It has been a pleasure working with BenBella Books. Glenn Yeffeth, the Publisher, and his entire team have done an outstanding job editing, promoting, and distributing my books, The Miami Mediterranean Diet, The Great American Heart Hoax, and Heart Attack Proof. I highly recommend BenBella Books, and I give them a 5-star rating!Michael D. Ozner, M.D., FACC, FAHA
Dear Potential BenBella Author,
Thank you for taking this time to learn a bit more about BenBella Books acquisitions. This letter tells you everything you need to know to submit your project to BenBella Books.
BenBella Books is a publishing boutique that publishes around 40 books a year, is very selective in what it acquires, and works with great diligence to publish each book to its maximum potential.
We are actively acquiring strong nonfiction manuscripts. We are not looking for fiction at this time.
Our approach to publishing is very straightforward:
- We are a marketing-focused house that prides itself on creative and diligent marketing of our titles. We have a team of four full-time marketers for our relatively small list of titles, and we work with a range of top-notch outside publicists, as well.
- We pay advances in the range of $5,000 to $20,000 for most books, but for books we really want, we offer profit-sharing deals with extraordinary upside. For all of our books, we pay standard big-house royalties or better, including full royalties on most special sales and author sales.
- We operate in a true partnership model, providing our authors with a level of collaboration, flexibility, and partnership that is rare in the publishing industry.
- We have superior distribution through Two Rivers/Ingram. Ingram is the largest independent distributor with distribution capabilities as strong as the major houses. They have a strong and significant sales force in every area of distribution, including national accounts, field, mass merchandisers and clubs, special sales, and gift sales. They provide strong distribution worldwide.
We strive to be the publishing partner of choice for the author looking for a personalized, author-friendly, and marketing-focused approach.
First and foremost, BenBella is a publisher that places a strong value on marketing. We are strong marketers, and each of our books has a customized marketing plan and approach. Publicity is key for most of our titles, and we – and our authors – work hard at it. We have a strong team here, and we (or our authors) often bring in strong outside publicists as well. You can see a list of our recent press hits in our Press Room; you’ll see our books get a lot of publicity.
Our marketing extends well beyond publicity, and we work with each author to design marketing initiatives to support each title, whether it’s extensive mailings to a list of important influencers or creative social media campaigns.
We expect our authors to actively support the marketing of their books, both at the time they are published and in the months (and years) thereafter. Towards this end, we work closely with our authors to educate them in book marketing approaches, including bringing in outside experts and trainers to work with our authors.
Together, BenBella and I have published six bestselling cookbooks. It is the collaborative effort―that partnership between publisher and author that is unique to BenBella―that has allowed my books to be so successful. I am not a faceless author to BenBella. We work closely as both colleagues and friends. My books are also not forced into some corporate mold. My thoughts and opinions are respected. My books are MY books and I know I would not be given as much creative input elsewhere. Lindsay Nixon, author of the bestselling Happy Herbivore series
What We Are Looking For
The success of a book is often the result of a good match between author and publisher. Every publisher is better at some things than others. So please consider the types of books we publish as described below and decide whether we are a good fit for your project before pitching us.
BenBella is open to looking at any nonfiction proposal, but we’re particularly excited about books and authors that have one or more of these characteristics:
- Expert’s Life Work – Books by real experts, representing their life’s work, are always appealing to us. Our books Whole and The Zen of Social Media Marketing, both very successful, fall into this category.
- Brilliant in Niche – We love books that are unique or clearly the best in their narrow niche. Our book The China Study had potential for broad appeal but had particular appeal to niche readers, and, in this niche, was truly unique and superior to anything else out there. The China Study has sold over two million copies and is still going strong. How to Get A Meeting with Anyone is a business title aimed specifically at salespeople and business leaders who need to make contact with difficult to reach people. This title’s success is due, in part, to its clear focus. There’s almost no other book out there quite like it.
- Powerful Entrepreneurs and Professionals – These tend to be books by entrepreneurs with big ambitions. They not only want to sell many copies of their book, but they also want to sell other products, raise their profile in their industry, increase their speaking fees, etc. Often these authors are considering self-publishing because they want to move fast, and they want a high degree of control over the process. If these authors bring a strong book and an impressive marketing plan/budget to the table, they are often a good fit for us. Our New York Times bestseller The Entrepreneur Equation is a good example of this type of title.
- Fannish Pop Culture – We look carefully at pop culture books that specifically appeal to powerful and current fan communities, especially television, film, and literary fans. Our Smart Pop line, which has 50+ titles, has a built-in fan base and some major successes. Examples include The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, Ender’s World: Fresh Perspectives on the SF Classic Ender’s Game (edited by Orson Scott Card), and The Psychology of Harry Potter.
BenBella Books has far exceeded all expectations I’d had based on comments from other authors I know. They have been very accommodating with needs that have arisen and clearly understand the bigger business picture involved with publishing. All staff with whom I’ve come into contact have been outstanding and I look forward to working with them on other projects in the future.Duke Johnson, MD, author of The Optimal Health Revolution
Pitching BenBella is easy. In the initial pitch, we are looking for three things:
- A clear understanding of what your book is about and how it distinguishes itself from other titles.
- A compelling statement of your qualifications to write the book.
- Anything you can tell us about why you believe the book will sell.
This initial pitch should be only a few pages long. If it’s appealing, I’ll get back to you with a request for more information. Please send pitches by email only to glenn [at] benbellabooks [dot] com. Physical mailings will not be reviewed.
I look forward to hearing from you!