Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 16, 2015

Bell Bridge Books – What They Want


BelleBooks, Inc. was founded in 1999 with a focus on Southern fiction and has since broadened its offerings with the addition of a second imprint—Bell Bridge Books—in 2008. In 2013, an acquisition added a third imprint—ImaJinn Books. Currently the company publishes approximately 70-80 original titles per year (print and ebook simultaneously) in a variety of genres, which include: mystery/suspense, fantasy, science fiction, young adult, romance, general fiction, women’s fiction, non-fiction, literary fiction and more.

Bell Bridge Books is known for nurturing emerging fiction voices as well as being the “second home” for many established authors, who continue to publish with major publishing conglomerates.

Our subrights sales for our titles include foreign rights, large print, mass market paperback, audio and film options.

In 2009 BelleBooks Audio began producing audio downloads of selected titles, and in 2011 the audio division began acquiring re-issues of audio projects from major houses, including Golden Girls’ star Rue McClanahan’s narration of Augusta Trobaugh’s beloved southern novel, SOPHIE AND THE RISING SUN.


On the Light Side:

1. Sweet, warm, relatively wholesome women’s fiction including “hen lit.” Books with an inspirational/Christian theme are fine, but we emphasize that we’re not known as a Christian publisher and our main focus is the general fiction market.Example: In July we’re publishing EGRET COVE, by Margaret Nava, about a mature woman from Indiana who finds a new lease on life by moving to a Florida trailer park.

2. Cozy mysteries. This year we’re publishing MURDER TAKES THE CAKE by Gayle Trent and BelleBooks is launching THE MERRY ABBOT MYSTERIES (set in the carriage driving world) by Carolyn McSparren. We’d like to find more great mystery series which explore unique and colorful worlds.

3. Compelling, well-researched Civil War fiction. We publish inspirational/historical author Jacquelyn Cook(MAGNOLIAS, SUNRISE)in our BelleBooks imprint and in July we’re launching BOOTH’S SISTER,by Civil War scholar and storyteller Jane Singer from Bell Bridge Books. Both books are heavily researched novels based on true stories.

4. Young Adult Fiction. We’re still looking for that elusive first title. If you’re a “Southern Louise Rennison,” that would catch our attention. Humor is always a plus. Read Meg Cabot.

On the Dark Side:

1. Dark, gritty, serious urban fantasy & horror. Vampires, werewolves, and other things that go bump in the night on the mean streets of contemporary life.A book we’ve currently bought is an epic series about a clan of vampires. (Right, epic means the series spans centuries. You can never trust guidelines.) Read Laurell K. Hamilton, Robin McKinley (Sunshine), Patricia Briggs, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher, etc.

2. Young Adult fantasy fiction. Yes, we’d love to find the next Harry Potter, but our primary focus for the moment is publishing for the teen market. If you read Holly Black, Stephanie Meyer, Laura Whitcomb (A Certain Slant Of Light), Neil Gaiman, Scott Westerfeld, Robin McKinley etc. you’re probably writing something we’d love to see. We’ve just acquired a contemporary fantasy of magick by Marilee Brothers. Her voice is so compelling she made us want that book after reading only 8 pages in a contest a year ago—that’s all she entered…8 pages. Once we established Bell Bridge Books, we hunted her down. (Folks, voice is important.)

3. Fantasy. We’re happy to look at “swords and horses,” and just about any fantasy you’d like to query, but the writing has to be fabulous. You’ve got to bring something unique to the table. Anne Bishop’s Jewels novels are an example. (Anne Bishop has contributed to BelleBooks’ Mossy Creek series.) Who doesn’t love George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan, Kate Elliott, Robin Hobb, Dave Duncan, Glen Cook, David Drake, Simon R. Green, C.S. Freidman, Lois McMaster Bujold, Anne McCaffery? The list goes on. We’ve left many fabulous authors off that short list, but you get the drift.

Talk tomorrow,


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