A few days ago I mentioned my book How to Meditate with Your Dog is in a troubling situation.
My distributor says they don't want the books in their warehouse any longer. In fact, they want to "dump" them.

(In book publishing, that means send them to a landfill for a deep burial!)

This morning I meditated on how to move thousands of pounds of books to Hawaii, and the fact is, it's just too expensive, and they're not budging. They want them out.

I'm trying to figure out how to change this "lemon" into "lemonade." I thought maybe you guys would have some ideas?

How to Meditate with Your Dog came out in hardcover in late 2005, nearly four years ago. While sales were strong enough to make it a national bestseller, they eventually fell off. The extra unsold books have been sitting in a warehouse in Kansas for the last few years. Sales still come in, but they don't justify how many books there are.

I'm sure you can see how this news of the impending "death and burial" of my books seems kind of horrible. And the timing is awful, on the one year anniversary of Maui's death.

(Maui was my inspiration for and the star of "How to Meditate with Your Dog.")

Now, this is not just any book. It's a book that many people say has brought them great joy. It's taught countless people to meditate - or simply sit with and be present to - their dog(s).

It's helped people feel better physically (lower blood pressure, reduced heart rate, lower stress hormones, clearer thinking) and dogs feel better, too (less anxiety, more relaxation, more bonding).

So my question for you is - is there any way to save these books?

I don't want them to die in a landfill.

Too many dogs need the closer relationship that happens when we more fully open our hearts to them.

In honor of Maui's life and on the anniversary of her death, I'm asking for your thoughts.

I want to find a way to move three hundred (or maybe more) cartons of books out of their warehouse and into the hands of dog lovers.

What do you suggest?

Warm Aloha,

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Comment by Mary Kay on August 21, 2009 at 3:05pm
Good ideas from all about facebooking it and also maybe writing some off for a tax break to you and a worthy donation to some animal rescue people!! God Bless you whatever you do!! It is toooo great of a book to go by the wayside!!! mary and lydia
Comment by Sue on August 19, 2009 at 3:10pm
I like all the ideas related to donating them to any pet rescue organization so they can raise funds, but I think whoever suggested donating them to petfinder.com is really onto something. Petfinder could distribute them to shelters are rescue organizations in a number of places around the US, thus not limiting the benefit to any one particular area. The HSUS could so the same thing, but I know many more people who know of the Petfinder website than the HSUS site, sadly enough.

Here's another though along similar lines: how about selling or auctioning them to benefit the animalrescuesite.com? I'll bet Maui would really appreciate knowing that her inspiration would help feed and shelter many homeless, neglected, abandones, or abused pets...

Or, do you have an idea of the cost of shipping a carton of books? If so, you could get that word out and I'll bet lots of us could help find 300 people who could afford that cost to donate the books to a shelter to use however they wished. The could sell the books to raise cash for operating costs or give them away with each adoption.

There seem to be lots of potential silver linings to this particular cloud. :)

Best to you and Kanga,
Comment by Barbara Jo on August 19, 2009 at 9:40am
I would definitely purchase this book from animal shelters as gifts to all my friends who love and care for their animal companions. I sure hope they don't end up in the landfill, that would be a terrible tragedy. My thoughts are with you James! Love, Barbara
Comment by Sally on August 11, 2009 at 1:04pm
I am involved in a rescue organization in Phoenix, Arizona - Valley of the Sun Giant Schnauzer Rescue. We are a 501(c) 3 organization and raise money to rescue, spay and neuter, do health checks, and rehome giant schnauzers, as well as schnoodles and, when Miniature Schnauzer Rescue is overrun, minis. We also educate people about the breed and the importance of spaying and neutering their pets - be it Giant or otherwise. It's amazing how many folks have never even heard of rescue organizations other than at their local county and humane society levels. We hold an Annual Fun Day and invite all of our adopters, as well as others interested in our rescue organization or just want to see what rescue is all about. We are looking for donations from companies such as yours that we could use as raffle items to help us raise money to support our rescue program. Our Fun Day will be on Sunday, December 6. If you're looking for someplace to utilize your books, we would love to have them. If you have any questions, I can be reached at GiantResq@gmail.com.
Comment by Susan on August 11, 2009 at 5:35am
There are so many fabulous ideas already suggested by your animal loving friends, so....how about starting an "Each one Reach One" campaign. If everyone who took the time to suggest a great idea for your book bought or received at least two, or better yet, a whole box for a deeply discounted price or even just shipping, they could distribute them as they see fit and then tell you how they made the animal community better by sharing your book. They could donate them to a vet's office or a shelter, or a library ,or a school, or a hospital or community center or anywhere they feel that it would do the most good and follow up with the great suggestions they had. If each one of us could reach at least one person with this important message and a copy of your book, that would be a wonderful tribute to precious Maui and a great way to spread an important message while preventing a great book from ending up in a landfill. I know that each of us could reach at least one person and probably lots more. Then, the people who responded to you with all of these fantastic suggestions could make them happen and let you know about the impact you and Maui are still having on the lives of animal lovers. "Each One, Reach One" could be a campaign that could find new life for your book, allow your friends to honor Maui''s legacy and let them help you with marketing in a very personal way. Sign me up-our rescue would love to help you out.
Comment by Rosalind Willett on August 11, 2009 at 5:23am
I cannot imagine these books in a landfill. The idea of donating to shelters for sale as a fundraiser is a good one. If each person that visits this site could donate the cost or part of the cost of sending one carton of books to a shelter of their choice, the books would be distributed in no time. You would get a tax write off for donating the books and the people donating for the shipment of one carton would get a charity deduction. How about it folks? If James set up a way to donate money would you go for it?
Comment by Pam on August 10, 2009 at 9:42pm
The thought of any book going to a land fill is a bad decision on the Publisher. They should have better ideas than that and be able to suggest them to you too.
Comment by Pam on August 10, 2009 at 9:40pm
I'm embarassed to admit I don't have a copy of the book yet due to finances but if the price did come down or if they were donated to shelters to be given when a dog is adopted I would surely look into it. I would love a playmate for Abby. Just need hubby to agree.
Comment by Ana Chavez on August 10, 2009 at 10:53am
I think all of these ideas are brilliant. I have nothing else to add except,its your choice now. Let us know what you decide.We are here for you!
Comment by Sharon Languzzi on August 10, 2009 at 9:59am
Have you tried E-Bay or Amazon.com??

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