Where To Start

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 work 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.

Decide Why You Want to Publish a Book

Before you set out on the route of publishing a book, it is important to understand why you want to be published. Are you looking for a new career? Do you have a burning story that you want to share with others? Do you just love writing? You need to be honest with yourself. Once you are clear with yourself about your motivation for wanting to become published, then you can explore the best options for your book.

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.

Smaller publishers

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 larger ebook platforms.

Book Publishing Process

Book publishing is a complex process that requires professionals working together to transform an amazing idea into a viable book ready to be sold. When asked what publishers do, we employ a whole collection of people who use their different skills and talents to produce your story into a ready-for-sale book. From designers who ensure that the cover reflects the story, and formatting the book interior to give a professional appearance to print specialists utilising the latest print technology and correct paper for that book genre. Finally, the vital marketing ingredient to ensure your book is known about and targeted at the right market. All these people work together to give your book the best chance of success.

How to Get a Book Published For The First Time

If you are submitting your manuscript to ShieldCrest, make a list, think about your approach and then work through your list. By all means, give us a call and ask for advice. In the event it is rejected, don’t be dejected, ask for the reasons and just keep going. You may consider getting an agent to submit it for you, again, don’t take the rejections personally, just regard it as a step on your path to becoming a published author. Remember that with dedication and perseverance you are still an author and you can still get to share your writing with others.

How to Submit a Book to a Publisher

Make sure you have done your research on how to submit a book. We receive hundreds of manuscripts, so optimise your chances. Many publishers will only accept submissions from agents, so ring up and check if this is the case before you submit your manuscript. Make sure that it is laid out correctly or don’t be afraid to ask for advice concerning the format that they like, and if possible, how best to submit it. For novels, it’s nice to see a synopsis and the first three chapters, for non-fiction, a detailed plan of the content is helpful as well. It is always worth finding out what the submission requirements are before sending your manuscript in.

Submitting a Book to ShieldCrest for Publishing

When you submit a book for the first time to ShieldCrest make sure you do your homework. By all means, talk to us to ensure you understand the process and get advice as to what you might need to do to ensure it is successful. For new authors, we provide a great deal of guidance regarding the merits and pitfalls in getting a book published in our ‘What You Need to Know’ tour. We strongly recommend you take a look at it as it will help you with your pitch. Your pitch is your moment to sell your book.

What Do Publishers Do?

Publishers are responsible for getting your book from the words that you have typed onto your laptop, into a bound book, and onto the shelves of the bookstores ready to be bought by your readers. The role of the publisher covers all these elements from that initial reaction to your manuscript throughout the production and design process to the marketing and sales of your book. The book publishing process is complex and requires a great deal of skill to transform a book from its initial conception to flying off the shelves.

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 proofreading and editing, something we strongly recommend in order to get your work at its highest possible quality before it is widely distributed. Spell Checking 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.

Publishing Houses

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 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 in the 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.

UK Publishers

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 ensuring 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 time to review the proposal.

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.

If you’re interested in publishing a Children’s book please see How to Publish A Children’s Book.