Robb Pearlman is the Editor-in-Chief of Smart Pop. Over his publishing career, Robb has conceived of and acquired internationally bestselling works based on licensed properties including Star Trek, Bob’s Burgers, Bob Ross, The Princess Bride, and more. He is a New York Times bestselling author, having written over 35 books for adults and kids. As a pop culturalist, Robb is a guest speaker at conventions and events, and is a featured pop culture expert online, on air, on podcasts, and in print.
Meet the Team
Heather Butterfield is the Marketing Director of Smart Pop and oversees all of the imprint’s big-picture and title marketing. She’s one of the voices behind the Smart Pop blog, newsletter, and social media accounts (hi!), and some of her fandoms include Harry Potter, Animal Crossing, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The X-Files, and Seinfeld. She lives in Los Angeles with many plants and cats.
Proposal Submission Guidelines
What We Like to See
An intriguing take on pop culture. Our perfect book proposal is one that surprises us, makes us think and laugh, and offers a new perspective on a pop culture topic. A proposal should be more than just an idea. It should contain substantive information on your vision for the book, including the overall concept, reasons why this book is unique or different from others on the same topic that have already been published, and, if possible, a table of contents and sample chapter.
A targeted subject with passionate fans. We are excited by books that appeal to an active, engaged niche audience–like fans of a particular show, movie, or game. Be sure to clearly identify who you think the readership is, and where you think the book could be sold.
Inclusivity. Pop culture is a common language spoken by countless people around the world. We encourage authors from diverse, underrepresented, or marginalized communities to join us in sharing our passion for pop culture with everyone.
Authority. An author who brings special knowledge, training, experience, and/or relationships is preferred. This might mean anything from a background in something like history or cookbooks or psychology, to special experience or relationship with the subject of your proposal, to a great platform in a particular fandom. So don’t be shy—show and tell us why you’re the right person to write the book! In the case of specific properties or personalities, those that are fully authorized, rather than unofficial or otherwise unsanctioned, are favored over those requiring third-party permissions or approvals.
Writing that’s smart and pops. Our goal is to publish books that best represent our authors’ intent and perspective. We are not looking for academic, formal, or stodgy treatments. We encourage an accessible, clear, and unique voice, and, when necessary, a sense of humor that makes us—and readers—LOL.
Work With Us!
As an imprint of independent publisher BenBella Books, we share its core mission and values: we believe that publishing is a partnership, and that the most important part of publishing is passion. (Learn more about BenBella Books.)
Though we have a lot of fun, we take pop culture very seriously, and believe Smart Pop titles deserve the same quality of editorial support, packaging, and design as any book that readers would be asked to spend their hard-earned money on. We put a strong emphasis on marketing, and have successfully built a sterling reputation with pop culture fans who recognize Smart Pop as a publisher that understands, respects, and values them as customers and brand ambassadors.
We have top-notch distribution through Penguin Random House Publisher Services. Penguin Random House works closely with independent publishers to provide unparalleled access to information, new technologies, a leading supply chain, and the benefits and reach of the Penguin Random House sales force.
To Submit Your Proposal
Send your proposal or query via email to Smart Pop Editor-in-Chief Robb Pearlman via our contact form. We promise to not only look at each and every submission, but to give them the time and attention they deserve. Please allow at least two weeks to get back to you. We look forward to hearing from you.