When I typed the last word of the first draft of INCEPTIO in 2009 I didn’t have a clue what to do with it. After advice, professional assessment, and submitting to a lot of agents whose response was “great concept, great story, great writing – not sure I could sell it” I decided to go the independent route. Following my nature and professional experience, I researched it to death. I’d self-published a history book in 2012, so I knew how hard it was! Although a computer geek, when it came to publishing and printing I knew enough to know that I didn’t have the fine skills to achieve the top of the trees result I wanted for INCEPTIO.
So I searched for help and found what I was looking for – assisted publishing – in SilverWood Books of Bristol. That first telephone conversation with publishing director Helen Hart has stayed with me. She was encouraging but realistic, emphasising that they didn’t accept every manuscript, that I might not get the costs back, that publishing under your own steam was hard work. She was very straightforward about the services that SilverWood offered and what it didn’t.
I was impressed. What a contrast to the overdone enthusiasm of others I’d approached. I’d run a business for 20 years and could smell the difference between a cabbage and a bouquet (no offence to cabbages).
So began a very productive business relationship.
SilverWood Books emulate the traditional publishing process; their books are indistinguishable from (and often better than) many mainstream ones and they are one of the few ethical publishing services providers around.
INCEPTIO (2013), PERFIDITAS (2013), SUCCESSIO (2014), AURELIA (2015) and INSURRECTIO (2016) – have all been produced with SilverWood Books’ expert help. As I worked with them on AURELIA in 2015 I realised just how much I’d learned in the previous three years. I became more confident about both my writing and the publishing process. With INSURRECTIO, the fifth book, I was almost firing on automatic.
So when discussing RETALIO (out this spring), SilverWood’s publishing director Helen Hart suggested a different arrangement. She felt that I had outgrown the full support package suitable for less experienced or less knowledgeable authors and was ready to fly by myself. Talk about a light bulb moment! She was, of course, completely right.
If SilverWood hadn’t been behind me I would not have had such an easy time of publishing my work, especially with the first and second books. It’s been a mutually beneficial business relationship but with a huge dollop of personal as well as professional support and guidance.
But now I’m ‘graduating’.
SilverWood Books will continue to produce my book files; I need their quality. But my own imprint, the sparkling new Pulcheria Press, will be the publisher. (I think we all know where ‘Pulcheria’ came from…)
Helen Hart from SilverWood says,’I’ve worked with Alison on the publication of five Roma Nova titles so far. When it came to SilverWood starting production on her sixth, it seemed natural for us all to consider whether the time and circumstances might be right for Alison to set up her own imprint. With her business skills, and having been taken on by a literary agent, she’s perfectly positioned to make the transition from assisted publishing to accomplished independent status.
Alison is a consummate professional, as well as a superb writer, so it’s wonderful for me and the SilverWood team to be alongside her as her knowledge and experience develops. We’re now starting production on the sixth book, RETALIO, and it’s exciting to be part of the Roma Nova/Pulcheria Press journey.’
Thanks to SilverWood I’ve gone from newbie author to multi-published author with my last book, INSURRECTIO, launched at the 2016 London Book Fair. And now I’m represented for ancillary rights by a top London agency, Blake Friedmann, who have so far sold the first four books to AudibleUK, (audiobooks just released!).
Being part of the self-publishing sector as it matures exponentially with the best ‘professional indies’ selling millions and gathering acclaim is a heady ride. SilverWood Books has been an essential part of that journey for me.
Now I’m travelling on.
Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO, AURELIA and INSURRECTIO. The sixth, RETALIO, will be published in Spring 2017. Audiobooks now available for the first four of the series
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