Colleen Houck


“Chapped rats and bats' wings, brandied worms and adders' stings, Goat's wool and owl's hoot, fish's tongue and dog's foot. Into the potion, all you go, add clockwork hearts, positioned so…" The Lantern's Ember

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  • Publishing with Sterling

    October 21, 2010


    Originally written on October 21, 2010 by Colleen Houck

    THIS IS IT! The big announcement you’ve all been waiting for went out this morning at 8:00 am Pacific Time. You can read the announcement here but I’ll sum it up for you too and give you the highlights. My new publisher, which some of you have already figured out, is Sterling.

    They are primarily known for producing fabulous children’s books but they have a risk taker at the helm named Marcus and a while ago he encouraged his employees to start thinking bigger. They decided that they wanted to expand and begin producing books for Young Adults. They hired some new people with great ideas and started searching for something special to kick off their new wing which, in the book business, is called an imprint. They put out feelers to everyone they knew that they were looking for something and Cindy, my editor, contacted a friend at Paramount Studios. She wasn’t expecting much because Paramount doesn’t usually have anything they haven’t already acquired but a few days later someone made a call. “Hey Cindy, this book just came across my desk. Another co-worker handed it to me and I think it may be what you’re looking for.” That other co-worker happened to be a friend of Raffi’s which is how he had a copy.

    Cindy emailed me to see if the series had been sold. I said it was still available and referred her to my new agent by a few days, Alex. He sent her the book which she read literally overnight and started passing around the office. Within a very short time, Alex had hammered out a deal and what happened next was an explosion. The president of the company got his hands on it and met with my agent. The original plan was to launch the new imprint in September of 2011. I was slightly disappointed knowing that fans would have to wait so long for book three. Normally it takes a year or two to get books published and that would put Voyage’s release somewhere in 2013 at the earliest, but then something amazing happened. The team at Sterling decided to launch earlier. They went into a flurry of work and had dozens of meetings to get ready. A very aggressive plan was created to edit and prepare my books not in years, but in a few months. They held a company-wide contest to come up with their new name and Splinter was chosen. It still resonates with the tree theme Sterling uses but it’s harder and edgier. My dad says that Splinter is a perfect name for Young Adult books because teenagers are like splinters stuck in your finger. They give great pain until they get yanked out. He should know, he had seven teenagers he had to live with plus a parade of best friends and the boyfriends/girlfriends of the teenagers along the way.

    So now you know why we had to keep everything under wraps for so long. They had a lot of work to do, in fact a year’s worth of work in just a few months. It’s a big deal in the publishing world to launch a new imprint and for an author it’s an amazing opportunity to be the lead out series. They are literally depending on my tigers to carry the weight of this new imprint and make it successful, but I think Ren and Kishan can handle it.

    So I now proudly announce that Tiger’s Curse will be published January 11, 2011, Tiger’s Quest will have a release date of June 1, 2011, and Tiger’s Voyage will be on the shelves just in time for Christmas shopping on November 1, 2011. The first print run for Tiger’s Curse will be 250,000 books with a marketing budget of $250,000. To give you an idea of how crazy that is, Alex told me that an author is considered successful if they sell 10,000 hardbacks their first year. I’ve been looking for other debut author’s first print runs to compare and haven’t found anything near that number yet. Having a print run so large shows the publisher’s faith in their product and their commitment to stand behind the author. It’s just an overwhelming feeling to see something you love so much have that kind of potential. I imagine it’s like seeing your baby become President of the United States.

    I will be going out on tour with each book next year and I hope to see as many of you as possible. My absolute favorite part of all this is meeting you. There’s nothing I love better than talking tigers. Barnes and Noble has committed to do something very special for Tiger’s Curse at the big release and I’m dying to see it.

    The new website will launch any minute with the new book trailer for Tiger’s Curse. Please send me your feedback and keep in touch. My goal is to stay as connected to my fans as I can. =) If you have more questions send them to me and I’ll try my best to answer them.

    Warm regards, Colleen Houck

    This entry was posted in News.

    2 Responses to Publishing with Sterling


    1. Jennifer Guereca says:

      My name is Jennifer Guereca and I am a senior at Mesa High School (in Mesa AZ). I love reading and have enjoyed your Reawaken and Tiger’s Curse series.
      I would like to see you if you ever come to the Phoenix area to talk about your books. Please email me if you are planning to come for a talk.
      Also, I am looking forward to any new books you have coming out.

      Thanks so much!

      • Hi Jennifer. I’ve been to Phoenix before but not for a while. I’ll add Mesa to my future tour wish list. I’m not planning a tour this year but stay tuned for future events 😉 Thanks for reading!

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    Suki Lotti
    Suki Lotti

    My name is Suki and I am married to Colleen's youngest brother and have one daughter and two cats. It's exciting to get to work with Colleen and see all the fun "behind the scenes" stuff. I love to sew, crochet, and paint the walls of my home. I love to dabble in nearly everything much to the dismay of my husband. I just began to learn wushu with running and strength training completing my weekly workouts. My known favorites are... color: turquoise... genre: fantasy... author: Robin McKinley... food: chicken lettuce wraps from our favorite Chinese restaurant here, Molly Woo's (good thing I can replicate them at home!)... place to live: Oregon... season: spring and Christmas. My dislikes include spiders, wasps, ticks (okay yes, bugs in general), sweat, caramel, roller coasters and trampolines (for the same reason), and being late.