Fri
Apr 23 2010 2:20pm

Meet Tor Books, 30 years old

Tor Books

Tor Books turns 30 today.

I can hardly believe that, with 16 years on the payroll and counting, I’m a half-lifer. Whenever someone asks me what the best part of the job is, I always have the same answer: it’s the people I get to work with—writers, artists, and staffers.

Our offices are in one of New York’s architectural treasures, the Flatiron Building, at the foot of Madison Square Park. The space is a bit...well, cozy. (It turns out a triangle isn’t the most efficient use of office space.) But I have to say, I kinda love our box-filled hallways, oddly trapezoidal rooms, and curved corner windows.

With the aid of a beat-up Canon point-and-shoot, I’ll  introduce you to a few of the people that turn a stack of manuscript pages into some of the (hopefully, beloved) books on your shelves. This is by no means comprehensive. There are many others not pictured here that are integral to the process. We get to talk about writers and artists a lot on Tor.com. Here’s our chance for a quick “hello,” and a “thank you” to all the other people with similar jobs in other publishing houses — working hard to bring us the stories we love.

Editorial: where the manuscripts come in and get (even) better.

Tor at 30, Claire Eddy

Claire Eddy

Tor at 30, Eric Raab

Eric Raab

Tor at 30, Paul Stevens

Paul Stevens

Tor Books, Moshe Feder

Moshe Feder (in my doorway)

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Liz Gorinsky and Steven Padnick.

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Patrick Nielsen Hayden

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Beth Meacham , in her Arizona outpost

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Harriet McDougal, in her southern outpost

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David G. Hartwell, looking at drawings

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Melissa Singer

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Juliet Pederson and Susan Chang

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Whitney Ross

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Melissa Frain, Lauren Brantley, and Kristin Sevick

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The infamous slush pile. Hopes and dreams, waiting their turn to be read.


Hard Cover Art Department: where the books put some clothes on.

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Peter Lutjen

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Jamie Stafford-Hill wuz here

Tor Books, Irene Gallo

Yours truly, Irene Gallo

Mass Market Art Department: where the books get smaller and the type gets bigger.

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Vanessa Paolantonio

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The art nook


Production: Corralling the ephemeral ideas of writers, artists, and editors and turning them into pages and jackets.

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Joe Meir and Nathan Weaver

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Jim Kapp, Jane Liddle, Karl Gold

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Kevin Sweeney representing an army of copy editors and proofreaders.

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Stacks of typeset  pages to be proofread and envelopes of cover mechanicals to be checked.

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“Heather Saunders,” interior designer


Sales: Helping stores near you carry the books you want read.

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Stuart Miller, Andy Etzkorn, Christine Jaeger, Jeff Capshew, Ken Holland, Brian Heller
(And many others stationed across the US visiting local bookshops.)


Marketing: What's selling, where, and how many....And how can we increase all of the above.

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Brian Vaughan

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Laura Fitzgerald

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Jennifer Kaufler: Stacks of marketing materials taller than marketing managers.

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Aubrey Lynch


Advertising and Promotion: Getting the word out.

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Phyllis Azar

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Audrey Steuerwald

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Elizabeth Mathews

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Theresa Delucci


Publicity: Getting others to talk for the books

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Cassandra Ammerman, Dot Lin, Sam Cutler, Patty Garcia, Justin Golenbock, Amber Hopkins, Alexis Saarela

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The always changing, but ever present, stacks of books on their way out to the media.


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Edwin Rivera, office manager


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Constance Cochran
Keeper of the schedule and one of Tom’s two right hands.

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Dana Giusio, Manager of Administration


Last, because all the bucks stop here, our leader and publisher Mr. Tom Doherty, who decided to publish Andre Norton’s Forerunner 30 years ago. Thank you, Tom, countless people have traveled to fantastic and impossible places through your guidance.

Tor Books

Tor Books

The view from Tom’s office: Broadway and Fifth Avenue, the Empire State and Madison Square Park.

42 comments
Luis Milan
1. LuisMilan
Congratulations and thank you for all your hard work through the years!
Marcus W
2. toryx
Awesome photos. Thanks for sharing.
Dave Thompson
3. DKT
That's awesome. Thanks for all the hard work and all the excellent books and stories!
John Chu
4. JohnChu
Congratulations! Thank you for all the stories, and let there be at least 30 years more. (Also, terrific pictures.)
Barry T
5. blindillusion
Yes. Thanks for sharing.

It's very cool seeing the people who put out the products that make my imagination happy.
Eugene Myers
6. ecmyers
Happy birthday, Tor Books! And thanks for the fun glimpse behind the curtain, Irene.
Alex Brown
7. AlexBrown
Man, thanks so much for letting us share in your birthday celebrations. Great photos, great article, thanks to every single one of you :)
Gabriele Campbell
9. G-Campbell
Happy Birthday, Tor Books.

