Episode 34 – Using an Assisted Publishing Service
In this show I talk to Lucienne Boyce, a successful Historical Fiction and Non-Fiction author, about her experiences using an assisted publishing company, Silverwood Books. In general many assisted publishing companies have a very poor reputation. So it was nice to hear of someone who has found a decent company to help her publish. I talk to Lucienne in this interview about her experiences.
Why did you decide to use a company like Silverwood Books to help you self-publish your book rather than trying to do it all yourself?
Lucienne looked at several options, but knew that she wanted a book of publishing company standard quality. As she didn’t have the skills yet to self-publish a book she decided to go with Silverwood Books, a local assisted publishing company in Bristol in the United Kingdom. She had heard an owner of the company speak and was impressed by their knowledge and competency.
When selecting a company to help you self-publish what criteria did you look for that made you select Silverwood Books?
She was looking for a company that would effectively project-manage her book and save her time which she wanted to use on writing. Also her most important criteria was making sure her books looked good. For her two historical fiction books, Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery and To The Fair Land, she felt that their formatting and covers gave her books the right ‘period’ feel.
What exactly did you pay Silverwood Books to do for you (e.g editing, proof-reading and cover design) and what did you have to do yourself?
Lucienne said that they did pretty much everything for her, in terms of the usual self-publishing functions (cover design, editing, proof-reading, ISBN purchase). She does use her sister as an additional editor though.
What is the best piece of advice you would give a writer who is choosing between self-publishing on their own or using a company to help them self-publish?
Lucienne said that you need to balance your skills and what you like doing. Get the very best you can afford. When choosing an assisted publishing service, don’t assume that you will lose control. Listen to editors and professionals and they can help.
There are lots of scammy assisted publishing companies out there, what is your advice on how to avoid going with one of them?
Lucienne said to look at who the company has published and go and contact some of those authors and find out if they are happy with their service. Also look at the quality of the books they produce and see if it is up to level you expect. Talk to them and see if they are the sort of people you want to work with. Are they going to respond to your questions quickly?
In terms of costs, was the amount you paid similar to the package costs shown on the Silverwood site, or did you have to pay extra for anything?
In general she only paid for voluntary extras like bookmarks, but there wasn’t anything missing from the package that she paid for from Silverwood Books in terms of the core services.
How can people learn more about you and your books Lucienne?
You can find out more at Lucienne at LucienneBoyce.com where you can find out about her historical fiction books and non-fiction book.
Bloodie Bones is her latest historical fiction book and is available from Amazon and all good online retailers. The Bristol Suffragettes is her latest non-fiction book.