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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
Return to the Wild – Our Children Our Earth Book 2 by S. Narraidoo
The Filipino Doll by Peter Harris
The Offer of a Lifetime by Guy Harwood
Vegetarianism & Reasoned Judgement by Payam Felehgari
Trainee Solicitors’ Loves, Lives and Tribulations by Jerry Hawthorne
Bobby Black – The Grand Warlord of Great Britain by R.R. Knight
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
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.
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.
CHILDREN’S BOOK PUBLISHERS
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.
What to think about
There are a few 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.
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.
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.
BOOK COVER GALLERY
What to be aware of when publishing a book
The act of writing can be a great pleasure. It is a moment when you take all your experiences, all the stories you have ever read and fuse them into a new form that becomes your own narrative.
Equally, the process can be difficult and frustrating as it can involve a lot of writing and rewriting, agonising over whether or not the plot works or the characters are interesting and even right down to the right sentence structure.
Once the process is done and your work is complete you can then think about approaching a publisher. Here are a few things that you should think about when publishing a book.
Is the book ready?
Before you submit something, this is a question that you need to consider and answer honestly. A big thing before sending anything out is to get proper feedback and constructive criticism.
Someone saying something is “great” or “rubbish” is not constructive. What you want is someone who can break down what you are trying to achieve and is able to offer advice based on the end goal you have in mind. This can be difficult as some people may see your work as a comedic pastiche genre, while you see it as deep and dramatic. Nevertheless, the process of someone giving feedback can be useful as you can gauge for yourself whether or not the message you are trying to send is getting through.
Professional publishing is vital and is what the industry should be about, at ShieldCrest we offer advice to our authors together with an editing and proof reading service. The latter of these is useful at the final stage of a book after you have laid the groundwork of the storyline and at the point where it can be finally moulded into shape.
Good editors are more likely to be objective as they will have seen many similar manuscripts and will have an idea of what a reader expects from the genre. With any story, the balance is always between giving people what they want to read and finding ways of expressing it in the best way possible.
A proof reading service is also useful because it can be easy for writers to focus so hard on what they are writing that they miss grammatical errors. Clumsy grammar or repeated phrases can detract from the reader’s enjoyment of the story. We learned to our cost in our early days when a review was put on-line which said; “A great story but it is a shame the publisher didn’t iron out the many grammatical errors in the text before publishing it”. Ouch! Never again we said.
The cover will be judged
By now, most people are aware of the old saying about books not being judged by covers. While this is well repeated proverb, the reality is that people make snap judgements all the time.
For example, the next time you are in a supermarket look at products filling the shelves and you will find your eyes being drawn to certain ones and the chances are that these will be brightly coloured and ornate. While many people know what they want to purchase, they will often find that while searching for it they are attracted to something that’s saying “I’m here, this is what you want, get me now.” I know people reading this will attest to having left a shop with much more than they went for.
Covers can often be shorthand for people who want to choose a particular genre. The text or colours that you see for a conspiracy thriller will be different from a volume of Shakespeare. Going back to the supermarket analogy, people might have a certain product brand in mind but then notice another brand which they end up purchasing. They will not know how it was they spotted it but you can be sure the store managers knew when arranging the shelves as there is a science behind supermarket product layout that the shopper is simply not aware of.
This is why Shieldcrest has a team of illustrators who provide illustrations for book covers and internal pictures for children’s books, etc. It allows us to create a look that will give your target audience a better chance of choosing your book.
The size of your book can also be a consideration when people are thinking about what they are buying. Certain books lend themselves to being larger and hard-backed, giving it an epic quality, whereas a guidebook is handier if it’s pocket size.
ShieldCrest can produce books of any size but we recommend looking at our website for more information on the size specifications for different types of book. As examples, we offer UK and USA novel sizes, A4 and even the USA Pocket Book size and everything in between to suit. Most authors will ask us to recommend the best size as it not only affects the appearance but also the print cost which we endeavour to keep to a minimum as it ultimately affects the sale price. This obviously becomes an important criterion as you need to weigh up the sale price and its effect on the number of book copies you are likely to sell.
Choosing a publisher
Once you are confident that your book is finished you are then ready to approach the publisher. This is where it can get difficult as there are advantages and disadvantages with the various options available to you.
The problem with the larger mainstream publishers is that they will usually work through agents and refuse unsolicited submissions while others may focus on a particular genre so it is therefore important to do your research before submitting to them. Agency representation suggests wrongly that it is someone whose work has been approved by the industry but then raises the next question; “How do you get an agent?” You quickly realise that this becomes difficult because they only earn if the book is accepted by the publisher- the merry-go-round!
Not all publishers are the same and smaller mainstream publishers such as our parent company, Pressman House Publishing, may be more open when it comes to submissions. This at least allows you to have someone look at your work. The process will vary as some may want an initial synopsis before deciding whether or not they want to look at the whole manuscript.
