The Hermit's Grove publishing house
In 1996 The Hermit’s Grove began the publishing of books as a way to keep previously-published works I had written in print. Over the years our ability to put in print a quality softbound book has grown, although our publishing budget is very small and we are unable to afford advertising and promotion as do the ‘big’ publishers. I prefer being a hermit rather than pursuing the path of a ‘famous author,’ even though The Master Book of Herbalism continues to sell strongly over its twenty year history. In addition to the books in print through The Hermit’s Grove, two of Beyerl’s books are published by Phoenix Publishing. The Hermit’s Grove has a full ‘publishing house’ with outsourced printing and binding (for softbound books only). We handle our own production, layout, copyright filing and work with New Leaf, Amazon.com and (in Europe) Deep Books.
Although, like many, I had fantasies about publishing my own books as a young child and set off in that direction with the earliest books held together with staples. I did not attempt a ‘real’ book until A Wiccan Bardo, originally published by Prism-Unity Press, was allowed to go out of print. At the same time the need was strong to publish new editions of The Holy Books of the Devas and Painless Astrology following a brief and unsuccessful relationship with a small publisher in California.
With three books needing to be reprinted, I found the market for previously published titles with a limited readership was non-existent. None of the publishers I contacted were interested in reprinting a book which would not have adequate sales for their profit goals. One day while awaiting for printing at our copy center I noted a carton of bound books. I began asking Sharon questions and learned that she was more than willing to help me put my own books in print. I had all the skills I needed from my years as a newsletter publisher and she was able to do the printing and subcontract the binding. And so it was, in 1996, The Hermit’s Grove became a publisher. At this point I’d like to give special thanks to the late George Edington, of New Jersey, whose loving donation of $1,000 seed money helped get our nonprofit book publishing work on its feet.
The next major improvement came when I was contacted by Fidlar-Doubleday. I moved all of the printing and binding to their firm with the result that our per-book cost was lowered, the quality dramatically improved and the cost of having them shipped from the Midwest added to the cost.
We bought our first comb binder in 1993, using it so extensively that we upgraded to a good-sized metal model. In addition to our trade softbound books, I make the notes used in teaching (which are quite extensive) for most of my courses available as “coursenotes.”
Many courses were originally recorded on audio cassette tape but in the early 2010s the transition was made and there is now a digital, stereo recorder and we produce our own CDs. as well.