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Category Archives: World of Books

Philosophy of Advances

We pay advances, generally $5000 to $10,000, but occasionally much higher, with the highest we’ve ever paid being $100,000. When the advance exceeds $10,000, there is always some aspect of the deal that reduces or eliminates the risk of the higher advance (i.e. a guaranteed buy).

We often do deals with no advance, …

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Why We Publish (addendum)

I referred in my last post to the many people who have already been helped by The Cure for Alcoholism. An interview with one of them is available here. 

Why We Publish

I started BenBella because I wanted to change my life. I wanted to move from the fast-paced but intangible role of running consulting firms to the slower but more concrete world of books and writing, a world I’ve always loved.

I had no illusions that the world needed another publisher (the world probably needs fewer). …

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Five Slightly Contrarian Book Marketing Ideas

So much excellent material is available on book marketing, and so, rather than rehashing that, I’d like to throw out a few ideas that I think are important but I don’t hear emphasized as much as they should be.

1) Books can be successfully marketed over time

It seems to me that much of the industry is very focused on what I call the “big bang” model of book marketing, …

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Publishing and The Black Swan

The Black Swan, by Nassim Taleb, is the best book on statistics I ever read. OK, that may sound like faint praise. But the book is one of the best books I’ve read in years. Brilliant, eccentric, and prescient, this book speaks to me in particular because of my stint in the PhD program in finance at the University of Chicago. …

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Rethinking the Universe

Nothing has the capacity to make me feel stupid like reading about cosmology, something I, enthusiastically but masochistically, persist in. From the time I was a small child, I’ve been reading about the nature of the universe, the big bang, trying to get my mind around it all without remotely having the mathematical background to really understand it. …

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