Any publishers out there..?

8th August 2006, 20:44
Hi all,

I've written a book....that could be split into two if needs be.!

It's entitled "Ferries of Devon, Cornwall and the Scilly Isles". It consists of around 23000 words and I have around 400 photos to go with it.

I have been let down by a publisher who has sat on it for 12 months and done nothing, after a lot of enthusiasm and promises.

The book is a modern guide to all the different ferry routes in the areas of the title, and is lists information such as how to get to them by public transport, operating dates, contact numbers, websites, local amenities etc. There may be some historic content for some, of which a few it would be impossible to ignore, but the book is researched to contain up to date info. There are over 80 ferry routes in the area alone, with new ones being added yearly.! The book covers everything from the smallest rowing boats to Britanny Ferries. It also promotes the South West Coast Path....but they're not interested.!

If any members know of any publishers who may be interested in such a magnificent tome...then please let me know..!!

Much appreciated.


John Tremelling
8th August 2006, 21:31
Best wishes with your endeavours.

John Trem

8th August 2006, 21:35
Thanks John, much appreciated.!

Will keep you advised of any developments.



8th August 2006, 22:26
Ahoy Rushie,

Wish you all the best in finding a serious publisher, there must be somewhere/someone interested in these enormous valued treasure.
Keep us updated.(Thumb)

Hugh MacLean
8th August 2006, 22:46
Good luck with the project, Rushie. As you have found out it can take some time but keep plugging away.


9th August 2006, 00:04
Rushie it sounds like the sort of thing tourist organisations or automobile clubs may be interested in. Like everyone else I wish you luck with all your hard work.

9th August 2006, 00:21
Rushie, you have my absolute sympathy ... this is exactly
what happened to me .... all my research was looked at
with unenthusiastic dismissal; "no chance of that selling",
"too specialised", over the years, so I ( and I am not suggesting
that you do this ) just decided, hang it all, I'm not letting
all my work go to waste, I'll give it away. So it's all on my
website ..... It took my son, many years before he got his
books published; from what I have heard in the way of
comments about his work, from publishers, it was clear that
they did not know the market and neither did they read books.
Now he is a respected author, he has become acceptable.
The trouble too, is that publishers do not generally take on
books unless the author goes through an agent, and then
the problem is that certain mangers stick with certain publishers.
It's a nightmare of never ending circles.
So, I truly wish you the very best of luck.

9th August 2006, 09:24
Thanks to all for your messages of support.

I'm not going to give up. Although it was a lot of hard graft to do, it was something I loved doing, and I'd like to share with others.

Will update if any miracles happen..!!


9th August 2006, 09:55
Have you tried Ships Monthly or one of the other Marine publishers they are normally quite good.

John Rogers
9th August 2006, 15:07
Rushie, my son took my work and put in on a couple of Cd's and went to one of the print shops and had it printed and bound. At least it is now saved for family history. I never intended to sell it so I didn't have your problem, I wish you all the luck in finding someone.

9th August 2006, 15:18
Cheers Gdynia and John.

The problem with the book and marine publishers is that "ships" make up a tiny percentage of the content...and so even people like Ferry Publications aren't interested.

I'm trying a new approach....hounding the South West Tourist Board direct...let's see what happens..!!

Thanks for your comments and suggestions. (Applause) (Applause)


20th August 2006, 18:33
Hi Rushie
Why not publish your book yourself! There are several books available on the subject, but be beware of vanity publishers. They will promise you the earth and stitch you up.
Its your book don't let the parisites take your money. If you think you have a market, get it type set and get it printed and sell it yourself. Now days you can go for print on demand, slightly more per copy but you don't have to have to have hundreds printed at once. If you are interested i can give you some recomendations.
I went down this channel when i finished my book. I sold all the copies and have since had a reprint. visit www. dockland apprentice fsworld

K urgess
20th August 2006, 18:53
You may have already tried this.
If you look at my new thread about females at sea you'll see a book cover attached. Long title about the "History of the Radio Officer......". The book was a Chrimple pressie from 'er indoors last year and it's pretty current.

The authoress, Joanna Greenlaw, a chartered engineer, spent 12 years in the Merchant Navy. She's written a couple of books including "The Swansea Copper Barques and Cape Horners".

Her publishers are -
Dinefwr Publishers,
Rawlings Road,
Llandybie, Carmarthenshire,
SA19 3YD

Phone (sales) 01269 851989
email -

They also list Joanna Greenlaw's phone as 01792 425494

They may be as bad as your previous experience (they may be the same ones :@ ). They may be a print-on-demand outfit but they seem to publish marine books and maybe the authoress can help better than us.

I hope you succeed (Thumb)

Tony Selman
21st August 2006, 10:59
Rushie, I own a print and copy business and actually publish the Radio Officers' Association quarterly newsletter. This is basically a digital printing exercise and is relatively easy to produce.

We do on occasion get asked to publish books in low numbers. We are effectively a print on demand business as Marconi Sahib says and we are not in the business of producing a perfect bound book along the lines of a novel from W H Smith. That said there are ways of producing specialist publications like yours and I will certainly have a look at it for you.

Please send me a personal message and we will exchange telephone numbers and have a chat about it.



Tony Breach
21st August 2006, 12:06
Joanna Greenlaw's Swansea Copper Barques is a superb social history of the copper trade at Swansea and the ships and men who serviced it. I would imagine it took a lot of courage to publish as interest would probably be quite limited & I wonder how many copies were printed. For its size & the fact it is soft covered it initially appears to be expensive which may cause marketing problems. However, the content is so excellent that it is, in my opinion, worth twice the price. Problem is not many will know that unless they buy it.

