Beyond Words Publishing

Beyond Words Publishing is a book publishing company located in Hillsboro, Oregon, United States. Founded in 1983, the company was unprofitable in its early years, though its works were award-winning. The privately owned company focuses on non-fiction titles in the New Age genre (now generally referred to as mind-body-spirit category), but began as a publisher of coffee table books. Beyond Words has a national distribution agreement with Simon & Schuster's Altria Books imprint and has published works by John Gray, Masaru Emoto, and Rhonda Byrne, including her book The Secret.

Beyond Words Publishing
Beyond Words Publishing logo
FounderRichard Cohn
Bob Goodman
Cindy Black
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationHillsboro, Oregon
45°32′23″N 122°53′33″W / 45.53972°N 122.89250°WCoordinates: 45°32′23″N 122°53′33″W / 45.53972°N 122.89250°W
Key peopleRichard Cohn
Cindy Black
Publication typesBooks
Nonfiction topicsNew Age
Fiction genresNon-fiction


Beyond Words Publishing was founded in 1983 by Richard Cohn, Bob Goodman, and Cindy Black in Hawaii.[1] Black and Cohn later married.[2] The company started after Cohn's family sold Cohn Bros. furniture company to McMahan's Furniture in 1982 and Cohn was looking for a new direction.[1] The company's first book, Within a Rainbowed Sea, came out in 1984.[1] The coffee table book won 11 awards at the New York Art Directors Show and was named the most outstanding book of the year by the Printing Industries of America in 1984.[1] Focused on images of sea life by Christopher Newbert, the book is hound bound using Niger goatskin and kept in a box made of koa wood and lined with Brazilian suede.[1] Sold for $2,250, the book was given to Japanese Emperor Hirohito on his 80th birthday by then U.S. President Ronald Reagan.[1] A calendar featuring the images took second place in a Printing Industries of America competition in 1988.[1] As of 1988 there were four editions and 52,000 copies of the book.[1]

The company's second book was Molokai: An Island in Time by photographer Richard Cooke III that came out in 1985.[1] The publishing company relocated to Oregon in 1986 where it was incorporated, and by 1988 Bob Goodman had left the company that had failed to turn a profit after putting out 12 titles.[1] Beyond Words settled on Cohn's 12-acre (4.9 ha) farm near Hillsboro.[1] Both of the first two books were printed by Oregon printer Dynagraphics, Inc., with printing costs exceeding $500,000 for the books that were to retail for $2,000 each.[3] Beyond Words had an exclusive distribution with Waldenbooks for the first two titles,[1] but the deal later fell through.[2] The company was left deeply in debt after these two books, with founder Black taking a job to help pay off the debt.[4] In October 1988, a lawsuit between the printer Dynagraphics and U. S. National Bank concerned Beyond Words' ability to pay its bill to Dynagraphics for the printing.[3] Dynagraphics won the lawsuit for $321,000 when the jury decided that the bank had a duty to warn Dynagraphics that co-owner Cohn lacked the funds to pay for the printing of the two books that were part of their Earthsong Project.[3]

The company published The American Eagle, a 128-page coffeetable book in 1988 by Tom and Pat Leeson.[1][5] Books by the company in the early years revolved around New Age philosophy and themes.[1] In 1990, they were the first publishers of works by author and therapist John Gray, printing Men, Women and Relationships.[4] Gray then went to another company with Beyond Words blessing and published Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.[4] In 1994, the headquarters were moved to Hillsboro near the airport as the company had expanded to 12 employees.[2]

By 1995, Beyond Words was publishing around ten books per year and expanded from coffee table books into titles concerning Native American wisdom, health, personal growth, and children's literature.[2] Sales at that time totaled $1.8 million per year.[2] To drive sales the company was innovative with marketing, with activities such as promoting books at tourist attractions like zoos, selling through fundraisers, and co-marketing with other publishers.[2] Beyond Words partnered with Flying Rhino Productions in 1995.[6]

Beyond Words Publishing headquarters
Company headquarters in Hillsboro

Beyond Words moved into an office along Cornell Road in the Tanasbourne neighborhood of Hillsboro in 2006.[7] In 2004, the company was struggling and considered filling for bankruptcy protection until a new investor was brought on board.[8] That year Beyond Words had its first big success, after more than 250 titles to their name, with Masaru Emoto's Hidden Messages of Water.[8] The book sold enough to make the New York Times Best Seller list and sold a total of half a million copies.[8] The company started a partnership with publisher Simon & Schuster's subsidiary Atria Books in 2006.[8] That same year the company had a dinner party where one of the commentators from The Secret DVD convinced the group to watch the video, which led to the publication of the book, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.[8][9] By March 2007, the book had become the top seller on as well as listing on The New York Times bestseller list, and had 1.75 million copies in print.[8] That month Simon & Schuster ordered an additional 2 million copies in what was their largest reorder in their history.[8] By 2003, the Secret had over five million copies in hardcover.[10]


