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WE WANT TO SEE YOUR WORK!
As a UK book publisher with experience in the full range of book genres including novels, children’s books, biographies, non-fiction, true stories and not being afraid to take on controversial issues, we are open to a range of voices and we want to see your manuscripts. If your manuscript is ready to publish simply chose from one of the options below. Although most of our manuscripts arrive in digital format, if you only have a physical copy you can contact us via our contact form with regard to digitising your hard copy. We get a lot of submissions and working with digitised copies enables us to speed up the process and reduce costs thereby offering the best possible publishing packages to our writers.
To find out more, just follow links below and we will be happy to talk to you about making your work come alive.
ARE YOU NEW TO PUBLISHING?
ARE YOU A PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED AUTHOR?
If you have published a book with us before or you are a previously published author and you know the system, please feel free to click here and go straight through to our enquiry form where you can complete the questionnaire and submit your manuscript.
All titles now available at 30% off RRP
Happy Birthday!…You’re Diabetic by David Green
A Goat Called Magic and other stories by Gill Wharmby
Nemesis by Allan Williams
Jo’s First Treasure by Trevor Clare & Iris Buhbe
Maths Untangled by Ann Moore
Walks Around Wonderful Wigan by Cliff Peters
CHOOSING THE RIGHT BOOK PUBLISHER UK
People want to write books for many reasons. It may be that they have an individual passion which they want to share with others or maybe they have written an incredible new fictional concept and want more people to read it. The UK publishes more books per capita than anywhere else in the world with almost 200,000 books published each year and over half a million published each year in English worldwide. With such competition, if you want to see your work in print it requires a lot of effort and ShieldCrest can help make your dream come true. Beware, there are a lot of companies that say they are book publishers or offer book publishing services but they outsource most of the work so, in reality, you are only dealing with the front man.
ShieldCrest is part of Pressman House Publishing Ltd a mainstream publisher with years of experience. We do all the work in-house and turn your manuscript into a high quality professional book which will stand tall against any book you will see on a bookshelf by the world’s leading mainstream publishers.
At Shieldcrest, we also won’t give you any false promises. As well as our range of publishing packages, we have a range of support schemes and guidance on marketing. Competition is tough and we treat our authors as part of the family and have the tools to help our authors succeed in getting their work out there.
Many publishers will say they are the best but we rely on independent companies to assess the real situation and ShieldCrest have been No1 for many years on the independent FreeIndex site from over 200 UK book publishers and based on customer feedback taking into account service, quality and price and ultimately success. We have also been voted the UK’s best self-publisher by SME Business Journal in both 2019 and 2020.
Don’t just listen to what we say, listen to what our authors say. We are unable to access or influence what an author says as these are held by independent companies. OK, we are proud of our achievements and you can see what our authors say here.
NEW BOOK PUBLISHING AUTHORS
If you are new to publishing, you may not be sure what you need and require hand-holding step by step throughout the publishing process. ShieldCrest are accustomed to doing this and welcome new authors. We can also deal with large or small print runs while at the same time keeping the book print cost low. For example, if you are writing for a local club, church or business you might need a small print run and, by contrast, we regularly do high volume print runs where mass distribution is required.
The truth is that it is very difficult to get published as a new author. Most mainstream publishers depend on their well know authors and publishing celebrity memoirs where the high volume initial print run is assured due to the public following the individual has. Another factor against the new author is that mainstream publishers do not accept manuscripts direct but only through agents.
This then leads to another issue, how do you get agency representation when they only get paid if the publisher accepts the work and mainstream publishers aren’t likely to accept work from unknown authors?
It becomes a vicious circle with the budding author becoming very frustrated at the lack of attention being given to his masterpiece. This is why many famous authors such as Stephen King, J K Rowling all started by self-publishing.
However, sadly there are some less scrupulous self-publishers who will charge excessive amounts and offer lots of false promises but give little in return for the author’s investment. This is why it is important for new authors to hear the experiences of other authors who already have gone through the process.
