Q&A: Randy L. Morkved

Jasmine.jpg12715morkved.jpg12715Balcony 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.

masteringmechanics.jpg12715defyandconquer.jpg12715The 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 randy@balcony7.com or use the contact form on www.balcony7.com to schedule a Skype or in-person event.—Henrietta Verma

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Henrietta Verma About Henrietta Verma

Henrietta Verma is Senior Editorial Communications Specialist at NISO, the National Information Standards Organization, Baltimore, and was formerly the reviews editor at Library Journal.

Comments

  1. Ann Bridges says:

    It’s an honor to work alongside Randy and Jasmine as they apply their entrepreneurial spirits to the world of publishing, and bring forth a new vision, new tools, new techniques, and new voices into the mix of 21st century curated content. Today’s diverse population of Californians have a can-do mindset and fresh perspectives on many of today’s topics. By being small and nimble, Balcony 7 is able to slash publishing lead times without compromising relationships. This has enabled me to deliver topical, intelligent stories to today’s readers seeking educational value for their investment of precious time and money.

  2. In the interview we fail to mention that our books are available in print, ebooks, audiobooks and audio ebooks for the Salty Splashes Cartoon series, available thru IPS, Baker & Taylor (IPS), Mackin and Overdrive as well as Follett and many others. Our authors are very excited about Skype interviews with libraries, please email or call me for arrangements. Thanks everyone!

  3. Maureen Harrington says:

    Randy and Jasmine are more than hands on, they are true partners with their authors in helping craft a final product that will be as informative and reader friendly as possible. Their creativity and commitment to their business is an example for other entrepreneurs who dream of striking out on their own.

  4. Demetrius Minor says:

    Jasmine and Randy are first-class professionals who went over and beyond their duties to assist me in my authorial debut. My book was only possible because of their belief in me and their willingness to devote time and energy to the product.

    I’m forever grateful for their help. They will be a blessing to whosoever needs their services.

  5. Cy Stein says:

    It’s been my pleasure to work with Randy and Jasmine for the past half year. Though I’m a debut author, they’ve consistently gone above and beyond to ensure that we put out the best possible product that reaches the widest readership. They bring a rare commitment, a deep sense of honesty, and a high standard to the publishing business. I am looking forward to our success in the very near future with The Medicus Codex and with other titles (historical fiction and health) as well.

  6. Josh Russell says:

    As a first-time author, I had no idea what to expect. I had a concept and an initial manuscript for my children’s book, Little Boy Soup, but no real sense for what happens next. Randy and Jasmine have strategically and carefully guided me through the process. They continue to find the balance of instilling confidence in me while also making decisions in the best interest of the book. They have been tremendous partners and I am convinced that this partnership will be successful.

  7. John Wilder says:

    Dear Ms. Verna,
    Just read your interview with Randy Morkved. As one of Balcony 7’s debut authors, I’d like to thank you for profiling this exciting new company. What initially impressed me about the venture was the expressed commitment to publishing works of fiction and non-fiction that bring positive human values to readers. What has been impressive since is seeing that commitment come to fruition. The talents and themes presented with an eye toward quality and taste in different genres are deserving of library collections across the country. As one who owes much to our libraries, I’d like you to know that having my first novel, Nobody Dies in Hollywood, bear the Balcony 7 hallmark is a badge of honor.

  8. Dear Ms. Verma,

    This is a great introduction to Balcony 7 Media and Publishing. As an author who has partnered with Randy and Jasmine, I can substantiate their commitment to the Authors by strengthening relationships predicated on humility, selflessness, and mutual investment in seeing all Authors find success. I have worked with Jasmine Bingham for more than a year. She is an exceptional editor who balances editorial genius with preserving the spirit of the original content created. Randy is a visionary leader who is consistently pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Balcony 7 is an organically grown publishing house that distinguishes themselves from competitors by leading with ethics, passion, and a desire to produce quality content that doesn’t get lost in the white noise of publishing.

    Their personalized touch is what has made this experience so memorable for me as a new author. I have found confidence in the support shown to me by both Randy and Jasmine. I relish the relationship with Balcony 7. In addition, it is my privilege to recommend Balcony 7 to other aspiring and established authors. The synergistic relationship between Jasmine, Randy and the diverse authors is creating a pathway for stimulating inspiring value-added content that will engage readers across all demographics.

    Thank you for taking time to share this article that spotlights Balcony 7 and the creative genius behind this firm. I can assure you that there are more great things to come from Balcony 7. So I hope that you will continue to keep a place in your publication for this publishing house as it creates a positive ripple effect in the world of publishing. I will close by saying, that has an avid reader with a personal library of over 500 books, Balcony 7 is a company that I would gladly purchase books from this firm because the content earns it place on my own library shelf.

    Kind Regards,
    Robert Anthony Olszak
    Balcony 7 Author

  9. Shelly Smith Hornback says:

    As a volunteer assistant to Mindy Elwell as she wrote and published her cancer memoir, Defy and Conquer, I had the privilege of working closely with the caring professionals at Balcony 7. Randy Morkved and Jasmine Bingham were thoroughly positive, helpful, and attentive throughout the entire process. The expertise and strong moral compass behind this budding firm are paving the way for quality authors to share their valuable stories.

  10. Mindy says:

    as a new author, I was honored that Jasmine was interested in my writing and willing to give me a chance Jasmine and Randy were constantly working on my behalf and they were in communication with me as the project moved along. They were professional, knowledgeable, and honest I would recommend Balcony 7 without hesitation to any author who is looking for a creative ,young
    Company
    Honest