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