DON'T JUST TAKE OUR WORD, HEAR WHAT OUR AUTHORS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT US...
"I discovered Burton Mayers Books in November 2019, when another of their authors, Matt Adcock, joined the Hertfordshire Society of Authors group. He brought along a copy of his novel, Complete Darkness. I made a note of the publisher and sent Richard Mayers a direct message the next day. I received a prompt response and things moved forward quickly. I sent an extract of my book, Another Life, which we followed up with a telephone discussion. This, in turn, led to submission of the full text in mid-December. On New Year’s Eve, we agreed to proceed to a contract. Some amendments were quickly agreed and the contract was signed, with a planned publication date of 1st May 2020.
Once a publisher has been found, one of the most worrying stages for an author is the editing process. Another Life has a well-defined formal structure, which I was keen to retain. Richard highlighted some inconsistencies and recommended several improvements. Most of these I readily accepted. In the few cases where I was adamant that change would affect the integrity of the novel, I pushed back and was delighted that my justifications were accepted.
Cover design is a well-known minefield. A good cover needs to be well-designed, relevant to the story, attractive to the reader and appropriate for the genre. We began the process some distance apart, as I had a particular design in mind and was initially resistant to change. After exchanging a few ideas, our positions moved closer, as I recognised Richard’s design skills and the validity of his proposals. The final design is clean, relevant and attractive incorporating key elements of the story.
Possibly the most satisfying aspect of working with Burton Mayers Books is the collaborative relationship we have built. We work as business partners, openly and transparently, with regular communication and cooperation, in particular on marketing.
Writing is the most important thing in my life after my family. Another Life is my fourth published novel and adds to my back catalogue. I believe that each of my books is an improvement on its predecessor and helps to build a reputation organically.
Like many authors, my original ambition was to sign a contract with one of the ‘big five’ publishing groups, with or without an agent. I did not want to go down the self-publishing route as, although I felt capable of managing the process, I did not wish to spend the time managing the whole business process. I am committed to assisting with all aspects of marketing, including publicity, social media and, events, but I recognise that there are skills and processes, such as book design and production, where it is easy to make costly errors.
The day after receiving the offer of a contract with Burton Mayers Books, I received an offer from another publisher, which I declined. Whereas Burton Mayers Books is publishing Another Life in paperback and eBook formats, the other publisher proposed an eBook only, with the possibility of a paperback later, depending on sales success. It is much easier for an author to assist with the marketing of print versions than eBooks.
There is little to match the thrill of receiving the first printed copy of your book. Another Life is produced to a high quality and, importantly, the price point makes it a viable commercial proposition. The clean design lends itself to the production of consistent marketing materials, such as business cards and postcards."
"Who knew Twitter could be useful? After searching for “horror publishers,” Burton Mayers Books came up right away. Sent a query, a volley of emails followed, then my book, and a few months later I’m writing a testimonial! Guess I’ll stay on Twitter for a while, see what else happens.
A good edit is crucial but needs to be given person-to-person. So when my previous publisher sent an AI-generated report about how many times I used a certain word or phrase, I worried about the future of publishing. Richard Mayers restored my faith in the business. He read my manuscript closely and offered a detailed critique which proved extremely helpful. A good book became a much better one thanks to Richard at Burton Mayers Books.
For writers new to publishing (or graying hacks like yours truly), I recommend querying respectable indies that promise a good edit, and cover art created in-house by someone who read your book. I also like companies that are transparent about their expenses and put their contract on their site. Burton Mayers Books delivers on all the above, and adds a personal touch that underscores the importance of the author-publisher relationship.
Richard Mayers did an extraordinary job with my novel, Fiona’s Guardians. The editing, artwork, interior format and layout – it’s all perfect. After four years of writing this book, I am very proud to have it published by Burton Mayers Books. I look forward to working with them on my next one.
‘I have 20 years of experience as an academic author, but On Time is my first foray into fiction.
Before I found Burton Mayers I sent my text to a few major publishers but discovered that unless you are an already established novelist or celebrity, they charge around £2000 to publish a first novel. I got offers from two, but studied the contract very carefully before signing and realised that if I went with them, I would effectively lose all control of my copyright, and they would not need to do anything other than turn the text as presented into book format and simply place a page on Amazon and other online book sellers, only printing enough copies to cover resulting orders. There was no offer to advertise, or to offer editing support- although authors were advised that they could pay even more up front for an in-house editing service. It seemed like a rip off to me, and some googling of author forums further endorsed my suspicions. So, I declined to sign.
I was lucky to subsequently find Burton-Mayers through personal endorsement. Richard does not take any payment directly from authors, he takes the cost of production out of profit, prior to passing on the royalties-the way I was used to working in academic publishing. And, with respect to royalties, I got a better deal from him than I was used to getting from the academic publishers! He supports authors with online advertising, and as Burton Mayers is currently a small Indy publisher, the authors get to know one another on social media, and help each other out with promotion.
And beyond financial and marketing considerations, Richard is an excellent editor. He clearly fell in love with my story and its characters, and made significant investment in the development of the text at an artistic level. The text rapidly developed through our discussions and debates, with which I am looking forward to re-engaging when I start to get On Time’s sequel (currently still in my head!) onto paper. A friend who had read a very early version of the text and later purchased the book commented: ‘I really loved (re)-reading 'On Time.’ What a change! Now so polished & fluent.’ This is very much due to Richard’s input.