We welcome new authors and make it simple for you to get started. Simply complete the brief enquiry form giving us details of your book where you can also attach your manuscript after which you will receive an immediate acknowledgment and we will provide you with an honest assessment without charge within 2-3 days. If we agree to take on the book we also will make an investment in the publishing cost which gives our authors an added sense of security knowing that we also have an interest in the success of their work.
UK BOOK PUBLISHING OPTIONS
Publishing a book
When thinking about publishing a book. You have to consider the practical aspects. For example, what size do you want the book? If you are writing a phrase book then ideally it should be something that is easily portable for someone visiting another country and may wish to refer to their phrase book when they need to ask a specific question.
The same is true of manga or graphic novels, the readers will have certain expectations of the look and size. This is especially important to consider if you are self-publishing and are looking to distribute the books yourself.
How to get a book published
Once you have established the style and size of your book now you need to ensure it is correctly formatted. You also need to consider if you want to spend the time pitching it to an agent or whether you want to deal direct with the publisher and go down the self-publishing route.
The truth now is that the best self-publishing companies can deal with smaller print runs such as an anthology for a local creative writing group and have international representation and can ensure your book reaches the widest possible audience.
Option one is a basic publishing package without mass distribution.
This is ideal for community projects, business handbooks and manuals or smaller personal work. For example, we have produced company training manuals and family memoirs which have been researched by a family member requiring it to be handed down to future generations.
With this option, we provide professional standard formatting and layouts, design the front and rear covers according to your instructions and a print ready document. You will receive a proof copy within 21 days and the finished book should arrive within a further 14 days.
Option two is the mass retail distribution package. This will include:
Allocation of a unique ISBN, incorporating the necessary copyright protection, lodging book copies with the Legal Deposit Libraries, ensuring your book is available for order through all major high street booksellers and the metadata for the book will be available both online and through retailers worldwide including on-line retailers such as Amazon.
Your royalties from resultant sales through retailers and the author web page are paid quarterly.
The support for your work doesn’t end with the initial publication. At ShieldCrest, we provide additional ongoing support for your book for at least ten years.
WHAT ABOUT MARKETING?
Once a book is out there, the challenge is then how you get people reading it. ShieldCrest offer a range of marketing and promotional services which are described on our web site. This includes a customised author webpage which is particularly useful if you want to arrange book signings and want to offer discounts to entice people to buy your book.
One of the most successful in recent years has been social media. With our social media promotional packages there is the opportunity to engage with your potential audience, giving them the chance to learn why they should buy your book and to turn them from casual onlooker to a potential fan.
You may see some publishers referred to as a publishing house. Often, these will do more than just get words put onto paper. They will often be proactive in overseeing how a writer develops, edit manuscripts in order to make them as tight as possible as well as handling the distribution and financial management of their titles.
We also ensure that our author’s work is beyond criticism and free from typos, grammatical errors, misquotes, etc. by offering a proofreading service. This is something we strongly recommend where required. There is nothing worse than having a great novel which, when reviewed, is criticised for its typos and poor grammar.
Full editing is another option. All authors find that by the time they get to their third book their style and ability to write effectively and keep the reader’s interest improves considerably. With published authors on its team, ShieldCrest will give that first time author a more seasoned voice but it is important to emphasise that it is not the job of an editor to change a writer’s style. What they do is look at what you are trying to say and make it tighter and more effective. Sometimes when reading a book it can take the reader out of a moment if they feel the description is excessive or the individual is talking in a way that doesn’t seem to fit how the writer has set the character up.
When researching a publishing house, look at what they have to offer so you can decide if their services are appropriate for your book and remember to check their submission guidelines before giving them your work (for example they may only want a sample chapter or a summary before deciding if they want to look at your full manuscript).
Because of its short form, there are a number of ways that poetry can be published. With websites and social media, you can share your work for free. If you want a more traditional route, you can submit to magazines, anthologies and literary competitions.
If you have a large enough collection of poems (around 40) then it is something you can put together and submit as one volume, ideally with some kind of theme to tie it together. There are listings available so you can find an ideal poetry publisher to suit you.
