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Thread: BenBella Books, Inc.

  1. #1
    lurking behind that corner.. heatheringemar's Avatar
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    BenBella Books, Inc.

    http://www.benbellabooks.com/

    Anyone heard of them? Had any dealings with them?

    I'm starting to find a lot of their books (trade) on the Hastings shelves and even more on the Barnes & Noble shelves. The covers are fairly nice, definitely better than your run-of-the-mill POD covers, and the layout/editing seemed pretty decent from my quick scan.

    So, any negatives?
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  2. #2
    Absolutely Fazed
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    Not anything about them in particular, but I may have to get that book, Serenity Found that they published. I noticed it was edited by Jane Espenson, one of Joss Whedon's longtime staff writers (Buffy, Angel, and Firefly).

  3. #3
    Holding out for a Superhero... Sheryl Nantus's Avatar
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    I've read quite a few of their books dealing with the popular TV series and the discussions/essays. Stargate SG-1, Buffy, Serenity and there's one on my TBR right now about Superman.

    I like them.


  4. #4
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    They're good folks, as we say in Texas. I know several people published through them. Heck, I know a couple of people who have edited some of their "smart pop" books. I was invited to be in one, but I didn't feel that I knew enough on the topic (or could get up to speed by deadline) so I had to say no.

    I've heard nothing but good things about them.

  5. #5
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    They're not POD. They're a real, advance-paying trade publisher, with distribution and everything.

    - Victoria

  6. #6
    Sockpuppet
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    They publish a lot of pop culture short story books; books about Superman, Veronica Mars, etc. Highly respected.

  7. #7
    Ahead of Your Time Chicken Warrior's Avatar
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    Well, yeah. Who's not going to respect people who publish books about Veronica Mars, right?

  8. #8
    I Heart Mac Absolute Sage Lauri B's Avatar
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    I know them, have met Glenn Yeffeth (publisher) a couple of times and Nomad usually has the booth next to theirs at BEA. They are good people and becoming really successful. I've also been really impressed with their marketing/promotion. Excellent publishers.

  9. #9
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Glenn Yeffeth requested a partial a few years ago when they were looking for fiction. He was prompt, and told me exactly why he was rejecting it.

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    BenBella

    Does anyone here know anything about BenBella Publishing? Is this a trade publisher? Do they have a good reputation?

    Sharonlind

  11. #11
    I heart Malamutes! :-) JerseyGirl1962's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharonlind View Post
    Does anyone here know anything about BenBella Publishing? Is this a trade publisher? Do they have a good reputation?
    Sharon,

    Just read the thread, and you'll see that this publisher is totally legit.

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  12. #12
    I got it covered Undercover's Avatar
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    I'm surprised this thread hasn't been updated yet, but it seems like they have a newer YA imprint Smart Pop Books? I'm confused though. Looks like they have quite a few fiction books but they're only looking for non-fiction? Or am I reading that wrong? Sounds like there may be some wiggle room if they find something they like, suggesting that they are open to single author titles official and unofficial.

    Anyone have more info on them?

  13. #13
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    The Smart Pop imprint has been around for several years. It's not YA (unless something has changed recently), but an imprint for books about pop culture such as TV shows and movies.

  14. #14
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    They're straight arrow, and like most smaller operations, picky.

    In the era before Kindle, they started out doing reprints of out-of-print books (including MINE! My agent liked working with them.). They were flexible on the covers, at least in my case, and did a good job of design and distribution. Their CEO came from a marketing background, is in love with books and one of the most intelligent, quick-minded people I've ever met.

    There's no BS for the writers. If Yeffeth thinks your book can make money, he will look at it. If not, he'll pass. He's also got an astonishingly talented editing staff, the best I've ever seen. I would not care to compete against them in a typo & grammar glitch-spotting contest. Ever see the Monk episode where he found all those typos in a magazine? It's like that.

    Best of all, the company issues royalty statements that one can actually understand. I've dealt with many publishers and this is the only one who shows in plain numbers how many books were printed, how many have sold, and the royalty rate.

    I'll repeat again--they're *picky*. Any small press has higher overheads than a large house, meaning less money to commit to a project; so they're not inclined to deal for a book that's "almost there" or is not something they usually sell.
    Last edited by Gillhoughly; 08-26-2013 at 06:49 PM.

  15. #15
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    It's a good press, with high standards.

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  16. #16
    I got it covered Undercover's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, you too Gill. Right now my main concern is that they are only looking for non-fiction and my book is fiction. They have this Smart Pop YA thing with essay writing and all that, I really don't know for sure if they take YA or not. I did notice a couple books with teen MCs, so I really don't know. And I don't know if my book is pop culture material. It's very modern with supernatural/paranormal whatever you call it kind of elements to it. I try to stretch my category as far as it can go. The only thing it doesn't fit into (as some publishers said) is there isn't enough romance in it.

    I gave it a shot so we'll see.

  17. #17
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    The Smart Pop books are non-fiction essay collections with themes on pop culture things ranging from Buffy to Farscape to Stargate to The Matrix and on and on.

    Inclusion is usually by invitation only and if the work is not up to snuff, even by an established writer, it can get rejected.

    Sometimes they bring in an outside editor, other times Mr. Yeffeth sends out the invites to authors he knows.

    I would suggest, since your work is YA fiction and you're not finding readily identifiable books in that genre there, that you give this one a pass and move on to another prospect. Publishers are specific about what they want, and while Benbella is a reputable choice, they might not be right for your book.

    Otherwise, if you have the time to wait for a reply, submit and see what they say. You might get feedback that can help. You might make a sale, but don't expect it. I submitted a hell of a good proposal once (in person) and had it gently rejected. OTOH, I tossed out an idea at a convention panel talk and got it accepted in a handshake deal right then and there.


    Check your own shelves for YA like yours: who published those books? Those will be publishers to check.

    Check the websites of the YA authors you love: who are their agents? Most authors are cool about sharing the name of their agent.

    FWIW, the Knight Agency is interested in YA. You might also try Jennifer Jackson who is with Donald Maass Literary Agency.

    There are threads on agencies here on AW, so you can easily check if they're legit or not.

    Good luck!!!
    Last edited by Gillhoughly; 08-26-2013 at 10:54 PM.

  18. #18
    I got it covered Undercover's Avatar
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    Gill, thanks for the advice, but I've been around the block a few times with this one particular novel. I've tried just about every YA publisher, that I could think of (and that I could submit to on my own). I first started out to agents and was getting a lot of requests, (7 R&Rs in total and none of them worked out.) So I'm not new to this submitting thing. It's got good commercial appeal, but evidently not appealing enough.

    Like I said, I did it, if they reject me, oh well, won't be the first time, nor will it be the last either. I do appreciate your input though, thanks again.

  19. #19
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    It may be time to get some serious feedback, then. Publishers are in love with YA these days, so there may be a tweak needed to make yours more commercially appealing.

    I went on the rejection train ride 25 times (with 26 rewrites, submitting to the wrong publishers and wrong agents) before my first novel sold off the slush pile back in the day. I didn't know what to tweak until some brave souls read it and gave me the feedback I needed.

    I had to be clear: "Don't tell me that you like it, tell me what's wrong with the danged thing!"

    If not here on AW with Share Your Work or with a volunteer beta reader, then perhaps at Wattpad? That place is sort of YA Central!

    We now return to our regularly schedule topic: BenBella's books.

  20. #20
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Adding link for Smart Pop: http://www.smartpopbooks.com/
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