Book Publishing Company
Book Publishing Company (BPC) is a community-owned press dedicated to publishing books that promote a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. They’re part of The Farm, an intentional community located in Summertown, Tennessee, and have been in business since 1974.
Early publications represented The Farm’s core beliefs and culture. Spiritual Midwifery (1975) by Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives was instrumental in spearheading the natural birth movement in the United States. Now in its fourth edition, it’s still a best seller. The Farm Vegetarian Cookbook (1978) by Louise Hagler was the first completely vegan cookbook ever published in the United States. It promoted the plant-based diet the community adopted because of its small ecological footprint and their compassion toward animals.
During the company’s first decade, their releases consisted of additional vegan and vegetarian cookbooks, such as Tofu Cookery, along with books on Stephen Gaskin’s teachings, natural birth control, and the dangers of nuclear energy. They also published the blockbuster hit The Big Dummy’s Guide to CB Radio by Albert Houston
In 1983 Bob and Cynthia Holzapfel took over the management of the company. Plant-based recipe books continued to be one of BPC’s principal genres, including Jo Stepaniak’s The Uncheese Cookbook (1994), which broke ground by providing some of the first vegan alternatives to dairy products. Dietitians Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina coauthored the first edition of the go-to book on plant-based nutrition, Becoming Vegan, in 1995, which has now evolved into two volumes: Becoming Vegan: Express Edition and Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition. When the raw-food movement blossomed, BPC combined forces with sprouting pioneer Steve Meyerowitz to distribute Sproutman Publications titles. They branched further into alternative and natural health solutions, which led to the creation of their Healthy Living imprint.
The acquisition of a division of Canada’s Alive Publications Group transitioned into Books Alive, which offers a diverse collection of health titles by authors from both the United States and Canada. BPC partnered with Norwalk Press in 2008 and Ehret Literature Publications in 2011 to keep the works of legacy authors Norman Walker and Arnold Ehret in print.
Basic Call to Consciousness (1980) was their first project with Native authors. Our association with Adolf Hungry Wolf and Good Medicine Books led to the formation of our next imprint, Native Voices. They’ve also teamed up with Cherokee Publications and Crazy Crow to provide a range of books on Native American culture and history.
A few years ago, 7th Generation was created to respond to the needs of school districts with a prominent Native population. The PathFinders series of hi/lo novels for struggling readers and the Native Trailblazer series of themed biographies of accomplished Native Americans have filled important niches.
GroundSwell Books, their latest imprint, is dedicated to titles that engage and inspire readers to create a healthy, sustainable planet for future generations. It features topics ranging from water conservation and gardening to population control and philosophies of conservation.
Book Publishing Company, PO Box 99, Summertown TN, 38483