My Publishing Aims

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.

‘I just want to see my book in print, perhaps for family, colleagues and friends’

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.

‘I would like to publish enough books to cover my costs or make a profit’

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.

‘I have tried commercial publishers. Some say my book is too specialised, some that they want to make changes I don't want to make, and others just don’t reply’

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.

‘I represent an organisation and would like to produce a book to sell and/or use to promote it’

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.