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Tattersall Publishing does not accept manuscript submissions.
We publish few trade titles and the few we do publish are selected
exclusively by referral from industry contacts
or from authors we have previously published.
If you are a self-publishing author seeking design and production
services, please click on "Design Resources" for information.
We will not return unsolicited material; sorry, that's just the way it is.
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 Q: When and how did Tattersall publishing get started?

Tattersall Publishing was started in 1994 as a self-publishing venture by Crystal Wood. Having had much positive feedback from but little success with major publishers in placing her first novel, Cut Him Out in Little Stars, she determined to take the novel directly into the science fiction market by way of science fiction conventions. "I would have been happy to sell a hundred copies," she says. But some very favorable reviews in respected trade and genre publications such as Publishers Weekly and Starlog launched the humorous SF novel into the national market. In 1998, Cut Him Out in Little Stars went into a second printing, and it is still a popular seller on the Tattersall Publishing trade backlist.

Following the success of Cut Him Out in Little Stars, Crystal decided to expand the scope of Tattersall Publishing and published the first novel by Gerald Eugene Nathan Stone, God's Front Porch. This heartwarming and funny short novel based on the author's own experiences as a pastor in a small-town Arkansas church has also gone into a second printing and is the most-requested title on the Tattersall Publishing trade backlist.

Tattersall Publishing's trade books have received favorable notices in Publishers Weekly, Booklist, The Midwest Book Review, and other publications specific to the books' genres. At least one of the Tattersall titles has had serious consideration for motion picture production.

In 2003, the focus of Tattersall Publishing shifted from trade publishing to book design and production, offering self-publishers and other small presses high-quality design, printing, and binding at reasonable prices. We feel this is our strong suit, and we invite you to inquire how we can use our strengths to benefit your book project.

Q: What is the difference between what Tattersall Publishing does and the POD (Print on Demand) services?

POD is a recent innovation that allows authors, for a fee, to upload their manuscripts to a provider's website. The work is stored there for a period of time, during which the website offers some marketing--usually through Amazon.com and other online retailers--and when orders are received, the book is digitally printed and shipped to the customers. There's nothing wrong with this. However, most books of this nature do not receive consideration by major review media and therefore are not taken as seriously in the marketplace. They are the "vanity presses" of the 21st century.

On the other hand, self-published books often go on to do very well. (FYI: The original Chicken Soup for the Soul books were self-published.) By self-publishing, the author invests the amount of money and time necessary to insure a quality product, takes the risks that are inherent in such a venture, and represents the book as an extension of his or her own knowledge, experience, and/or storytelling skill. The risks are considerable, but the rewards are greater, as a good-quality book from an unknown "small press" carries more weight in the marketplace than a book from a known POD press.

Tattersall Publishing is dedicated to producing those books that fulfill a niche in the marketplace that the author has identified and intends to address personally. We want that author to have the best quality product in hand to make the best possible impression on his or her audience.

Q: Why should I choose self-publishing?

It's an alternative to the highly competitive world of trade publishing. But before you decide to self-publish, make a fair run at traditional trade publishing; the best possible scenario is still for someone to pay YOU for your book. This is not for the faint of heart when it comes to rejection. Some of the world's most famous authors were rejected time and again by publisher after publisher until they made contact with the right editor at the right time. Unless you've received at least fifty rejections, you haven't given your book a sporting chance in the marketplace of trade publishing.

At the risk of losing your business to a trade publisher, I offer these simple rules for submissions, and maybe it won't take fifty attempts.

1. When you offer your manuscript to a publisher for consideration, remember that you are, in effect, applying for the job of author at their publishing company. Your proposal should show up in its Sunday best with its hair combed. By that, I mean that your first impression is unbelievably important. Whether you send a query by email or a hard copy by snailmail, it must look nice, be polite, and get quickly to the point in such a way that the editor knows he or she can do profitable business with you, as well as consider a good product for their line.

2. Never send more than a query by email. Most publishers will not look at attachments sent to their general inbox, and, in fact, will filter them out. If your query is of sufficient interest, you will be given the editor's specific address for receiving requested documents, or instructions for submission by other means.

3. Do your homework and make sure the publisher you're contacting is going to be interested in your particular type of work. Don't send your slash/erotic novel to a scholarly publisher, or your children's poetry to the Naval Institute Press. They won't make an exception in your case, no matter how good it is.

4. Don't brag. Don't lie. Don't whine. Don't flirt. Don't be a jerk. It don't work.

This all having been said, let me stress one important point: Self-publishing is NOT the avenue of last resort. It is an alternative. If you've written a book that will benefit a small but underserved audience that you know how to reach directly, you have an excellent reason to skip trade publishing altogether and go right to self-publishing. If you have the stamina to go out on your own and be your book's best--and possibly only--cheerleader, you may succeed at self-publishing. That's where Tattersall Publishing can help.

If you've papered your kitchen with rejection letters from trade publishers, it may be time to take a long look at what you've written and try to see what the editors felt was lacking before investing in self-publishing. Ask yourself: Is it interesting? Is it important? Is it entertaining? Does it make a point? Does it present something familiar in an entirely new way? Only if you can honestly answer at least two of these questions positively, and you have a good idea how to get the first copies directly into the hands of your intended audience, you may wish to consider self-publishing.

Q: How much is this going to cost?

There are too many variables to be able to give a quick price estimate on printing; every project is unique. However, for the design alone, you may consider $250 a starting place. Tattersall Publishing's hourly rate for design is $50; the average full-color cover takes at least five hours to complete once all its elements are gathered. (This does not include the cost of an original illustration or photography session, which is billed separately.) For editing, Tattersall Publishing bills by the approximate finished word count, at approximately $.02 per word. Because a book project takes a long time from the start of the design process to having finished books in hand, Tattersall Publishing requires a deposit of 50% of the estimated total design price before beginning work. But because I tend to bid high to include unforeseen problems that tend to crop up in the long process, your final bill could end up being much less than your deposit. It rarely ends up being more.

Q: How long is it going to take?

The design part takes as long as it must to accommodate your input, corrections and changes; therefore, it could take as little as two weeks for me to complete your design, or it could take several months. Your involvement in the process is vital, but if you don't return proofs or follow up with me on questions I ask, I can't be responsible for delays. Remember that I am juggling several projects at once, and each one of them is just as important to its author/client as yours is to you--and they are all important to me! Once the design is complete and we go to press, it takes a minimum of six weeks to produce finished books. Expect it to take at least two months. Once the book is in production, the manufacturer sets the delivery date. Please do not schedule signings, conferences or other events until we have a firm delivery date. We can't make the manufacturer work any faster. We can't make the freight company drive any faster. Even under the best circumstances, expect that a book will take six months to complete, and plan accordingly.

Q: How did you choose the name Tattersall Publishing, and how did you come up with the cool logo?

About the time I was dreaming up a company to publish Cut Him Out in Little Stars, there was an article in a local newsmagazine about another small press, Baskerville Press in Dallas, which had just released a very successful book. When asked the same question, the Baskerville founder said that they chose the name because it had a European, rather sophisticated sound. A lifelong Anglophile, I followed that lead and chose "Tattersall" from Tattersall's Horse Market in London.

The sound of the name "Tattersall" is reminiscent of "parasol," and the original colophon idea was simply a plaid-patterned ("Tattersall Plaid") umbrella, but it looked too much like the Travelers Insurance Company logo. Then I saw a calendar picture of a cat lounging underneath an open umbrella, and the Tattersall Cat is now part of publishing history. Thanks for asking.
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