Looking for a top-notch editor, or help designing a cover? Are you looking for marketing help, or perhaps even a ghost writer?
At CompletelyNovel, our passion is publishing quality print books and sourcing opportunities for writers. As part of this we connect authors to the experts who live and breathe those specialist skills related to book publishing – the people whose passion it is to create brilliant covers, or who have made careers from editing. There are thousands of people offering these services, but trying to find the right one can be a little daunting.
That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive list of People We Trust. This means each of these freelancers and companies are people we’ve spoken to, had coffee with (and quite often, cake) and have seen what they can do.
To make it easier to choose, we’ve included links to find out more about each of the companies and their pricing.
Click to skip to the services you need:
Creating your book:
Editing – Manuscript appraisal
Editing – Line and copy editing
Editing – Proofreading
Covers – Print and eBook cover design
Covers – Resources for designing your own cover
Ebook – eBook conversion services
Writing – Help writing your book
Funding – Help funding your book
Marketing your book:
A manuscript appraisal is for writers who would like to have an overview of the editing work that might be needed on their manuscript, an idea of who their target reader is, or whether or not their work is suitable for publishing. It can be really useful to have independent feedback on your work, but do bear in mind that they are always subjective! Please quote COMPLETELYNOVEL in your initial contact emails.
1) The Literary Consultancy (TLC)
TLC is the UK’s longest running editorial assessment service. We’ve worked with them on a number of projects, including Get Your Book Fit.
Pricing: 101-205 double spaced pages = £360 (with £1.75 per double-spaced page after)
Read our five questions for TLC.
Find out about the TLC manuscript assessment.
2) Novel Editors
The literary consultancy run by novel writers for novel writers. We’ve met both Joanna and Emlyn Rees and can testify that they’re both completely lovely, as well as professional.
Prices: 80,000 words = £530.00. Quote ‘CompletelyNovel’ for an extra 10% discount.
Find out more about Novel Editors’ consultancy service.
3) Writers & Artists
Writers & Artists’ Full Manuscript Review offers a line-by-line edit alongside an editorial report and a follow-up thirty-minute phone call – ideal for assessing which areas may need further attention.
Prices: 80,000 words = £850
Find out more about Writers & Artists editorial services.
There are a few different types of editing, so make sure you’re clear about which type is the best for your book. Structural editing looks at the plot and structure of your book as a whole. Copy/line editing focuses on sentence structure. If you need a proofread – a final check of spelling and grammar – please see the next section down. Please quote COMPLETELYNOVEL in your initial contact emails.
1) BubbleCow – Line editing
A leading editing company serving self-published writers from all around the world. We’ve known them for a while and they continue to offer a great service.
Pricing: £10 / $17 per 1,000 words
2) The Naked Editor – Copy editing
A professional and friendly editor who works with publishing houses and independent authors.
Pricing: from £8.50 to £12 per 1,000 words
3) The Literary Consultancy (TLC) – Copy editing
The UK’s longest running editorial assessment service – they will match you to the right editor for your book. Prices per hour, not per word.
Pricing: from £30 to £60 per hour
4) Nail Your Novel, by Roz Morris – Copy editing
Roz has over twenty years experience in book production and offers copy editing services for writers in UK english.
Pricing: £26.20 per hour
Proofreading is for those of you who’d like an editor to take a last look at your manuscript before it’s published. They will look for spelling and grammar errors, and typos you may have missed. Please quote COMPLETELYNOVEL in your initial contact emails.
1) Bubble Cow
A leading editing company serving self-published writers from all around the world.
Pricing: £7/$10 per 1,000 words
2) The Naked Editor
A professional and friendly editor who works with publishing houses and independent authors.
Pricing: £6.50 to £8.50 per 1,000 words
The CompletelyNovel cover creator allows you to create your book cover for free, but if you’d like to seek the help of a professional designer, here are a few who might be able to help you. If you’d like to enlist the services of a designer you will first need to upload your manuscript to CompletelyNovel, so we can generate the specifications they will need for your cover. Then, it’s just a simple matter of uploading your finished cover as a PDF! Please quote COMPLETELYNOVEL in your initial contact emails.
