Bookswarm is the only digital agency in the UK dedicated to delivering projects for publishers, authors and others in the world of books.
We have unrivalled experience in meeting the communications needs of publishers and authors in a way that is both excellent value for money and very easy to use, and specialise in WordPress development.
Member of IPAC
Bookswarm is a member of the Independent Publishing Agency Collective. IPAC is a non-profit making body, formed by a number of small agencies and teams who all focus strongly on the world of book publishing. Between them IPAC’s members cover marketing, publicity, event management, app and ebook creation and much more.
You have a host of factors to weigh up when you select a digital agency to work with. We know that. We get it. So we've thought about it, and these are the reasons we reckon you should be looking to work with us...
What makes us special?
We understand publishing. We read the Bookseller every week. You don't have to explain ONIX feeds, AI sheets, ARCs, TCM figures or ISBNs to us. This means we can spend more time talking about what you actually want to achieve, whether you're a publisher or an author.
We're incredibly good value. We keep our costs very low and put together project teams of people we trust to deliver each piece of work.
We're nice people and we like to focus on the books you're working on - because we really love books. We find that makes all the difference.
Don't just take our word for it...
What Our Clients Say
“I feel so lucky to have been able to put my website in the hands of Bookswarm. Their vision for The It Girl brand was spot on and I could not be happier with how the website has turned out, it’s exactly what I wanted. Simon and the Bookswarm team are incredibly knowledgeable and made the process ridiculously easy for me. I would highly recommend them.”
Katy Birchall, author of The It Girl (Egmont)
"Working on our new responsive site with Bookswarm has been an absolute joy. Simon and team have realised our brief perfectly, keeping the look and feel of our previous site whilst refreshing it and adding new, interesting features. They have been patient with us, as we are a small team, and understanding of our particular needs."
Annette Brook, Communications Manager, Royal Society of Literature
"Working with Bookswarm on [Penny Vincenzi's website] was a completely positive and painless experience – you made everything as easy and straightforward as possible and everyone is thrilled with the result."
Jo Liddiard, Head of Marketing, Headline Publishing Group
"The team at Bookswarm gave me a site that met my brief perfectly and went well beyond, with support and advice on areas I hadn’t considered – or hadn’t considered I would be able to manage so easily! They opened my eyes to all the options, and provided training and guidance that make the site really work for me and my books."
Helen Bell, author of The Ilamen Quartet
"With two eBooks on Kindle and a third on the way, and after reviewing too many US based author website developers who touted phenomenal sites but without portfolios that supported their claims, I ran across Bookswarm. Simon’s philosophy matched mine exactly - have a website that mirrors the feeling of the books. I was in Honolulu and, obviously, Simon was in the UK. But, two Skype calls and numerous emails later, the result was purely wonderful. He captured the feeling of my work perfectly. I cannot say enough in support of his creative spirit."
Charles L. Carson, author of the McManus Thrillers
"The team at Bookswarm are professional, friendly and incredible efficient. They were there to answer all of our questions and they quickly understood the concept and aesthetic we were seeking. Faber Factory can recommend Bookswarm to anyone looking to reinvigorate their websites."
Ainsley Boe, Faber Factory
"Simon is fantastic to work with: he makes the briefing process simple and straightforward, provides ideas and encourages creative thinking. He is a man who does not say 'no, it can't be done' but rather 'how can we get around this to make it happen'."
David Roche, Owner of David Roche Enterprises Ltd
"Working with Bookswarm made creating my poetry website such an easy and enjoyable process. Simon graciously blended my ideas with his own artistic vision to produce a site that is perfect for sharing my work. Their reliable accessibility contributed to my ease throughout the project."
Rachel Blum, poet
"Applying knowledge, skill, creativity and lots of support Bookswarm delivered on time and to budget exactly what I needed for my eBook. I will be hiring them again."
Helen Hokin, author and publisher, Food Tripper Books
"The Bookswarm team built me a site that was not only lovely-looking, but intuitive to use. I can thoroughly recommend them and have done so already to some of my fellow authors."
Christina Hopkinson, author of The Pile of Stuff at the Bottom of the Stairs and Just Like Proper Grown-Ups (Hodder & Stoughton)
"Masters of the digital art, Bookswarm exceeded all my expectations and delivered an author website that everyone from readers and fans to industry insiders has raved about. I can't recommend them highly enough."
William Hussey, author of the Witchfinder Trilogy for young adults (Oxford University Press)
"Bookswarm's classy design has transformed my website. It looks great, is simple to navigate, and - vital for a non-techno like me - even easier to update."
"The team at Bookswarm were brilliant and totally understood what we needed out of The Hunger Games website. Simon was quick to point out things that could work better even from the first chat and was tweaking and fixing things even after the job was complete. The whole process couldn’t have been smoother and that’s all down to Bookswarm’s attention to detail, great ideas and endless patience."
Fi Evans, Marketing Manager, Scholastic UK
"Bookswarm made everything straightforward. My author site is great to look at, well-designed and easy to find your way around. Excellent WordPress training and support guaranteed to give even the most reluctant operator like me the confidence to add content and manage the site by themselves."
