Jacqui Tam Senior Partner and Editor-in-Chief
Peter Tam Partner, Editor, and CFO
Kenneth Tam Partner, Editor, and Author
look beneath the surface
The story of Iceberg Publishing dates back to July 1974 in Newfoundland, when a 14-year-old girl walks across Bellevue Beach with her father, picks up a piece of iceberg, and with him carries it home. Some 20 years later, after her father’s decade-long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, she writes his story, eventually entering negotiations with a literary agent who proceeds to secure a publisher. But there are sticking points, and when he says, “When you sign with me, I’ll own your father’s story,” she walks away. Iceberg Publishing – a family partnership – is officially formed on July 9, 2002.
The first shipment of Iceberg’s first title – A Daughter’s Gift, by Jacqui Tam – arrives on August 8th, the date that would have been her father’s 80th birthday.
In September, the book launches at a special event hosted by Words Worth Books in Waterloo, Ontario.
The Newfoundland launch of A Daughter’s Gift takes place during Alzheimer's Awareness Month at the Land Rover Dealership in St. John's. Everyone who knew her father knows the location is perfect.
In the fall, Kenneth Tam's first novel, The Human Equation, is released at a special event hosted by his former High School, St. David CSS, and the Earthers are introduced to the world.
Weeks later, Kenneth launches a book tour covering Chapters locations across Southern Ontario. In addition to his Chief Financial Officer, advisor and editor roles, Peter becomes chief roadie.
Kenneth is invited to the 18th edition of Toronto Trek, then Canada's largest fan-run convention. Jacqui spends the weekend staring at Klingons and Darth Vader while doing research for the company.
After Toronto Trek, Kenneth embarks on a final Chapters tour with the launch of his second novel, The Alien Equation.
Iceberg moves from trade paperback format to pocket paperback for all of its titles, and issues new editions of A Daughter’s Gift, The Human Equation, and The Alien Equation. Kenneth visits Newfoundland to launch The Renegade Equation beneath the planets of the solar system at the Johnson GEO Centre. While in Newfoundland, he visits classrooms, runs a writing workshop, wanders through the battlements at Signal Hill, and visits a Bellevue Beach with Jacqui.
A couple of months later he travels to Lethbridge, Alberta, for book events at his former school, Father Leonard Van Tighem. The Earther Equation launches at Toronto Trek 19, where Kenneth is again a guest. Iceberg sets up a booth in the Dealer's Room, where, in between selling books, Jacqui stares at Klingons, Darth Vader, and Doctor Who.
The new Defense Command series launches with two titles, The Rogue Commodore and The Almost Coup, while Kenneth appears as a guest at Toronto Trek 20. He spends the weekend explaining that he is not, in fact, Ken Barron, the central character and first-person narrator of the new series. Also launched at that event is The Genesis Equation, and an Equations spinoff novel, The Campaign Equation: Retaliation by Wes Prewer.
Two more Defense Command novels, The Hawke Mission and The Independent Squadron, are launched at a special event at Wilfrid Laurier University in November.
Mid-year, Iceberg heads to Vancouver for more events, and switches printers from Blitzprint (Calgary, AB) to Webcom (Toronto, ON).
In preparation for the launch of a new series, Jacqui sits on a log in the middle of the 'grasslands' while Iceberg conducts a photo shoot with the re-enactors of the Canadian Military Heritage Society at the Morningstar Mill in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Kenneth is the first-ever guest at the first-ever Newfoundland sci-fi convention, Sci Fi on the Rock, as well as Polaris 21 (a re-named Toronto Trek convention).
In the spring, John Fioravanti's A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching is released at a special event hosted by the school where he has taught for more than two decades – St. David CSS.
Also released that year: The Gallant Few, The Jupiter Patrol, The Sinope Affair, The Dark Cruise, and The Vengeance Equation. Drama ensues when an extra 'e' finds its way into 'Jupiteer' on the first print run of The Jupiter Patrol, which is delivered the evening before the book is set to release.
The year begins with a special Laurier Skiffy (student sci-fi club) event for The Sinope Affair and The Dark Cruise. Friends who have inspired key characters gather for a photograph, not realizing how frequently said image might show up on social media in later years.
At Sci-Fi on the Rock 2, Kenneth launches The Grasslands, kicking off the His Majesty's New World series, and nearly – nearly – sings "Old Man River" with the original Boba Fett.
At Polaris 22, The Nemesis Equation, The Canary Wars and The Forge Fires are released. Defense Command fans who line up on Friday evening for the new releases come back the next morning to see if the next titles have magically appeared.
John Fioravanti's book, A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching, wins an Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) bronze medal, which provides the perfect reason for a celebratory reception with his friends, family and fans in Waterloo.
Iceberg changes printers again: from Webcom (Toronto, ON) to Friesens (Altona, MB).
Back at Sci-Fi on the Rock 3, Kenneth launches The Frontier. At Polaris 23, the final Equations novel, The Destiny Equation, is released, wrapping up the story of the Earthers, Kroggs, Larosians and humans, and asking the question: What does it mean to be full of light?
Defense Command's The Mercury Assault and The Fleet Clash are released as the Defense Command series takes over as Iceberg's science fiction flagship.
Mid-year, Iceberg begins discussions with Ingram's Lightning Source division, and launches the '2010 Plan', which will allow for global distribution of all its titles.
On January 1, all Iceberg titles are released in new editions through Ingram's Lightning Source division, meaning they are distributed to English-language book markets worldwide. Existing Defense Command novels are combined into new omnibus editions.
