Mar 122013

Smile is our key motto!

Smile is our key motto!

Having outgrown our space at the Old School we have this week moved to our new offices. It is wonderful to have the space to take on new staff and to really take the company to the next level. Here we are beside our new inspiration wall!

Welcome to Claire Travers who joined us today – it’s great to have you here!

 March 12, 2013  No Responses »
Feb 292012

I am delighted to announce that I have been shortlisted for the 4th annual Mumsclub Business Mum’s Awards as sponsored by MyFamilyClub.

This is a fantastic opportunity for our company and we wanted to share with you how thrilled and honoured we are to receive this nomination. It is an exceptional way to celebrate how far we have come as a company.

The Business Mum Awards have recognised and rewarded those women who have started businesses and achieved success in a short space of time since 2008. Winners have gone on to great success including the ultimate goal for many of them having their products stocked in high street stores and even more exciting in overseas.

Jane Hopkins MBE, founder of MumsClub says, “The nominations this year have been of a very high standard and it has been my pleasure to personally go through them all to create a shortlist to pass to our esteemed judging panel. Starting a business is hard at the best of times, but to do so alongside a growing family makes it so much more demanding. Being nominated by a fellow mum in business is a huge accolade in itself and I hope all those nominated are incredibly proud of themselves.”

The judging panel consist of previous Business Mum Award winners and industry professionals.

The 4th annual Mumsclub Business Mums Awards, headline sponsors MyFamilyClub, are being held on International Women’s Day on the 8th March. Fingers crossed!

 February 29, 2012  No Responses »
Feb 132012

 Congratulations to Sarah Davies, who recently joined us as a designer, for winning Best UK Graduate Animation for ‘Little Samurai‘ at the Ffresh Awards. Fantastic news!

Little Samurai
Sarah Davies
University of Glamorgan

Little Samurai is the opening adventure of a Samurai and his steed and companion. Yuu, a goose with an attitude. After a difficult start, Little Samurai and Yuu form a friendship and partnership that will lead them both into trouble and adventure.

“Little Samurai stands out for its striking and attractive design. It has a most unusual and mysterious story and overall is a very enjoyable and accomplished film.”

 February 13, 2012  No Responses »
Dec 302011

Before we finally wave goodbye to 2011 I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on another busy publishing year for Accent Press and Xcite Books. Thankfully we have managed to flourish despite the tough economic times.

Much of this has been due to the growth of digital content in both eBook and audio formats. Ebooks are a wonderful development for publishers because there is nothing to print, store, ship or get back (in a damaged unsaleable condition!) The downside though is that everyone can, and is, publishing so the quality is often atrocious. I firmly believe that this is where branding will rise within publishing and the discerning consumer will seek out brands that have known editorial standards. Xcite Books now has two editors, Antonia Adams and Elizabeth Coldwell – they have done a great job this year in selecting and editing our award-winning range.

Another big development in 2011 was developing our board – it was a bit scary moving from our cozy husband and wife format but it has enabled the company to grow and added a lot more structure. We were very lucky to be able to appoint Peter Newsom as Sales Director and Peter Ferris has taken a non-executive directorship. We meet quarterly at the Welsh HQ and, after the business is all wrapped up, a hearty soup lunch is shared. Their combined publishing knowledge is immense and their help and humour is much appreciated.

Peter Newsom – Sales Director                                                 Peter Ferris – Non-executive Director

We have published some great books this year and been privileged to work with some wonderful authors. Alison Stokes has been involved with two incredible books and helped bring these stories to market. The first, Running Free, was about Kate Allatt who has made a miraculous recovery from ‘Locked-In Syndrome’ following a stroke in 2010. As a young, fit mother of three she refused to accept the gloomy prognosis that would leave her trapped in her body, only able to communicate by blinking. Instead she fought every step of the way and in May 2011 was awarded the Extraordinary Women of the Year Award. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when she walked on stage and gave her acceptance speech!

Another amazing story is that shared by Hayley Okines and her Mum, Kerry in Old Before My Time. Hayley suffers from the rare genetic disease Progeria which causes her body to age 8 times faster than normal. She is already well known and loved by the nation because of a series of Channel 5 Extraordinary People documentaries and her books has been a huge success – we reprinted 3 times in December! They were both incredibly open and honest in their book which is why it is getting such great reviews. Click here for her blog.

