At Bard Press, we get lots of questions about the kind of authors we like to work with and the kinds of books we like to publish.
The authors we work with:
- Have a strong point of view—We want to work with authors who are compelled to share their ideas with the world. These authors are writers, consultants, speakers and advocates for the change they want to see in the world. The book, their business, and their idea are aligned.
- Practice entrepreneurship—We are looking for someone who believes their book is an important component of their business. They are prepared to start at zero and scale the reach of their book. They believe the book is more than marketing and that our approach to publishing is a path to building greater professional credibility and more sustainable revenue that will impact their bottom line.
- Have a platform—We always ask authors: “What do you bring?” This is important because we publish books that we believe can sell 100,000 copies or more over their lifetime. We at Bard can amplify the reach of your book, but the ultimate success depends on an author’s unique network of resources they bring and their ability to deploy and leverage them in those first two years after publication.
- Invest in their books—If you have read this far, you know our model is different. We publish one book a year and invest years in working with an author to make each book successful. Our unique commitment requires a six figure investment from the author to the development, production, marketing and publicity of their book.
The Concepts We Like:
- Big Problems—At Bard Press, we publish books where the felt need is deep and the audience is large. We call these “ocean books.” Picking the right problems is the key to publishing successful books.
- Clear Solutions—80% of books aren't bought because the reader can’t figure out what the book is about. Lack of clarity is the book killer. Great books make a promise to the reader. The promise is on the cover. It’s in the opening chapter in black and white—“I will help you fix this.” The whole book pivots around that clear promise of a solution.
- New Approaches—You have to bring a new hook: new research, a clever metaphor, or a mash-up that creates something unexpected. 7 Habits and Oh, The Places You’ll Go cover the same ground in very different ways. There are many ways to be creative with your approach.
- Next Steps—Business books require utility. How can I be a better leader? What can I do to close the next deal? What’s between me and my next raise? The utility shows readers the steps to take to solve their really big problems.
The Books We Build Have:
- A Compelling Package - Of course, we judge books by their cover. And the back cover. The inside jacket copy. The body text font. The line spacing. Endorsements. The use of color. And the price! We build books that leverage all of those elements to create a compelling package that attracts readers, encourages them to “pick it up”, and gives them the confidence to purchase your book.
- Solid Navigation - We create a user interface for each book. The Table of Contents lays the book out in a few pages. The index catalogs the key terms and concepts. Short chapters make it easy for the reader to fit the book into their busy schedule. These all serve to get the reader through the book and get what they need to solve the problem.
- Smooth Prose - Books are made up of words and the way those words are put together is everything. At Bard, we ask our authors to work hard on their writing. We favor clear, clean prose; more Hemingway, less Proust. That kind of writing appears after multiple drafts. Its reward is happy readers.
- +1 - We always try to give the reader one more thing. Think of it like the prize in the Cracker Jack box. It might be a photo of a sumo wrestler slam dunking a basketball. Or a pull-out door hanger to remind officemates that you are focused. It’s one more thing for readers to remember and talk about when they tell others about your book.