Please take a look at our best-selling Poetry Author here
Remember, publishing houses look at a lot of manuscripts, so be prepared to wait for a response. If they say that they will get to you in a month, then it is best to wait a little longer if they don’t immediately get back to you. Remember to be polite and if possible do some research to find the contact within a specific department to reduce too much time.
CHILDREN’S BOOK PUBLISHERS
How to publish a children’s book
For many people, their love of books and reading can be traced back to the stories they read as a child. Whether it was the adventures of ‘Just William’, the mysteries of the ‘Famous Five’ or recent additions such as the work of David Walliams, there is something special in the relationship between children and stories they feel have been crafted for them.
The term “children’s book” is more diverse than you would think. Like adults, children are into a wide variety of things such as fantasy, mystery, action thriller and comic style books all available for children.
What to think about
In order to get a children’s book published, ideally you want to be sure that before you take it to a publisher that it works for children. The first place to start is if you know or have children of your own – this is a great way to test whether it works in terms of their level of enjoyment.
There are more factors to consider when writing a children’s book. The first is to consider what ages you are writing for, as this will affect the kind of language you use and the style of narrative. If it’s for toddlers just learning to read then it needs to be very simple, whereas for older readers the plot can be more complex.
With younger children, the rhythm of a book can make a difference. Ideally you don’t want too many words and a rhyme can help make it feel engaging. With older readers, it can be harder but it is possible to find ways to make it talk to them without having it feel like you are trying too hard to “get” them. As with any other story, you can think about what you were into when you were young and what made you like those particular stories. It also helps to do a little research into current media for children such as animation, video game, films and so forth as that will help create a language for it.
This also affects the kind of characters you choose – do some of research on the kind of things kids of that age are interested in as that will make it easier to determine what you can work with. Ideally, you also want something that can tie in with personal experiences as children also tend to know if a story feels like it’s been too obviously crafted with them in mind (as personified in the “How do you do, fellow kids?” meme).
It is also important to remember that children’s books are not “easier” than any other form of narrative. For example for smaller children crafting rhymes with a rhythm that fits and makes sense can often be more challenging than you think.
Another factor is younger readers often favour complete stories as opposed to cliff hangers or ambiguous endings. Even with a series, children tend to want each part to feel complete.
You may also want to consider whether to add illustrations or work with an illustrator – the latter may be an additional cost but can often be something that draws the attention of a potential publisher. A good publisher will, of course, be able to assist with the illustrations. This is especially useful for smaller children’s books as it is recommended you limit the amount of words. With older children and young adult works it does depend on the genre (such as world maps for fantasy stories).
At ShieldCrest we offer an illustration service, using our own team of experienced illustrators. For younger children, it is recommended that the story stick to around 50 to 1000 words, with the illustrations highlighting the main point of the story.
If you are writing a young adult novel then this is different as they are more likely to engage with reading providing the concept is strong enough and sufficient interest created by the writing. For example, you may only want an illustration such as a map to indicate the key locations in a fantasy novel or possibly pictures at the start of each chapter to highlight key events.
At the heart of it, crafting a children’s story is the same process as crafting a story for adults. You still need characters that they can engage with, a plot that entertains and for them to be left satisfied by the end.
ShieldCrest can not only publish your work but we also offer proofreading, editing and other services to help get your children’s book out there. We want to see you succeed and we have the tools to help you do it. For more information please contact us today and we will be happy to discuss our publishing packages in more detail.
Aside from that, the process is similar to pitching to any other publisher- check their submission process, follow it, ask for feedback if rejected and build on it as necessary, repeat until published.
Therefore it is worth doing your homework and researching the publisher you want to submit to as this will give you an idea of whether or not your work fits in with what they currently have (there are websites and books that can provide links for this).
Be prepared for rejection because you can learn from this and avoid making the same mistake again. It isn’t necessarily a no – if they are willing to offer feedback then you should see how you can adjust your work. Trust your instincts – if it seems like they aren’t forthcoming with feedback consider looking elsewhere.
