In the world of publishing, few publishers are as well-known by readers as Tor Books. A subsidiary of Macmillan, Tor is a publisher that focuses primarily on publishing science fiction and fantasy stories that range in length from 400,000 word novels to short stories published as ebooks.
Type of Publisher: As stated above, Tor publishes science fiction and fantasy stories; however, they utilize various publishing technologies to do this. They publish novels in both print and in ebook, and they publish short fiction as well (also in ebook); however, they have recently begun publishing novellas using Print on Demand technology as well. This means that, regardless of the word count, writers of science fiction and fantasy can potentially get their work published by Tor.
Market: Tor tends to cater to readers of the genres the publish, particularly ones that are on social media. They have a fairly decent following on Facebook and Twitter, and they have a blog where they discuss their own publications as well as the published books of their competitors.
Funding: Tor is funded by selling books, particularly their famous authors. Their new authors don’t appear to make the company much money until they have published a few titles by that author.
Successes: A few of their books have been made into movies, including Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. MGM has also purchased the film rights to several of Brandon Sanderson’s books, and several of Tor’s books have been #1 New York Times Bestsellers.
Challenges: Likely one of their biggest challenges is selling enough books to make a profit. One of Tor’s authors has commented that first time authors tend to lose the company money, and it isn’t until their third book is published that Tor makes money off the author in question.