FAQs for Writers and Agents

What’s with the name “Bondfire”? 

Books create bonds. Reading is a wonderful private experience, but it can also be a powerful shared experience. People fall in love over books, learn together over books, disagree, agree, become inspired to start something, stop something, do something that they wouldn’t have done together otherwise. Lasting connections are fostered by the bonds that books create.

Plus, we’re a Colorado company. Some of our best times are spent in the mountains around campfires with good friends, talking about ideas that matter. Those fires create bonds, too.

We wanted a neologism that would capture all this. Thus: Bondfire.

Why should I publish with Bondfire? 

Because Bondfire is a great place to write. One of our core missions is to make Bondfire attractive to authors and agents. We’re absolute geeks about epublishing, and we’re bullish on the new and developing possibilities for writers in this space. We’re writer-focused. We enjoy helping to bring writing ideas to completion, from brainstorming the concept to substantive editing to creative cover design to developing smart marketing and promotion strategies. We enjoy partnering with writers and helping them focus their voice and find their audience. We believe that we’re in this together, and we don’t win unless our writers win.

Our business practices reflect these commitments. Bondfire wants to pay writers well—contracts are built on a partnership model, with a 50/50 split of net proceeds and a five-year renewable term rather than a standard life-of-copyright deal.

Indeed, Bondfire was inspired in part by this article at the Author’s Guild that explains “ebook royalty math” and how the traditional publishing houses’ ebook rates are are set up strongly in their favor. We want the math of publishing to work out in favor of every Bondfire author.

Ebooks are fine for people who like to read on devices. But what’s so special about ebooks for writers?  

Ebooks can be far more than simply digital versions of regular books. We’ll be publishing lots of those, but we’re also specializing in projects that are made possible by the new opportunities that ebooks present. Writers are accustomed to thinking of ideas that can be expressed as 60-100,000-word books on the one hand, or 800-word essays on the other. (And, yes, 140-character tweets and blog posts of varying lengths.) Ebooks can be any or all of those things, but they can also be anything in between.

With ebooks, ideas exist at their natural length. Got a 10,000-word account of a fascinating trend in your hometown? That’s too long for most magazines and too short for a book, but it might be a great ebook. A 15,000-word short story? Same. An 8,000-word manifesto? Let’s talk.

Ebooks also offer writers a chance to stay in front of their readers. Maybe you need to whet appetites for your forthcoming novel or long book. Maybe your next book comes out a year from now, and you don’t want to be silent all the while. Maybe you need to try out a new, bold idea you’re not sure your audience will embrace—and that you’re not willing to commit a year of your life to writing. Maybe you need to be quick to market with a pressing story or message. All of that is possible with ebooks.

Can’t I self-publish ebooks pretty easily? 

Yes. We think Bondfire is a better option for a few reasons:

  • You need an editor. You need an editor who will help shape your idea, do a deep edit of your first draft, examine each line of your work, and challenge you to become a better writer.
  • You need a product manager. Ebook formatting, coding, and publishing is not rocket science, but it’s not grade school math, either. The learning curve can be steep, and many self-pub authors end up paying third parties to create their .epub and .mobi files. We stay up to date on all the latest technology, the unique properties and requirements of the various distribution platforms and reading devices, and the full range of features that are possible to employ within ebooks.
  • You need a sales partner. Well over 1 million books are published in the U.S. alone each year, and the majority of those are self-published or reprints. That’s a lot of noise, and it’s getting harder and harder for any single voice to be heard. So let us help. Sure, you can go it alone and try to Tweet your way to publishing success. Or, you can draw on the experiences and expertise of a team of publishing professionals who will help develop targeted approaches for the marketing of every title.

What makes a good Bondfire book? 

If it’s irresistibly interesting—no matter the genre, length, or subject matter—it might be a good Bondfire book. Our editorial standards are high, but we’re bullish on epublishing because this space allows for so many different types of books. We’re publishing short fiction, novels, journalism, inspiration, personal essays, serialized novels, out-of-print titles that need a second life, timely stories that need to hit the market now, anthologies, enhanced multi-media books, and much more.

Most importantly, drop us a line and let us know what you think. If you have a terrific idea for an ebook, we want to know about it.

How do I submit a book idea? How will my submission be reviewed?

To begin, simply click the Submissions button you see at the top of this website. Or, let us save you the trouble of moving your mouse way up there.

We have a submissions team that reviews everything, and they vet carefully for quality and relevance. Truth be told, few authors take the time to create a polished, well written cover letter, so our reviewers dismiss most submissions at that point. If it’s a great cover letter, we’ll read the first paragraph of the longer work. If that captures our attention, we’ll read the first page, then the second, and so on. We love authors who give us a reason not to stop reading. We’re always looking for a needle in the submissions haystack—a truly gripping read.

Where are Bondfire books available? 

We’ll distribute your book to every major online retailer, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, Apple, and more. As new distribution platforms emerge, we’ll be there.

It’s one thing to publish. It’s another thing to sell. How do you promote and market books?

We’re developing promotional platforms for both Bondfire and our authors. Again, we’re partners in this process, and we’ll help devise a fine-tuned strategy that utilizes all of your connections—and all of ours. We’ll listen and learn and develop a plan that we can execute together.

We’re tapping some of the best talent in the industry to create unique ebook promotional campaigns. Additionally, all Bondfire books are created in association with Vook, a pioneering ebook production and distribution company. Vook is especially skilled at optimizing metadata, which helps ensure that books are discovered via search engines. Both Vook and Bondfire have longstanding relationships within the publishing industry and news media, and we’ll work to make sure our titles are on everyone’s radar.

The long and short: we won’t enter into a new project until we’re sure that we can find an audience for the book. We’ll determine with our authors the details of marketing and promotion—which are different for every author and every title—as we launch the process for each new title.

Bondfire was founded by Rick Christian, a literary agent who owns Alive Communications. Why start a publishing company?

Bondfire exists because we believe epublishing presents a terrific and exciting set of opportunities for writers, and we wanted to help realize those opportunities. Bondfire is publishing all sorts of authors and working with all sorts of literary agents. We’re here because we believe we can serve writers and readers—and because we believe the world has no shortage of good stories to tell.