Here’s what happened.

In 2010, my partner, Michelle Smith, and I (I’m Paul) were driving through the South Island in NZ. It was a nice day and the place was stunning. We stopped at the traffic lights on the outskirts of a small town and, while waiting for the lights to change, we were discussing what to call the publishing company we wanted to set up.

There was not a soul around, nothing was moving, the lights still red, and minutes felt like hours. Then, out of the blue, a truck drove slowly in front of us and it had “Paul Smith Sewage” on it.

We looked at each other, looked at the truck as it drove off, looked at each other again and shouted at the same time, “Paul Smith Publishing!”

Deciding to set up the company was the outcome of a book I had written and wanted to publish. I sent so many proposals I lost count of and received almost as many rejections. A couple of offers I received, though to begin with made me feel on the top of the world, sounded too good to be true. I ditched them.

In the process, I began learning more about the book publishing industry. I came to like the idea of publishing books, especially books by new and aspiring authors. There is something utterly satisfying publishing a book, be it your own or not, and sending it into the world. Even more so helping it make more sales.

I learnt three very important lessons I keep reminding of myself and my authors all the time.

FIRST: Your genuine desire to share your work with the world leaves you wide open on two fronts, both very bad.

One, being taken advantage of. I heard stories, and keep hearing them, of writers locked into one-sided publishing agreements or paying a lot of money and getting little or nothing in return. It shocked the hell out of me. Still does. Remember to:

Two, publishing a book that is not ready yet. To give your book the best chance to stand out and succeed you must strive to polish it as much as possible.

Be it your first book or not, you have to come to terms that in spite of all the effort you have poured in, the book might not be ready. You need to go back to it again to polish it. For this, you need to learn the basics of editing.

It takes time and dedication, but do keep at it because it pays off. No shortcuts, cutting corners or rushing the process. If you do, it will come to bite you.

Please do contact me now if you have any questions about your draft or publishing agreements you might want to get into. I’d be glad to help.

SECOND: Publishing, at least the traditional one, is complex. There are many skills and stages involved, more than almost all writers and authors are aware of. Forget claims and promises by the so-called publishing gurus of quick and easy fixes. It is misleading.

Publishing a book is, above all, a team effort. Here’s what you do:

Resisting change is natural; you are emotionally attached to your work. Don’t worry, relax and enjoy the process. You will learn a lot and, at the end, you will get a book you’ll be proud of.

You do the best you can to send the book into the world and let the reader decide (and rightly so). Let no one contradict me on this.
If you would like to know more about the editing and publishing process, from designing the cover to typesetting or launching the book, feel free to get in touch, I’ll help as much as I can.

THIRD: Publishing a book is one thing, selling it quite another. Book promotion is a continuous process. The damn thing won’t sell by itself, it needs pushing. A lot. The key is to:

Whether via a traditional publisher or not, you will be responsible for promoting your book more than anyone else. You’ve got to become a marketer. It won’t happen otherwise. From review copies to email campaigns, it’s crucial to keep selling it. I know you might find it daunting, but this is what top authors do to succeed.

If you have written or plan to write a book, please get in touch now. I will read your manuscript and give you honest feedback. If we can’t take it on, I’ll put together a publishing package that will give your book a proper chance to succeed without breaking the bank.

Now comes the dull part; the 3rd person bios. Feel free to skip the whole thing.

Manu and Francesca took on the cover design, Peter joined later on to handle the book marketing and here we are now publishing books.


The Team

Paulin Prifti
Paul went into publishing in 2011 after trying to find a publisher for a book he had written which proved to be an even tougher and thankless task than writing the book in the first place.

Paul deals with book editing, manuscript evaluation, preparing books for publication and handling publishing agreements.
A crucial part of his job is also dealing with writers, authors, book cover designers, illustrators and creative types who are not an easy lot by any stretch.

Publishing a book requires many different stages and skills. If you want to see your book out there and make it stand out, you need to put effort, time and finances into it. It's a chain and you need to make sure it works smoothly.

