Welcome to Scotforth Books

Thank you for finding your way to Scotforth Books; you have taken the first step on the
exciting and enjoyable road towards publishing your own book.

My Publishing Aims – why do I want to publish this book?

Before an author or organisation decides whether or not to go ahead and invest in the publication of their book, we believe it is vitally important for them to be clear about what they are hoping to achieve by publishing their book. The costs will of course vary hugely, depending on what sort of book you want, and unless your budget is limitless you will need to consider what you have in mind and who the book is for.

We always advise that before you consider spending your own money you explore the possibility, if appropriate, of finding a publisher for your book who will fund its production, then market and sell it for you. This can be a soul destroying exercise and you may well end up concluding that self-publishing is the best option for you, but if you think your book may have a wider market than just friends and family, do try first.

There is no doubt that a book is a very special thing to create, and to give (or possibly sell) to family, friends and colleagues. Modern techniques allow us to print even a very few copies, in paperback or hardback, and you can also choose to make your book available as an e-book.

Instead of having the aim of making a profit, or even just recouping some of your investment, you are in effect buying a bespoke product of which you can be very proud, and which will be there for generations to come.

If you have access to a good market for your book, such as your local community, churchgoers, society members, a business etc., you will probably have a rough idea of how many potential buyers there might be for your book, and will be able to make the book available to them directly. We can give you lots of creative ideas for reaching your target audience, and this advice is free of charge if we produce your book for you.

If, however, you want to sell the book more widely via the book trade, you need to be very realistic about the difficulties of making a profit from such sales. In some cases a combination of luck, tenacity and good management can result in a measure of success – very proactive authors can help a great deal – but you will need to bear in mind the high discounts you will need to give to booksellers or distributors etc, and if you don’t want to market and sell your books yourself you may have to consider paying for this service, which can be very costly.

We will give you our honest opinion of the likely appeal of your book and offer advice accordingly on the quantity and specifications, so that you can make an informed decision.

These days, many publishers won’t even reply to authors’ submissions unless they come via an agent, which in turn are hard to interest. In a significant number of cases the response from either publishers or agents will be positive in terms of the book itself but not in respect of the market for it. In the main, only ‘safe bets’ are being taken on, where the publisher considers that there is a large, relatively certain and accessible market. In some cases publishers may require substantial changes to the book, which you may or may not wish to make, and the whole process of publishing can take rather a long time if they have to feed your book into schedules which are planned years in advance.

Whatever the reason for not following the commercial publisher route, self-publishing is an very popular alternative, and one that, though it certainly cannot be guaranteed to be profitable, does give you exactly the book you want relatively quickly.

Over the years we have produced books for a very broad range of organisations, including Lancaster University, Stevenage Borough Council, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Thwaites Brewery, Sussex University, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, Walker Art Gallery, and many history societies, hospitals and schools. Often these are prestigious publications, heavily illustrated and designed for use as promotional tools as well as for sale. Like all the books we produce, each is unique and designed individually, tailored to the content and to the image of the organisation.

Anything is possible, though, from a small leaflet right up to a limited edition boxed hardback, and we know that our costs are very competitive.

The First Steps

What we can do for you > What we need from you > Free estimates

Are You Ready To Talk?

Click below to contact us and find out more.

The Publishing Process

We’ve created a handy guide to explain each major stage in the publishing process, focusing on what you, as a self-publishing author, need to know, and avoiding the technical stuff you don’t need to worry about.


  • I have been very pleased and impressed by the sympathetic help Scotforth Books have given at all stages in the publishing process. I feel that the book has turned out to be just as I had hoped (in fact better) and seems to be well received and the overall design and presentation praised by the people who have looked at it.

    My Story – Click Here

    Roger Cartwright
    Author of Wind on the Hills

Contact Us Today!

Ready to talk to us about self-publishing? Excellent!

Before you contact us about your project, make sure you do the following:

  • Read through our section on Starting out – think about your publishing aims
  • Read up on the publishing process – an easy way to get familiar with how everything works
  • Take a look at a few examples from our previous clients
  • Read the Checklist and note down your specifications

If you need to discuss any aspect of your project, at any stage, there will be someone here who can help. We have a small team and all of us enjoy the contact we have with authors and others involved in the book production process.

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Scotforth Books is an imprint of Carnegie Publishing