5 May 2011

Helen Hart - SilverWood Books

Helen Hart Re-visited

Meet Helen Hart in two "workshop" sessions at the HNS Conference - she will be speaking on writing for children and the pride and pitfalls of 
self publishing

Helen has already been a guest here on my blog: 
so this is a re-visit

Helen Hart
I’m so grateful to Helen Hollick for inviting me to write a guest blog… I’m extremely proud that Helen has chosen my company SilverWood Books to support and assist her with her titles.
In order to understand how SilverWood works, it’s probably useful for readers to know something about me and my background as a professional writer, because I believe this is key to the way I've set the company up, and to how it functions.

I’ve been a published author since the late 1990s. Writing under a variety of pseudonyms, I’ve been published by Scholastic, HarperCollins, Oxford University Press, and several non-UK publishing houses. My books have been translated into many different languages including Swedish, Danish, Greek and Japanese.
Readers can see more on my author site.
I’ve also worked as a commercial copywriter for SilverWood’s sister company Redwing.

My writing background means that I have a deep and intimate understanding of the writing process and how important each book is to an author. I know from my own experience how much heart and soul has gone into the creation of a book, and how important is the relationship between a writer and their publisher/editor.

When I founded SilverWood Books in 2007, it was with the aim of providing self-funding authord with an alternative to what I perceived as the unscrupulous business practices, expensive publishing packages, and poor quality books offered by so-called ‘vanity’ publishing companies. I place the writer and their needs (and their aims for their book) at the heart of what SilverWood Books offers. My aim is to offer a close, supportive working relationship and therefore a similar experience to that which the writer might have if they were signed to a mainstream publishing house.

I genuinely believe that if a self-funding author wishes to sell their book beyond family and friends, then they need a book that matches as closely as possible the output of mainstream publishers. It’s not enough that the content be outstanding - all elements of the book must be outstanding if that title is to compete in an already crowded marketplace.

HNS Review UK
Editor's Choice
August 2012
SilverWood Books offers high quality professional services. Our authors work in partnership with a small, friendly, supportive team who care about the book and the writer, and who have the skills and expertise to offer impartial guidance. Most of our authors come to us through word-of-mouth recommendation, or they are repeat customers who were pleased with the experience of producing their previous book with us.
The key feature of our books is that they aim to match the production values of mainstream publishing houses - and this means our authors stand a better chance of persuading bookshops to stock their book (often self-published titles are refused due to their amateur nature).

SilverWood offers friendly one-to-one support throughout the publishing process. Services include professional editing, proofreading, page layout, book jacket design, Print on Demand and book publicity. Authors can choose from a comprehensive range of paperback and hardback book sizes, with or without dustjackets and foil stamping. We don't use templates, so each book is individually designed specifically for its target market, just as it would be in a mainstream publishing house. We offer a selection of publishing packages which cost-effectively bundle services together. And if an author’s work isn't quite ready for publication, SilverWood can assist with manuscript appraisal and editorial support.

This is an exciting time for self-publishing, and SilverWood is excited to be involved with so many wonderful books and writers.

The SilverWood Logo
Helen Hollick:  It was with great excitement and confidence that I put my novels into Helen Hart’s good care - a decision I have not regretted one bit. Thank you Helen Hart and the SilverWood staff.

As always, my guest gets to choose ten dinner guests:
1.    Amelia Earhart - because she was such an aviation pioneer, a symbol of great courage, a brilliant role model for women... and she might be able to solve the mystery of where and how she went down over the Pacific.
2.    Charles II - the perfect dinner guest: debonair, amusing, learned. I’d like to experience that famous charisma for myself.
3.    Barbara Palmer (Lady Castlemaine) - she’d be the perfect partner to glide in on the arm of Charles II, and we could all find out if she really was as scheming and cunning (and as beautiful) as it was said she was!
4.    Eddie Izzard - for the nail varnish, the eyeliner, the brilliant timing and the lengthy, beautifully-structured comedic tales. He could entertain us all through the main course!
5.    Sarah Waters - for the plots, the twists and the wonderful denouements of novels like ‘Fingersmith’ and ‘Affinity’.
6.    David Bowie - for the glory days of Diamond Dogs and Hunky Dory.
7.    Hereward the Wake - because he’s almost been forgotten, yet he led a war of resistance against William the Conqueror for 5 years in the aftermath of 1066.
8.    My old Maths teacher - for the patient explanation of how to use a slide rule… and perhaps this time I’ll understand it!
9.    Beverley Cleary - for the ‘Henry and Ribsy’ books. A big part of my childhood!
10.  Jesamiah Acorne - so that he can conjure a tale of piracy and swashbuckling as we all sip brandy by candlelight. And who knows… perhaps he’ll leave a blue ribbon behind at the end of the evening!?

(H.H. my Jesamiah is very popular isn’t he?)


  1. Thank you to both Helens for this brilliant article. Looks like you have a very special working relationship that is really going to work well. Wish you both well!

    I am very glad to see Hereward is invited to your dinner! A great hero as far as Im concerned. He is going to feature in my second book at some point, if I ever get the first off the ground!

    all the Best

  2. oo I just realised that Hereward was a guest at my dinner party too. I hope he enjoyed mine as much as yours!

  3. Very interesting post. Sounds like you have great partnership going. Wishing you both luck and success with the books.

  4. Came over from Festival of Romance online to read about sunny Lanzarote. Must be so inspiring for your writing.


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