Richard also came up with a very cool cover for the book, which has been widely admired.
I am very impressed with Burton Mayers and would not hesitate to recommend it to up-and-coming fiction authors.’
"When I finished my draft manuscript of Complete Darkness, I didn’t know quite what to do with it. I had it printed in paperback form just for a select few friends and always pondered the possibility of getting it published. But I basically sat on it for almost 10 years until I found Burton Mayers Books.
The process of working with Richard was an absolute joy. The editing, planning of promotion and designing of the cover was exciting and clear.
Getting published was a great feeling, and the positive feedback from
people who have read it has been a massive boost. I’m currently working with a comic book artist to turn Complete Darkness into a graphic novel as well as writing a second book set in the same ‘Darkmatters Universe’ along with several short stories.
Being on the other side, I’d absolutely recommend other authors who are
thinking of trying to get their books published to get in touch with Independent Publishers like Burton Mayers Books. It’s so much more
fulfilling working with a publisher than trying to do it all yourself!
Once published I’ve had a blast speaking at sci-fi events, meeting other authors like George R. R. Martin and being interviewed on radio. I was also asked to get involved in any other projects such as encouraging school children to write themselves.
Hopefully this is just the start of creating more fictional tales and projects."
'I contacted Burton Mayers Books as a result of seeing a tweet about Dug the Bug, and in just over three months, my novel has a publication date of 16th October, 2020.
Working with Burton Mayers during the Covid lockdown has been a genuine pleasure. Richard is amazing (he has promised not to edit this)! He never fails to answer emails, texts or tweets, promptly and with an air of calm reassurance. He is very skilled in editing with a light touch, somehow creating a vastly improved experience for the reader using a few tiny changes, yet remaining true to the original. I tweaked the ending of my novel in response to his inspired suggestion.
The digital dialogue employed by Burton Mayers was perfect for my needs. We kicked things to and fro, both intent on achieving high quality standards. My novel’s cover image was captured by Richard when out on his run, followed by skilful editing. Nothing was too much trouble, resulting in the brilliant cover design. I love it.
I cannot fault Burton Mayers Books, am thrilled with the way that #stoptheglitch is being presented to the market, and look forward to continuing to work with this gem of an independent publisher.'
I discovered Burton Mayers Books through a school-friend association with Matt Adcock, who had recently published his bestselling debut novel, ‘Complete Darkness’. After pitching my new novel to Richard Mayers, I was delighted to hear that I would soon be added to his rapidly growing clientele of successful authors.
If you are lucky enough to have your manuscript greenlighted by Richard Mayers, then you truly become one of his ‘family’. I found the publishing journey a pleasurable experience at every stage of the process. You will have regular online editorial meetings, email correspondences, and a shared Google Drive that covers all aspects of the book from ‘Mood Board’ to ‘Marketing’. The editing process is vigorous and hard work, but always positive and supportive. The aim is to polish your book up to a brilliant shine so that it can sparkle in the marketplace and dazzle the reader.
Now that’s surely what every budding new author wants most, and Burton Mayers Books can certainly make this dream a reality.
"After major health issues in 2016, my approach to life changed massively and I realised that if you don’t do it yourself you will never do it. So when advised to write my book I did that never expecting it to go any further than a few drawings and a well rehearsed story that I’ve had in mind for over half my life.
I was blessed to have the opportunity to see it through to publication and then go on sale
One day who knows he could be a Netflix cartoon ... Never say never
I wrote ‘Osmond the Toad' when I was 19, and over the years I’ve drawn pictures of him constantly. He was in my head and heart so long that I know him very well. Dug, his sidekick and an earthworm, was a new addition to the story and is kind of a ‘Jiminy Cricket ‘ type character, keeping Osmond in check. It wasn’t until I was doing illustrations for another author that he said ‘just do it’ so I did. I wrote the story and illustrated it within a fortnight. But I never dreamt it would get to the publishing stage and when it did I was more proud of myself than I imagined I would be.
I did for my daughter to show her that anything is possible, for my father so wherever he is now (passed away in 2013) to make him proud ... and because I wanted to put a smile on kids' faces with Osmond being a bit of a filthy stinky ‘Fungus the Bogeyman ‘ type character, in the hope those core values would be passed on to children who read my book
Showing my daughter the finished article was probably the most rewarding because she said she was very proud. I was so lucky to have Richard Mayers and Matt Adcock who were massively involved in the process, with everything from publishing and editing to constructive criticism and supportive feedback. Great guys great team!
I’ve just written and illustrated ‘Dug gets a Bug’ which is about safeguarding measures, self-isolating and social distancing linked to Coronavirus and I’m currently writing ‘Osmond Tidies Up’ about the impact of people throwing away plastic and the repercussions of that on wildlife everywhere, but in this story a hedgehog gets plastic caught around his neck and Osmond, Dug and the pond creatures clear up the rubbish chucked in the pond and the surrounding area.
I don’t have the first clue about marketing or advertising but I’d say promote it on any media or social platform you can and arrange events to read and promote your book and its characters. Depending on the type of book and it’s the target audience, find places where it would be well received and maybe have a gimmick or gift to give out with books sold at the event. I had little models of toads which I put in boxes with Osmonds face on the box lid; other ideas I had were bookmarks and at Christmas, I gave out Osmond Christmas cards."