Book Submission Guidelines
We’re actively looking for smart, quirky, engaging non-fiction titles on television, books, and film. We’re open to both anthologies and single author titles, official and unofficial.
What We Like To See
An intriguing idea. Our perfect book idea is one that makes us want to know more. It surprises us, makes us laugh, makes us think–maybe all three.
A targeted subject with passionate fans. We tend to be more excited about books that appeal to an active, engaged niche audience–like fans of a particular show–than books that survey a whole genre.
An author who brings special knowledge, training, experience, and/or relationships to bear. This might mean anything from a background in something like history or cookbooks or psychology, to special experience or relationship with the subject of your proposal, to a great platform in a particular fandom. In the case of an anthology, an editor should not only have experience in the subject, but strong relationships within the proposed contributor field.
Writing that’s smart but accessible. We aren’t looking for academic treatments of pop culture. We discourage jargon, and encourage an informal tone and a sense of humor.
Working With Us
As an imprint of independent publisher BenBella Books, we share its core mission and values: we believe that publishing is a partnership, and that the most important part of publishing is passion. (Learn more about BenBella here.)
We take pop culture seriously: we believe pop culture titles deserve the same quality of editorial support, packaging, and design as other titles. We put a strong emphasis on marketing, as well, and we’ve spent years building our reputation with pop culture fans. They recognize us as a publisher that understands and respects them.
Since 2003 we’ve published more than 50 pop culture titles and worked with New York Times bestsellers and others at the top of their field, including Orson Scott Card, Jennifer Crusie, David Brin, Ellen Hopkins, Ray Kurzweil, Cory Doctorow, Lawrence Block, Dennis Lehane, Jane Espenson, Scott Westerfeld, and many others. We maintain an active community of avid pop culture readers at Smartpopbooks.com, giving your book an immediate leg up in audience awareness. (Read more about us and about our site at our About page.)
We have top-notch distribution through Perseus Distribution. Perseus is the largest independent distributor, a top 20 publisher nationally, and provides strong distribution worldwide.
Send your proposal or query via email to Smart Pop editor-in-chief Leah Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll confirm receipt quickly and get back to you as soon as we can!