1) Jan Marshall: The Book Designer – Print and eBook as standard
Jan is a cover designer who has worked with several CompletelyNovel authors. Her service is very personal and flexible, so this is a good option if you’d like to work closely with a designer on your cover.
Prices: Around £650 for fiction, and £450 for non-fiction.
2) 99designs – Print or eBook
99designs is a community resource that allows you to create a brief and have designers bid for your project. You can choose the designer you like the best and set a fee with them.
Prices: From £189 to £749
3) Authoright – Print books
Authoright offer a great budget option for those of you who’d like a cover design created for you for a low cost.
4) eBook Partnership – eBook only
We know the team at eBook Partnership well and have panelled events with them. As well as offering eBook conversion and distribution services, they also design eBook covers.
Prices: $225 / £149
5) SelfPubBookCovers – Print or eBook
SelfPubBookCovers is the world’s largest selection of one-of-a-kind premade covers — available instantly. Once a cover is sold, it is never sold again.
Prices: Most covers are $69 (approximately £48+) Includes free unlimited typographical changes.
If you’d like to use CompletelyNovel’s cover creator to design your own cover, then you might find the resources below useful. Remember, when buying images for book covers it’s important to get large files of at least 300dpi wherever possible.
1) iStockPhoto – Stock images
iStockPhoto have a vast and useful database of images and illustrations that you can buy and use, royalty free.
Prices: Work on a credit system starting from £13.75 for 10 credits.
2) Shutterstock – Stock images
Another image database with a slightly different way of paying for images than iStockPhoto. Choose the one you prefer!
Prices: £29 for 5 image downloads (expires after a year)
You can upload and sell a PDF or ePub version of your book on CompletelyNovel. However, if you would like to reach audiences searching for eBooks on Amazon, Kobo, and a whole host of others, you might quite like to try the following. Please quote COMPLETELYNOVEL in your initial contact emails.
1) eBook Partnership
eBook Partnership offer eBook conversion and distribution services in a range of formats. What’s more, if you’re finding the world of eBooks a bit confusing, they offer lots of advice on their website.
Prices: CompletelyNovel authors can get a 10% discount on conversions (price depends on format, and length of book), and distribution for £29 per year (set up fee usually £75, with £29 admin fee per annum after year one).
Whether you’d like help organising or notes, learning the craft of writing or a ghostwriter to create the book for you, there is plenty of help available for anyone wanting to create a book. Please quote COMPLETELYNOVEL in your initial contact emails.
1) Arvon – taught writing retreats (UK)
Arvon run tutored writing retreats offering writers access to workshops, individual tutorials and the time and space to write. Tutors have included Laureates and Booker award-winning authors, and the courses take place in some of the most beautiful parts of the UK.
Prices: Courses are around £700 for 5 days, with bursaries available.
2) Alison Jones – Business book coach
Alison is an experienced editor, publisher and a business coach who specialises in helping entrepreneurs, businesses and organisations plan, structure and write books as part of an overall business and content strategy.
Pricing: The Expert Author programme, a 30-day intensive course, costs £495, and individual coaching packages are also available.
3) Ginny Carter (The Author Maker) – Business book ghostwriter
Ginny ghostwrites books for speakers, coaches, consultants & other experts, helping to turn them into clear and persuasive books. Specialising in writing in your voice, she also coaches aspiring authors.
Pricing: Ghostwriting packages from £4,500 for an ebook, to £8,000+ for a full length book, coaching from £597. Initial strategy sessions are free.
4) Scrivener – Writing software
Keeping ideas and notes together when writing your book can be a challenge. Scrivener is a helpful software tool that is used by writers all over the world and helps you keep organised.
Pricing: Licences for Windows and Macs start from £25.63/$40
5) Curtis Brown Creative – Writing Courses (UK and Online)
Literary agency Curtis Brown open their offices to writers and run courses there and online. These are great if you’d like to learn the craft of writing from real industry experts, with the added bonus of a potential agent deal thrown in.
Pricing: Courses often run over a period of a few months and start from £1600. They sometimes also do one-off day courses for around £50.
6) PLSclear – Permissions
PLSclear offer a useful widget to help you ask for permission to reuse quotes from other authors/books.
