Books Portfolio

Putting the Tarot to Work

Mark McElroy
Written by Mark McElroy

A tarot book for visual brainstormers, or a visual brainstorming book for tarot readers?

Project Info
Contribution: Author
Year: 2004
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications

I’ll always love this little book — my first book-length publishing credit. From drafting the manuscript to the last stop on the book tour, this project was a delight.

But the question persisted: is this a business book for tarot people … or a tarot book for business people? I’d hoped the book would reach an expanded market in both camps.

The masculine energy of the cover (which I loved!) alienated many (mostly female) Tarot book buyers. The emphasis on Tarot alienated many business people. So, in the end, rather than “cross over,” the book never quite found its market. And that’s a shame, because as a Tarot book, this is a useful collection of practical tarot spreads … and as a business book, it’s a very efficient introduction to visual brainstorming.

But — what an education for me! I learned so much about preparing a manuscript for publication, paying attention to market research (women in focus groupsĀ tried to tell us they hated the cover!), valuing the contribution of great editors, and defining marketing strategies.

As a result, I’m better positioned to help others negotiate stronger contracts, edit manuscripts, and evaluate the commercial potential of a project.

Out of print now, but still available (cheap!) on

About the author

Mark McElroy

Mark McElroy

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