Who are the Walking Tree Publishers?

The Walking Tree Publishers is a volunteer-run association closely maintaining friendly links and co-operations with other Tolkien societies and interest groups throughout the world.

Our founding principle is a not-for-profit operation. Further to not paying dividends, the company does not pay salaries. All work is done by us in our free time — we all have demanding full-time jobs that we do on the side! This low-overhead approach allows the company to print very small numbers for niche products, as well as larger runs of interest to a greater audience.

Related pages: Services for authors | Our publications | News

History of the Walking Tree Publishers ...

In the Summer of 1996, the Swiss Tolkien Society, Eredain, celebrated their 10th anniversary by holding their (in)famous Cormarë conference. They gathered in Seelisberg, in a remote youth hostel overlooking the Lake of Lucerne. There, in two unforgettable days, several members and guests presented papers on Tolkien and Tolkien-related topics. So that what had been achieved would not live on in memory alone, a small group of members decided to collect the articles and publish them in book form. So the Walking Tree Publishers were born.

Our initial purpose was limited to publishing this first collection of essays. Only 50 copies of the first edition of our first book, News from the Shire and Beyond - Studies on Tolkien were produced. These were intended mainly for those who attended the conference, with a small surplus being made available to the broader market — in case anyone was interested.

It turned out that many more people were interested than had been imagined. Not only was the book sold out very quickly, but authors from across the Tolkienist community approached us asking to publish their works.

Tolkien's Shorter Works illustrated by Anke Eissmann These books, with non-fictional writing on Tolkien and related subjects are grouped into the Cormarë series. The Cormarë series books are published either as collections of essays, usually by different authors but connected by a joint theme, or more rarely, monographs by a single author. The Cormarë portfolio is growing year-by-year.

The Cormarë Series are not just valuable to the reader, but also an attractive proposition to the author: Walking Tree Publishers offer a broad range of services for authors.

Starting in 2003, the production method for the Cormarë Series was changed from traditional printing to print-on-demand, a method that allows costs and risk to be reduced — and through decentralised production, also simplifies distribution. This was especially important for the North American market, to which we previosuly had virtually no access, but which has since risen in importance. As older books became out of print, they were also progressively reprinted in this system. The last of the older Cormarë books were republished in the new method in 2011.

Old and new editions of translation volumes

Commencing in 2007, we were able to win the celebrated Tolkien illustrator, Anke Eißmann to provide cover illustrations for many of the books of the Cormarë Series.

Parallel to the Cormarë series, starting in 2000, we created the Tales of Yore series, a collection of tales and stories inspired by Tolkien's sub-creation.

beowulf and the dragon cover Diversifying further, in 2009 we published an art book, Beowulf and the Dragon, featuring the Old English text (in an authentic font) and the Modern English translation side by side. The foreword was written by celebrated Tolkien expert, Tom Shippey. The book is illustrated by Anke Eißmann, and has been printed to a very high quality and bound in hardback, making it ideal as a gift for admirers of Tolkien, mythology or of Old English.

Beowulf and the Dragon Beowulf and the Dragon

The Walking Tree Publishers also occasionally organise, co-organise or otherwise support Tolkien conferences. You can read more about these on our conference pages.

Our books are available from a range of excellent bookstores, including both the bricks-and-mortar and online varieties. We also occasionally attend Tolkien events with our own bookstand, or can sell books directly on the Internet.

Cormare Series on WTP book stand

We are always seeking new articles and contributions for future publications. Authors wishing to submit their work are welcome to consult our services for authors page or contact us. Publications are peer reviewed by our prominent and distinguished board of advisors.

See also the guide to our publications and our news archive. You can also search this website.

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last updated 03.05.11