Black Balloon books are risky but not gimmicky, whimsical but never light, intelligent but not precious. We cater to writers who kick convention curbside, who provoke without sentiment, who make the despicable somehow appealing. We cross platforms and genres—epic memoirs, stripped of psychology, then fictionalized. Recipes expressed as ballads and packaged in collaborative food-music-lit extravaganza. Cities profiled with bizarre personalities. We’re partial to anachronistic characters—hermit architects, pill-popping priests, lacquered dandies with night terrors. We crave simplicity and elegance and have no idea what that means. We take delight very seriously. We are not offended by the hokey, necessarily. We enjoy a nice slap in the face with our breakfast tea.
Tell us your story. What happens after the trauma, after the destructive behavior passes (the binge drinking, facial piercings, stoned kayaking, primal-scream-nude-colony stint), after the recovery program fails (juice fasts, coffee enemas, rebirthing sessions, mescaline indigestion, subway confessions)—now what? Do you play the funeral flute and call it a day? What’s your devastating conclusion?
We like Book as object—the smell of pulp, the sound of pages turning, the heft of a binding in hand—and the electronic thing, back-lit and scrollable. But why stop there? Let's animate it, add some clickable pet scans and stop-motion video. Visualizations are insights, right-brain entries into left-brain text. Think sexual urgency maps. Topographical models of contagious diseases.
Flow charts of self-flagellating monastics. A bolt of electricity through an energy grid. The path of a cheeseburger through a digestive tract. The teachable moments are endless, and all lead back to text.
We’re a small house (two books a year) by design. We only take on what we love, and it’s a deep-seated, hippocampus love—it sticks. We offer a package the big houses couldn’t consider: a personal publicist, targeted marketing plan, promotional trailers and videos, interactive e-books, collage-like apps, and one helluva dedicated editor. Your questions will be answered, your concerns, addressed. Your book will not be dropped, remaindered, or ignored. It will be revered.
We call ourselves artists then remember we hate people who call themselves artists. We interrupt. Over-apologize. We talk so fast no one knows what we're saying. We eat only black and white jelly-beans and toss the vile fruits in the can. We're pretty sure that a bump behind our ear is a tumor, or that a bug has crawled in there and laid eggs. We’d like to think we’ve grown up since the time we inhaled so much balloon helium we ended up in the hospital—all for the love of JJ Lapidas with the killer dimples—but we’re pretty sure we’re still exactly the same person. Self-seriousness gives us ulcerative colitis. Umbrellas left for dead in puddles make us very sad. We believe in: good manners, vintage whiskey, and human names for dogs.