Book Distribution

Published on December 8th, 2023 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


1976 Book Scores Conversation — Nine Million Books Distributed

Total Back to Godhead magazines, about 7,000,000. Total small books is 740,000. Total medium books is 319,000. Total other titles: 280,000. Then total hardbound books: 1,007,000. So the total literatures sold last year is 9,076,280 literatures. Nine million. This is just English.

Ramesvara: This is the total sales. For the year 1976. It lists… The first section lists all the Caitanya-caritamrtas title by title, all seventeen volumes. So last year we sold 55,000 copies of Caitanya-caritamrta.

Prabhupada: All parts.

Ramesvara: Yes. Then it lists the Bhagavatams. We sold 7,000 volume one, First Canto; 46,000 First Canto, volume two; 41,000 First Canto, volume three; 6,000 2.1’s; 8,500 5.1’s; 8,500 5.2’s; 17,000 6.1’s; 16,000 6.2’s; 16,000 6.3’s; 45,000 7.1’s, Prahlada Maharaja; 15,000 7.2; 16,000 7.3; 16,000 8.1; and 15,000 8.2. Total Srimad-Bhagavatam sales in English last year, 275,000 hard bound volumes. Then Bhagavad-gita. Macmillan edition, 5,000; the abridged edition, paper bound, 11,000. Then the abridged edition, hardbound… (laughter) 606,000 hardbound volumes, for a total sale of Bhagavad-gita last year in English, not counting what was printed in India, 622,000 hardbound volumes. Then Krsna book, hardbound, 28,000, volume one; 12,000 volume two; 12,000 volume three; making a total of Krsna book hardbound sold of 51,000 hardbound volumes. Then Krsna trilogies, paper bound: 17,000 volumes one; 19,000 volume two; 24,000 volume three; making a total of 60,000 Krsna trilogies. Then 6,000 Teachings of Lord Caitanya, 7,000 Nectar of Devotion, 160,000 Sri Isopanisad, 100,000 Nectar of Instruction, 253,000 Easy Journey to Other Planets

Prabhupada: This is the largest sale. (chuckling)

Ramesvara: 487,000 Perfection of Yoga, 263,000 Krsna Consciousness Is Authorized, 10,000 cookbooks, Hare Krsna Cookbooks, 4,000 Gopal coloring books, and just under 7,000…, excuse me, 7,000,000 Back to Godhead magazines. Now, the total magazines, almost, about 7,000,000. Total small books like Perfection of Yoga, Easy Journey, is 740,000. Total medium books like Krsna trilogy, Sri Isopanisad, is 319,000. Total books like cookbooks, Krsna Consciousness Is Authorized, other titles: 280,000. Then total hardbound books: 1,007,000. So the total literatures sold last year is 9,076,280 literatures. Nine million.

Prabhupada: (Bengali)

Gargamuni: It’s only English.

Ramesvara: This is just English.

Prabhupada: (Bengali) …French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese. (Bengali) We want. (Bengali) Person to person… (Bengali) Huge organization. (Bengali) …Bhaktivedanta Book Trust… (Bengali)… stock, distribution, salesmen control. (Bengali) …Delhi paper… (Bengali) We have got substance. (Bengali) So it is very encouraging, this report. What else?

Ramesvara: Now the next two reports. First of all, for the month of December there’s the ratings for the whole Society.

So in the top ten, number one was New York, Radha-Damodara, with $170,000. (Bengali)

Prabhupada: (Bengali) Give him some book to read.

Gargamuni: Where’s the Bhagavad-gita?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Guest (Indian man): I should have some basic knowledge about.

Prabhupada: (Bengali) Bhagavad-gita gives basic knowledge.

Ramesvara: Number two was Los Angeles with $87,000. Number three was Berkeley with $85,000. Number four was San Diego, $62,000. Caracas, 60,000, Brazil and England tied–$48,000. Germany 33,000; Denver 32,000; and Pittsburgh 30,000. And the medium temples weren’t so outstanding, but the small temple, Houston, little Houston, $25,000. They only have about twelve men. I cannot understand how hard they worked to do this, very hard. Plus it shows Gurukrpa’s donation, ISKCON food relief donation. Then the outstanding zones for the month. Number one is Tamala Krsna, with $200,000. Number two was my zone. Actually it’s your zone, but you’ve made me manage it a little. $182,000, very close to beating him. (Prabhupada chuckles) Actually I have noticed that if the West Coast was not divided this year into two zones… Formerly it was just one zone. All Berkeley, it was one zone. Now it is two zones. So I noticed that if it had not been divided, then every month the West Coast would have been number one.

Prabhupada: Combined together.

Ramesvara: Yes. Then Hrdayananda was number three with $155,000. That is very good for Latin America.

Prabhupada: Oh, yes.

