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Becoming a Search Press Author

Writing a book and submitting a proposal

Search Press specialises in highly illustrated, practical, reference and inspirational art and craft books for beginners through to professional artists and crafters. We work closely with our authors to produce books that are not only accurate, informative and accessible, but also beautifully designed and illustrated. We pride ourselves on the care and attention we pay to all our books, and have earned an enviable reputation as one of the top art and craft book publishers in the world.

Why write a book?

There are all sorts of reasons for writing a book. Perhaps you have a unique idea for a book that you feel would sell well. You may be a specialist in a particular field and would like to share your knowledge with others, or perhaps you have been asked to write a book by people who have attended your workshops or follow you on social media. Whatever your reasons, writing a book can be both rewarding and challenging, and our aim at Search Press is to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

For many people, seeing their name on the front cover of a book is reward enough for writing a book. For others, it's the satisfaction that comes from sharing their knowledge with others, inspiring them to try something new. A book is a great way of promoting yourself and attracting a wider audience. Authors often report renewed interest in their classes, workshops and social media sites following publication, which may result in future opportunities such as requests for demonstrations, exhibitions and further publications.

What we expect from you, as an author

When you are commissioned to write a book, you become one of the Search Press team and we work hard with you to ensure your book is of the highest possible quality. However, there are certain things we expect from you in return.

All our books are highly illustrated, and samples of your work must be of a sufficiently high standard for publication and meet the original brief in terms of both design and style. We normally ask authors to provide examples early in the writing process, to allow plenty of time for work to be revised if necessary.

We expect you to be able to describe and write about your techniques clearly. However, we realise that writing does not come easily to some authors, and your editor will work closely with you to help you with the writing if necessary. The schedule for your book will be discussed with you early on, and we do ask that you stick to the agreed deadlines and let us know well in advance if you don't feel you can meet them.

What you can expect from us, as your publisher

At Search Press, we pride ourselves on the excellent relationship we build with our authors. We aim always to be friendly, supportive, and sympathetic to your needs, while at the same time maintaining the high professional standards for which we are well known.

All our editors are based in house and are specialist art and craft editors. You will be allocated your own editor, and they will be responsible for editing your book through to publication. They are there to answer any queries you have, and to assist you with the writing process.

Your editor will also work closely with our designers, and with the production, publicity and sales departments, to ensure that your book not only looks wonderful, but is also marketed effectively to maximise sales.

The images are a crucial part of any book, and particularly in art and craft books. We have our own photographic studio and access to several specialist art and craft photographers, and we also use freelance illustrators where drawings or diagrams are required. The costs of all these services are covered by us.


Once your book has been approved for publication, we will discuss with you your payment options. All our authors receive a choice between a royalty or a one-off fee. With a royalty, you will of course be taking a risk, as we do with our investment in you, but you would receive an income from the sale of your book for as long as it's in print.

Preparing a book proposal

As the first stage, you will need to formulate your ideas for a book in the form of a written proposal. Publishers are approached by potential new authors all the time, and for yours to get noticed it needs to be detailed yet concise, and stand out from the crowd; research is key.

      1. Overview - what is your book about and who is it for?

Decide on the subject of your book and think about your audience - will it be a general reference book that will be used by crafters and artists of all levels? Or will it be a more basic beginner's guide suitable for people with little or no experience? Perhaps you want to produce a project book for people who already have the necessary skills but are looking for fresh ideas, or you want to write a book that provides a showcase for your work and techniques.

      2. The market – who will buy your book?

It's imperative that you research the market and develop a clear picture of the people who will buy your book. For example, if you are proposing a knitting book, will your typical reader already know how to knit and be looking for a collection of patterns, or are they complete beginners who want a basic course in knitting? They may be experienced knitters who wish to master a more advanced technique, or they may want a general guide that they can refer to every now and then.

      3. Competition

In order to sell, your book will need to have key features that make it stand out from the crowd. Find out what other books are on the market that cover a similar subject to yours, and provide details on at least three that would be in direct competition with yours.

      4. Key selling points

Identify at least three key selling points that would make someone choose your book over any other. For example, having a huge following on social media could make your book stand out from similar titles by less well-known authors. Perhaps your book would be the first for many years that covers a certain specialist subject or technique, or maybe you have a unique style, or a way of teaching that makes the subject particularly accessible to beginners.

      5. Synopsis and draft contents

Don't worry too much about the size of your book or the number of pages – most of our books fall into one of several standard formats, and your book would probably fit into one of these. We are much more interested in knowing how you envisage the content of the book. For this, we would need a brief synopsis or summary of the book and a provisional contents list.

      6. Samples of your work

It is imperative that you include examples of your work with your book proposal, or links to images we can view online on your website or blog page, or even to magazine articles in which your work has been featured. The more examples we can see the better.

      7. A bit about you

Please provide as much information about you and your work as you can, in the form of a short biography. This should include: your background, education and training; what you do now; where you exhibit or sell your work; details of any awards or accolades; and whether you have previously published in books or magazines. If you can provide details or links to these, so much the better.

We sell our books all over the world and so do please let us know if you are well-known overseas. North America is a huge market for us - if you have connections there then please tell us.

We are also interested in your on-line presence - do you have your own website or blog? Do you sell your products via Etsy, Folksy, Ravelry, etc.? How active are you on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest? How many ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ do you have? Self-promotion is extremely effective, and promoting yourself and your book on-line will prove hugely beneficial.

Note: If you have previously worked with other book publishers, it's important that you check your contract to make sure you are not obliged to offer any future books to them before approaching us with your book idea. Even if there's no contractual obligation, it would be courteous to make sure they are happy for you to offer the book to someone else.

Submitting a book proposal

Send your proposal to our Publisher, Samantha Warrington, via email to Samw@searchpress.com, or by post to Search Press Ltd., Wellwood, North Farm Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 3DR.

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