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."
"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 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 Corona virus 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 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 book marks and at Christmas I gave out Osmond Christmas cards
With hindsight I wish I had had an launch event but due to circumstances I didn’t manage to get round to it. My aim is to approach wildlife centres and farm shops to do some promotions and read to kids."
"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."