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A bard is a poet, a storyteller, an oral chronicler, a shaper of the language, with or without a lute, by a fire, free under sun, against tyranny—a writer whose voice is the sound of a moment, a decade, a century, a millennium, or, hey, for all of time. 



To find voices that summon a hearing, from wherever they come. To publish books that are urgent.

To offer possibility to those who come, free of industry clutter and big iron gates.


We are literary folk, doing the labors. We love the aura of paper, the aroma of ink. We hail the mythos of linotype, the sanctity of authorship. We cheer the power of authenticity. We seek euphoria, a new voice telling a new tale.

To put it another way, we are the people who have been bringing you LitMag, a beautiful print literary magazine founded on the principle of finding gems in the slush pile, being open to all, from debut to emerging, un-agented to award-winning. Same spirit. Except that a book is a book.


What are we looking for? Writing we feel compelled to publish.

Fiction: literary novels, short story collections, novellas, chapbooks.

Poetry: collections, chapbooks.

Nonfiction: essay collections, whether literary, cultural, or personal; criticism, memoir, cultural history, or the mélange mix.


Here’s the good thing about what. We will not know what we will publish until it grabs us. We expect that is why you are here.


What do we mean by literary?

Are there only thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird? There may be more ways of defining literary. Look at it this way: we like plot, which is to say story, and we lust after writing in which every sentence is an event.

You say you consider criticism. Does that mean I can send you a book of essays on Jane Austen or Shakespeare?

Sure. But write beautifully for the general reader. And break some ground.

Why are you charging a submission fee?

If we did not charge a submission fee, as almost literary magazines do, we would get so many submissions in the first week we would have to be closed to submissions for the rest of the year like so many other venues (we’re not naming names) or be closed forever to un-agented submissions (you can name your favorite name). Fees keep us open and running.

Note: We do NOT charge any other fees, such as development fees or editing fees. That is not us. We charge only a submission fee, and we charge a submission fee only  because we aim to keep submissions open. We do not require agents, but we need to have some kind of gate in order to function. The submission fee is our only gate, by design, to be sure that submissions are purposeful for all, not just a click.

Do you have general advice?

Love and honor your craft. Also: write, write, write.

How are you, an indie publisher, different from the big five publishing houses and their many imprints?


First, they are very big, and we are very small—one of life’s great divides, which brings some advantages. The big five publishing houses are a tough gate to enter, and merit is not always the measure in the “market.” We cannot fix the system, but we can do our part.

How are you different from other indie publishers?

We think it is fair to say that all independent presses are performing labors of love, but many are closed to submissions much of the year, and some are open only to literary agents. We are dedicated to staying open to submissions from writers with dreams who are not yet on the radar. We are dedicated to keeping our eyes open.


Are you hiring? Are you looking for interns?


Not at the moment. But if we are, we’ll post the opportunity on our website.

Are you open to answering more questions?

Absolutely. If you think you have a question that should be in our FAQs, email us at, or use our contact page.

We received some questions we think it helpful to answer here:

1/ Will the books Bard Books publishes be physical books, e-books, or both?  Answer: Both. Each book with be a physical book and an e-book. 2/ If there will be physical books, will they be print-on-demand or print runs? Answer: Print runs. 3/ Will you be managing the book manufacture, or is there an outside firm handling it? Answer: Bard Books will be handling the production of all books (and making them beautiful). 4/ How will the books be distributed? Answer: Bard Books is delighted to be working with Asterism, a terrific distributor serving the world of indie publishing and getting books into the bookstores we love.

(Please note: we will not likely have time to respond unless we decide to include your question, which may be a question that has been frequently asked by others as well.)

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