Pricing: Free for first 20 searches
7) Books From Start to Finish – Ghostwriting
For those of you looking to work with a writer to create your book, Graham Schofield offers a range of options, from writing from scratch to polishing a manuscript that is nearly there.
Pricing: Writing from ideas/notes/interview is £30 per page. Please have an idea of how long you would like your book to be when working out your budget.
Although creating and publishing your book on CompletelyNovel is very cost-effective, you might like to apply for additional funding to help you out with any additional costs, such as editing, design and marketing. If so, here are some services and platforms that might be able to help you.
1) Arts Council England – Grants for the Arts (UK)
If you’re a resident of the UK, you can apply for funding from the Arts Council to help you write your book. There is an intense application process, but if you do need a help, writers can apply for funding from £1,000 to £100,000
Pricing: No fee to apply, although you can expect the application to be very time-consuming.
When marketing your book, here are a few sites and services that might be able to help you spread the word.
1) Moo.com – Promotional Materials
Business cards and postcards are essential for face-to-face marketing and networking. Moo.com are the company we use to print our materials as the quality is really high.
Pricing: You can get 100 minicards from £12.23
2) Mailchimp – sending newsletters
Newsletters are a really useful marketing technique and are made really easy with MailChimp.
Pricing: Free, up to 2,000 subscribers
Some authors choose to enlist PR help, go on courses or look to books to help them get their book out there. Remember, there’s no one way to market your book, so make sure you are realistic when paying for marketing services, especially in terms of your budget. We have plenty of free advice on marketing over in our advice hub, but for those of you who’d like more information or help, here are a few people and services we can recommend. Please quote COMPLETELYNOVEL in your initial contact emails.
1) Literally PR – PR help
We had the opportunity to work with Helen Lewis from Literally PR on the One Big Book Launch. Literally PR offers a different, creative and competitively-priced approach to PR.
Pricing: Services start from £30. Press release distribution starts at £275, and consultancy from £60 per hour.
2) The Creative Penn – Advice, courses and books
Bestselling independent author Joanna Penn has a very active website with useful information and tips on book marketing. She is also the author of several marketing books and runs a marketing podcast.
Prices: Free advice on her blog and podcast. Her book is competitively priced.
3) Guardian Masterclasses – Workshops (UK)
The Guardian regularly run a series of workshops on all aspects of writing, publishing and marketing. They are held by industry experts in London and can offer a really useful insight into the writing and marketing world.
Prices: From around £219 for a full day’s course.
4) Cameron Publicity and Marketing
Cameron Publicity & Marketing was created in 2006 to offer the same marketing services that large publishers benefit from to all authors, including publicity campaigns, social media services and support.
Prices: Services start from £99 for press release distribution & £149 for a listing on NetGalley.com. Campaigns are priced on duration – please ask for a quote.
Networking with other authors and industry professionals is a key part of self-publishing, whether that’s sharing tips online, or learning about something new at an event. Here are a few recommendations of events and associations to attend and join.
1) The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) – Worldwide
A goldmine of information, ALLi provides support, advice and a community to those who are ‘going it alone’. CompletelyNovel are partner members and authors can join as author members at any time.
Pricing: $99/£75 for the year.
2) Writers & Artists – UK
Writers & Artists run a number of high-quality events for authors across a variety of genres all year round.
Pricing: £35 for Masterclass Evenings, £149 for How to Hook an Agent days.
3) Byte the Book – UK
Byte the Book runs educational networking events and provides support to authors writing in a digital age.
Pricing: Membership is £60 for the year and non-members can attend events for £10-15.
4) National Writing Agencies – UK
Wherever you live in England, there is a team of people dedicated to nurturing writing in that area:
Spread the Word – London
New Writing South – South East
Literature Works – South West
New Writing North – North East
Writing East Midlands – East Midlands
Writing West Midlands – West Midlands
Writers’ Centre Norwich – East
5) BookMachine – Worldwide
BookMachine runs networking events for those in the publishing industry. This is a great way to meet those who work in publishing and learn more about the industry.
Pricing: Tickets for events are either free, or around £5.
6) The Society of Young Publishers (SYP) – UK
If you’re looking to make a career in publishing, then the SYP can help you get your foot on the ladder of a very competitive industry.
Pricing: Membership is £24-£30 for the year.
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