Thomas Riggs & Co.: Book Development, Web Content, Publishing

Posted by - Admin / September 4th, 2009

About Thomas Riggs & Company

Thomas Riggs & Company is a book developer and independent trade publisher based in Missoula, Montana. We focus on publishing projects in the humanities, such as literary criticism, biographies of writers, and study guides of literary works. In 2009 Thomas Riggs & Company started a new part of its business, literary publishing of fiction, nonfiction, essays, and poetry.

Long known officially as Thomas J. Riggs Inc., Thomas Riggs & Company was founded in 1995. Our core business, book development, was at the time a small but expanding part of the publishing world. In collaboration with a publisher, Thomas Riggs & Company performed all the tasks of a publisher—developing a book idea, hiring writers, and editing text—except the final stages of printing, distribution, and marketing. Because Thomas Riggs & Company was often a silent partner with the publisher, our name sometimes did not appear on the books we developed and produced.

Thomas Riggs & Company now commonly works on multiauthor and university-related texts, such as critical anthologies, encyclopedias, and reference books. Our first title, published with St. James Press in 1995, was Contemporary Poets, a collection of essays on writers throughout the world. Other books by Thomas Riggs & Company include Contemporary Dramatists, the Reference Guide to American Literature, and the Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Although most of our work concerns literary topics, Thomas Riggs & Company has branched out into such subjects as religion, advertising, art, and economics.

Over the years Thomas Riggs & Company has needed to stay on top of new technology and new means of processing and publishing text. HTML coding, HTML text editors, and text parsing have become part of our daily life. Perhaps most significant in academic publishing has been the gradual moving away from paper and the adoption of entirely web-based publications. Some projects now handled by Thomas Riggs & Company are found only on the Internet.

As a publisher, Thomas Riggs & Company seeks books of literary value, whether fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. We believe creative genius can be found in novels and mysteries, travel books and memoirs, musings on food and meanderings in verse. Thomas Riggs & Company has a particular interest in works from far away shores, especially France. Although we value paper books and independent booksellers, we also embrace changing technology. Thomas Riggs & Company will offer books in whatever form authors need for their works and in whatever format, paper or electronic, readers prefer.

Although based in Missoula, Montana, Thomas Riggs & Company now conducts its day-to-day work through a virtual office on the Internet. Our employees, as well as our network of editors, researchers, and writers, live throughout North America and Europe. The virtual office of Thomas Riggs & Company is built on an interconnected suite of Microsoft applications—SharePoint, Outlook, Office Communicator, and Live Meeting—allowing us not only to share file directories and calendars but also to talk with and see each other at any time. With the help of such applications, the employees of Thomas Riggs & Company can function virtually as if they were in the same office.

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What We Do

Thomas Riggs & Company

Thomas Riggs & Co., based in Missoula, Montana, has long been a book developer (also known as a book packager or book producer). Although not well understood by people outside the publishing industry, book development is a prominent part of the publishing world.

Book developers function much like an editorial department. Working contractually with book publishers, they perform all the tasks of a publisher—developing a book idea, hiring writers, and editing text—except the final stages of printing, distributing, and marketing. At Thomas Riggs & Co. we specialize in academic and reference books, especially in literature and the humanities, such as critical anthologies, encyclopedias, and reference guides.

Over the years we have increasingly worked on electronic publishing projects, mostly in the area of literature. Internet-based electronic products are particularly suited for academic and reference works. Hyperlinks and search boxes make jumping from one article or topic to another much easier than in a book. At Thomas Riggs & Co. we believe that the Internet will soon become a dominant part of publishing, and we are open to all types of electronic projects, from academic works on pay-access sites to web products available free to anyone with an Internet connection.

More recently we became a publisher of literary books. Appearing under the Thomas Riggs imprint, these new books, both prose and poetry, are an extension of our long involvement in literary criticism. Although literary publishing, as well as book publishing in general, faces challenges in the Internet era, we believe advances in printing technology and distribution provide new opportunities, not only in the economics of book manufacturing but also in the types of books we can publish. We see new technology and the new culture of the Internet laying the foundation for innovation in book design, a creative mixing of media, access to previously ignored or underrepresented voices, and new means of expression.

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