After nearly 30 years in Boston, Shambhala Publications, known for its religion and Buddhist books, as well as its cooking and creative living titles, is returning to Boulder, Colo., in September. The press moved to Boulder in 1976, from its original home in Berkeley, Calif., to be closer to many of its authors and to the Naropa Institute (now Naropa University). Shambhala left Boulder for Boston in 1985.
Shambhala president Nikko Odiseos said the move is part of the company's long-term plan for the success of its new generation of owners: executive v-p Ivan Bercholz and executive v-p Sara Bercholz. (The company was founded by the Bercholzs' father, Sam Bercholz in 1969.)
“Boston is a city we love. However, Boston is a big city, and that aspect does not lend itself easily to our long-term vision,” Odiseos said. “Boulder presents us with just the kind of dynamic, forward-thinking community we want to be a part of.”
“We have a wonderful space that we are really excited about,” Odiseos added. It will be large enough for Shambhala to host talks, workshops, and other events that feed into the press’s online courses. The space will also be big enough to display all of Shambhala’s titles.
Shambhala publishes 80 new titles a year across its Shambhala, Snow Lion, and Roost imprints; it has a backlist of more than 1,200 titles. Its biggest bestsellers include Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, Pema Chödrön’s When Things Fall Apart, and Thomas Cleary’s translation of Sun Tzu’s classic The Art of War.
Much of Shambhala’s staff of 32 people will make the move to Boulder, which comes after two of of the company's strongest years to date, according to Odiseos. A few staffers will continue to work out of Boston, where Shambhala may keep a small office through spring 2016. In addition, Odiseos anticipates making some new hires in the West, and possibly growing the staff slightly.
Currently, Shambhala has no plans to shift its distribution from Penguin Random House Publisher Services, which has represented the press for more than 40 years.