Another part of Paul’s job is making sure the writer approaches the book as both a writer and a marketer; keeping in mind and writing for the reader.  The job of a book is to sell; it’s the most reliable indication readers want it. This is not easy because writers are emotionally attached to their work and would often resist changes to the final draft.

Paul says your book is your baby: it is adorable but you cannot send it into the world as it is. You have to clothe it, rear it, make it foolproof and then let it run free.


Michelle Smith
Michelle has been part of Paul Smith Publishing since its early days.

Already a published author with two titles under her name, Michelle deals with and advises on manuscript formatting, book presentation and making sure every book, as a finished product, gives the reader a smooth and effortless reading experience.

Another important task Michelle deals with, coming from an accounting background, is advising on book pricing structure, incomings and outgoings making sure each book project becomes viable for both author and publisher.

Michelle says it’s important to see the book as a reader: you want a book that is easy to read, is presented professionally and marketed in a way it reaches as many people as it can.


Peter Clough
Peter has been publishing for nearly seven years now and has seen many of his books make it to the top #1 rank in their category.

One bestselling book reached the Top 100 Salesrank (the authority site ranking the best-selling books in all genres on Amazon) in both the US & UK markets. It still ranks pretty high four years after its release.

Long gone are the days when you could publish a book and Amazon would promote it for you. Now Amazon wants to see your book is worth promoting.

A major part of Peter’s job is working behind the scenes analysing Amazon’s very sophisticated and constantly changing algorithm (a self-confessed geek!). Knowing how this algorithm affects sales is a huge advantage when your book is competing with many, many great books.

Other aspects of Peter’s job involve analysing what reviewers like or don’t like about other similar books, the wording of their book descriptions, their cover design and so on. Though they may seem trivial and a waste of time; they are vital elements leading to a strong impact on potential readers wanting to buy your book without them realising.

Peter says if you don’t do the prelaunch preparation you'd better off not publishing your book at all.


The Publishing Model in a Nutshell

We cover all genres of Fiction & Non-fiction in three main formats:
✔︎ eBooks
✔︎ Physical books
✔︎ Audiobooks

Via three publishing models:

➤ Publisher Author Agreements
✔︎ Royalty-based
✔︎ Author retains partial copyright
✔︎ PSP handles author account in full
✔︎ All genre manuscripts accepted
✔︎ Free manuscript evaluation

➤ Bespoke Publishing Services Packages
✔︎ Author keeps 100% royalty
✔︎ Author retains full copyright
✔︎ Author owns the account

➤ Bespoke Book Marketing Packages
✔︎ Book sales & marketing pre or after release plans


Each book project is handled individually and will go through some or all of the stages below.

Once the manuscript is polished & proofread, we add all the elements needed to turn into a book. Allow at least four to six months for:
✦ Finalising draft, title & subtitle
✦ Book cover including spine & back cover
✦ Interior formatting
✦ Book illustrations
✦ eBook & paperback & audiobook conversion

To boost its chances to sell it is crucial to target a book’s main readership and also spy on the competition by:
✦ Genre & subgenre selection
✦ Book competitor research
✦ Best book ranking keywords
✦ Pricing

Unique features help the book stand out by:
✦ Amazon eBook and paperback, audiobook listings
✦ Author profile set up
✦ Advanced book description

The most crucial two-step stage to build traction includes:
✦ Soft launch
✦ Hard launch

Promoting and selling a book is an ongoing process and the following are essential to it:
✦ Book promotion campaigns
✦ Goodreads competition
✦ Review selection
✦ Short & long print runs
✦ Print on Demand (POD)

For more details about book publishing package or submitting manuscripts, please
email Paul: paul@paulsmithpublishing.co.uk


NOTE: Huge thanks to the following people for their great work and support:

Katie McKee - Graphic design and logo and book cover designer.

Matt Mabley - Website Designer Activate Design

Robert Urquhart - Lead Programmer

Paul Smith Publishing Ltd is registered in England and Wales. Company number: 08735912.

Registered address: 97 Earls Court Road, London, W8 6QH, UK.