Asphodel Press is a nonprofit Pagan author cooperative organized by the First Kingdom Church of Asphodel, publishing books about specific Pagan religious and devotional practices. Financial pressure prevents many Pagan/Occult publishers from printing books which do not have very broad market appeal, but as a small volunteer-based organization, Asphodel Press is able to offer high-quality books targeted to very specific audiences. Authors do not need to be members of Asphodel - they just need to have something of value to share with the Pagan community. We have authors from around the world, including a few books in German and Russian.
How we began
In 2006, Raven had a manuscript that was getting really flattering rejection letters from publishers - "This is a great book. We wish we could publish it, but we can't afford to put out anything that won't sell 5000 copies in its first year. There just isn't a large enough market." After making the rounds, Raven decided he just wanted to be able to get the book out there so the few hundred people who were interested in the subject could get hold of it. Five to ten years previously, your only options for self publishing were basically "vanity presses" who would sell you a few thousand copies of your book, or local printing services that could do short runs of clearly low-budget stapled or taped booklets. But technology progressed, and by 2006, it was possible to order single copies of professional-quality books at a reasonable price. This "print on demand" technology meant that even books with a very small potential audience could be printed and distributed with very little overhead.
We found other Pagans who wanted to put out their own books but didn't know where to start, and we decided to work together under the collective name of "Asphodel Press" to bring these books to market. The books are edited and formatted primarily by volunteers, and they are screened for quality. Most of the authors are not members of the Church of Asphodel. They are just Pagans who are working together to make these books available.
All of the books are available for order from the Asphodel Press Website, and many are available from major online retailers or can be ordered through local bookstores.
We worked on this project for five years, not just putting out books through Asphodel Press, but also educating, mentoring, and encouraging other Pagans to do this for themselves. We weren't the first Pagans to form our own press, or the first to self publish, but we like to think we played a role in the explosion of small-market Pagan publishing that has come about since then. We may have been the first to really reach out to a wide spectrum of Pagans and say, "If we can do this, you can do this! You may not think of yourself as an author, but if you have something of value to say, then say it." We may have been the first with a commitment to taking profits and marketability out of the equation, taking no cut of author sales and running primarily on volunteer labor.
Whatever role we had in it, at this point, the founding mission of Asphodel Press has been accomplished. The Pagan demographic knows that the books we want to see available can come from within our communities, not just from professional authors and publishers who know they can sell more copies of Is Your Cat Psychic? than In Praise of Sekhmet. After more than a decade of lamenting the lack of books exploring the deeper aspects of Paganism, Pagans know that we have the solution in our own hands. Asphodel Press is proud to be part of that solution, and will continue to work at making a wide range of Pagan religious and devotional writing available in a professional-quality format.
Asphodel Press is always happy to consider any manuscripts for Pagan religious books. The definition of "Pagan" is very broad, but the books do need to have some kind of directly religious, devotional, or deity-focused element. Asphodel Press will not accept books primarily about magic, energy work, or New Age spirituality. There are Submission Guidelines posted on the Asphodel Press site, for those who are interested, and advice for people who "aren't writers" but want to put together a devotional anthology to one or more of the gods they honor. You can ask any questions about the process by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, but do check out the Frequently Asked Questions first.