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BenBella Books is a publishing boutique that aims to be the publisher of choice for a select group of authors who value personal attention, a partnership philosophy, flexibility and a creative approach to marketing.
BenBella Books was founded with a simple mission:
- To publish wonderful, exciting books
- To partner with our authors to creatively and aggressively market every book we publish
- To generate significant value for our authors
- To understand and exploit the rapidly changing publishing and marketing environment
BenBella publishes a range of nonfiction (and the very occasional fiction title) and particularly likes quality nonfiction aimed at a niche market. BenBella is very strong in health and nutrition, with exciting and important titles such as The China Study, The Cure for Alcoholism, The Great American Heart Hoax and Health at Every Size. We have a growing presence in business and popular science. BenBella also publishes the very successful Smart Pop series, smart and entertaining critical examinations of television, movies, comics and books.
Book publishing is going through profound changes and no one really knows where this industry will wind up. This is what makes publishing such a fascinating business to be in, but we think a few essentials will always remain:
Publish with passion. Most books are sold because one person says to another, “You need to read this book.” Passion can’t be created or marketed into a book. It only emerges as the result of an author finding a way to delight, entertain, illuminate or educate in a way that resonates with the reader. At BenBella, we try hard to only publish books that we care passionately about, books that are exciting, fun or profound. We’d rather publish fewer books than publish anything we aren’t crazy about. But we aren’t snobs. Just because a book is intelligent doesn’t mean it can’t also be fun.
Publishing is a partnership between author and publisher. Publishing starts and ends with authors and we go out of our way to remember that. We strive for full, ongoing and prompt communication with our authors. We’re very open, easy to work with and we’re nice folks. We look for authors who want a true partnership and who are, similarly, open and pleasant to work with.
Marketing is key. No one can predict the strange alchemy that creates a bestselling book. Sometimes, when a book gets in readers’ hands, magic happens, and they can’t wait to tell their friends that they must read this book. And, sadly, sometimes the magic doesn’t happen. But it can’t happen at all if a critical mass of readers aren’t exposed to the book in the first place. That’s about marketing, and it’s perhaps the most rapidly changing and exciting part of the book industry right now.
We have deep experience in traditional publicity, and our books and authors have received many hundreds of major placements, including, to name a few, The New York Times, Newsweek, Redbook, The Christian Science Monitor, Publishers Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, BBC, Discover, “Good Morning America,” “Fox and Friends,” “The Sharon Osbourne Show,” Premiere, The Chicago Tribune, “Regis and Kelly” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” At the same time, we’re increasingly focused on newer forms of marketing: blog tours, social marketing, Facebook apps, community creation, etc. This world is continually changing, but we are working hard to keep up with it so we can leverage these tools for our authors.
We’re not embarrassed to say we love marketing as much as we love books, and that we go at it with enthusiasm, creativity and expertise. We recognize the critical role authors play in marketing their books, and we work closely with our authors to maximize the results of our mutual efforts. We welcome authors who want to aggressively market their books, and we supply tools and training to make our authors more effective.
This is a time of flux for publishers big and small. That’s why we emphasize flexibility and creativity, whether in author relationships, concept, design, marketing strategies or operations. Publishing is an industry that’s ripe for innovation and we’d like to do more than our share in exploring new approaches and trying new ideas (more on this, see our blog). We are very big on finding creative win-wins with authors, new distribution ideas, creative online marketing ideas and anything else that makes this challenging business more successful for us and our authors.↑