We knew we wanted to write a book and had some preliminary ideas and chapter notes but weren't sure where to take it from there, and the publishing world was completely foreign to us. We knew we had something good but needed help professionally with presentation and fine-tuning and didn't know where to turn.
We were looking for, and found in you, coaching through the minefield of publishing - that barrister-like 'fresh pair of eyes' that could see right through to the nitty gritty of our work and advice on how best we could present our work to a publisher. That kind of advice just isn't available in books - even if you follow written advice to the letter, nothing compares to getting a specific opinion on your own creation.
As for results, well we achieved unexpected success (getting 3 offers out of 6 approaches to publishers), greater understanding of ourselves, as well as a sense of groundedness and self-belief that can sometimes go missing in the early days of writing. I really felt you had spent a long time studying our work and your insights were astute and detailed.
You clearly have a passionnate belief in what you are doing. When you see that in someone you want to use them over someone else whose passion is secondary to financial incentives.
Your telephone consultations gave us support that was above and beyond our expectations. You give your time generously, always giving that bit extra, and making us feel in no doubt that we were getting value for money.
The confidence I got from the success of the first book spurred me on to write a second, and now I have an agent and a bigger publisher on board - which I put down to getting the right start Meanwhile I continue to refer all my aspiring author friends to you and will continue to do that. Thanks for everything.
Lucy Martin, co-author with Bella Mehta of Make It Your Business and The Childcare Bible
As I entered the publishing industry both quickly and unexpectedly and with no former experience, when issues came up with either my agent or publisher that I needed help with, I felt very vulnerable and frustrated. I couldn't seem to get help, guidance or the straight answers which I very much needed at that early stage and which also seemed like perfectly reasonable expectations!
Julia's approach is highly professional and provided balanced, objective advice just when I needed it. Her exceptionally personable attitude made the experience more than just very useful… she was a breath of fresh air!
One of the results of working with Julia was substantially lowered blood pressure! This happened because I was able to share my concerns with an experienced individual and receive some genuinely sensible, non-biased answers.
A significant factor for me in choosing to work with Julia was the combination of her wealth of experience along with the ethos behind her business. Julia takes a holistic approach to publishing and the individuals concerned, and while she has a very commercial head on, she is also genuinely concerned to ensure the entire process is both fulfilling and appropriately managed for each individual concerned and their career as an author.
What makes Julia different is the personal touch! There are plenty of books out there, even internet sites that address some of the issues I had but there isn't and I would dare to say never will be a replacement for the invaluable personal touch and attention to detail that Julia brings to the table. She has a genuine talent for listening to individuals… really 'hearing' their issues, shedding light on them and developing practical action plans.
Julia is fantastic and I cannot recommend her highly enough as your first port of call for any problems, concerns or queries related to publishing. She really is the consummate publishing consultant! She gave me balanced, well informed advice drawing on her wealth of experience which not only enabled me to make objective decisions as to the best way forward but also gave my confidence a real boost.
Jo Gambi, author of Holding On: A Story of Love and Survival www.robandjogambi.com
I'd written a first draft of my book, had clocked up a few rejections from publishers, and had sent a proposal to an agent but not heard back. I felt my proposal wasn't strong enough, as it wasn't getting a response. So I wanted help in attracting a publisher's attention. I needed to know where I was going wrong, because I wasn't getting any feedback about the proposals I'd sent. I needed to hear from someone inside the industry what in my proposal was attractive, and what needed strengthening.
Working with you was a breath of fresh air and I absolutely got the information I needed. The publishing world has its own way of doing things, but being outside this, I didn't realise what I was doing wrong. I felt like a foreigner who didn't understand local customs who suddenly had a guide and interpreter. It opened the door for me.
Within a few months of our first meeting, I had a publisher phoning to invite me round. My book is now on sale in the shops. Your input played a crucial role in making this happen. I can't put a monetary value on that.
