Our collective efforts are rooted in the support of our authors and collaborators, and we operate on the basis of open and honest communication. The authors we select to publish share personal accounts of their lives and offer therapeutic perspectives on learning and healing. Their projects are always derived from human experience and often address social issues in contemporary society. We are not a medium-specific publisher; instead, we support authors from a diverse range of approaches, backgrounds, and training.

We deeply value art’s ability to transgress boundaries and grant us access to vulnerable human experience. This is why intimate beauty and painstaking craftsmanship are so important to our design process, and why most of the books we publish are at least partially hand-crafted. Artist books (and books in general) are great vehicles for sharing complicated emotional ideas and personal experiences that may be very different from those of their readers. Despite ethical, moral, political, and cultural differences, each reader is holding these objects with some thoughtfulness—which is where beauty, care, and expression in the design become very important tools.


This business is an evolving experiment. We are attempting to develop a publishing model that ethically supports its authors, staff, collaborators, and partners within a hyper-capitalist society. We work from the stance that capitalism itself is unsustainable—that it will forever encourage a prioritization of money and profit over the wellness of any person, and will do so with great inequity on the bases of race, class, gender, ability, or any mode in which a group of people can be othered. Candor Arts is an attempt to build a financial and social support system that works toward reversing that disproportion. We publish the work of people who are not only underrepresented but often unsupported, and as a grassroots project, we are able to operate and spend money in accordance with these values without needing to ask permission from a board or investors. Because accumulating wealth is not the priority of our business, we are able to offer immediate support to our authors and staff. We do not claim to possess a flawless solution for the inequities of publishing in America, nor do we know if it is actually possible, but we will always strive to meet the needs of artists and adjust our structure and processes accordingly. We are still learning.


We fund at least 50% of the production of every published project. Our company’s efforts outside of publishing help us maintain the ability to provide additional up-front funding for published projects.

We have fully covered all up-front costs for the majority of the projects listed on our website: the artists pay nothing at any point and still receive 50% per sale profit payments when the project reaches a break-even point. To date, we have yet to deny any artist complete financial support, and nearly every project has resulted in payouts for the artists.

At any point in our publishing process, we will attempt to support each artist financially as much as we are capable—however, it is not possible for us to permanently guarantee this ability, which is why we require written requests for additional support at the time of each project’s beginning.


Candor Arts holds an annual review with a committee comprised of trusted community partners, collaborators, and staff members.


  • There is no cost to submit a proposal.

  • There is no limit to how many times you can apply.

  • Committee Review Meetings are scheduled annually to review all applications within that year.

  • Accepted proposals are notified on February 1st of each year.

  • Our annual deadline is the third Thursday in January (with rolling submissions throughout the year).

  • All proposals must be related to or derived from first-hand, lived experiences of the artist.

  • Proposals representing identities, cultures, and/or communities with which the artist is not directly affiliated will not be considered.

  • All project designs are led by Candor Arts in conversation with the artist.

  • All accepted proposals will receive financial support (50% of production budget paid by Candor Arts).

  • If the artist cannot pay for their half of responsible costs in production, they can submit an additional request for financial support.

  • For each artist, an edition of books (maximum run of 200 per printing) will be created.

  • Only individuals can apply (no institutions/organizations are eligible for financial support, however group/collective-voice projects are encouraged to apply.)

  • If you are representing an organization and want to work together, please send us a message regarding a potential partnership.

  • We strongly encourage all applicants to spend thorough time with our catalog and learning about Candor Arts before applying.

Standard information for all projects published with candor arts:

  • The responsibility of book production costs / payout of book profits are equally shared between the artist and publisher.

    • The responsibility of production costs is shared equally between parties: 50% artist + 50% publisher.

    • The revenue from the sale of books is shared equally between parties. 50% artist + 50% publisher.

    • If Candor Arts is able to cover more than 50% up-front, the artist will be paid their 50% share once production costs are recouped in sales.

  • Every project involves a Design + Project Deposit Fee paid to Candor Arts by the artist.

    • This is the only financial aspect of Candor Arts publishing that is not a shared responsibility, but rather the sole responsibility of the artist.

    • This fee covers: design concepts and presentations, layout and formatting, pre-press labor, file preparation, design samples, production resources, mock-ups, proofs, and coordination and preparation of various vendors (paper, print, folding, binding, specialty finishing) to make the book physically possible.

    • If you are applying for publication but cannot cover this cost, please indicate this in your application and include an additional request for financial support.

  • At all times throughout and after the publication process, the artist always retains the rights to their work.

  • Candor Arts will never ask any artist to censor or embargo their work for any reason.

  • If an artist violates the terms in the Publishing Contract or Code of Conduct Handbook, their project is subject to immediate cancellation.

  • The Candor Arts team leads every book’s design process in close conversation with the artist.

    • This responsibility includes preparing the printable file and presenting design options to the artist.

    • The artist does not assume the role of book designer in books published with Candor Arts.

    • We do not accept projects that have already been designed. If you’ve designed a book and want us to produce it, you can submit it for a commission.

    • The artist supplies and decides all content to be included in their book.

    • The artist provides their content by a set Content Delivery date. If this date is not met, the project gets pushed back accordingly.

    • Candor Arts will never rush an artist to meet a content delivery deadline at any moment throughout this process.

  • All published artists will need to follow these ten steps of Candor Arts’ publishing process:

    • 1. Notification of acceptance and artist confirmation of approved submission proposal.

    • 2. Meeting to review and discuss the Publishing Contract and Code of Conduct Handbook.

    • 3. Review and sign Edition Offer Letter (detailing the physical scope of what has been approved to be published).

    • 4. Design & Project Deposit Fee due at signing of Publishing Contract.

    • 5. Content Delivery.

    • 6. Design Development Phase.

    • 7. Approval of Design / Production Budget created / First 50% production costs due / Sales Contract signed.

    • 8. Artist goes on press or provides On-Press Waiver of Rights.

    • 9. Production Completion / Second 50% production costs due.

    • 10. Book Release & signing event(s). 50% of sales issued to each party quarterly.