Lol, there are indeed books _everywhere_. I suspect they secretly multiply when you're not looking. They do that on my shelves, too, though I suspect Tor has something to do with it. ;)
deviousjen
10. deviousjen
Happy birthday, Tor!

I'll always remember the happy day I got to tour the Tor office. It was truly inspiring. Here's to another 30 years (and beyond) of excellent Sci Fi/Fantasy publishing!
Michael A. Parker
11. Michael A. Parker
Congrats, Tor! Looks like a great place to work.
Samantha Brandt
12. Talia
Congrats, and thanks for the pics! (I see Peter there is working on Cory Doctorow's next book).
Nate Ostman
14. Natro
Happy Birthday and thanks for the pics!!
Michael A. Parker
15. Karla Ortiz
Congratulations and thank you for the pictures! I always wondered what the place looked like! Now I know! Thanks!
Michael A. Parker
16. Marco @ Angry Robot
Massive congratulations to each and every one of the Tor family. Long may you attract such great staff and publish such tremendous books.
Amy Roberts
17. AmyS
I love to see the inner workings of things! Thanks! Oh and TOR is the best! Whoohoo!
Michael A. Parker
18. illustar
Thank you for introducing us to some of the people who've facilitated so much great reading over the years! Wishing you (and us) another 30 years of wonderful books!
Michael A. Parker
19. alison beightol
thanks for an awesome insiders view!
Michael A. Parker
20. Harry Connolly
Thanks for the great books, and may you last another 300 years.
John Massey
22. subwoofer
Well done- it is wonderful to be able to place a face to all the names. Happy birthday TOR- thank you for playing such a huge role in my life and my memories:)

Woof™.
Michael A. Parker
23. madscientistnz
I can't get over how personalised and cosy the offices feel, almost like a room in someone's house than a workplace, and the effect is only heightened by all the books!

It's fascinating to see that there are real people behind all the awesome books - it inspires me to think that one day I could be a part of it too!
T C
24. Freelancer
Thank you all for what you've brought to readers everywhere. Enjoy the birthday, you've earned it!
Thomas Jeffries
25. thomstel
I'm sure others feel the same, but Tor Books have changed and enriched my world through the years. The gems in your lineup might not have ever seen daylight without you all, so many many MANY thanks!!! and Happy Birthday!
Michael A. Parker
26. Dovile
Happy birthday to Tor!

And many thanks for all the books, especially your media tie-ins:)
Michael A. Parker
27. Joan Saberhagen
Happy birthday Tor folks !

A very special congrats and thank you to Tom Doherty for creating a great publishing house.

Joan
Velma deSelby-Bowen
28. VelmadSB
Congratulations, happy birthday, and may you have many more years of success and good books!
Michael A. Parker
29. Phyllis Azar
A lovely tribute, and a great group of people. Thanks Irene.
Erika A.
31. brownjawa
It's so much fun seeing the offices and people involved at Tor! It looks like organized chaos. I love the piles of boxes, manuscripts, and of course, the books. :)
Michael A. Parker
33. royalwaterbird
Thank you for the contributions to my library over the years. May you continue and prosper!
Jonathan Chen
34. jonc
I like how most of the Editorial shots look like living rooms, rather than offices.
Agnes Kormendi
35. tapsi
Thanks for sharing :) and though I'm a few days late, Bappy Birthday, Tor!
Michael A. Parker
36. Ghenjei
Hope Shakeshack is catering the party.

Thanks for being an awesome publisher of books I love.
Michael A. Parker
37. Kiki Hamilton
Happy Birthday Tor!

What a great tribute and wonderful pictures!! Hugs to my lovely editor, Susan!

Here's to prospering for another 30 years!
Michael A. Parker
38. brookstar
Happy Birthday Tor! I've only just had a chance to catch up on my reading so I'm only just wishing you all a happy birthday. Thank you so much for the work you do and the stories you share. The books you publish have filled me with hope, wonder, despair and inspiration. I look forward to another 30 years of Tor and sharing my favourites with my kids!
Michael A. Parker
39. Dremen
I remember when Tor books first started showing up in bookstores - manna from heaven for the science fiction junkie I was back then! Thank you for bringing us so many wonderful characters and stories. And thanks for sharing this picture tour. May we both get to see another 30 years.
Michael A. Parker
41. kat!
lol! That's a lot of white people!

Just saying...
Michael A. Parker
42. Kristine Kozar
Where did Eric Raab go to high school?
Michael A. Parker
44. Rick Papazian
I submitted my novel "Stonewalls" several months ago. I followed your submission guidelines to the "T". Has it been looked at yet?

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