Tico Publishing is no longer pitching themselves as both "a publisher and literary agent," limiting manuscript submissions to "non-agented" writers, or selling reviews and editorial services. The publisher, Arnold Tijerino, took this action today in response to criticisms leveled against his company here and on other forums. In his comments to me, he wrote, in part:
I appreciate the positions and assumptions that are being made about TICO Publishing, based on the "services" we offer, both here and the aforementioned thread on another website. I assure you, had we been aware that by offering such services, we would be lumped in with "scammers" and "vanity presses", we would never have offered them in the first place. TICO has never accepted, nor will it accept, any money to publish a book we’ve contracted. […]I also understand that perception is reality. While we don’t agree that offering those services was wrong, we do now see how it could lead people to the wrong impression about our organization.
Some of the other services we offered have led to misperceptions about Tico’s philosophy, and thrown our reputation into question. As a result, we’ve cancelled those other services. Our exclusive focus will be on receiving submissions from aspiring authors and finding the best new voices to put into print.
All publishing companies were small at some point in time. We’re just the new guy on the block.
He also concedes that he has no previous experience whatsoever as either a publisher or literary agent. His background is in sales and marketing. Even so, I would think that experience would have taught Mr. Tijerino that it’s necessary to learn about the ethical standards and accepted business practices in your field before starting to do business. That said, I applaud his efforts to make things right at Tico and to repair the negative image of the company that presently exists. It’s honorable and encouraging.
6 thoughts on “Tico Changes Course”
While I disagree with Mr. Tijerino that offering those service wasn’t wrong — I believe that it was disreputable, if not dishonest — I applaud their apparent efforts to improve their business model.
Publishers should be in the business of publishing books. Most of them have a hard enough time doing that to even consider taking on any other activities.
Publishers should NEVER be in a position of taking money from writers, no matter what the circumstance.
So this is definitely an encouraging move.
Lee, for as long as I’ve been observing this website, I’ve watched you make life better and safer for aspiring writers. You are doing a public service, and I would like to thank you for it. I treasure the talent of the young, and want it to reach a safe harbor.
Ditto. You’re giving me hope that one day I’ll be published.
I don’t want this post to be taken out-of-context as an endorsement of Tico Publishing. I would still be very leery of getting involved with someone who:
a) became a publisher without first learning the ethical standards of the industry.
b) became a publisher without first learning the acceptable business practices of the industry.
c) endeavored to provide authors with literary representation without having any experience whatsoever as a literary agent.
d) charging for editorial services without having any prior experience in publishing.
This indicates to me that Mr. Tijerino was, at best, extraordinarily naive and uninformed when he started Tico.
Yes, I applaud him for changing his business model, but he still has a long way to go before he will be taken seriously as a publisher.
I just don’t see the attraction of having your book “published” POD by someone who has no more — and perhaps far less — experience in publishing than you do.
Neither do I. There are so many of these cheap imitations now that it’s a neverending task to expose them. POD makes it all possible. There are no short cuts in writing.
Thanks, Lee, for your dissection of Tico’s business practices. Except for the recent removal of links & references to the reviewing and editing fees, the website looks pretty much the same to me as it did when I first saw it back about February 2006. It raised instant red flags with all the fees listed.
However, it still lists in ‘pending’ publications a couple of titles that an author has publicly demonstrated (on AbsoluteWrite) that she sought to withdraw from this publisher.
It’s likely a sign of well-intentioned naivete (rather than deliberate scam behavior) that Tico is trying to clean up its public image in response to the recent negative publicity. But, as you say, why publish with someone who has demonstrably less knowledge of the publishing business than *almost* any wannabe author?