BOOK COVER GALLERY
How To Publish a Book
A lot of people have ambitions to write a book and dream of having their book published. Whether it is a sweeping fantasy epic or research into their family history, there is a desire to see their work on the printed page. However, it is not always easy to know what the best option is when it comes to getting your worked published and this is why it is important to know how to publish a book and to ensure it is handled by a reputable book publisher.
The process can take years and eventually you get to the point where you feel it is ready for publishing. The next part is a bit trickier- how to publish a book requires you to ask a few questions about what your aim is for the book, what your audience is and the most effective ways of reaching that audience.
By finding the right answers to these questions, it becomes easier to narrow it down and find the ideal publisher who will be able to give you the tools you need in order to get your book looking professional and out there.
When thinking about how to get a book published, you need to look at the services they also have to offer. Some publishers will give you additional help with marketing such as press releases and social media, something that can give you promotion an extra professional sheen.
What Do You Want?
When it comes to publishing your work, it is important to consider who your audience is. This doesn’t mean chasing trends – often the most popular titles tend to be ones that go against the current trend and you inevitably get people chasing that initial success. Ideally, you want to get your work done and then consider on the basis of what you have created.
It is easy to say “I want to appeal to everyone”. While there are plenty of titles out there that have a broad appeal, often you can narrow it down. For example; fans of the fantasy genre or people with an interest in boxing.
Sometimes, you may want to produce something that is for a specific purpose such as your school or university which may have an anthology of students’ work. Therefore it would be more appropriate to have a smaller print run that would reflect the people who are likely to buy it.
This is why at Shieldcrest we offer two distinct packages – there is the larger scale distribution package and the smaller runs that are better suited to local or more niche interests. We also offer proof reading and editing, something we strongly recommend in order to get your work at its highest possible quality before it is widely distributed. Spellchecking can help to an extent but a human editor will be better at spotting how to make a phrase tighter, pointing out unnecessary exposition or excessive description.
It is also worth considering what they offer in terms of royalties or how they help you get more sales. Think about how they react to your book- do they get what it is about?
Publishing Houses UK
There is a diverse range of publishing houses in the UK and they come in various categories. You will probably be familiar with the biggest names as they tend to be the ones that dominate the larger chain bookstores and supermarkets.
However, there are also publishers that specify in fantasy, horror or travel. You can also find ones dedicated to a particular demographic such as religious titles.
Then there are self-publishers, the people who can help you print your work and provide assistance on various levels, though this will depend on the kind of packages they have to offer.
What you choose will depend on how you personally approach the promotion of your book- some authors want to have more control over how their work is marketed and where it will be distributed and so a self-publisher appeals to them more.
Alternatively, other people will look at a specific publisher and decide that their track record and the kind of writers they have worked with in the past is best suited to their needs. In this instance, it is important that you look at their submission guidelines.
It is also worth remembering that just because a company allows submissions, it does not necessarily mean they will allow them all the time. Check company websites for regular updates as there may be some instances when they are not accepting submissions for a period but they may also specify looking again.
In short, when going over the range of publishing houses UK you have to think about what you want, who you are pitching to and the likely audience. This will allow you to narrow down your approach, the way you approach them and tailor your work if necessary.
If they give you feedback, you can decide for yourself whether to further tailor to their requests or go elsewhere. There is no right or wrong as there are different options available. With the right approach, you will find the ideal UK publishing house to suit your needs.
The process of getting a book published is a long one. Don’t be downhearted if you are rejected- a lot of high profile writers went through dozens of rejections (often the so-called “overnight successes” took years to get to that point.)
Which Book Publisher?
The physical act of getting a book published is one thing but that is only the beginning. Where it becomes a challenge is where the book is to be available and making people aware of it. There is no instant formula for selling books as this process takes time.
When it comes to publishing companies UK, there are a lot of different companies that fit this particular description. They can range from small presses designed to suit specific niches right through to the largest publishing houses that tend to feature the latest celebrity autobiography or children’s books.
If you are looking to get a book published it is worth knowing the different types of publishers that are out there, as this will give you a better idea of what is suited to your needs.
