Balcony 7 is a relatively new small publisher—its doors opened in 2012—that offers an intriguing mix of titles. Recently, the company’s publisher, Randy L. Morkved, answered some questions via email about how the business got started and what they have to offer.
Can you tell our readers about Balcony 7, and how the company got started?
Balcony 7 is a boutique publisher following the traditional model, started by myself and Jasmine Bingham (above l.), our editor-in-chief, in 2012. We’re corporate veterans who have always dreamed of utilizing our creative talents as publishing entrepreneurs. My extensive background in sales and marketing, publishing, and building relationships that turn companies around complemented Bingham’s business and writing expertise as a Wall Street securities analyst and financial writer.
The seed that formed Balcony 7 was a children’s book series, “Salty Splashes,” conceived and developed in-house. It helped build our foundation, which is our distribution and industry presence. During the development of these cartoons, we also tackled the creation of titles in digital and audio format, adding to our expertise. In 2014, the company moved on to phase two of its growth, curating work by debut authors as well as unusual fiction and nonfiction in order to enhance a library of diverse content.
Balcony 7 is a hands-on publisher. We are involved with each work from its beginning concept phase. Every title is thoroughly edited, and we invest great attention to each title’s unique branding and marketing. Our vision is to grow organically and become an influential, inspirational contributor to the industry.
You’ve mentioned that you prefer to concentrate on nonfiction, though will publish great fiction if it comes your way. What’s the reason for that decision?
Nonfiction has a value-added shelf life. Publishing is highly competitive, with a monumental volume of annual fiction releases. The choices will always be plentiful for readers looking for a quick escape. Especially in today’s complicated, difficult world, we believe nonfiction with a creative edge and a distinct angle has timeless value that answers questions and improves lives.
Our law and medical/health titles do just that, carving out the beginnings of a reference imprint. However, most of our novels are also built on nonfiction elements: historical fiction titles educate and entertain. Our “Silicon Valley” novels do the same, expanding on real-life perils and truths with eloquent suspense and drama.
Overall, Balcony 7 isn’t boxed into one particular genre. We curate originality and quality—innovatively shaping concepts for a strong readership. When a potential gem is found, we publish it.
Tell our readers about some of your upcoming books that will be exciting for libraries.
Books that fill a temporary reference need are perfect for the library market. Unlike any other law manual, Tyler G. Draa and others’ Mastering the Mechanics of Jury Trials [see all titles at balcony7.com/catalog] offers practice for both attorneys and anyone facing trial. Mindy Elwell’s cancer memoir Defy and Conquer is invaluable for patients and families, as will be a book on prostate cancer. Upcoming historical fiction is hefty and addictive, ideal for circulating collections, as are our children’s books, which are great for story time and learning to read with illustrations and rhymes. A forthcoming series of novellas will also be conducive to library lending, providing excerpts from literary greats against modern-day storytelling. All are available as ebooks.
Are your authors available for library appearances?
Our authors—a mix of teachers, academics, litigators, communications specialists, and professional speakers—are passionate about their titles and look forward to interaction with librarians and readers, particularly through live events. They would eagerly take part in a Skype library visit. Librarians can email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form on www.balcony7.com to schedule a Skype or in-person event.