We often receive suggestions to offer our books through on-demand printing services that allow a reader to have a book printed just for them. It would seem that these services would keep books available perpetually, and reduce the expenses of printing books in the traditional manner. However, at this time these services do not aid our primary mission.
Glorian Publishing has experimented with print on demand tools, and they have some usefulness for people who buy books from online retailers like Amazon. However, print on demand is really just an extension of mail order, a system where a customer who already knows about a product contacts the manufacturer to acquire a copy. The books of Samael Aun Weor have long been available direct from schools and instructors by mail order, but after twenty years or so (in English) none of these efforts have brought the books into the primary market for books: book stores, and in fact, the mail order system has interfered.
We have always been concerned that spiritual seekers today can go into any bookstore in the world and will rarely find a book by Samael Aun Weor. That is what we are trying to change. This situation exists because the public still does not know about Gnosis or Samael Aun Weor, so they do not ask for the books in bookstores, thus the bookstores do not know about them either. The "direct to consumer" methods (like mail order) have perpetuated this problem. If a person can get a book from a Gnostic school, they will not ask for it in a bookstore, thus the bookstore never hears about the book. Subsequently, all the other customers in the bookstore never hear about it, because the book is not there for them to see. If the teachings of Gnosis remain available only through specialized methods (mail order, direct to consumer, etc), the broader public will remain unaware of them.
To reach the public, we have to get the books in front of them. Even though ebooks and print on demand are growing, they still only account for a small fraction of the books being purchased today. The vast majority of books bought and sold are still books printed in the traditional way. So, at least for now, traditional publishing is more important than print on demand or ebooks.
Our intention is to make the books beautiful, affordable, and easy to get, worldwide. For now, to get the books in bookstores and into the hands of the general public, we have to work with the existing book market, which requires pre-printed, professionally made books. Fortunately, thanks to the support of students around the world, we are succeeding in this effort. Each month the books appear in new stores, in new cities, and in front of new readers. Little by little, the word is spreading.
Ultimately, this is the key: if people ask for our books in bookstores, and the books start selling in bookstores, the expense of printing books will no longer be such a challenge. We will be able to afford to keep the books in print, and be able to give away many more books than we can now. We are, after all, a non-profit organization, and our purpose is to provide the teachings as widely as possible. We do not want to provide books only to those few who already know about Gnosis: we want to provide to those who are seeking, but have not yet found.
Of course, as times change, this will all change, and we will continue to do our best to be on the forefront of change, in order to best serve humanity.
Thank you for your concern and suggestions, and keep them coming! We need all the help we can get.
"The one who does not know how to fulfill his duties as a simple citizen cannot tread the path of the great mysteries. Many disciples forget the good manners of a sincere and honorable gentleman or lady and become truly irresponsible and even dangerous individuals."