The world is becoming a tough place. Western society, all of a sudden (through war, greed, climate change, self-serving, gung-ho politicians, the cost of living and that precarious, post-1980s feeling that the national character has undergone a huge transformation), seems to have disintegrated. Faith in the state is at an all-time low because the state has – more than ever – become a conduit for economic interests, thus ignoring individual suffering, or worse, perpetuating the myth that it cares.
As a small publishing house not immune to the brutal reality of ‘Time Invested=Return Required’, we decided on 1st July 2022 to introduce a Thinkwell Books’ imprint by the name of Scruff Whan; Whan a play on the founders of TWB, Weston and Khan.
Thinkwell Books continues to accept around 5% of the manuscripts it receives, but the idea around Scruff Whan is that roughly 10% in the ‘nearly pile’ are considered also, albeit as part of a fee-based service. This is not where we wanted to end up, but if the TWB and SW labels can complement each other whilst offering an identical service in terms of end product, then at least books are created that we believe in.
To be clear, around 85% of the manuscripts that we receive will still be rejected and have no home at TWB or SW. Such a distinction is necessary as we would never consider throwing books on to Amazon and into Bookshops that do not warrant an audience, just as we would not throw an unfit athlete into a boxing ring. Unlike vanity publishers. Unlike those outfits willing to puff you up and claim that we should all have the opportunity to be published.
No. Only a minority of writers have grafted sufficiently, perfected their craft and deserve such a stage through their original voice and talent. We heartily stick to our principles therefore, irrespective of the label (TWB or SW): “We don’t accept frivolous works – those with no lasting value. We take on a variety of books, but each must bear the stamp of originality, be well written and provide beautiful insight into a world which ultimately matters.”