It has been a fun year promoting the business at various trade shows and conferences. In April we were at the London Book Fair which was a whirlwind of marketing and partying!  June found us at the Erotic Trade only Show where we won Best Erotic Book Brand for the second year in a row. In September I flew to Las Vegas for the Erotic Authors of America Conference which was fast and furious – a great few days. Peter Newsom represented us at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October – so far he has established new distribution for us in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and there have been some exciting rights sales too.

My thanks go to all the amazing authors and everyone on the Accent Press and Xcite teams that make it all happen. Here’s to an even better 2012!!


 December 30, 2011  No Responses »
Nov 252011

There are certain aspects of publishing that I adore and one of them is making things happen for people. There is something incredibly satisfying about looking at a finished book and thinking – yes, we created that.

It was back in the spring that we received an enquiry from Rabbit Productions, the TV company that has made all the Hayley Okines documentaries for Channel 5’s Extraordinary People series. They asked if we’d like to be involved in producing Hayley’s book as the basis for the latest programme. I must admit we were somewhat horrified by the timescale – filming had already started and the programme was scheduled to air in October 2011. Ever keen on a challenge however Alison Stokes and I headed off to Bexhill-on-Sea to meet Hayley and her family. I was immediately struck by Hayley – she is a lovely person with a wicked sense of humour and, without doubt, wise beyond her years. Her mum Kerry is a very warm, open person who spoke very honestly and about Hayley’s condition and the impact of it on her and her family.

Alison could tell that there was potential for a really good book and she agreed to ghost write it with Kerry and Hayley. She and Hayley really got on well and throughout the summer Alison made several trips to Kent. We also spent a day filming in London for the cover shots which was very interesting. Chelsey Browne the photographer was wonderful – she really made it fun for Hayley and captured some brilliant images.

And then yesterday was publication day and after all these months there was the book – on a table at the very front of W H Smith’s in Victoria station. All the people involved had made it happen – the sales team, buyers, printers etc and now this wonderful book is here!  I also received this photo of Hayley with some special balloons we’d sent her. And that made me shed a little tear of happiness and pride because we’ve made a very good book about a very special person – and that’s why I love my job!

Please come and meet Hayley at Waterstones in Eastbourne between 2-4pm on Saturday 26th November.

CLICK HERE to buy Old Before My Time

 November 25, 2011  No Responses »
Nov 072011


I first met Lesley Cookman when we did an MA in Creative Writing together at Trinity College. She was stood out from the crowd as she’d already had so much published as a features writer and knew a great deal about the publishing world. When I started Accent Press I was delighted that she let us publish Murder in Steeple Martin – the first in her Libby Sarjeant murder mystery series that is based in Kent and featured a retired actress as an amateur sleuth. Her books are now sold all over the world and are especially popular in Canada and the United States.

Please read on to discover more about this latest title.

Murder at the Manor – the ninth title in the Libby Sarjeant murder mystery series based in Kent.

Libby and Ben are hosting a Writers’ Reunion weekend at The Manor at which their friend, writer Amanda George (Rosie), is speaking. During the weekend, the body of a woman is found in the grounds, who turns out to be the wife of a famous writer who is attending the reunion. She is (or was) quite a famous political activist in her own right, so the original police investigation assumes the motive is connected with this, but there are other possibilities, including the writer’s affair with at least one of the other attendees.

Libby and Fran decide there is a possible link to the writer’s home village in Cranborne Chase, where a recently discovered Henge has been discovered, about which the murdered wife was very protective and go down to find out. They also try to look into any links the other writers at the reunion might have had with her, although all but one deny knowing anything about her.

 November 7, 2011  1 Response »
Feb 052011

Start Me UpStart Me Up! Over 100 great business ideas for the budding entrepreneur by Sonia Williams

Do you dream of becoming the next Richard Branson or Anita Roddick? Are you ready to be your own boss but not sure where to start, waiting for that lightning bolt moment of inspiration to strike? Does the idea of writing a business plan terrify you? Becoming your own boss is easier than you think! Businesswoman and entrepreneur Sonia Williams has done all the hard work for you. In Sonia’s new book Start Me Up! you will find over 100 innovative and achievable business concepts and practical advice that will have your business up and running in no time. Some of Sonia’s novel ideas make the most of modern technology; others put a new spin on tried and tested ventures. Sonia also suggests ideas for cultivating your own business nous, including advice on how to spot a trend (and how to avoid fads!), how to identify niche markets, how to write a business plan, how to avoid common first-timer pitfalls and how to develop your online presence.

Start Me Up! is a fantastic resource for the budding entrepreneur.

Request a free review copy below


 February 5, 2011  No Responses »