You combine a depth of experience in the publishing world with first class coaching skills. I appreciate your balance of encouraging affirmation with well targeted specific suggestions for change. You help a writer understand how a publisher will react to their work. You offer clear guidance and feedback on how to approach a publisher, so that they are more likely to be interested.
Thank you Julia - you have been an essential ally in my writer's journey. My best advice to anyone who wanted to get a non-fiction book published is come and see you!
Dr Chris Johnstone, author of Find Your Power, www.chrisjohnstone.info
My proposal was not suitable material for my agent and so I was looking for a new way to move forwards. I was unsure how to present myself and my work to publishers or how to approach them. I was also in need of feedback on the overall potential of my book and generally felt quite insecure and in need of support for the long journey!
Our work together resulted in everything being brought up to a high standard in preparation for approaching publishers, especially the proposal which far exceeded the standard I had achieved previously with my first book. In the process of our discussions, I also received gentle feedback on my writing that has taken me to new levels of clarity and depth and have improved my overall style. As a result of working with you, I have total faith that my book will be published in whatever way is best and I also feel much more confident about myself and in speaking directly with publishers.
In summary, you provide an excellent, highly professional and personal service in advising and supporting the writing path. I was particularly able to trust your advice because of the genuine resonance you seemed to have with my subject matter. I found all comments on the more subtle refinement of my writing particularly useful as well as your overall encouragement and steadfastness through the whole process. I only wish you were my agent, editor and publisher all in one! Nevertheless, you have been (and continue to be) an absolutely invaluable ally. I also appreciate your professionalism and high standard of excellence in what you do both in terms of the skills you have and also in your interfacing with clients.
Amoda Maa Jeevan, author of How to Find God in Everything, www.amodamaajeevan.com
I had just two days earlier made the decision to write a book and decided to surf the net looking for information. When I found your site, I knew you would be the right person to guide me through the process of seriously and professionally writing a book. I was very clear in my mind about it: I knew I wanted to do this, to do it now and to the very best of my ability. I needed someone to show me the way and I didn't want it to take forever.
Our meetings provide a unique environment to work on the development of my book. The discussions that we have are creative, focused and intense and are usually initiated by your open, intuitive questioning which allows me to plot the way for myself. The period of time during our meetings is unlike any other in my day to day life because I know that I will always learn something, think, hear, say even feel something that will move me forward by another small step. It's a rewarding, fascinating, fantastic, two way process and a wonderful way to approach your first book.
As a result of working with you my book is revealing itself to me. I have gone down paths that I have never been before and have the confidence to do so. I am relaxed enough to hear myself clearly and to write freely. The passion I felt at the beginning is even stronger now and my determination to see this book in print, the way that I want it to read and look, is rock solid. I believe that I have something interesting to say and I believe that I have the ability to present it in an interesting way. Your input, guidance, criticism, encouragement, understanding and instinct are just some of the factors that have produced these results in me.
Your experience and skill is invaluable but more rare is your intuitive approach and obvious ability to read people. So is sound judgement and the ability to criticise and challenge to incite highly positive results. Also, other sources of information on writing and getting published are not like you, equally concerned with the emotions and thoughts within as the words on the page. You offer the complete experience-just like my book-from the inside out!
I would just like to add that working with you is so very enjoyable and uplifting. I am always interested in what you have to say and I think that makes a huge difference. It's clear to me that you feel very strongly about what you do and that is why it feels so pure. You provide a fantastic service that offers absolute value for money and that too is a rare thing, these days. You make me feel like I am working at a professional level, even though, I am only, really a beginner and I don't honestly think that I could have found this anywhere else.
Lesley Stratton Hughes, author and life coach, www.gettingmarriedinsideout.co.uk
Prior to meeting you, Julia, I was experiencing a good deal of isolation as a writer… I'd been feeling that I needed some professional development and editorial feedback on an illustrated book I was developing.
Additionally I'd approached several publishers but had got next to nowhere. Feeling that my book was both highly marketable and topical (a nature diary referencing the famous Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady in its centenary year to explore climate change), I was frustrated that despite the publishers' positive feedback no one was actually willing to take it on. Nevertheless, I was simultaneously aware of the commercially driven world of corporate global publishing and was thus interested in, but unsure about, the path of self-publishing as a way to take the means of production into my own hands.
