I want today to express my sadness that after this week Tricycle Press will be ‘shuttered’. Tricycle, the children’s imprint of Ten Speed Press (founded by Philip Wood in 1971) was launched in 1993 and bought by Random House in 2009. The announcement of their closing was made just this last November. The 31st of this month will be their last day. It was a shock. I had known about this fine little (formerly) independent publisher for years and they were always on my list of houses I’d like to send submissions. They had an excellent reputation and an excellent track record. I signed with them before they were bought by Random House. I hoped the inevitable changes that would take place would only be for the good and that what was special about Tricycle would not change. I can’t have ill feeling towards Random House. They put out excellent, beautiful books.
The reality is that publishing books is a business and closing Tricycle was a business decision. I just wish the reality included keeping the fine imprints that are willing to take on some of the unusual and eclectic projects that Tricycle has been known for. Tricycle published really interesting books, award-winning books, quirky and eclectic books. They did multicultural books, books about the environment, books with GLBT themes. They bought my own book Signed, Abiah Rose – a wordier-than-usual picture book, kind of girls’ lib – at a time when picture books were getting shorter.
There are still independent houses and some great little independent-minded imprints. I hope we all will support them. There should be room for little publishing houses as well as the giants of publishing. There’s a place for all of them. Hopefully the backlist will be supported (that’s where my book is!) Hopefully the books that were in varying degrees of production will be published. For myself, it had looked like I might have a second book with Tricycle… a manuscript was under consideration and my editor and I had spent a lot of time working on it. I was hoping for a second experience with them as pleasant as I’d had with Abiah.
Many writers and many illustrators have had their imprints close, their editors move, their books orphaned, their projects abandoned. But it’s always sad and every time an imprint or a house closes down there’s fewer places for us writers and illustrators.
So goodbye to a great little house, and good luck to all the fine and talented people who were Tricycle Press – especially my very excellent, generous, talented editor, Abigail Samoun.