Crooked Cat is an independent Edinburgh-based publisher, set up by husband and wife team, Laurence and Steph Patterson. With a background in fiction and academic writing, they founded Crooked Cat to provide talented authors with a platform to share their work. Due to the high volume of submissions, two freelance editors have recently joined the company. Originally an electronic publisher, Crooked Cat is currently expanding into Print on Demand.
Crooked Cat has published approx. 20 books in electronic format since January 2012, with titles receiving rave reviews and shortlisted for awards.
Submissions are invited for completed, edited works in form of a synopsis and three sample chapters. Once an author is signed up, Crooked Cat staff will design a cover, edit the manuscript – working closely with the author – and prepare for publication. The book is published electronically and, through Print on Demand, is also made available in paperback. Crooked Cat markets the new release, seeking reviews prior and after publication, and promotes the book in a range of outlets.
The company does not charge authors for any work undertaken, nor does it pay advances, and quarterly-paid royalties are in line with other independent (non-vanity) publishers. The rights are granted to Crooked Cat for the standard duration of the contract, although subsidiary rights remain with the author.
Authors should have a visible, active online and social media presence and market their books to a wide range of readers, predominantly on an online platform due to the books being available through online retailers.
As of December 2012, all Crooked Cat releases will be published in both electronic and print paperback formats, with the paperbacks available exclusively through Amazon.
Genres range from popular chick lit and women’s fiction to cosy crime and thrillers, and from epic fantasy to historical fiction. Interested authors can find Crooked Cat’s submission guidelines on their website at http://www.crookedcatpublishing.com.
Crooked Cat has an active online presence in social media and two websites, one for authors and another to showcase releases.
Please note. While for most of our @theFestival features we approached the indie writer/publisher ourselves, Crooked Cat asked to be allowed to join ‘the debate.’ And since they are Edinburgh based, we thought – why not? As you will see from their feature, they do not fit our ‘true’ indie WAP profile (as explained in the What is Indie publishing feature on Aug 11 because they operate what we would term a SmallTrad model. To our mind they are working (quite legitimately) as an ‘independent’ publisher in the traditional model where the author contracts their publishing rights. This means that while Crooked Cat can describe themselves as ‘indie’ publishers, if you are published by Crooked Cat you are not an ‘indie’ WAP (though you may want to describe yourself as an indie author?) It’s a difficult issue and we wanted to offer a balanced view. Crooked Cat are not a vanity publisher, they are a small independent publisher working within the traditional model but utilising a lot of modern epublishing methods. We do not endorse or recommend their services – but nor do we condemn them. It’s horses for courses. The perspective of our festival focusses on encouraging the ‘true’ indie/writer WAP to publish and to embark upon a ‘visibility’ debate with readers. Readers may feel tthat in many respects it possibly makes little difference who publishes the books they read (though this distribution/publishing issue is also up for debate). One clear thing is that Quality is not defined by publisher (though obviously publishers consider that their reputation is a mark of quality) For writers it’s all to do with publishing rights and distribution deals. We talk about these elsewhere in the programme. (Cally Phillips)