A big change for Tandava Press, on the heels of a new book, we are switching to a new printer and distributor. Our reach into book stores will be far greater but our Amazon privileges will go. All it means with Amazon is features like "Look Inside" will need to be added by us manually instead of by the printer as now happens. Another change will be 6 monthly payments, rather than every time we reach $100 they send a US currency cheque, which the bank charges us $25 to deposit. Our new printer has two bases in the USA, one in the UK, one in France and even one in Melbourne Australia. They are also able to pay us in Australian dollars. This change is being made due to recent very slow delivery times of our books. The new printer will be a big change for the better and marks a turning point for Tandava Press.
This is my second post on the Tandava Press blog. We have come a long way since my wife Natasha first published my own book "The Dance of Stillness" some 4 years ago. Our publishing business is not something that earns us money. However, our Authors do receive well above industry standard royalties.
There is a lot of blood sweat and tears that go into getting a book from the manuscript stage all the way through to the book launch. There is cover design, formatting, editing, the sometimes seemingly endless dance back and forth between us and our Authors, as we fine tune the finished product. We receive quite a few manuscripts these days. Occasionally we have someone with a Blog or Website who would like us to transform such into a book for them. Something which, if the material is something we would consider publishing, we then ask the Author to send us the material as a word doc, with chapter headings etc.
Our latest book, which is presently in the works is a book on Non-Duality. It will be our second book on this topic. Non-Duality is a spiritual teaching that "points" to the inherent Unicity of Consciousness. Interestingly, both of the books we are publishing on Non-Duality or Advaita, focus on the element of "the absence of doership". If we use the term Oneness, saying, All There Is is Oneness. If there is only Oneness, then there is only one Power. This Power, called Shakti is the Yogic tradition or Prana, is also fully and equally Present Everywhere. It follows then, that there can be no "specific locus of doership" in any body-mind-organisim or Human Being. As Oneness or the Absolute, is fully and equally Present at every point, as such this Oneness, which is All There Is, can have "no specific centre" of itself, or we could say, Everywhere Is It's Centre. Its a great honour to be publishing this new title. The process is going slowly, a little slower than I would like. However, I am sure all will work itself out in the end. The beauty of publishing the kinds of books we do, is that we (my wife Natasha and I) and those kind Souls who volunteer their services to us, such as editing, proof reading and graphic design, get to immerse ourselves in the teachings. As mentioned, Advaita which literally translates as "Not Two". Points to the essential Oneness of Being. The revelation of Oneness, reveals that there is no seperate person, inside any-body, there is only "Impersonal Being. This impersonal Being, functions through all body-mind-organisims. If there is no person, as such, apart from the Totality of Being, then there can be no autonomous entity, as such inside anybody to "do" anything. As I am not a teacher of Advaita, per say, I may not be expressing this as eloquently or accuretly as the teachers, who's works we have published and are publishing. Nevertheless, this perennial teaching of Non-Duality and its essential pointer that there is no "autonomous entity", can bring, if imbibed deeply and apprehended intuitively, a deep peace and lift the burden of guilt and sham with regards towards ones own actions and likewise of blame, hatred and envy with regards towards the actions of others . As we begin to see and accept that "Everything Happens of Itself, Everything Happens as it should, Everything Happens as it Must" to quote Galen Sharp. (From his book "What Am I? A Study in Non-Volitional-Living")
People come to Tandava Press with all sorts of expectations, many of which will be left unfulfilled. We are a small family business and as such, publishing is something we do, as and when we can. The demands of life and family, often cause delays and we are far from perfect in any event. However, don't let this put you off sending in a manuscript, especially if it fits with our mission statement. My wife and I put our all into the publishing process, even if it takes time and there may be unexpected delays. if the Author sticks with the process, they will see their book published in the end.
As we roll on with our publishing business, we are slowly fine tuning the process and learning more and more along the way. I myself sent my own manuscript to over 50 publishers, which is a very small amount. I did get two offers to publish but the royalty rate was so low, I didn't go ahead with it. It was my wife's persistence that was the key. Natasha spent endless hours on my book and finally got it published. An fellow Author was to suggest that I get into the publishing game and after playing with a few names, such as Blue Jay Press, eventually "Tandava Press" was born.
So, if your a writer with your eye on publishing a book, my suggestion to you is that persistence is the key.
I would probably add a good dose of patience in there as well.