I have my own manuscript but feel I it would be lucky to sell a dozen copies. I take my hat off to anyone with the courage to make the decision to publish & I wish you all the success in the world Rushie.

Tony Selman
21st August 2006, 12:56
The answer to this is entirely dependant on how you wish the publication to look. Using Joanna's publications as an example these have been litho printed and what is called perfect bound (simplistically this means glued down the spine and looks like most paperbacks). To litho print books in low numbers is very expensive and most perfect binders won't even talk to you unless you are talking thousands. It takes a very brave man to undertake that level of cost when you really have no idea how many copies you are going to sell.

NB: What follows is not an advert just a statement of fact. My business can produce the publication on a print on demand basis in a method that most people will find acceptable but it CANNOT be finished like a normal paperback and as a general rule it will be wiro bound or perhaps thermal bound down the spine. I have done this for several ROA members who have wanted to produce specific publications. You pays your money and takes your choice like so many things in life.

Rushie did me a favour earlier in the year and I would be delighted to help him as much as I can whether or not my business has anything to do with the publication. Any number of print on demand business should be capable of doing the same thing.

21st August 2006, 12:58
Try Bernard Macaul who publishes the coastal shipping magazine. He has a website

21st August 2006, 14:15

Many thanks to all who have come up with suggestions and advice...and not least best wishes messages of encouragement.!

I'll try the different contacts who you've all mentioned, and will be in touch with yourself Tony S.

Once again...thanks a lot..!

Just for your info, I met up with an SN member yesterday, who I've got to know through the BP threads. We sat in the Devon sun, had a few beers, and it was really good to meet up with someone who you converse with through the site.

Cheers to all at SN for that.!


10th August 2008, 19:30
There are plenty publishers out there, most of them not very co-operative & rather blinkered with a general fixation that the Merchant Navy consisted of only two ships, CUTTY SARK & TITANIC, whilst the Royal Navy had another two - BOUNTY & VICTORY.

I eventually found a publisher for my book after years of rejections. Within two years of publication, it is virtually sold out from the publishers. The effort & waiting time however, is not really worth it in the long run - although I will say that in my case, my publishers were easy to deal with & made a magnificent job of it once they plucked up courage to accept it. Currently awaiting third lot of royalties!

Another book I did on vintage radio construction, I placed on CD disk on my own computer. Once written, I can make a new disk in less than five minutes & they cost very little to post world-wide. For several years, I have been selling them for 10 each, with postage set at 1 - world-wide! They have done exceeding well!

Even had a publisher approach me recently asking me to do a book for them. But I don't need them (publishers) any more, so turned them down. The e-book is the book of the future. Cheap to make, cheap to post, & the cost of printing it out & binding it (if required) is passed onto the buyer &, most of all - the writer gets the bulk of the selling priice.


Mark Chirnside
11th August 2008, 12:29

I can't help thinking that my publisher might be interested, if you want to send me an e-mail.

Best wishes,


charles henry
12th August 2008, 14:18
Rushie I can understand your frustration, if you are not presently a selling author they are difficult to even contact. You have a further problem insomuch as the "audience" is extremely small (In terms of sales).

Suggestion, you can self publish a small number, any office supply store (Staples) can bind letter sized pages either spiral or plastic and the pricing is very low.

I'm probably showing my age but there used to be a National Lifeboat group who ran and admninistered all the lifeboats in the UK. (They used to have a flag day to raise money). There must be many groups such as them that may be interested in using your book as a money raising tool. Send out your self bound book offering it as a tool for them at whatever terms you see fit.
Just a suggestion
de chas

13th August 2008, 06:59
cheers Chas...will give them a go.


17th August 2008, 10:40
It took me over two years to find a publisher for my book "Ropner's Navy" (ISBN 978-0-9558593-5-9) after being knocked back on several occasions and I finally saw it released on the 5th August and have already sold 100 copies from the first print.

John Riddle
Cormorant Publishing Hartlepool
Tel: 01429 865066

John is a writer and journalist himself who was fed up of local authors being knocked back by the big publishers so he decided to start his own company.

20th August 2008, 19:42
Hi Rushie, a publishers first priority is how many books will this manuscript sell. Will it clear my printing costs? Shipbuilder summed it up perfectly that the Bounty and Titanic are the only ships worth reading about.

I was knocked back on handing my manuscript to the first publisher I found in the phone directory. I had fun writing my book but was not aware of the real test. Finding a publisher. Gerry Evans, my shipmate and friend, who recently passed away, and noted author of 'Where Giants Dwell" and "Shipping Out" suggested I write a synopsis of what each chapter was about. It gives a publisher an idea of what the contents of the book is about rather than having to tediously peruse the whole manuscript. On handing the synopsis and manuscript to the next publisher I was successful. My book "Oceans Of Time" published September 2006 has sold well in UK, OZ and NZ. Im receiving royalties, having cleared the publishers printing cost etc, and an annual stipend from the books purchase by libraries. I wish you well in your endeavours to find a publisher. Just remember A K Rowling went through 31 publishers. "All Creaures great and small" was just a book about farm animals and became a top TV serial. So dont give up.

Cheers Daveyjones in Wellington NZ

Iain Crosbie
22nd August 2008, 13:05
I own a printing business, and although we do not publish books, we have printed and bound several for other publishers, particularly on aviation history.
I would agree with a lot of the above remarks, i.e. if you can afford to, why not print and market the book yourself?
I do not know where you are with your project, but if you are still unpublished and would like to chat to me about this, without any obligation whatsoever, I will be happy to help and advise you.

22nd August 2008, 13:55
I know your frustrations about publishing.. I did a small run of a book - 500 copies - and sold all except two (which I keep for sentimental reasons). I've lined up some nautical publishers for a second edition.. but haven't really had time to get to it.