Charity sells funeral book direct to retain profit

Jul 30, 2012

The Natural Death Centre charity was established 21 years ago and is widely recognised as the voice of the natural death movement. Via its Helpline, the Natural Death Centre offers free and impartial advice on all aspects of dying, bereavement and consumer rights. It also runs the Association of Natural Burial Grounds and The Natural Death Society.

In a 21st century version of David versus Goliath, a tiny charity has taken on the might of theinternet giant Amazon by withdrawing the latest version of the iconic Natural Death Handbook from sale by the massive online company.

The Natural Death Centre Charity refused to accept the 40% of RRP rate offered to them for every copy sold by Amazon, choosing instead to sell the updated and fully revised three book box set directly to the public from their own website to try and raise as much money as possible to fund their work.

“We have given ourselves a huge challenge!” said Manager Rosie Inman Cook, ‘Not only do we have to do all of the marketing and promotion of the book ourselves, but we have had to physically carry all 6,000 books down the steps to our headquarters in a former nuclear bunker and stack them in piles in our main room.

“And it’s not an easy task to get editors of newspapers and magazines to run a story on a book that is all about death – apparently there’s still a real worry that readers won’t want to see an article about the subject, despite it being so important that people have accurate and honest information about their choices.”

Despite the difficulties of publicising their new fund-raising publication, the charity is determined that the Fifth Edition of the Natural Death Handbook will find its way into homes across the UK.

Packed with practical help and advice, and offering a comprehensive and myth-busting guide to the taboo-shrouded world of funerals, the Handbook provides ordinary people with all the information needed to prepare for the death of a loved one – or indeed themselves.

“It’s something that every home should have, just like a First Aid Book,” says newly inaugurated patron and co-founder of the charity, psychotherapist Josefine Speyer. “I truly believe in lifting the taboo surrounding the subject of death, and this book does exactly that.

“If ever you have been to a funeral that was beautiful, personal and unique, it was probably in some way inspired by the tireless work that the Natural Death Centre has done over the last 21 years letting people know about their options, choices - and their rights.

“Please think how your family could also benefit if you all knew more about what is possible, and get yourself a copy of the new edition of the Handbook. By buying the book directly from the charity you will not only get an invaluable resource full of essential information, but you will also be directly contributing to funding the NDC Helpline which assists thousands of families dealing with the death of a loved one every year.”

Available exclusively from The Natural Death Centre (, the FifthEditionof The Natural Death Handbook costs £24. It was officially launched on Wednesday 4 July 2012.