Dharma Rivers 25 Aug 2014
Not a day goes by where I don't question my own sanity at starting a publishing business. Yet still, something deep inside, urges me on. A while back, I handed the Helm of Tandava Press to my darling wife Natasha Rivers, who took to it like a duck to water. (an in Joke)
Yet, with a feisty 2 year old daughter (our darling Grace) and a husband who is in chronic pain and struggling to get well, my ...wife has her work cut out for her. We pay our authors very high royalties, why? Because for us, its all about our authors and the gems of wisdom their books offer to their readers.
Most big publishing houses pay about $1:50 per copy, if your lucky, (or so I've heard). We pay way above that and always will. For us, it is a "lot of work" formatting, cover design, trying to find spiritually minded editors who will do the job as a service, (as we can't afford the general $2000 to get a book professionally edited) there is the marketing, creating and maintaining author websites. Its basically a lot of tinkering about to get everything just so. Even then, mistakes slip through and more than we would wish.
But we are just starting out. Its no small endeavour getting into publishing. After we pay our author's their royalties and pay marketing expenses, the left overs are scantly enough to cover our running costs. (often they don't cover our costs). But, there is a big reward for us in doing what we do.
Poverty has nothing to do with how much money you have, (it does from a certain, very valid, point of view) and I don't deny that. But, there is another type of poverty. The poverty of spirit, where one sees "only money and possessions" as being equivalent to wealth. At Tandava Press, we hold to the tenet, that "true wealth is found in giving", for giving's sake.
For us, it is found in helping an author, who's book sums up their lives spiritual journey and shares the hard won insights and gems of wisdom, they have gained along their Journey.
The way we tend to see poverty, is that poverty would be to live in the "mind-set" that says "If I have this much money or that lovely house, then I am not in poverty" This is generally the way the world thinks of wealth, with poverty being the lack of money to buy all the comforts of life.
Yet the view of poverty we hold at Tandava Press, is actually the total opposite to the way the modern world thinks.
I am reminded of an old Eastern Mystical teaching tale, that goes something like this: An old monk, who lived in a thatched hut on a hill was attacked by bandits one night. He said to the Bandits "Im terribly sorry, but I don't have very much to offer you, although I have just cooked this soup and you are fee to join me as my honoured guests"
The bandits fell silent, not expecting this kind of response. The monk then said "Ahh yes, I know what I can give you, its a cold night, surely you could use my coat, I made it myself, its very warm, so he took of his coat and now completely naked, he handed his coat to the bandits.
The monk also gave them the large bowl of soup saying "You will need this for the long walk back into town". He also gave them all of his left over food, plus his pots and pans. He said, Im very sorry, I know how far you have travelled to get to my remote little hut, you must be very disappointed' The bandits took everything and ran, one with a tear in his eye but in their hearts a seed had been sewn.
"If only I could have given them this beautiful moon", the monk thought to himself, as he gazed upon the bright full moon in the beautiful star filled night sky.
Having said all this, ones lot, is ones lot. For some, God decrees that no matter how hard they try to avoid money and riches, they shall live as Kings. For others, God decrees that no matter how many seminars and get rich quick schemes they put countless hours and "dollars" into, they are destined to live a simple life, living day to day.
If this is so, as has been said by great Sages such as Ramana Maharshi, then it stands to reason that neither poverty nor riches have anything to do with spiritual awakening.
If you take the time to read the great texts of the East, you will find stories of Kings of great opulence who attained the highest state of Realisation. You will also read about plenty of great sages who 'actually lived" in stinking garbage heaps, or who roamed about naked, or whom just sat on the street corner, indistinguishable from any other beggar.
I personally was blessed to meet one such saint. I was staying in Mumbai, visiting Ramesh Balsekar, hanging out with a girl from Germany named Bianca, whom Ramesh had declared enlightened (I don't know or care if she was enlightened but she sure did radiate silence and peace)
So, one day Bianca said she wanted me to meet a realised Being who had attained God Consciousness, apparently after receiving Shakti Pat from the great Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri. So we went to see Him, He made His living with a simple weight scale, that people could stand on for a small fee, to see their weight.
After siting in silence with him for quite a while, he suddenly stood up and silently "spoke to me" in gestures alone, which somehow, I intuitively and instantly understood.
Now the question is, who is in poverty? The man who rushes about, thinking of money, trying day after day, to plead with his boss for a raise? Or the man thinking obsessively of making his "next" million but with no peace of mind.
Or, is it the man, or women, who, rich or poor, have realised the transient nature of this world and are thus unattached to possessions? Realising that all the money in the world won't make them or anyone else "truly" happy.
True Happiness is our real nature. It can be found within, by the rich or the poor. I find I am ending a lot of posts with a line from Jesus, who said "Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and all else will be added to you"