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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 you ought to know about UK publishers
For a lot of people, writing a book is a passion and is something that they have been desperate to do. It is something that can consume them, taking up hours, days, months and sometimes even years, whether they tell the world about it or keep it to themselves,
Eventually, the time comes when the work is complete. After the initial satisfaction that comes with having completed a book, there then comes the feeling of “What now?”
What follows is the difficult part. Here are some things that you should know about UK publishers before you submit your book.
A lot of books get published
One thing that people may not realise is the sheer amount of books that get published. With an estimated one million new titles produced every year worldwide with a quarter of them being in the UK, it is a massive market out there. This means there is a lot of competition and it can be hard.
However, the news is not entirely negative. While there are a lot of books available, there are now a lot of places where books can be purchased and people can read them. Everywhere from independent cafes to networking events are potential places where people could read your books.
Furthermore, the internet has opened this space out even more. International markets that a few years ago would be hard to break are now much more accessible, while social media makes promotion a more level playing field.
What this means is it is not just about the UK publisher you choose but what they have to offer and whether their offer is right for you.
The big names
You have probably seen the typical big name publishers. These will be the ones that sell in supermarkets and airports before eventually ending up on the shelves of charity shops after their time in the sun is finished.
These tend to be the publishers behind the celebrity autobiographies over Christmas or the illustrated children’s books that big name actors, comedians and others want to have a go at.
This is why pitching towards these particular publishers can be difficult if not impossible. To be clear we are not having a go at them, simply telling it as it is.
What is true is the submission process when you approach a larger publisher. If you look up their website, it is very likely that there will be a disclaimer along the lines of “We do not accept unsolicited approaches.”
Now what exactly is an “unsolicited approach?” In simple terms, it doesn’t matter if you give them a fancy covering letter or include a self-addressed envelope. They will not look at your submission, not due to the fact they are looking down at you. Quality is not the issue, it is more about the legal ramifications of looking at something they have not been asked to see.
If a larger publisher takes a look at your work, rejects it and then publishes something that is similar in content to it, there is the risk that they could be sued and this is something that they will be looking to avoid.
They also tend to always work through an agent so may look at your work if you have an agent. Agency representation suggests someone whose work has been approved by the industry. This then raises a further 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.
Agencies may also have different submission guidelines so this process can also take time.
Not all publishers are the same. Others will have more open submission policies and this will allow you to at least have someone look at your work. The process will vary as some may want an initial synopsis or chapter sample before deciding whether or not they want to look at the whole thing.
The downside of this is that 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.
Another issue with approaching a smaller publisher is that their focus may be more niche than a bigger name. This will mean that they will have to decide if your work is suitable for the particular demographic that they are targeting.
Self-publishing is another route that people can go down. In the right way, it can offer people more control over the amount of books that they order and how their work is promoted.
The disadvantage of this is that it requires a lot more work on the part of the writer. You have to decide how much effort you want to put in order to help get your story out there.
As with any service, it is important to compare what companies have available and whether or not it is particularly suited to your personal requirements.
Is your work ready for publishing?
It can be a brutal thing to ask an author, but it is also a question that needs to be asked- is your work ready for publishing? This is not just in terms of the content of the story. It is also about how well it has been edited and proof-read, the quality of the cover and the formatting.
The size of the book can also be a factor. If you have an epic fantasy novel and you want to emphasise the grand nature of the narrative, then a hardback bound version can add a little bit of that aesthetic to draw readers in before they’ve even so much as glanced at the cover. However, you have to balance this with the sale price.
Feedback, editing and proof-reading are all important factors. You want to be sure that what you are offering to your readers is the strongest possible version of your story. While you can go over your story yourself, it often helps to have someone independent and objective look over the work.
This is why ShieldCrest offers a quality professional editing and proofreading service alongside our publishing options. Aside from checking over potential typos, we can make it easier for you to mould a narrative that people want to engage with.
