julieandrews: (manga)
[personal profile] julieandrews
So there was this article, SEXISM IN GENRE PUBLISHING: A PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE which boils down to 'women work here so we're not sexist. Fewer women are submitting to us and we don't know why.'

I thought, "Would I want to submit a novel to Tor UK?"

I'm in the US, so there are possible reasons related to that that the answer would be no.

So, I went to their website. And I looked for their submission guidelines. They were not particularly easy to find. They weren't under Contact. And they were under About, but only if you read/skimmed the blurb.

So, they're here for those who want to jump right there.

And, wow.. They sort of apologize for still existing as a traditional publisher. Almost making excuses for why you should submit to them rather than self-publish. "Besides, hopefully, there is still a fondness for having the book edited, packaged and published by us traditional types… :-)" -- So, we're supposed to submit to you out of a feeling of nostalgia? Smiley face?!

They'll read your unsolicited submission, with this rather odd explanation of how long it will take them:
"If we would like to publish your novel, we will let you know within twelve weeks of receipt. Unfortunately, due to the large number of submissions we receive, we are unable to respond to unsuccessful submissions. If you have not had a response within sixteen weeks please assume that we have, regretfully, decided not to publish your novel."

Sad that you have to assume a non-answer is a no. But actually this is quite good as a turnaround time. (Apart from the fact that most of the time there's no actual turnaround.)

1. You can submit a novel to them and get a yes within 12 weeks, and assume a no by 16 weeks. (3 months and 4 months)
2. You can submit more than one novel at a time. (simsub)
3. You can submit if you're not in the UK.

As submissions policies go, it's good. But nothing about the introduction to the policies convinced me they'd be a good publisher to work with.

Back to the About page, I find this:
"Our science fiction output features talents such as Douglas Adams, Peter F. Hamilton, Neal Asher and Gary Gibson" -- Man, man, man, man. And I haven't heard of the last guy.
"On the fantasy side, our list contains wonderful writers such as Adrian Tchaikovsky, Douglas Hulick and Mark Charan Newton." -- Man, man, man. And I haven't heard of any of them.
They name drop five other men before naming Amanda Hocking. Who got her successful start self-publishing, note.

Now, there's a link for 'Buy Tor Ebooks'. I can't find any such list for print books. Do they only publish ebooks?
How do I find a full list of what they've published or at least what they have in print? Or a list of their authors? I see authors who have contributed to the blog, which includes Cherie Priest, who you would've thought they'd namedrop on the About page.

Short of reading various blog posts, which may or may not be useful, I find no way to learn more about the company from their website.

On the Pan MacMillan site, I find this on their imprints page:
"Tor UK is a London-based publisher of hardcover and paperback books committed to science fiction and fantasy writing. Its authors are regularly nominated for prestigious awards worldwide."
That interestingly does not mention ebooks.

Over on Amazon, I tried to find books by them, but it turns out (at least on Amazon UK) that they're just listed as 'Tor'. How am I to differentiate between them and their US counterpart? Do they have John Scalzi's The Human Division, or don't they?

My next question would be what a Tor UK contract looks like. They certainly weren't prepared to tell me on their website.
My quick Google searches didn't yield up any answers. It's full of talk of their ebooks being DRM-free. Which good. Yes. But not what I was looking for.

I can't find an entry for them on Wikipedia and no mention of them on the main Tor entry.

Conclusion:
1 -- Their About page screams 'male publisher!'
2 -- Their submission policies are great. (but the page itself doesn't come off as confident)
3 -- They need to work on their publicity -- website needs more info, they need a Wikipedia page.
4 -- They should provide some info about what rights they're buying and what they're going to do for you, the author.

They've gotten more attention in the last week or so thanks to that blog post, so maybe they ought to position themselves to capitalize on it with, basically, MORE INFO.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-16 10:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] catherineldf.livejournal.com
Yes. This. I have already voiced my opinion on the whole "we read everyone equally" twaddle as well.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-17 04:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] julieandrews.livejournal.com
They really didn't come off as 'for serious' and 'professional' publisher. If not for their name and their relationship with Tor US, I would probably write them off. But since they do have it and their submission policies are quite good and unusual, they might be worth sending a manuscript to. Worse thing is you've lost a few months if you don't like their contract.

Of course the last Tor book I read, Impulse by Steven Gould, was SO HORRENDOUSLY FULL OF TYPOS, that I wouldn't trust their copyeditors.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-17 05:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] catherineldf.livejournal.com
Don't have anything I would consider a good fit for them at present and have been underwhelmed by Tor US publication track record of late of books with LGBTQ and Q protags (yes, I know Tor.com looks better) so perhaps a few novels down the road.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-17 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] julieandrews.livejournal.com
Tor.com's turnaround time is really bad, alas!

Orbit's publishing some good stuff, but they probably don't take unagented subs.

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