Large Mainstream Publishers
Larger publishers will typically be the big names that you know. One problem with up and coming authors trying to approach them is that they simply won’t accept work that doesn’t come from a recognised agent.
You may then think that the solution is to get an agent. The process of approaching an agent is similar to approaching a publisher. It can be difficult because they will want proof that your work has an audience appeal and this can be hard to prove if you haven’t previously been published.
You may think that going to a smaller publisher may be a better idea. Some often welcome new authors. However, the downside may be that they do not have the resources in order to promote your work. In other instances they may have a specific niche that your book does not fit.
Self-publishing comes in many forms. You can do it via an e-book service but in recent times there has been less demand for this. Furthermore, it can be hard to make money when posting your titles on the larger e-book platforms.
Where we can help
As with many things, the solution is often a balance. You want someone who can give you the wide distribution you need, while at the same time being able to give your work the attention it deserves.
At ShieldCrest we look at the work that is submitted to us. Our packages are specifically tailored for the needs of our writers.
In addition to this, we also offer a number of additional services. For example, our professional proof-readers and editors can go over your work, giving it that extra polish and checking for any embarrassing spelling errors or clumsy sentence structure. We also have a team of experienced illustrators to hand. While people may say “Don’t judge a book by its cover” in reality most people know by sight whether or not they want to read a book so this is a factor worth considering.
Marketing is also something we offer. With all the books published every year, you need every advantage available to you, especially when it comes to promoting a work by a new writer. These services include press releases, something that will help you get featured in more media outlets, book reviews, eBooks for Kindle and other book reading devices, point of sale material, etc. Increasingly, social media is also a low cost and effective marketing tool but it does need to be handled in the right way, which is why we offer a specialist service to help with that as well.
If you can, ask for feedback so that you can go over your work and make it tighter. It may be after a while that you decide to go down the self-publishing route as opposed to approaching more major publishers and that’s fine, you need to work out what works best for you.
Book Publishers UK
With over quarter of a million books published in the UK every year, it is no surprise that there is a diverse range of publishers. The larger traditional publishers will not read unsolicited manuscripts. This means they will not look at anything that has not been submitted by an agency.
Smaller publishers will have their own submission guidelines so it is worth checking them before you submit your work as well as ensuring that your book is in the genre that they actively promote.
When self-publishing, check to make sure that your work has been properly formatted. It is also worth getting feedback from an experienced person to review your work for any spelling errors, plot holes or anything that could be tightened up.
When looking at UK publishers, it is worth getting advice from writers who have used them before, as well as checking online reviews from other writers who have used their services in the past. With the latter, it is worth checking a range of reviews and ensure they are hosted by an independent site as this will indicate whether or not they are genuine reviews.
Remember when contacting publishers to be reasonable- if they ask you to contact them again after a certain period of time don’t pester them beforehand. Following up afterwards is alright but don’t push too hard when asking for a response as they often need to time to review the proposal.
You could have the most engaging spy thriller, beautiful fantasy world or sweeping romance, but there is always the danger that a glaring error could take people out of the moment and ruin the tone.
How to self publish a book
There are various ways of self-publishing, depending on how you want to distribute your work. It is now a lot simpler to upload an e-book but the style, syntax and grammar are no less important and too many books are uploaded which are simply unreadable. Hard copy in paperback and hardback is still the dominant market and the same criteria apply here too. This is where the self-publishing company can play an important part.
The challenge with this comes from when you need to print physical copies. Ideally you want a publisher that can allow you to do the level of print run you want while at the same time giving you the support needed to help promote your title. While it is possible to do this yourself, it may be better and more cost-effective in the long term to use the services of a self-publishing company to publish your title.
It may sound like a small thing but it does make a difference and should be something that a publisher looks at when offering feedback. After all, the aim should be to produce the best possible work.
We Want To Hear From You
As a recognised reputable book publisher, we do our utmost to tailor our services to suit you. We work on a diverse range of topics and are open to a wide array of submissions. To find out more about how to publish a book with us and what we can do for your work please contact us today. If your manuscript is ready then send it to us here.