The Live Wire Books private publishing imprint was initially founded for people who are unable to publish their work through a commercial publishing house. These days, most mainstream commercial publishers are only interested in books by established authors or the autobiographies of big-name celebrities that they feel are likely to sell in very large quantities, making it difficult for unknown, would-be authors to find a publishing deal. Private publishing, also known as self-publishing, offers a viable alternative to help such authors.

Private publishing should not be confused with vanity publishing, which is to be avoided. Vanity publishers tend to charge a great deal of money simply to design and typeset an existing manuscript and to print a handful of copies. You will also be led to believe your book will be distributed nationally to earn you royalties. The reality is that many booksellers will not stock books bearing the imprint of a vanity publisher.

Live Wire Books, however, has built up a reputation as a respected private publisher and has an extremely good relationship with booksellers and the country's leading wholesalers and distributors.

Although we ask you to pay the costs of producing a book, ALL the printed copies - and that can range from 5 to 5,000 books or more, depending on your requirements - are then handed over to you and become your sole property. This arrangement allows you to sell your book direct to the public at the full cover price, or through your local bookshop at a discount, whereas if it were to be published by a mainstream publisher, you could normally expect to recover only 10% of the cover price of a hardback and 7.5% for a paperback.

Private publishing or self publishing makes a great deal of economic sense for people who may have some form of sales outlet. One of our clients sold his autobiography to customers in his restaurant with such great success that the book went into a re-print and has so far made a profit of over £100,000. Clients who give talks or demonstrations to members of the public will always have a steady supply of potential customers to whom they can sell their book at the full cover price. Another client sold out his book at charity fairs.

However, books that are intended purely for personal use are particularly well suited to private publishing. As many people have discovered, writing your life story can be immensely rewarding and often therapeutic, and the book, professionally edited, designed, printed and bound can also give a great deal of pleasure to friends and family as well as to future generations

© Live Wire Books 2007