Indie Groundbreaking Publisher

BenBella Books

Marketing is Key
BenBella Books has just turned 20 years old and is going strong, proving to be one of the world's most vital "boutique" indie publishers. Founded in 2001, the Dallas-based publisher "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." Their key to success appears to be their ability to bring together "the best of both worlds." 
Founder Glenn Yeffeth explains: "BenBella has always been about providing leading authors with a home that combines the best of independent publishing with the best of mainstream corporate publishing. On the independent side, we've offered a degree of partnership, flexibility and marketing commitment that is hard to get from a corporate publisher if you aren't an A-list author. On the mainstream side, we've always worked with top cover designers and editors to give authors top-notch quality, and have partnered with top distributors (currently Penguin Random House) to give our authors the distribution capabilities of a top corporate house."
Specializing in nonfiction books on popular culture, business, health, and nutrition, along with books on science, politics, and psychology, BenBella has four imprints.
The BenBella Books imprint publishes broadly in non-fiction.
The Smart Pop imprint focuses on popular culture.
The BenBella Vegan imprint focuses on plant-based cookbooks and lifestyle titles.
The Matt Holt imprint, launched in 2020, focuses on business, finance, and professional development titles.
BenBella Books won big in the 2021 Independent Publisher Book Awards, impressing the judges and taking home five "IPPY" awards. Other successes include publishing the nutrition book The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell in 2005, which has sold over 3 million copies, and NYT bestseller Presumed Guilty: Casey Anthony: The Inside Story, written by defense attorney Jose Baez about the 2013 Casey Anthony trial. Other celebrity memoirists include guitarist Joe Satriani, former NAACP chapter president Rachel Dolezal, and entrepreneur Francis J. Greenburger. Some pop culture tie-ins include The Psychology of Harry Potter (2007), Grey's Anatomy 101 (2007), The Science of Dune (2008), and The Science of Michael Crichton (2008).
BenBella operates on a simple business philosophy:
Publish wonderful, exciting books
Provide our authors with true partnership in every aspect of the publishing process
Creatively and aggressively market every book we publish
Generate significant value for our authors
Understand and exploit the rapidly changing publishing and marketing environment
"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. Sadly, sometimes the magic doesn’t happen. But it can’t happen at all if a critical mass of readers isn’t exposed to the book in the first place. That’s what marketing is about, and it’s perhaps the most rapidly changing and exciting part of the book industry right now."
What's new at BenBella? Here are some upcoming titles from their spring catalog:
I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times, by Mónica Guzmán
Journalist Guzmán is the loving liberal daughter of Mexican immigrants who voted—twice—for Donald Trump. When the country could no longer see straight across the political divide, Mónica set out to find what was blinding us, and discovered the most eye-opening tool we're not using: our own curiosity.

Decolonizing Wellness: A QTBIPOC-Centered Guide to Escape the Diet Trap, Heal Your Self-Image, and Achieve Body Liberation
, by Dalia Kinsey RD, LD
In her mission to spread joy, reduce suffering, and eliminate health disparities in the QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community, registered dietitian and nutritionist Dalia Kinsey teaches people to use nutrition as a self-care and personal empowerment tool.
Longshot: How Political Nobodies Took Andrew Yang National—and the New Playbook That Let Us Build a Movement, by Zach Graumann
Andrew Yang’s campaign manager takes us on a tour through the ups, the downs, and the math of Yang’s 2020 campaign for president, and shares the playbook his team used to navigate the attention economy. He reminds us that sometimes longshots aren’t quite as long as we think they are.
Happy Mind, Happy Life: The New Science of Mental Well-Being, by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee
During his 20 years as a GP, Dr. Chatterjee has seen first-hand that motivation isn’t always enough for us to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s only when we learn how to support our own mental well-being and cultivate core happiness that these choices become easy. Dr. Chatterjee shares cutting-edge insights into the science of happiness and reveals 10 simple ways to put you back in control of your health. It features real-life case studies and more than 20 practical exercises.
Parks & Recreation: The Official Cookbook, by Jenn Fujikawa
The ultimate way for fans to visit the kitchens, restaurants, and Harvest Festivals of Pawnee, IN, without ever leaving their homes. And though “there has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food,” home cooks of every skill level will be able to recreate meals for any time of day.
Bad Republican: A Memoir, by Meghan McCain

Meghan McCain expresses how it is to feel like you no longer fit in with your political party, and to question your role on America’s most-watched daytime talk show—and why she decided to leave both. She tells of growing up the daughter of an American icon who shaped her life and details the heartbreaking final moments spent by his side. 
As you can see from these titles, BenBella is particularly interested in nonfiction by expert authors "with a unique perspective and strong point of view," and books that attract strong publicity. Their team of publicists has had great success with these kinds of titles, often in the memoir or true crime category.
So, if you are an independent author looking for a great, marketing-focused publishing partner, BenBella is open to looking at any nonfiction proposal.
They pay advances in the range of $5,000 to $20,000 for most books they accept, offer profit-sharing deals for books they really want, and 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."
Yes, BenBella is truly a groundbreaking indie publisher, with a generous partnership attitude that is rare indeed!
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