I just read Mark Oppenheimer’s May 4, 2008 New York Times Magazine article, “The Queen of the New Age,” which was eye-opening for me.
I had never heard of Louise Hay or Hay House, Inc. and am surprised to find that I have read or own books published by Hay House (such as The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: a practical guide to the fulfillment of your dreams by Deepak Chopra and Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires by Esther Hicks, Jerry Hicks and Wayne Dyer).
I am very wary of “New Age” books but since my mom reads them I’m generally open to reading them, just with a fairly heavy dose of skepticism. (How appropriate that I am writing this on Mother’s Day.)
Last year, Hay House sold 6.3 million products and took in $100 million (8% of which was profit)! That’s a good chunk of change. New Age books are certainly all the rage — just think of the success of Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, Rhonda Byrne‘s The Secret, and anything by Wayne Dyer — and Hay House has the market cornered.
Not only do they make oodles of money on their books, dvds, tapes, cds, and other products but they must make a good amount on their events too. The I Can Do It! 2008 – Las Vegas 2008 conference featuring 35+ of Hay House‘s top selling inspirational authors — including Wayne Dyer, David Hawkins, Brian Weiss, and Louise Hay herself — costs about $200 per day to attend (or a bargain rate of $350 for the whole weekend)!
While I can’t see myself paying those fees for a New Age conference, I feel like I would certainly pay those kinds of rates to attend conferences by a panel of historians (like David McCullough) or scientists and science writers (like Norman Doidge and Oliver Sacks) but it doesn’t seem like many other publishers have followed Hay House‘s lead.
Mainstream publishers take note!