Stories are waiting to be told, and your novel is waiting to be published. Here at ShieldCrest, we work with authors to bring their novels to life. If you have a novel painstakingly written on your laptop in snatched rainy afternoons, or handwritten on long commutes, then why not share it with the world? Working with a professional publishing house will give you the right team to turn your story into a published novel. Whether you have written your novel to entertain, enlighten, or amuse, we can turn your work of fiction into a physically published novel that you can hold proudly in your hand.
Fiction Publishing Services in the UK
Here at ShieldCrest, we work with creative minds from across the world to publish quality fiction that is sold throughout the UK and beyond. Fiction is as popular as ever, whether giving people an escape from their own lives or a door of clarity into other people’s worlds. Fiction doesn’t need to be complex, or deeply meaningful, sometimes a great adventure story or delightful detective story can be the most popular. But as a writer, you will have a story that you want to tell, and we can help you tell it.
What Are Fiction Publishing Houses Looking For?
As a fiction publisher, there are certain things that we look for when we first read a manuscript. A good story, that is well-plotted, with believable characters, who have depth to their personalities. We look for an author who has a distinctive voice with a thorough understanding of grammar so that the story is well constructed and well written. A good story should flow nicely, keeping us wanting to turn the pages. This said, we do have extremely experienced editors on our team, and we will work with books to improve and polish them if we see the potential within. We don’t want books that are clones of current bestsellers, or stories from writers who have obviously just jumped on whatever the current bandwagon is. Write the story that you want to write, from the heart, with feeling, and that story will sell.
Process of Publishing a Fiction Book
Publishing is not a quick process. It involves many experienced professionals working together to transform your typed manuscript into a physical book ready for sale.
Writing and Revision
So, obviously, you have to write your book! This in itself takes time, and once you have written it, you need to edit and check and edit again. Make sure it is as good as it can be before you send it to a publisher.
Make sure your manuscript is in a good layout and a legible font. Different publishing houses will have different submission guidelines, so you may need to alter your manuscript to send it out to each publisher.
Research Publishing Options
Today there are many ways to get published, not just through the traditional mainstream publishing houses. Self-publishing has become increasingly popular, as breaking into the mainstream is renowned for its difficulty. Do your research, find a publisher you like the sound of, and read some of the work they have published. Often a publisher will concentrate on certain types or styles of books, so see if yours fits their current list.
Submitting to Publishers
Check their submission guidelines. This is the most important point. If you are unsure, ring and ask them to clarify. You do not want your novel to be rejected because you have failed to follow their submission guidelines.
Acquisitions and Contract Negotiation
When you find a publisher to work with, you will need a contract. This is a legal contract, so make sure you understand what you are signing, and seek independent advice if you are unsure of the points within the contract.
Editing is an extremely important element of creating your finished novel. A good editor will work with you, improving and honing your story, and bringing it together. Try not to be disheartened by this stage, editing is a vital part of the process, and often having fresh eyes on your novel can be extremely productive.
Design and Production
A good cover design is essential. The cover needs to resonate with the story within. People are attracted to certain covers, and good design grasps people’s attention and creates emotion before they even turn the first page. Layout including decisions about font, size, and style are also needed, to ensure that they match the tone of the story.
Printing and Distribution
Then the exciting part: when your story is printed and turned into a physical book that you can hold in your hand. These books are then ready to be distributed around booksellers, ready to be picked up by eager readers looking for their next favourite novel.
Marketing and Promotion
An important element of what we do, here at ShieldCrest, is focused around the marketing and promotion of your book. We work with you to gain as much interest and coverage of your book as possible. There are around 200,000 books published each year, and good marketing will help your book to stand out.
Book Launch and Sales
Your book launch is the celebration of your work of fiction being published. It is a massive accomplishment, and you should be extremely proud of the work that you have done. After the celebrations have died down, the sales team kick into gear and ensures that copies of your book start whizzing off the shelves.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Fiction Book Published?
If you are working with a mainstream publisher, such as our parent company, Pressman House, it is not a quick process. On average, it takes 6 months to a year from when you first receive your contract to when you hold the finished novel in your hand. However, here at ShieldCrest, we work on much quicker time frames of 4 to 10 weeks depending on the quality of the manuscript received and how much editing is required.
What is an Advance in Fiction Publishing?
An advance is when a publisher gives you a down payment for your fiction novel. Publishing contracts are made up of advances and royalty payments. An advance is a set amount of money that you will receive regardless of the sales. A royalty payment is a percentage of the sales of your novel. The figures will be laid out in your contract – make sure you check them carefully!
A Small Sample of Fiction We Have Published
Submit Your Fiction Book to ShieldCrest
Here at ShieldCrest, we accept submissions of good-quality fiction from authors directly. Some publishing houses require all submissions to come through a literary agent, but we know that getting an agent can often be as hard as getting a publisher.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Here at ShieldCrest, we have lots of resources to help writers understand the publishing process. The key points are to write your book! Fiction needs to be written before a publishing house will agree to publish it. Edit, edit, and edit again. Finally – follow the submission guidelines.
Getting published via the traditional mainstream publishing route is notoriously hard. However, nowadays, there are smaller indie publishing houses, and self-publishing routes that make it easier for first-time writers to get published.
Here at ShieldCrest, we accept submissions directly from authors, so you don’t need an agent. If you wish to submit to mainstream publishing houses, you will need an agent. An agent can be useful for negotiating a good deal on your novel, however, they do take their cut.
There is no need to formally copyright your fiction book before submission. Your storybook is automatically copyrighted from the moment you write it right through to it being published.
It will vary, but it will be in your contract, so make sure that you read your contract thoroughly, and understand it. If you have a deal with a traditional publishing house, your royalty payment will be around 10% or less for a paperback, but will probably be higher for a digitised version. Self-publishing royalty rates vary from fixed rates per book sale to much greater rates if sold through the author’s web page, which ShieldCrest offers as an alternative. When you come to team ShieldCrest we will take time to explain your royalty structure to you.
If your book seems unauthentic it will be rejected, if it feels like you are following a trend, it will be rejected. Characters that are perfect, with no flaws don’t engage the reader, which will cause your novel to be rejected. Stories need to grab your attention from the start. The cliché “page-turner” is true – you need to want to find out what is going to happen, and people need to care about the characters. The plot needs to be clear and have substance, without being convoluted and overcomplicated. The pace of the story needs to be right. A story that moves too slowly or too fast can be difficult to read. If you do get a rejection with feedback, take the feedback onboard, and rework your writing. Professional feedback is invaluable. You may have a brilliant idea, but that alone doesn’t make a novel. Finally, a rejection doesn’t mean your book doesn’t have potential, it just means it is not quite right. Don’t give up, keep on trying.