The downside of this is that they are all looking to ensure that the first print run must be 10,000 or more as this is the only way they will get their investment back. Inevitably a more open submission process means more competition. The process can change over time too as publishers may be too busy during certain times in the year to look at new submissions. Their focus may also be more niche market so will decide if your work is suitable for the particular demographic they are targeting.
Self-publishing is another route. However, it is important to be very careful if you want to choose this particular option. There are some companies which charge disproportionate amounts and provide a poor service or indeed no service at all in return.
Offering a balance
At ShieldCrest Publishing we looked at other options available to writers and decided to offer something different. We wanted to be sure that writers got value for money and that they would receive a tangible benefit for choosing ShieldCrest over other publishers. This is why we decided to be selective and bridge the gap between mainstream publishers and self-publishers and make an investment in the publishing cost for all our authors. This gives them the comfort of knowing that we believe in their work and willing to share part of the risk.
We are also open to a wide range of genres. While it is important to target and market demographics in the right way, it is not the same as chasing trends or focusing on one particular niche.
The fact is that writers want different things from their books too. Some may need wider distribution for a novel while others have written a guide book about picturesque walks in their area. In each case they require different emphasis when it comes to marketing.
This is why we offer different types of publishing packages to suit the needs of our authors. If you are a business, club or community group and only require a small quantity to distribute around members, then this is something that we can accommodate at a very low cost. We will format the book to our usual high standard, provide you with a proof copy and once you are happy with it, provide the quantity required within 14 working days.
Alternatively, if you want to publish your book to a global audience we have a service for that too. Our wider distribution package is ideal for authors who want to see their book put in front of the widest possible readership. This includes a unique ISBN number which identifies the book title, author and the publisher worldwide. High street bookshops also use this to order books direct or through wholesalers.
You can read more about these alternatives here.
Having published the book, if you think that is the end of the process, in fact it is just the beginning because you are likely to be unknown and now you want people to read it. Add to this the competition for entertainment from streaming, movies, video games and online videos, marketing now becomes a very important element.
ShieldCrest provides a full range of marketing services and one of these uses the power of social media. Social media is an example of how an item or event can spread rapidly and reach more people in a way that would not have been thought possible only a few years ago. A prime example of this can be found in the amazing fundraising event by 100 year old Capt. Tom Moore who set out to raise £1,000 for the NHS and it hit social media resulting in almost £40 million.
Equally, social media is something that requires careful management and ShieldCrest has developed a social media marketing package. Where authors decide to use this as part of their marketing strategy, we have social media experts who can engage with them and explain the benefits of the various packages available.
Equally, you should not dismiss other forms of media when it comes to promotion and they all play a part in getting the book known. This is why we also offer a complete range of promotional services including press releases and a featured author section on our website allows for more exposure and the facility to sell your book at a special promotional price while also increasing the royalty from each sale.
We want to hear from you
ShieldCrest is passionate about our authors’ work. It can’t be stressed enough- the act of creativity can be beneficial in itself, providing people the opportunity to express themselves.
If you are ready to send us your work then we want to see it. We work closely with our writers and like to see interesting and engaging stories on a wide variety of topics. We are open-minded, always looking for titles that we feel would be engaging and where there is an audience and appetite for the subject.
The fact is; markets shift and tastes change. Often, something out of the ordinary may end up becoming a bestseller and in turn help to change the market. We believe it is important to gauge each title on its own merits as opposed to current prevailing trends. Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, it is where the end product fits and can satisfy the potential reader. We also never shy away from controversial subjects.
If you would like to submit something to us, simply complete our enquiry form which can all be done easily and swiftly on line and attach you manuscript. It sometimes happens that the manuscript is in written form and if this is the case just let us know via our contact form so that we can arrange to digitise it.
Digital formatting is what allows us to keep our costs down, so that we can provide a better service to our authors while at the same time keeping costs to a minimum. All authors consider their work to be a winner and occasionally are concerned about releasing their masterpiece in case of plagiarism and we would like to reassure potential authors that we receive hundreds of manuscripts and if we do not go ahead with publishing the manuscript we have received are either returned or destroyed.
Something we haven’t mentioned is that all our author’s books are print-on-demand so our authors do not need to invest in large quantities. Many are also first time writers who need guiding through the process when first getting started. We regard this as another important aspect of our job; to work closely with first time authors and offer advice on the design and content of their book and the most effective publishing packaging.
In addition to physical copies (hard copies), we are also able to convert the work to an eBook in the different formats necessary to suit different e-Readers. Once done, we make them available for download in over 60 countries.
Our authors also receive their royalty reports every three months, thereby keeping them up to date on progress of book sales.
In short, ShieldCrest do all we can to help our authors see their publishing dreams come true. At the same time, we are here to give guidance and support. Books are something people will always want and despite the range of visual media available, curling up on the sofa with a good book is still something people love to do. We saw the evidence of this during the recent pandemic when our book sales soared.
To find out more or to discuss your manuscript with us please use our contact form or give us a call and we will be happy to discuss your book and help you on your publishing journey.