Image by Gert Keijzer
I was asked to write a short article in which I both explain how I came to be a publisher of spiritual, self-help, and natural health books and disclose my publishing mission. The story itself is quite fascinating. Behind the chronological storyline is the unseen thread of spiritual intent which was the invisible weaver.
In 1996, I was ensconced full-time in my second career of management consulting, my first career of 10 years being in the college system as both an instructor and Department Chair in English Literature. At that time a yearning emerged within me to sit in spiritual practice with a Sangha. I was surprised as I watched this urge emerge and stay, as up to that time in my life, I had always been very singular and private in my spiritual practices.
One day after a meeting in our boardroom, I mentioned this to one of my colleagues. Life had orchestrated that he recently met a “fellow” who had arrived from England a few weeks earlier and was said to be a spiritual teacher. “I’ll ask if he will be open to meditation sessions in your office,” he said. A week later, at the end of the work day, our office door opened and in walked a gentle, almost diminutive, unassuming man who was introduced to me as Eckhart Tolle.
Each week, Eckhart led us deeper into spiritual awareness, stillness, and Presence. Very soon – perhaps even at that first session of sacred sitting – I was able to recognize him for the profound and timely teacher he was – especially for the West. He not only exuded the energy of Presence, but was also able to put perennial spiritual truth into an idiom for our times: into a clear, contemporary container.
From Presence to Publishing
As time passed, I heard that Eckhart was writing a book. I thought that was a wonderful idea but did not give it a further thought until after one semi-private summer session, Eckhart asked me to be his publisher. I was both shocked – and not. I went through the predictable egoic vacillations: I have never published a book before; what if I fail? What if I fail Eckhart? How am I going to find the time to do this? Or the money?
By the time I literally crossed the Lions Gate Bridge from West Vancouver on my way back home in Vancouver, I had symbolically crossed the “inner bridge.” Yes, I would be Eckhart’s publisher. And so the mustard seed was dropped in the soil.
I believe in some life time we both agreed to meet up in this life time and do this work together, since both Eckhart and I were in Oneness in feeling compelled to put his book out there. We really did not know – nor care – if 8, 80, or 8 million people would read it.
The Power of Now was born into the world in 1997. The rest is publishing history, as this first time author and publisher defied many of the industry norms and their practices.
Life Leads the Way
At all times, we were led by Life to determine whether or not Eckhart was to write other books. The answers came as his teaching evolved. Much to my surprise, I was also led by Life to publish other authors.
Although always supported by Spirit, Namaste Publishing has also been tested by Spirit to determine our sustained commitment. In short, our mustard seed publishing house had to put down its own roots. This has required ongoing sheer hard work. For example, it took three attempts to convince a Canadian national book distributor to carry The Power of Now. With no marketing budget to speak of, Eckhart Tolle and myself and a few friends often walked the books into stores ourselves. Sometimes we met with no interest; sometimes the store would order a few copies at a time.
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Since our books initially sell by word of mouth on their own merit, many readers who are supportive of our publications take it upon themselves to “spread the word” in whatever way they can. To these “friends” of Namaste Publishing, we owe deep gratitude and a great measure of our success.
It was only after our books proved evidence of success that others in the industry were eager to pick them up and carry them forward. Most of the large publishing houses rarely publish first time authors because for them the financial risks are too high. With the exception of Matthew Fox, Namaste Publishing has only published first time authors brought to us through the Law of Attraction operating through our open-door submissions policy, meaning we do not require that our authors are represented by an agent.
A Little Mustard Seed Publishing House
So, why the success of Namaste Publishing, this little mustard seed publishing house in Canada? I believe it is because our publications are born out of noble service intent and are in alignment with and therefore supported by Higher Consciousness. It is propelled by the vision shared by all of my authors and those working with me at Namaste Publishing: a vision to bring into the individual’s awareness their divine nature and inestimable worth.
Both my previous careers positioned me to carry requisite experience and skills forward into publishing. One needs to have a foot in both worlds, especially when working in this publishing genre – one in the “real” world and the other in the spiritual – and to always remember which one to lean on.
I brought to my publishing function a business acumen which enabled me to see that even a mustard seed publishing house can – with common intent, hard work, enlightened management practices, and effective use of the new technologies – reach a world-wide readership.
I have always been driven to effect the largest sphere of influence for my authors’ books. This led to selling rights to our books at the appropriate time and to the “right” publishing partners in order to get them into the large United States market. It required adopting ways to bring forward our publications by entering into creative distribution and co-publishing agreements. It meant attracting a good Foreign Rights Sales partner. It meant trying to not let ego affect my business decisions or our communications – whether internal or with our other business partners.
Only Life Really Knows...
No matter what work function I was or am playing in the world, my driving purpose is to bring the reality of the word “Namaste” to those I serve – be they students, clients, or a readership. So while these functions have changed, my service intent has stayed the same.
Will I be shifting from publishing to yet another worldly function? I intuit this will be the case. Perhaps that I am writing this article and that I am now once again being asked to give teachings and talks is evidence of that. However, only Life really knows.
Book by this Author
The HOW to Inner Peace: A Guide to a New Way of Living
by Constance Kellough
Constance Kellough, author, meditation teacher and publisher of great spiritual teachers such as Eckhart Tolle, shares her accumulated wisdom in this comprehensive guide to finding inner peace. She provides practical, how to instruction for practicing Innerbody Meditation, a life changing tool for going beyond the limitations of the mind; identifying and managing the ego; healing separation and cultivating deeper intuition and presence. If you have ever longed to employ mindfulness as a daily practice in your life or wondered HOW to remove the stumbling blocks standing between you and the life you know you could be living, let this book be your guide.
Info/Order this book. Also available as a Kindle edition.
About the Author
Constance Kellough is the president and publisher of Namaste Publishing, the original publisher of the books The Power of Now, A New Earth, and Stillness Speaks by now world-renown author Eckhart Tolle. Since 1997, she has gone on to publish more groundbreaking, inspirational books by such authors as Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Michael Brown and Dr. David Berceli. She has authored two books of her own; The Chronicles of Bizah, Student of Truth (published 2020) and The HOW to Inner Peace (published 2021). For more info, visit NamastePublishing.com