At a special event in June, The Reprisal is launched aboard a 1922 train car in Waterloo, Ontario. As they board the train, guests are treated to Purity cookies from Newfoundland, in the kind of snack packs that would have been provided to the series' alternative Royal Newfoundland Regiment as they left Earth for the new world.
The Mars Convention and The Egesta Crisis follow at Polaris 24, along with Finding The Range, an anthology of novellas by Wes Prewer, Charles Chiang, and Kenneth Tam.
In October, Kenneth is a guest at the inaugural edition of HalCon, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Kenneth attends his final Polaris convention, launching The Pax Terra, The Articles of Empire, and The Expedition. Planning commences for Iceberg's upcoming tenth anniversary, including major initiatives like the conversion of all Iceberg titles into the ebook format, the launch of the new Champions series, and a move away from event-based marketing.
Iceberg celebrates its tenth anniversary and charts a new course for its second decade.
All titles are moved onto the ebook platform, first in the Apple iBookstore and then the Kobo store. In February, Apple features The Rogue Commodore and A Daughter’s Gift in their respective iBookstore sections, opening the company to a new American audience.
Jacqui and Peter go shopping for boots. Jacqui and Kenneth shop for coats, shirts and pants. The son of a re-enactor agrees to let a young lady wear his battle dress, so that in May, a special day-long photoshoot can be conducted in Waterloo for the new Champions series.
In July, The Badlands and The Empire are released, bringing a close to the His Majesty’s New World series.
The final four Defense Command novels are the first Iceberg titles to be released exclusively as ebooks: Tapestries of Blood, Memories of Angels, Acts of War, and Enemies of Empire are only available individually in the digital format, while the omnibus 2235: The World Is Broken is made available in print.
At a special Tenth Anniversary Gala in Waterloo, the new Champions series kicks off with the launch of Whitecoat. A special anniversary edition of A Daughter’s Gift is also released. And a new Iceberg website goes online, marking Iceberg's expansion to the global digital marketplace.
"Tam’s decade-long pioneering experience in this new, no-rules publishing world shows that small presses can invent themselves as they evolve," writes a national newspaper columnist.
The Champions series begins launching ebook novellas on a bi-monthly basis, including Firebox, Grand Banks, Elspeth, Mandarins, and Dragons. In the fall, the print omnibus War Footing is released.
Kenneth and Jacqui both begin writing author notes, their fancy name for their blogs, leading to new relationships around the world.
In May, Kenneth is invited to attend Battle of the Atlantic Week with HMCS Sackville in Halifax, beginning a lasting relationship with the historic ship. Sets of the first 12 Defense Command novels find their way to every ship in the RCN when Kenneth gets to meet the commanding officer of CFB Halifax.
The 10th Anniversary edition of A Daughter’s Gift receives an IPPY silver medal in the memoir category. Jacqui and Kenneth travel to New York for the presentation, then crawl around Intrepid, ride to the top of the Rockefeller Center, to take photos, and eat cheesecake.
The new Championsof1940.com website wins gold in the Hermes Creative Awards, an international competition for professionals in the creative industries, and an entirely cool statue is given a place of honour in the Iceberg office.
Iceberg's ebook titles move onto the Kindle platform, leading to a rapid expansion of US readership.
Continuing on a bi-monthly basis, the Champions series sees five new novellas: Snapdragon, Dominoes, Scourge, Outports and Progeny.
Planning for a future project in the His Majesty’s New World universe, Iceberg works with the Dundee Diehard reenactment team in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, to conduct a special photoshoot.
In the early fall, the Iceberg team uproots from Waterloo, Ontario, and moves the company to Edmonton, Alberta – western Canada, which inspired the Selkirk Mandate in His Majesty's New World. Ahead of the move, Iceberg works with author John Fioravanti to spin off his own allied publishing house, Fiora Books – now the publisher of A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching, and other titles in the Equations universe.
At the start of the year, Kenneth releases The Count, a free ebook novella which takes place 25 years before The Grasslands, and sheds light on the origins of both His Majesty’s New World and Champions. January also sees the release of War Footing, the Champions omnibus including the 2014 novellas.
Moving away from a bi-monthly schedule, Iceberg launches all five of the year's Champions novellas simultaneously in November, including Shangri-La, Shades, Hades, Savages and Scars.
Early 2016, Kenneth releases Scar Tissue, the print omnibus covering the adventures of Alex, Stephanie and Strong during 1943.
In September, on what would have been her mother’s birthday, Jacqui releases Twenty-one Days in May, the memoir that shares the heartbreaking three-week period from when her mother was diagnosed with cancer on May 5, 2006 and when she died on May 25.
2017 was bookended with Champions releases –– starting with a prologue, Fray on January 1 and ending with Epitaph on December 31. The titles in between included Innocents, Vows, Bedlam and Torngat.
In June 2018, Kenneth releases Battle Line, the print omnibus that includes all six Champions adventures from 1944.
For the first time since 2002, Iceberg takes a breather and doesn’t release any new titles during the calendar year. Instead, focus is directed towards longer-term future projects.
Four Champions novellas launch in 2020 – Foothold (the 1945 Prologue), Fate, Legion and Strong – and the schedule is finalized for wrapping up the series.
In March, Iceberg worked with the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary in Cochrane, Alberta to create a photo-ebook –– That Wolfdog Lifestyle –– to help support the sanctuary when it had to stop its educational programming and close its doors to the public during the first waves of COVID-19. The ebook version quickly became the #1 best seller on Amazon in its category, and the subsequent print version, released in late May, continues to garner sales from as far away as Australia. In the meantime, research for a second book about the Sanctuary –– Wolves Don’t Bark –– is underway.