New World Library Celebrates 40 Years of Publishing

Forty 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 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, and has 18 employees and eight-figure revenues. 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 that has sold more than 6 million copies in English and has been translated into more than 30 foreign editions. For the 40th anniversary edition of this classic, bestselling author Marci Shimoff wrote in her foreword, “On behalf of the millions of people around the world whose lives you’ve touched and transformed, I thank you, Shakti, for the gift of this seminal treasure. Your words have helped us shape lives of greater peace, joy, and fulfillment.”

Two joint publishing ventures, with Amber-Allen Publishing and H J Kramer, have contributed to New World Library’s success over the past three decades. In 1995 the Amber-Allen imprint published The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, which has sold more than 3 million copies in English, has been translated into more than 30 foreign editions, and was on the New York Times bestseller list for nearly two years.

In 2000, New World Library entered into a joint venture with H J Kramer, the publisher of Dan Millman, Sanaya Roman, and John Robbins’s seminal Diet for a New America. Bolstered by a movie tie-in in 2005, Dan Millman’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior has sold more than 700,000 copies over the past 17 years.

In 2001, New World Library began working with the Joseph Campbell Foundation to introduce the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell series. There are now 15 books in the series, including a revised edition of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which has sold over half a million copies. The 16th book in the series, The Ecstasy of Being: Mythology and Dance, will be published this fall.

In 2007, New World Library acquired Inner Ocean Publishing, a transaction that involved the purchase of 45 titles. Inner Ocean’s list includes books by, Mark Coleman, Sondra Ray, Jean Houston, and Barbara Marciniak.

In 2014, 15 years after the publication of his bestseller The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle joined with New World Library to launch a new imprint — Eckhart Tolle Editions. Tolle works to identify and develop titles for the line, most of them written by other teachers and authors he has encountered over his past two decades of teaching. Titles include Susan Stiffleman’s Parenting with Presence, Linda Johnsen’s Lost Masters, and two titles by Steve Taylor — The Calm Center and The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening.

With an active backlist of over 600 titles, including over 50 spoken-word audio titles, New World Library celebrates its 40th anniversary buoyed by the continuing success of The Power of Now, which has sold over 6 million copies in English and has benefited from continual coverage by Oprah Winfrey since 2000.

Looking forward, New World Library is refocusing its publishing program to appeal to younger audiences and to seek out emerging authors who embody the mind-body-spirit tenets that New World Library was founded on. Fall 2017 books in this area include School of Awake: A Girl’s Guide to the Universe by Kidada Jones. With full-color art as well as crafts, recipes, and Q&As to help teenage girls connect to their spirituality, it’s the book Kidada says she wishes she had growing up. School of Awake also includes a foreword by Kidada’s sister, Rashida Jones.

Another promising upcoming title is Scott Stabile’s personal growth memoir, Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart, which stemmed in part from his huge and devoted social media following. With one-of-a-kind wit and wisdom, Stabile, a survivor of many personal tragedies, offers insights on life’s greatest challenges and how to meet them with love. And punk rocker turned Zen priest Brad Warner is following up his Don’t Be a Jerk (12,000 copies sold since February 2016) with It Came From Beyond Zen!: More Practical Advice from Dogen, Japan’s Greatest Zen Master.

“We publish good books that are timeless — I’m sure several of our books will be selling 100 years from now,” said publisher Marc Allen. Over 70 percent of New World Library’s revenues are generated from its strong backlist, which includes books by Eckhart Tolle, Joseph Campbell, Joanna Macy, Dan Millman, Valerie Ann Worwood, Bernie Siegel, Mother Teresa, Richard Carlson, Alan Watts, Kent Nerburn, and Shakti Gawain.

“Every step of the way, I met good people who helped us grow and prosper. And some truly great books fell into our hands, from people who are helping to change the world,” Allen continued.

New World Library has been distributed to the book trade by Publishers Group West (PGW) since 1978 and is PGW’s oldest distribution client. New World Library has just renewed its distribution agreement with PGW for another four years.


Contact: Monique Muhlenkamp – Publicity Director

New World Library

800-972-6657 ext. 15