Book Publishing Consultancy

Writing for pleasure … and profit

It’s hard enough to get published but the majority of authors find they make so little money from their books and spend so much time marketing themselves on social media for so little return they end up dissatisfied with the process.

After over twenty-five years working on both sides of the fence – as a publisher and author – I find I have a fairly unique perspective on writing books that will make money. This includes not just getting them published but, crucially, making the most of your writing commercially.

And not at the expense of the important stuff, like friends, family and still being creative.

Traditional Publishing:

  • Making an informed decision between traditional publishing, self-publishing or partner publishing.
  • Ensuring your book is genuinely commercial at the top level.
  • Finding an agent and working with them or on your own so publishers take notice.
  • Contracts and what is important to get right.

Self-Publishing Kit, including:

  • Making the right editorial choices to maximise your chances in the market.
  • Cover and internal design that sells retailers and readers.
  • Print buying and navigating the options.
  • Understanding Distribution.
  • Effective Marketing and PR.
  • Pitfalls: where you can lose time and money.


Stories, in one form or another, have been around about as long as we have. The same goes for the desire to get them out to an appreciative audience, whilst trying to earn a living.

And not offend anyone important.

As Human Beings have moved up in the world (opting to stay in one place, building roads, invention of writing, the printing press, computers, the internet etc) delivery methods have proliferated, and you’d think the whole show would have become a lot easier.
Anything but.

This is especially for authors, who struggle for years to get published, then find they are often side-lined in the publishing process and still working in a bar because their royalty cheques won’t ever cover more than a couple of trips to the supermarket.

This is predictable: any industry that is as old as publishing gets ever more complex over time and attracts a host of intermediaries all with a role to play – and a cut to take.

Self-publishing (that thankfully changed its name from Vanity Publishing in about 1998) helps simplify things but the problem here is you are competing with focussed professionals. Namely, traditionally-published authors who just need to concentrate on writing, agents whose job it is to strike deals, PR people who tell anyone who’ll listen about these amazing deals, marketeers who’s only concern when they get up in the morning is how to get your book in front of other people’s noses, distributors who have huge warehouses and amazing economies of scale, reps who have spent years building up relationships with retailers … etcetera.

So, it’s complicated and tough.

However, with industry knowledge you can make a decent living out of writing and, what’s more, enjoy it. And you don’t have to sell lorry loads of books or be on TV all the time. Although it helps.

About me

I self-published my first book in 1997 (very badly) and went on to do three more titles myself with incremental successes as I learned the hard way. I landed an agent and, after a few false dawns, a traditional publishing contract in 2008 and since then have gone on to write and publish over twenty-six books in virtually every permutation of publishing deal one could dream up.

In 2018, using some of my ill-gotten gains, I invested in my children’s book publisher, Firefly Press, and have been a board director and Commercial Director with them for over five years. Since that time we have tripled in size, won a Carnegie Medal and generally punched well above our weight.

I still write and publish on both sides of the traditional/not-so-traditional end of the market but, these days, I very much enjoy bringing on the careers of other authors – not just using my twenty-five years of finding what works by trial and error in publishing but the skills I learned in my day job, starting companies from scratch. Entrepreneurship and writing are oddly akin.

If you have read the above and think I could help with one or more aspects of your career in writing, then drop me a line.