Saturday, September 23, 2006

Cloning Myself By Thursday

I have some level of commitment to be in three different places at the same time on Thursday night, as Bouchercon officially kicks off.

Fun fun fun...

Val McDermid is launching a publishing company. The fantastic folk from Crimespree are having a party. And then there's a 'meet the Canucks' thing.

So, I've worked it out. My priority is to cover the publishing company launch, since I'm writing about it for Spinetingler. After that, I'll stop by the Crimespree party.

Not very Canadian of me, I know, but what can I do? How was I to know all three things would coincide?

I have news I'd like to share, as an update to yesterday's post.

Lee Goldberg has given Tico a thumbs up for changing course.

My publisher stated in the comments on the original thread:

Our vision was to start a publishing company that sought out new talent.

There are a lot of authors who have the skill and ability of the John Grisham's and Nora Robert's of the publishing business, but they don't have agents or connections and struggle to find publishers willing to take a chance on them. In fact, John Grisham originally self-published and was selling his books out of the trunk of his car. That's how hard it is for a new writer to get noticed.

We wanted to be different. We wanted to give the new voices of tomorrow a chance.

Our intention was to start a publishing company that could find the new talent and get their books in print. We also wanted to provide assistance to new writers, needing feedback.

We never required authors to pay for publication.

Some of the other services we offered have led to misperceptions about Tico's philosophy, and thrown our reputation into question.

As a result, we've cancelled those other services. Our exclusive focus will be on receiving submissions from aspiring authors and finding the best new voices to put into print.

I have to say, one of the reasons I decided to sign with Tico in the beginning was that when I talked to my publisher, I had confidence in his sincerity. This is a tough business to be in, and people do make mistakes. We tried to start Spinetingler with a subscription, and it didn't work. People ask us now why we don't charge... well, nobody would read it. We hope to be able to sell some advertising spots along the way and eventually raise the amount writers are paid, but for now, we'll just leave things the way they are. That's more important than having an ezine nobody reads.

It is my sincere hope that new writers view Tico with fresh eyes and give them a chance. To be honest, an optional editorial service wasn't such a big deal to me. Why? I paid three times as much money to have five chapters of my manuscript critiqued by an author. Was that stupid? I didn't think so. It didn't guarantee me publication - it didn't guarantee me anything - but it did help me learn as a writer. Around here, people set up 'workshops' and you pay $50 to have a journalist from the newspaper critique your manuscript. I have to ask why. What does a journalist know about getting a book published? It's a different ballpark. They might know something, but I'd rather pay an author or a publisher, thanks, if I'm going to pay anyone. For me, it was the combination with the review option that was the problem. However, both have been canceled by Tico. They're listening.

I never paid for services with Tico, nor did they ever suggest I consider it. I received an assessment of my first book I submitted and found it helpful. I was glad to have them look at the other manuscript as well. My book was edited, the ARCs are out there, promo materials are on their way to meet me in Madison. I don't know what more anyone wants from their publisher, and I can do one better than a lot of new authors.

My publisher considers my input. We communicate, and that's a nice thing. Not everyone even gets asked about cover design, etc, but I've been given a chance to make suggestions for my book, and that's been fantastic.

It's growing pains for a new company that is on the right path. I exchanged a number of emails yesterday with my publisher, and they've made substantial changes to the website already.

And now I can put my energy back into my book, where it belongs, but my thanks to all of you who've been so supportive.

You rock. XO.

So many people have sent me this, although I can thank James for being the first.

Oh, damn. Stuart and his Marauder will have to wait for tomorrow... :)


Andrea Maloney said...

I think this shows they are a great publishing company. They listed to the criticisms and made changes. Way to go!

Andrea Maloney said...

And of course I meant listened. :)

JT Ellison said...

Ditto to that! And kudos to you for standing up and making people realize the truth of the situation. Bravo!
If you figure out the cloning, SEND me the recipe!

Sandra Ruttan said...

LOL Andrea! I knew what you meant!

JT, I'm working on the cloning but (dare I say it?) your president has an issue with it.

He's just so impractical. Not everybody has a whole staff of minions at their beck and call. ;)

Lee Goldberg said...

I would still be very leery of getting involved with someone who

a) became a publisher without first learning the ethical standards of the industry.
b) became a publisher without first learning the acceptable business practices of the industry.
c) endeavored to provide authors with literary representation without having any experience whatsoever as a literary agent.
d) charging for editorial services without having any prior experience in publishing.

This indicates to me that Mr. Tijerino was, at best, extraordinariy naive and uninformed when he started Tico.

Yes, I applaud him for changing his business model, but he still has a long way to go before he will be taken seriously as a publisher.

I, for one, don't see the attraction of having your book "published" POD by someone who has no more -- and perhaps far less -- experience in publishing than you do.


Lee Goldberg said...


The "truth" of the situation was that Tico engaged in practices and conflicts-of-interest that are considered unethical within the publishing industry. To their credit, Tico has agreed to no longer engage in those practices. That's a huge step in the right direction and I think it's great that Mr. Tijerino is doing it. It bodes well for the future of his business.

But you're wrong when you state that Sandra corrected a misconception about Tico's prior conduct....the criticisms leveled against Tico were accurate, which is why they acknowledged their errors and stopped their questionable practices.


Amra Pajalic said...

Hey Sandra. Sounds like you've had a tough time of it. The blog world is more gossipy than a quilting club. Chin up and power on.