As you might have guessed from various posts on here, I have a bit of an occult book collection. Many of the books were purchased in person in physical bookstores, but probably the majority of them were bought online. Here are a few tips for getting some really interesting occult texts through online stores.
We are blessed to have quite a number of dedicated occult publishers producing amazing texts. Many of these publishers produce high quality hardcover collectors’ editions as well as cheaper hardcover and sometimes paperback and even ebook editions as well. Once you find a publisher who has put out a book you liked, try to get onto their promotional email list as that will let you know of new books that will be coming out and often give you the opportunity to preorder a copy at better prices than you might otherwise get. Many of the high quality hardcover editions for instance are limited edition publications, and the price to purchase one usually goes up quite a bit once they are out there on the resale market.
Here are a few of the publishers I’ve bought from and who I recommend:
Anathema Publishing publishes the periodical “Pillars” which explores the more serious side of occult practice, along with other books.
Acorn Guild Press publishes some notable Pagan authors such as Janet Farrar & Gavin Bone, as well as others.
Revelore Press publishes the excellent series “Verdant Gnosis” about magical herbalism and plant magic as well as other interesting books, including “Svartkonstbocker: A Compendium of the Swedish Black Art Book Tradition” by Dr. Thomas R. Johnson which documents in English translations many historical folk magic handbooks used by witches and cunning-folk in Sweden.
Scarlet Imprint produces gorgeous modern texts by authors who are leaders in their fields; also produces “bibliotheque rouge” affordable paperback and ebook editions of most of their books for those who want the texts but don’t want to pay premium prices.
Avalonia Books is run by the formidable Sorita d’Este, publishing her books as well as a wide range of other occult and Pagan authors. You’ll find key books used by the Covenant of Hekate are available here.
Fulgur publishes gorgeous high-quality hardcover books, mostly collectors’ editions; also publishes books by Michael Bertiaux, author of the famous “Voudon Gnostic Workbook”, as well as others.
Hadean Press publishes occult books on a variety of topics including a number of those written by goetia scholar and practitioner Jake Stratton-Kent. Lots of material for those interested in ceremonial magic, goetia, Cyprian magic, and working with spirits in general. Also publishes the excellent periodical “Conjure Codex”.
Ixaxxar caters more to the “left hand” and “dark” side of occultism; has produced some groundbreaking material such as the “Liber Falxifer” series as well as “Panparadox” and “The Hekataeon”.
Golden Hoard Press publishes Dr. Stephen Skinner’s meticulous reproductions, translations, and annotated versions of classic grimoires.
Megalithica Press (an imprint of Immanion Books) publishes a variety of interesting occult books by current authors. One important book that they publish is Nick Farrell’s “Helios Unbound” – basically a Pagan version of the Abramelin operation where the magician establishes a solid link with their Holy Guardian Angel.
Llewellyn Publishing is the granddaddy occult publisher, and the most mainstream. Their books are in chain bookstores around the world in a number of translations. They have a poor reputation among some occultists and Pagans due to their many “fluffy” poorly researched and light on useful content books, but they have also published some very important books and authors over the years so should definitely not be overlooked. They have also played a very important part in modern occult and Pagan history — without the existence and involvement of Llewellyn and its leaders, we might not have many of the other occult publishers (or community groups) that exist today.
Lulu.com is a self-publisher’s haven. They allow authors to produce a variety of formats whether hardcover, paperback, or ebook and while some self-published books are not the best quality, there are some authors who are really good. One such notable is Nick Farrell who publishes mostly ceremonial magic and Golden Dawn material, and has a lot of excellent stuff available here. Another author to look for is Druid author Ian Corrigan. You’ll find some Lulu-published material is available for purchase through other booksellers including Amazon, but there are a lot of books that are available only through the Lulu site or the authors’ own websites. Do yourself a favour and do keyword searches on the Lulu site for topics that interest you. You will undoubtedly find some real gems.
The following publishers have produced some really good books over the years, but are a bit hit-or-miss with their customer service and following through on publication promises. Sometimes a preordered book takes literally years to finally get delivered to customers! It might be wiser to purchase these publishers’ books through a reseller who is more reliable and who responds to customers.
Xoanon Publishing and Three Hands Press are sister publishing companies, the first one publishing only Cultus Sabbati “Sabbatic Craft” texts, and the second publishing supplemental Sabbatic Craft texts as well as other “traditional” witchcraft texts. Notorious for long delays between preorders and finally getting promised books published and then shipped out to customers. Xoanon is based in the UK, and Three Hands Press is in the USA. It’s worthwhile keeping an eye on these publisher’s websites and getting on their email lists if only to find out about upcoming books so you know when they become available — buying their books new, even through resellers like J.D. Holmes and Midian (linked below) provides the cheapest prices; even a few months later the books can be sold out and buying a resale copy often means paying much higher prices for them.
Hellfire Books is based in the UK and produces fine quality hardcover collectors’ editions of classic grimoires as well as some interesting modern material such as reproductions of Wiccan high priest Alex Sanders’ magical notebooks. I have bought from them before but have stopped buying directly from them since my last order was mysteriously “cancelled” after they took my online payment, didn’t refund my money, and failed to respond to any of my many attempts to reach them through various email addresses and their Facebook page. Occult message board discussions document the same problems among other customers. Buyer beware.
There are also specialty occult book sellers who carry all sorts of gems in both older out-of-print books as well as new texts. They do carry the more problematic publishers’ books as well — so if you see one of those books for sale by these resellers, you can rest assured you’ll actually get the book that you ordered in a timely fashion.
J. D. Holmes is based in the USA but will happily ship pretty much anywhere. I live in Canada and buy from J. D. Holmes regularly. Get on their mailing list for special preorder sales!
Midian Books is based in the UK and ships outside the UK as well. Also has a great email catalogue that often has great deals.
Finally, many books today are available through big online booksellers like Amazon and Biblio. If you are trying to find an out-of-print book, or want to purchase a used copy (which is often cheaper than a new copy), I’ve had great success using Addall.com as they search across a large assortment of online bookseller sites for you and present the results in an easy to sort list. At the very least, looking up books you’re searching for on Addall will help you see what it costs to buy that book from various vendors.
And if you want to read books but don’t want to buy them, take your list of titles and authors to your local public library! Many public libraries will be more than happy to bring in specific books for you through “inter-library loan” services — all you need to do is ask the librarians.