Although this may sound inappropriately mystical, our work together felt like a subtle dance exploring possibilities and drawing ever closer to the right way for me to proceed. The consultation allowed me expansive time to express my ideas and concerns and honed in on - and affirmed - my creative skills, concluding with helpful insights and suggestions of a way forward that were specific to my situation.
Most importantly of all the consultation and subsequent editorial feedback gave me the confidence to go ahead with my self-publishing project. I had a real awareness of my limited means, but an enormous affirmation of my creative potential, as well as a recognition of the difficulties I was genuinely facing in getting an illustrated book published commercially.
I feel that the most important aspect of your work is the personal tailoring your service offers combined with your ability to draw on substantial experience of the publishing world. For me it's also significant that you're able to recognise the limitations of working within the establishment and to honour and encourage a writer's creative ability to think for him-/herself whilst simultaneously maintaining a highly professional literary service and gently 'midwifing' the birth of good books!
Thank you for your intelligent support and enthusiastic affirmation of my creative potential - it's made a real difference to my ability to walk my unique path with confidence!
Helen Moore, eco-poet and author of Changing Nature: Eco Notes of a Digital Woman, www.natures-words.co.uk
I had been offered my first book contract with a London publishing company. I thought getting an agent to represent me would be easy now that I had a firm offer and the paperwork in my hand. I rang dozens of agents and no one was remotely interested in me, some were even blunt enough to say I was not going to earn them enough money to warrant investing any time in me. After a day on the phone I felt totally frustrated and very deflated.
What I needed was help in translating my contract and expert advice on what this lengthy document was really offering me. Julia stepped in just at the perfect moment. By the end of our session, I felt I had a clear understanding of my contract, its implications as well as the deal being offered to me. Not only that but Julia also gave me a range of options to go back to my editor with that would enable to negotiate fair and reasonable terms for both parties.
I felt enlightened, empowered and a bit daunted at the prospect of the actual negotiation. However, at the end of the meeting I came away buzzing with an enormous high that it had been a great success and that a revised contract had been successfully negotiated.
I knew the moment Julia began talking to me that I had chanced upon a publishing expert. I knew I could trust her advice and that her expertise would enable me to move ahead with my contract. I knew Julia was going to be a priceless asset to have on my side, someone who was not just good but fabulous.
What makes Julia different from the others in the publishing industry is not just the in-depth knowledge and experience that she has to offer, it's the fact she is willing to share this information. Not only was it apparent that she was going to be able to help me with the technical input I so desperately needed I knew that I was going to learn a great deal in the process.
Julia is an invaluable asset to have if you want to step into the book world. I have learnt so much from her it's hard to put into words. My future literary endeavours will always go hand in hand with the guidance and expertise of Julia.
Fiona Hickman Taylor, author of Six Spiritual Steps to Mend a Broken, www.fionahickmantaylor.com
Before I met Julia, my approach to writing was that it was something outside of me, almost like a ‘job’. What I have discovered and experienced through my mentoring sessions with Julia is that writing is very much part of me.
It sounds simple but making that shift has impacted on my whole being as I have gone through a major personal transformation and journey to discover my true writing voice.
Having Julia’s on-going support means I continue to grow as she shares her wisdom, knowledge and insight filling me with confidence, inspiration and joy about my writing journey.
Sarupa Shah, writer, coach & creative director, www.heavenlyspaces.co.uk
I met Julia at a book launch a few years ago and knew how much her guidance had helped my friend achieve publication. Last year, I reached a crucial point in my novel, so I contacted Julia about her Writer’s Journey Mentor Programme.
I am nearing the end of a Writing MA and have a personal tutor I see a couple of times a year, but we focus on the work, not on my motivation or confidence.
Deep down, I began to wonder if I was capable of finishing my novel. I felt I was blocking my own progress but I wasn’t sure why.
