Why choose private publishing?

Privately published and self-published books now account for over 75% of all books released. Most mainstream publishers tend to be interested only 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 land a publishing deal and to see their books in print. However, thanks to modern computer technology and lower printing costs, private publishing and self-publishing now increasingly offer a viable alternative for such authors. But while a few of these authors may have the all-round skills and experience to prepare their books for publication themselves, most will require some expert help and guidance to see them through the whole process and to ensure that their books meet the highest professional standards. In this respect Live Wire Books has built a respected reputation over the last fifteen years. The design, print and production quality of our publications, whether hardback or paperback, is of the highest order and we work closely with our authors throughout the writing, editing, design and production process to ensure that their books read well, look great and that they are delighted with the end results.

How does it work?

We can either edit an existing manuscript or start from scratch and research and ‘ghostwrite’ your book for you, based on a series of in-depth interviews with you and other key figures in your story, whether it be a biography, autobiography or company history. We will then edit the text as required before designing the cover and contents of the book to include photographs and other illustrations, either in sections or scattered throughout the text. At every stage you will be provided with proofs to be extended or amended and approved. Once you give final approval, however many copies you have ordered will be delivered to your door.

What does it cost?

Costs will vary depending on a number of factors such as whether the book has already been written and merely requires editing or if it needs to be researched and ghostwritten from scratch; whether it is to be a hardback or a paperback, how many pages it runs to and how many photographs are to be included. These are all things we will discuss with you and agree in advance and we will then provide you with a  quote, which, if you decide to go ahead, you will be asked to pay in three instalments – a third in advance, a third when the approved manuscript is sent to the printer and a final third when the books are delivered. We pride ourselves on providing very competitive quotes.

Can I expect to make money?

For those who have a good sales outlet of some kind, such as a shop, business or website, along with a marketing and promotion plan and who are prepared to work hard at selling their books, private or self-publishing can sometimes make better sense than going through a mainstream publisher. Although you have to pay the costs of producing your book upfront, you then own all the copies printed outright. This arrangement allows you to sell your book directly to the public at the full cover price, or through your local bookshop at an agreed discount, with all the proceeds coming to you, whereas if it were to be published by a mainstream publisher you could normally expect to be paid only a relatively small percentage of the cover price.

For people who don’t necessarily want to sell their books but simply want to see their life story in print, intended purely for distribution among family and friends and be handed down for posterity or, in the case of a company history, to be used as a promotional business tool, private publishing can be an affordable and desirable option. As many people have discovered, writing your own life story can be immensely rewarding and often therapeutic, whilst the resulting book, professionally edited, designed, printed and bound can also give a great deal of pleasure to your family and friends as well as to future generations.


© Live Wire Books 2015