Richard Cohn grew up in Oregon in Northeast Portland before he attended Stanford University and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.[1] Cohn then entered the family's furniture business where he worked for 13 years.[8] He was divorced in 1976, and then met co-founder Cindy Black in 1982 in Hawaii after the family business was sold.[1] They moved in together and later married. A fortune teller had foretold of the meeting, and that he would move to Hawaii.[1] Both Cohn and Black took a New Age class at the Burklyn Business School in California, which helped lay the foundation for starting Beyond Words.[1] In Hawaii, Cohn met a photographer who knew his sister, and with publisher Bob Goodman started a publishing company to produce the photographer's work.[1][8]

The founders divorced in 2008 but continue on as business partners.[10]


Privately held Beyond Words is headquartered in the Hillsboro, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area. The company publishes 15 new books every year, mainly in the New Age, non-fiction genre through their partnership with Atria Books.[11][10] Independently they are wholesalers of their titles for international distribution, and operate Beyond Distribution as a subsidiary for releases of other media such as videos.[11] The company has its editors, designers, and printers work with each author, which is atypical in the publishing world.[2] Their philosophy helped turn the company into a "national leader", or as Susan Reich of Publishers Group West stated, "They are one of a few independent publishers who can do beautiful photography books, very finely produced."[2]

Selected titles

  • Patent, Arnold M. (1995). You Can Have It All. ISBN 1-885223-05-6.[6]
  • Ealy, C. Diane (1996). The Woman's Book of Creativity. ISBN 0-7171-2414-2.[6]
  • Foggia, Lyla (1995). Reel Women: The World of Women Who Fish. ISBN 1-885223-18-8.[4]
  • Gardner, Carol W. (1995). Bumper Sticker Wisdom: America's Pulpit Above the Tailpipe. ISBN 1-885223-32-3.[4]
  • Coon, Nora (2003). Teen Dream Jobs: How to Find the Job You Really Want Now!. ISBN 1-58270-093-1.[12]
  • Mildon, Emma (2015). The Soul Searcher's Handbook A Modern Girl's Guide to the New Age World. ISBN 1-58270-524-0.[13]
  • Michelle Roehm McCann; Marianne Monson (1999). Girls Know Best. ISBN 1-885223-84-6.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Sherman, Lee (October 30, 1988). "Northwest Magazine: Picture Perfect". The Oregonian. p. 14.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Leeson, Fred (January 1, 1995). "Your Business: Oregon publisher finds national niche". The Oregonian. p. G4.
  3. ^ a b c Leeson, Fred (October 4, 1988). "Bank liable for damages in book deal". The Oregonian. p. C13.
  4. ^ a b c d e Heltzel, Ellen Emry (July 16, 1995). "Writing in the Rain: Spirit, values link Beyond Words' books". The Oregonian. p. D7.
  5. ^ "Book gives eagle-eye view of national bird". The Spokesman-Review. December 21, 1988. p. C1.
  6. ^ a b c Heltzel, Ellen Emry (June 10, 1995). "Between the Lines: Beyond Words and Flying Rhino team up in powerful combination". The Oregonian. p. C8.
  7. ^ McCarty, Erin (October 30, 2006). "Industry notes". The Oregonian. p. C2.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Haight, Abby (March 11, 2007). "Oregon's publishers turn page to success". The Oregonian. p. A1.
  9. ^ Burghart, Tara (June 28, 2007). "Rhonda Byrne's message about the 'law of attraction' isn't a positive idea for everyone". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
  10. ^ a b c "Beyond Words Turns 30". Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  11. ^ a b "About Beyond Words". Beyond Words Publishing. Archived from the original on 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
  12. ^ Kahlenberg, Rebecca R. (September 25, 2005). "Teens in Pursuit of Hired Learning". The Washington Post.
  13. ^ "The Soul Searchers Handbook". Retrieved June 17, 2015.

External links

Backscatter (photography)

In photography, backscatter (also called near-camera reflection) is an optical phenomenon resulting in typically circular artifacts on an image, due to the camera's flash being reflected from unfocused motes of dust, water droplets, or other particles in the air or water. It is especially common with modern compact and ultra-compact digital cameras.

Caused by the backscatter of light by unfocused particles, these artifacts are also sometimes called orbs, referring to a common paranormal claim. Some appear with trails, suggesting motion.

