A blog from Tonto Books, featuring musings from the publishing world and some occasional special guest appearances.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tonto Facts and Fiction

As you know from Newsletters and updates, Tonto Books initiated new fiction err... initiative in 2008 which will culminate more or less on Thursday this week when the two New Novelists competition winners are launched.

It doesn't just stop there. Tonto was supported by Arts Council England through Lottery Funding, and love or hate ACE, their support enabled us to do a lot for writing in the north east. Not only have those writers been published, but they were mentored through to publication, have been promoted and will always be promoted as long as their books are in print. Rosalind Wyllie and Stephen Shieber have had almost as much press as Victoria Beckham would if she ever entered a pie-eating competition (OK, slight exaggeration) and now Nik Jones and Sarah Shaw are about to launch their books with signing sessions being pencilled in by the day.

This isn't an own trumpet-blowing rant by any stretch. From my point of view, it is important for publishers to support and nurture their writers and offer them the best deal possible. Of course it doesn't always happen like that. Tonto can offer that because it is an independent and often needs to diversify and rethink strategies in order to survive.

Tonto Books is keen to keep running such projects for writers, but it is not always possible. The company is not regularly funded - it is a business that seeks commercial titles, just like any other publisher, to generate an income. In that respect, any titles commissioned are very select. Budgets are limited, credit is crunched and so on. We've always been sent unsolicited manuscripts - that's the nature of publishing. Even when we said our submission window is closed, the same day we'd get emails saying 'I know your window is closed, but I thought I'd send you my manuscript'.

So... the plans are to still support fiction. As the website goes into redesign, details will emerge as to the direction of this. It may be new anthologies, it may be a new novelist comp, it may just be a window for novels. To keep up to date with Tonto News - please sign up to the newsletter on the website, visit the Facebook page and keep reading the blog. To find out what Tonto publishes, come along to the launch on Thursday 29 January and meet some of the authors (before they get too drunk) or even purchase from the website. The sale is still on! It's Open Season! Take advantage of it before the new web wizard gets his hands on it.

Submission Windows: For the sake of giving me more material for a 'how not to approach publishers' rant, I'll leave it up to you to call it. At the moment, three new authors have been signed to Tonto and all are non-fiction. The window will open officially at some point this year. Please be patient.

*Next Tonto Signing Sessions*

Nik Jones: Borders Silverlink - Sun 1 Feb
Sarah Shaw: Borders Silverlink - Sat 14 Feb

Sarah Shaw: Borders Team Valley - Sat 7 Feb
Nik Jones: Borders Team Valley - Sun 8 Feb

All signings from 12-4pm

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