Welcome to Bona Fide Books!
bona fide (from Webster’s): made in good faith without fraud or deceit; made with earnest intent; sincere; authentic
Bona Fide Books is a small press on a mountaintop publishing meaningful literature in a variety of formats. We aim to promote bold, unsung writers and connect them with their readers. Bona Fide specializes in community-driven nonfiction, that is, collections about specific areas and its people. We also enjoy wild, inquisitive fiction.
Does the world need another small press? In our opinion, the more of us there are doing good work in the service of literature, the better. In addition to an ether-based community, we also have a bona fide bricks and mortar office, the Center for Wayward Writers. If you find yourself in South Lake Tahoe, drop in to check out the latest lit journal, talk about your query letter, and have a cup of tea or something stronger.
Bona Fide Books also offers editorial services, and is home to Tahoe Letterpress, a working print shop with 10 presses.
Inspired by artist and friend Melissa Lanitis Gregory -- see Our Story below -- we try each day to be brave and unapologetic about the significance of literature and community. If you'd like to keep up with what we're doing, please sign up for our newsletter, or, better yet, come to a workshop or event!
Kim Wyatt, Publisher & Editor
Bona Fide's Story
On February 24, 2009, friend and artist Melissa Lanitis Gregory died; she was only 47. Kim had talked to her earlier that day, and she was going down to Reno for a blood transfusion. Melissa and Kim had spent the past few months talking about art v. commerce – Kim was writing lightweight articles and editing books she felt little connection to. She felt that the state of publishing was a mess; talented writers were being overlooked for celebrity advances. Mel was avoiding making jewelry she could sell; instead she was drawn to creating giant papier-mâché hearts. One black January night, after an inspiring visit with Truckee artist Carole Sesko, they drove home along the west shore of Lake Tahoe. It was one of those fantastical moonlit nights—granite peaks and snow aglow, the lake shimmering a thousand feet below—and it seemed impossibly beautiful. Right then and there, in Mel’s car, they made a pinkie pact that 2009 was the year they would be brave and unapologetic about their true work: creating and supporting meaningful art and literature. And then Melissa was gone. A week after she died, Kim decided to start a small press, and work in the service of art and community.