Beyond Words

Beyond Words may refer to:

Beyond Words Publishing, an American book publishing company

Beyond Words (1997 film), Dutch documentary film by Louis van Gasteren

Beyond Words (2017 film), Dutch-Polish drama film by Urszula Antoniak

Beyond Words (TV series), 2016 Malaysian TV series

Ghost hunting

Ghost hunting is the process of investigating locations that are reported to be haunted by ghosts. Typically, a ghost-hunting team will attempt to collect evidence supporting the existence of paranormal activity. Ghost hunters use a variety of electronic devices, including EMF meters, digital thermometers, both handheld and static digital video cameras, including thermographic and night vision cameras, as well as digital audio recorders. Other more traditional techniques are also used, such as conducting interviews and researching the history of allegedly haunted sites. Ghost hunters may also refer to themselves as "paranormal investigators."Ghost hunting has been heavily criticized for its dismissal of the scientific method. No scientific study has ever been able to confirm the existence of ghosts. The practice is considered a pseudoscience by the vast majority of educators, academics, science writers, and skeptics. Science historian Brian Regal described ghost hunting as "an unorganized exercise in futility".

J. Gordon Melton

John Gordon Melton (born September 19, 1942) is an American religious scholar who was the founding director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion and is currently the Distinguished Professor of American Religious History with the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he resides. He is also an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church.

Melton is the author of more than forty-five books, including several encyclopedias, handbooks, and scholarly textbooks on American religious history, Methodism, world religions, and new religious movements (NRMs). His areas of research include major religious traditions, American Methodism, new and alternative religions, Western Esotericism (popularly called occultism) and parapsychology, New Age, and Dracula and vampire studies. He has been an advocate of religious freedom and was involved in the scholarly debates on the legitimacy of some NRMs and in establishing the field of new religion studies in academia.

Law of attraction (New Thought)

In the New Thought philosophy, the Law of Attraction is the belief that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into a person's life. The belief is based on the idea that people and their thoughts are both made from pure energy, and that through the process of like energy attracting like energy a person can improve their own health, wealth, and personal relationships.

The Law of Attraction is among the most popular of the Universal Laws. Advocates of this mind-power paradigm generally combine cognitive reframing techniques with affirmations and creative visualization to replace limiting or self-destructive ("negative") thoughts with more empowered, adaptive ("positive") thoughts. A key component of the philosophy is that in order to effectively change one's negative thinking patterns, one must also "feel" (through creative visualization) that the desired changes have already occurred. This combination of positive thought and positive emotion is believed to allow one to attract positive experiences and opportunities by achieving resonance with the proposed energetic law.The Law of Attraction has no scientific basis and has been dubbed a pseudoscience. A number of researchers have criticized the misuse of scientific concepts by its proponents.

Marianne Monson

Marianne Monson (1975) is an American teacher (currently at Clatsop Community College near her home in Astoria, Oregon) and children's author.

She earned a BA in Honors English from BYU, a Masters in Creative Writing from Vermont College and a Masters in English pedagogy from Pacific University. Monson was Managing Editor at Beyond Words Publishing, where she edited a number of best-selling titles. She has also taught English and creative writing at Portland Community College and at BYU-Hawaii. She has written and published several books for children as well as articles in the Ensign and Friend LDS magazines (her faith).

Among the ten books Monson has written and published are the "Enchanted Tunnels" series of children's fiction books for LDS children and others, and "The Water is Wide" (2010, Deseret Book) which concerned an ancestor who emigrated to Utah but did not join the LDS church. In the "Enchanted Tunnels" children's books; "Pioneer Puzzle", "Escape From Egypt", "Journey To Jerusalem", and "Wandering In The Wilderness" (all 2010 by Deseret Book); she uses the names of her two children (Nathan and Aria) for the protagonists' names. With Michelle Roehm McCann and David Hohn, Monson wrote "Finding Fairies: Secrets for Attracting Little People from Around the World" (2004, Whitecap Books, Limited), and the "Girls Know Best" series (1999, three volumes, Beyond Words Publishing).

Monson has also written nonfiction, including "Frontier Grit: the Unlikely True Stories of Pioneer Women" (2016) and most recent book, "Women of the Blue & Gray" (Shadow Mountain Press, 2018).

Spirit photography

Spirit photography is a type of photography whose primary attempt is to capture images of ghosts and other spiritual entities, especially in ghost hunting and has a strong history dating back to the late 19th century.

The Secret (book)

The Secret is a best-selling 2006 self-help book by Rhonda Byrne, based on the earlier film of the same name. It is based on the belief of the law of attraction, which claims that thoughts can change a person's life directly. The book has sold 30 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 50 languages.

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