Ramesvara: And number four was the Northwest West Coast. That’s the other half of the West Coast, with $122,000. Then fifth was $89,000. Which is very good for three temples.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Ramesvara: So the next thing is the entire year, the ratings for the whole year. So number one for zones is Tamala Krsna–$1,000,000 for the whole year. Number two was the area that I have: Los Angeles, Denver and San Diego–$762,000. Number three is Balavanta–$476,000. And number four was the other half of the West Coast–$464,000. You can see that if you put the West Coast as one it would have been $1,200,000 to Tamala Krsna’s $1,000,000. But anyway, it’s been divided, so he has won. So he’s also… New York temple is number one among temples, and his zone is number one among zones. So he has set the whole standard for the whole movement in book distribution.

Prabhupada: All brahmacari and sannyasi.

Ramesvara: My zone is all grhasthas (laughs) with a few brahmacaris. Anyway, next year we can beat Tamala Krsna. (Prabhupada chuckles) He has only beaten us by a few hundred thousand dollars.

Prabhupada: But don’t tell him now.

Ramesvara: Or it may be ruined.

Prabhupada: He may be very careful.

Ramesvara: I think we should send him a congratulations letter.

Prabhupada: (laughing) Yes. You send.

Ramesvara: I’ll send him.

Prabhupada: (laughing) Yes. To entice him.

Ramesvara: This is his main…

Prabhupada: Actually in the beginning, for increasing the sale, Tamala Krsna gave the impetus. He was selling best in San Francisco. Then went from… What is that? We were printing in the beginning? What is the press called?

Ramesvara: ISKCON Press?

Prabhupada: No, no. I purchased some hand press?

Ramesvara: Letterpress?

Prabhupada: So that, it has got special name. I forget now. I purchased two presses, $150.

Hari-sauri: Mimeograph.

Prabhupada: Mimeograph. Ha ha ha. So we were selling about five hundred copies, and gradually… But still, Tamala Krsna was selling almost major portion. Then I asked Brahmananda that “Why not print?” So he took quotation from different printers, and Dai Nippon, we gave them, printing, this Teachings of Lord Caitanya. So he took quotation, ten cents per copy. But they want twenty thousand. So we were selling about one thousand, and it is a question of twenty thousand. So I consulted Tamala in San Francisco. So he gave me some encourage. I asked Brahmananda, “Yes, print twenty thousand.” So from five hundred to twenty thousand, great jump. Somehow or other, it began like that. Now what we are printing per month?

Ramesvara: What? Hardbound books?

Prabhupada: No, no, this Back to Godhead.

Ramesvara: 750,000. It is averaging like that.

Prabhupada: So the first attempt was only 20,000. I calculated. Anyway, Krsna is giving us all facility. Let us utilize it to the best of our capacity. We have no other ambition. We want to see that everyone may accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead and be happy.

This is our mission. We have no other ambition, not to make any cost-profit. But when we see that so many people are reading Krsna book, that gives us very good encouragement.

Otherwise what…? Two chapatis we can get anywhere.

Ramesvara: We wrote in the newsletter to the Society that even though our movement is being attacked is so many ways, the best counterattack is through book distribution.

Prabhupada: Yes. That is the best answer to this opposition. And when the case is there, put all the books before the judge: “Now you read and give your judgment. Don’t… You are learned lordship. Please read these books and give your judgment. We have got already judgment from the scholars.” Present like that. “But still, because in your court it is presented, so we pray that you give your judgment after understanding our method of brainwash.” That will make him flat.

Ramesvara: And we gave this proof, another proof that our movement is transcendental to all material obstacles and impediments, that this year in America there was spiraling inflation and unemployment, and the cost of living was therefore rising like anything, but our books, in defiance of all these material trends, were being printed in larger quantities, but the temples were paying less for the books than ever before. And even though all the major airports were closed for, a minimum, six months or more, the hardbound book distribution–we just looked at the numbers–actually increased by one hundred percent.

Prabhupada: So it is Krsna’s mercy. “You can do all kinds of opposition, but we shall go forward. The caravan will pass. You may bark.” So take all these things as Krsna’s mercies and engage more enthusiastically. Why should we be defeated? Yuddhyasva mam anusmara. Just remember Krsna and fight. Bas. Fighting is… This material world is fighting. Manah sasthanindriyani prakrti-sthani karsati. The karsati is struggle, but struggle for Krsna. That is perfection. That’s all

Ramesvara: Jaya Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: Thank you. Work very hard for Krsna one life.

Ramesvara: You may like to see these, so I can leave them here?

Prabhupada: I have heard it. Sruta. It is susruma.

Ramesvara: When these come out, I frame them on my wall.

Prabhupada: Our method is iti susruma: “I have heard it.” That’s all. (end)

[ Room Conversation on 1976 Book Scores January 16, 1977, Calcutta]

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About the Author

Founded the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 in New York. In only 11 years he spread the movement all over the world. He wrote more than 80 books including Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Isopanisad. Prabhupada's books constitute a complete library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.

One Response to 1976 Book Scores Conversation — Nine Million Books Distributed

  1. Chris LaRosa says:

    Wanted 1973 Hare Krshna Cookbook ,,,, I had one and attended many meetings at UMASS amherst in 1976

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