscious business, conscious parenting, health and healing, inspirational, personal growth, sacred travel and more. To learn how to submit a proposal to them, go to http://www.innerocean.com/authagents.htm.
Inner Traditions focuses on books on Eastern philosophy, psychology, and metaphysics. They are especially partial to books that focus on the world’s spiritual traditions. Recent titles include Tibetan Sacred Dance, Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas and the Genesis and Geometry of the Labyrinth. The editors prefer to see an email query before you send your proposal or manuscript. For complete submission guidelines, including what to include in your proposal, go to http://www.innertraditions.com
Jodere Group is a relatively new publisher whose books are currently distributed by Hay House. Recent releases include Karmic Relationships: Healing Invisible Wounds, Everything Happens for a Reason: Love, Free Will and the Lessons of the Soul and Newmerology: From Sex to Stocks, It’s All in the Numbers. They look for books that provoke good conversation, stimulate thought and, ultimately, change lives. To submit to them, contact the editors with a query first.
Llewellyn a long time publisher of occult books, has expanded its list in recent years to include books on alternative health and healing, divination, self-improvement, self-development, self-awareness and spiritual science. Recent releases include Guide to Natural Health: Using the Horoscope as a Key to Ancient Healing Practices and The Forest of Souls: A Walk through the Tarot.
Moment Point Press is a publisher of tools for conscious creation. They focus on material consistent with the Seth materials and the work of Jane Roberts. They consider complete manuscripts and require that a table of contents, a market assessment and an author’s biography be included.
New Harbinger publishes psychology, self help, life skills and health books. Recent releases include Coping with Uncertainty, Everyday Adventures for the Soul and the Procrastination Workbook. The emphasis here is on solid and practical information for both lay and professional readers. The guidelines on their site include an excellent overview of how to write a self-help book.
New Page Books is a relatively new division of Career Press. New Page publishes parenting, New Age, Wicca, alternative health and multicultural books. They look for books that are written in a practical, step-by-step style. Recent releases include Celtic Astrology, Dreams of the Goddess and No More Panic Attacks. They prefer complete manuscripts, but will consider proposals.
New World Library, a major company in the consciousness market, publishes high quality books and tapes. Their focus includes spirituality, self-improvement, alternative health, religion and multicultural studies books with a large potential audience Some of their authors include Riane Eisler, Shakti Gawain, Deepak Chopra, Richard Carlson, Dan Millman and Barbara Marx Hubbard. Recent releases include Jump and the Net Will Appear, Drawing as a Sacred Activity and An Instinct for Freedom: A Spiritual Guide for Finding Liberation Through Living.
North Atlantic Books is a small, independent publisher that looks for “cutting edge titles that probe the forefront of consciousness. They publish books on parenting, political and social change, global sustainable development and self-improvement. Recent releases include Reflections on the Journey of Life: Collected Sayings of the Dali Lama, Crop Circles and Menopause and Homeopathy. They prefer a detailed query and two sample chapters.
Quest Books is the imprint of the Theosophical Publishing House. They publish books that relate to Theosophy and seek manuscripts on meditation, transpersonal psychology, world religion and health. Recent releases include Essential Musical Intelligence, The Three Faces of Mind: Think, Feel and Act to Your Highest Potential and Head and Heart: A Personal Exploration of Science and the Sacred. Query first and include a sample chapter.
Red Wheel/Weiser publishes “spunky self-help” under the Red Wheel Imprint (The Spiritual Chicks Question Everything and Let It Go: Burn, Bury, Rip, Repent) esoteric works under the Weiser imprint (John Dee’s Five Books of Mystery and Esoteric Magic and the Cabala) and more mainstream personal growth titles under its recently acquired Conari imprint (Random Acts of Kindness and The Little Book of Courage). The editors will consider queries, proposals or complete manuscripts.
Shambhala Publications focuses on high-quality books self-help and spirituality books that are consistent with Buddhist philosophy and principles. Recent releases include Twilight Goddesses, The Yoga of Breath and How to Be an Adult in Relationships. Look at their online catalog at http://www.shambhala.com/ to study their back list. The editors prefer to see a proposal.
Square One, a relative newcomer, publishes a wide variety of general interest books as well as books dealing with religion, self-help and inspiration. Recent releases include How to Pray: Tapping into the Power of Divine Communication and Numerology: The Power in Numbers. The editors will consider proposals. Read the guidelines at http://squareonepublishers.com/gen_submissions.html.
Sterling publishes books in many subject areas in addition to a number of Body/Mind/Spirit books. Recent releases include Remembering Your Dreams, The Illustrated Guide to Divination and Sacred Rituals at Home. Their front and back lists are extensive. View their catalog at http://www.sterlingpub.com The editors prefer to see a proposal rather than a query or a completed manuscript.
Tuttle Publishing concentrates on books with an Eastern flavor. Recent titles include: Tao in Ten Easy Lessons, Love Dharma: Relationship Wisdom from Enlightened Buddhist Women and Your Health in Your Hands: Palmistry for Health and Well-Being. View their catalog at http://www.tuttlepublishing.com Authors are requested to send a complete book proposal.