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

Monday, February 23, 2009


Not too long ago I put out a call for non-fiction writers on an arts site that was picked up by others and I got some great responses to it.

The basics: I want experienced non-fiction writers with a track record who I can assign work to or who have good ideas and manuscripts to bring to Tonto.

As the company moves into 2009 and beyond, I'm looking to build up a list of writers that can write to spec or pitch non-fiction ideas. As a writer myself, I know what it's like to want an ongoing relationship with a trusted publisher, and that's my intention. I'm now in touch with several writers and discussing some high-profile titles.

Of course, they don't have to be high-profile... it always helps if you happened to live next door to Zac Efron when he was a wannabe child star and he signed an exclusive deal with you (in blood) that you can bring my way, but it isn't the end of the world. If you have something with a clearly-defined audience and it looks like it would sell, then I'm interested. If you have it already written, then even better.

Again I've had more enquiries about fiction submissions. As you can see from the above, non-fiction is an ongoing window and fiction can't always work that way. Fiction is difficult to sell, but not impossible. The new website will contain more for fiction writers than previously as this is a side to the company that I want to keep going. It is important to support new writing - that's what we started doing, and that's what should continue. Running fiction competitions and publishing anthologies is what Tonto was based on, but these were always funded projects. Tonto is not a regularly funded organisation like some others are, which is why I have to be very selective on titles, looking for the next big thing, looking for something I am certain of selling, always conscious of the credit crunch. And it happens that non-fiction sells more, so that's mainly where the decision to commission comes from.

It is very likely that I'll be publishing short stories on the new website and looking to offer exposure to writers (no, not in that way, Roz. Get yer mind outta the gutter) and hopefully try to build on this community we have. Any suggestions are always welcome. Submission windows will be on the new website and in newsletters and on the blog, so please stop hassling me - there's only so much I can do. Unless any of you out there are rich investors...

Keep the faith!

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