The main speciality of the Tartarus Press is their publication of classic works of curious and macabre fiction. They aim for the highest production values with their collectable, limited edition hardbacks bound in sewn sections and printed lithographically on acid-free paper. Most titles have original dust-jacket artwork and many have decorated, embossed boards. Tartarus publishes classic supernatural fiction by Arthur Machen, M. P. Shiel, Hugh Walpole, Gustav Meyrink, Oliver Onions, and more modern authors such as Sarban, Robert Aickman and David Lindsay, alongside contemporary writers including Quentin S. Crisp, Mark Valentine, Angela Slatter and Rhys Hughes. Wormwood, a twice-yearly journal, is devoted to discussion of fantastic, supernatural and decadent literature.
The other speciality has been their reference book, a Guide to First Edition Prices, which is now in its eighth edition and has been described as an extremely valuable book. Edited by R.B. Russell, the present edition gives the values of over 50,000 sought after books.
Tartarus won the World Fantasy Award "Special Award: Non-Professional" for their publishing in 2002 2004, and 2012, and Strange Tales, their anthology of new short fiction, won the 2004 World Fantasy Award for Best Anthology of the year. The Horror Writers Association gave Tartarus Press the "Excellence in Speciality Press Publishing" award for 2009.