Over the past five months, Julia has shown great sensitivity and understanding throughout our sessions. She has helped me to look at each issue with fresh eyes, turning what I saw as blocks into monumental strengths - not only in my character, but in the true source of my creativity. My whole outlook is transformed; the doubts have vanished and my novel is almost complete.
Ruby Speechley, Freelance Writer/Editor of Jolly Tots Magazine, www.jollytotsmagazine.co.uk
Within three months of joining Julia's Mentor Programme I completed the first draft of my book from scratch!
Initally I wanted to write non fiction. However, Julia's unique mentoring allowed me to discover my talents in fiction writing. Her expertise and intuition guided me gently through the unravelling of my story.
She seems to get to the heart of your individuality in a short time, enabling the essence of your message to pour onto the page.
She is true to her message, that your writing should be 'from the inside out'.
I would recommend Julia's Mentor Programme to anyone who has ever thought of writing a book because it incorporates expert advice with a momentum that motivates you to achieve your goal.
Dr Neesha Mohan, GP & author of Maya
Very soon after deciding to write our book, we came across details of Julia’s book, The Writer’s Journey, and went on her one-day workshop. The timing couldn’t have been better. Both the book and the workshop were pitched just at the right level, contained bags of practical advice and inspiration, and managed to channel our enthusiasm into action.
In our coaching sessions, Julia helped us with the practical and stylistic aspects of writing a proposal and sample chapters, but more than that, she helped us greatly on the journey to becoming ‘authors’. Her comments were at a completely different level to what we would have come up with ourselves or with friends, and that’s where her experience of publishing, and people, were hugely valuable. Not to mention that it was great to have a supporter on the journey.
After 6 months we were finally ready to send our material out to publishers. We had been stretched, challenged, and helped by Julia, and worked hard to get to the point where we were very confident that it was the best that we could do. Within days of sending it off, we had our first phone call from a publisher, and more followed over the next few weeks.
We met with several publishers, all of who were very impressed with the quality of the proposal – a couple said it was one of the best written and presented proposal they had received. When the offers came in, Julia helped us with the negotiation and to decide on a deal …
Bella Mehta co-author with Lucy Martin of Make it Your Business
I have just completed the Mentor Programme with Julia and I can honestly say that having Julia’s help and support for the past five months has been so very liberating on so many levels.
Julia asks you the questions the you don’t even know how to ask yourself with regards to your relationship with your process of writing. She has the ability to pinpoint exactly what you need to focus on which results in your being lifted out of confusion and uncertainty in to knowing and clarity with a real sense of direction.
I have gone from having all sorts of different writing projects on the go but going nowhere, to being able to really focus on what is important to me at this time and driving it forwards.
I now have a regular blog-ezine that I send out on a monthly basis and a book that will work its way out there too at some point. Whether I am ever published or not is not such a priority to me any more, but what is important is the fact that I now have the confidence and the means to put my message out there in some way and this somehow completes the process for me.
Thank you Julia for being such a fundamental part of my process of setting myself free. I now believe that my writing is good enough and that I am good enough.
Penny Mckay, Bodywork Therapist, www.in2thelight.co.uk
Top Ten Tips 4 Your Writing Success
So what makes my approach different?
1. First of all, my background as a publisher with a publishing track record that includes UK # 1 and international bestsellers means that I really do know the 'inside story' and have firsthand experience of publishing books successfully for markets around the world.
2. Secondly, I have travelled the path from publisher to author, consultant, coach, and mentor, and this enables me to offer the combined perspectives of all these roles for your benefit.
3. Thirdly, I have worked with literally hundreds of authors, many of whom were writing a book for the first time, so my expertise is grounded in practical reality - in short, I know what works!
4. And finally, I coach, mentor and support people on the whole journey from inspiration to publication ... and beyond.
So I don't just focus on helping you to develop your writing skills or engage in marketing or explore self-publishing options.
I offer a total process which includes all aspects of becoming a published author and taking your message successfully out to the marketplace.