Photo: Kirsten Bradley

RetroSuburbia is more than a book and a website; it is a whole-hearted celebration of empowered do it yourself and do it ourselves culture that reflects David Holmgren’s life-long work with permaculture self and collective reliance that doesn’t ask for permission or approval from the usual gatekeepers (the banks, corporations, media and government).

The monopolistic online conglomerates that dominate the book trade demand their own special discounts and conditions, returning little to authors and publishers while exploiting workers and bypassing tax and equity obligations to the countries in which they operate. They are just the latest examples of corporate parasites that purport to be on the side of the consumer. But for those who want to connect to the source, be it farmer or author, these gatekeepers work the system to everyone’s disadvantage.

With family roots in the book trade and decades of experience, Melliodora Publishing’s partnership with Permaculture Principles is breaking new ground in community and network-based book distribution to bypass retail conglomerates.

Our book distribution strategy is powered by Permaculture Principles where our colleagues Richard Telford and Oliver Holmgren have built an online platform to offer ethical and practical choices to book buyers at competitive prices while supporting authors and small publishers.

Learning from decades of experience of all stages of the traditional book trade and the disruptive challenges of recent times, we have decided to cut the retail conglomerates out of the market for our publications and deal more directly with our readers through ethical partnerships. As well as a network of online retail stores, Melliodora Publishing is also wholesaling permaculture and related publications to bookshops and anyone else who finds our discounts and terms attractive. In this way we want to inspire permaculture teachers, community activists and householders wanting to collectively purchase books and other media in the same way that food co-ops and households are getting together to bulk buy food and other essentials. We respect and want to build mutually beneficial relationships with traditional local bookstores interested in stocking books and other media that help householders take control of their lives while living lightly on the earth. But we reject the antiquated “sale or return“ model that sees unsold and soiled books sent back to the publisher (to be pulped).

Rebuilding local and networked communities of mutual interest and cooperation is close to the heart of what permaculture is about so it’s no surprise that the roll out of RetroSuburbia is also designed to do this.

Spread the word, bypass the gatekeepers and help build the new economy in the shadows of the old one.

David Holmgren, author and Su Dennett, publisher.

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