preparing for publication

we don’t know what we don’t know until someone opens our eyes

It takes a great deal of work to make a manuscript into a book – and it’s a minefield trying to get it published.

Book these sessions with publishing professional Alison Shakspeare and you’ll be better equipped to decide whether you want to look for a publisher or become a self-publisher; and how to produce a professional-looking volume at a realistic cost – whether you want to sell it or use it to develop your business, or whether it is just for you and your family.

These sessions are useful whether you’ve already got a finished manuscript or whether you are in the early stages of writing.

Available one-to-one, in person or online; or book it for your writing group to strengthen your writing journey.
Cost: £90
To find out more email


Session 1
Manuscript Preparation

There is more to preparing a professional manuscript than proofreading; and editing is more than correcting a few Ps and Qs and commas. Your manuscript is far more likely to get accepted for publication – and cost less to typeset – if you’ve tightened up on a host of essential elements. This session also covers: improving consistency and formatting; avoiding copyright issues; the value of supporting content, such as a glossary or bibliography

Session 2
Design and Layout

Having fun with styles in Microsoft Word is all very well but professional typesetting has different requirements. You’ll begin to appreciate what formatting is worth spending time on and what you can leave to the design stage. You’ll understand more about images, page layout and the dark arts of cover design. This session will save you time as a writer and your awareness of the processes involved will help you plan your publishing journey

Session 3
The Art of Publishing

After this session you’ll have a better understanding of the options for publishing (or maybe self-publishing) your manuscript. You’ll know what POD and ISBN mean. You’ll know how to maximise your budget and avoid vultures. You’ll appreciate the time and effort needed to achieve book sales

self-publishing course attendee

It inspired me to self-publish, but use professionals for the more in-depth activities

self-publishing course attendee

I think at the moment I need readers and comments on what I’m writing. Then I might be able to move on to the next stage. That’s my own personal predicament and something that became clearer to me by considering publication routes at all. At least I know the possibilities now.

self-publishing course attendee

An absolutely invaluable course for any aspiring author/writer scribbling away whose objective is ‘to be published’. For those with some knowledge of the process, the course neatly collates all topics. For the novice, Alison’s commonsense explanations and logical approach are readily understandable.

self-publishing course attendee

I feel I possess far more knowledge about the different routes to publication and the advantages and possible pitfalls of each particular route. Alison’s obvious subject knowledge has been acquired over many years of professional experience in the editing field and she was generous in sharing that knowledge. I really enjoyed the sessions and was disappointed when the course ended.

self-publishing course attendee

Alison delivers a course full of expert knowledge for the aspiring writer.