The right package
ShieldCrest offers packages to suit different authors. Whether it is a small number of copies for a university poetry anthology or the next big blockbuster young adult series, we can tailor what we have to offer in order to suit your requirements. More details of the packages here.
One example is the print without distribution package. What this means is that we will check that the work is properly formatted and put together. We will provide a digital copy and a proof for you to look over. Once you are happy with that, we can then send out print copies to you. Typically, this will take around 14 working days.
This particular option works best for smaller scale publications. It may be that you wish to target a certain local area. In other cases, this might be your initial approach to see how strong demand is for your work and whether or not it is appropriate for wider distribution.
The wider distribution option is best suited to people who are confident in the quality and marketability of their book. Full distribution offers a range of benefits including a specially assigned ISBN number, allocation in leading high street retailers as well as online retailers and incorporated copyright protection.
One of the elements that writers often need to work on is how they promote their work. A good example of this is how they spread the message about the stories they have written on different media platforms.
One of the major benefits of social media is the fact it allows more people to learn about what you do and to spread your message wider than ever thought possible. Nowadays there is every chance that a celebrity might see a post about your book or you may end up getting featured on any number of websites.
While promotion via social media can be positive there are also potential pitfalls. People sometimes make the mistake of oversharing or making self-deprecating remarks about the work that they do. Some people may think this is being modest but it does tempt possible readers to think “If the writer doesn’t believe in their story, then why should I?”
There is also the danger of attracting negative comments from people who haven’t even read the book. There are plenty of those circulating social media.
There is also the other extreme, when a writer will post almost exclusively about what they are doing to the detriment of other authors. This becomes even riskier if they decide to say how much better their work is than other titles, as there is always the danger that someone associated with those titles may see what you post and this could make you look bad.
This is why among other services ShieldCrest offers social media marketing promotion. It is important to strike the right balance between being positive about the work that you do without making it seem that you are overselling either. More details here.
Social media is also not the only type of promotion that is available to you. We provide a press release service which issues details of the writers work written by PR professionals which then is issued globally to all media who have an interest in that book genre. You can read more details of that service here.
Our most successful authors pay a great deal of attention to excite their local media in their work. They are always hunting for local news so this usually gets good response, particularly if you are writing something that has a strong connection to your local area or addresses issues concerning people that live there.
It is also worth noting that there are a lot of markets out there and ShieldCrest offers books globally through their international connections.
Writers may think “Surely what I do speaks for itself?” The reality is that there is a lot of competition so you need to find the angles and promotion that will engage with people.
This does not mean that we encourage writers to chase trends. In fact we would argue the opposite- we accept submissions from a wide array of genres because we know that tastes can change, such as the current fascination with true crime stories.
What we do feel is that once you have completed your story it becomes easier to know the audience it is likely to appeal to. While we would love to say our work appeals to “everyone”, this approach can often mean that the way something is promoted comes off in a vague way.
It is important to learn who takes pleasure in your work and encourage them to share it with others and a big part of that is finding the way to create messages that engage with them.
Finally, we can provide all our author’s books in e-book format which we distribute to over 60 countries around the world as part of our international marketing services.
We want to see your work
At ShieldCrest, we believe in giving people the best platform for their work. We offer more than the less scrupulous self-publishers while providing additional resources to help market and promote our authors’ work. Our digital process reduces costs, so we are able to provide more support for our authors. Although all our work is with digitised documents, we do occasionally receive hand-written manuscripts and where we believe the work has merit, we will digitise it as part of the publishing process.
We can produce books of any size and our packages can be adapted to suit your requirements. Whether you just want a few people to read your book in a local café or library or you want it available across the country, there is an option that will be best suited for any particular writer and their individual circumstances.
If you have someone who can do a cover for you that is an option or you can take advantage of our team of illustrators. Our editing and proof-reading service is also always on hand.
We recommend you complete your work before submitting to us via our submission form. For more information on our range of publishing packages and to help you get your book out there please contact ShieldCrest Publishing today.