Jennifer Gray, author of the Atticus Claw series for children (Faber)
"Bookswarm were quick to understand the kind of look and the level of functionality I wanted for my website, and delivered it quickly and professionally. I'd highly recommend them."
Michelle Harrison, author of the Thirteen Secrets trilogy (Simon & Schuster)
"Bookswarm did a brilliant job with my website – from initial design though to final implementation. After one conversation with Simon I had total confidence in them and they didn’t disappoint. Their genuine love of books shines through in every thing they do."
D.D. Everest, author of Archie Greene and the Magician's Secret (Faber)
"Bookswarm are an excellent agency resource for the book industry. They have a deep knowledge of the trade but crucially they also bring new learnings and tech ideas from other sectors to publisher projects, which allows the scoping to be collaborative and progressive.
"They are extremely accurate with their costings and timings and this makes the work easy to budget, and the account management is as good as I've experienced at any agency of any size. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending Bookswarm to anyone."
Matt Haslum, Consumer Marketing Director, Faber
"Bookswarm ... know how an author’s site needs to work. They know about books. They know about design. They know about websites. (And a whole load of other stuff). I am a very happy customer!"
Virginia Bergin, author of The Rain (Macmillan Children's)
"I had been struggling to launch a website on my own for five years, and with Bookswarm's expertise, I finally did it. The feedback, too, has been fantastic - so I know we got it absolutely right."
Liz Dean, author, editor, teacher and publisher
"I can't recommend Bookswarm highly enough for writers looking to create a website. They were understanding, patient, incredibly creative and best of all knew exactly what I needed."
Tania Unsworth, author of The One Safe Place (Orion Children's Books)
"Bookswarm have a strong understanding of the role websites play within the publishing industry and, specifically in my case, within the world of children’s fiction. They created a site that perfectly captured the playfulness of my stories, was easy to navigate, colourful and intelligently designed."
Jo Simmons, author of the Pip Street books for children (Scholastic)
"Simon is a genius! His publishing portfolio and creativity caught our eye, along with his good value quote, and from start to finish Bookswarm have been effective and a pleasure to work with."
Helen Bryant, Publisher, Three Hares
"Bookswarm have been a pleasure to work with. They are highly creative, super-organised, and have an excellent understanding of how to run effective social media campaigns."
Jodie Mullish, Senior Marketing Manager, Pan Macmillan
"Simon is a pleasure to work with, creative, entrepreneurial and deeply knowledgeable about digital media in the books and publishing sector, Simon's friendly manner, wise advice and holistic approach helped ensure that his business delivered great solutions for our online needs and made the entire project seamless from start to finish. I would highly recommend Bookswarm."
"Simon has successfully delivered a diverse range of projects for us at Octopus, from hand-crafted illustrated e-books and complex apps to websites and databases. He understands book publishing extremely well, is bang up to date yet refreshingly free of geek-speak, and is a highly creative, nimble problem solver."
Denise Bates, Group Publishing Director, Octopus Publishing Group
"Redesigning my website was a very enjoyable experience right from the minute I sat down with the Bookswarm team. Truthfully, I can’t recommend Simon and the Bookswarm team highly enough."
Raymond Khoury, New York Times Bestselling Novelist, author of The Last Templar (Orion)
"I commissioned Bookswarm after seeing the other fabulous author websites they had designed and I also had a personal recommendation from another Macmillan author. Bookswarm made the whole process so easy, their prices are very competitive and the ongoing support is second to none. I recommend their services unreservedly."
Kim Slater, author of Smart (Macmillan Children's Books)
"From the very beginning Bookswarm fully understood our brief. We felt completely at ease working with, and handing over to them, and feel that they have helped above and beyond what we would have expected. The dedication and creativity that they brought to the initial meetings enthused us with confidence and the beautiful, clear and practical site that they have created for us reflects William Morris’s aesthetic and approach perfectly. We are beyond happy with the work they have done and would recommend working with them to any interested party – we felt supported and treated as individuals and no question was too small!"
Alice Woodhouse, Society Manager, The William Morris Society
"Building bookbridgr with Simon and his team was awesome. From initial wire-framing right through to implementation and launch, he was on hand at every moment to build, fix, tweak - and most importantly to put my mind at ease throughout the process."
Ben Willis, Publicity & Digital Campaigns Manager, Headline Publishing Group
"I couldn't be happier with the website Bookswarm created for me. The fact that Bookswarm are experts in creating author websites means they really know how to ensure that your site does exactly what you need it to. Simon was incredibly helpful and patient, and created a website that exceeded all my expectations. It's clear and easy to navigate and it looks fantastic."
Clare Furniss, author of The Year of the Rat (Simon & Schuster)
"It was so straightforward and easy working with Bookswarm to design my website. They really listened to what I needed and kept my costs down. I especially liked that they love books too and seem to understand what writers and publishers are looking for."
Jennifer Grigg, Publisher, Green Bottle Press
"Bookswarm are extremely patient and do an extremely good job"
Marcus Chown, author of Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You and We Need to Talk About Kelvin (Faber)
"Bookswarm's experience in creating author-related websites is really invaluable. Not only did they design the website for me, they actually helped me understand what it was that I wanted for my own website, which was not an easy thing to do considering that I had not thought this through myself. Bookswarm made the entire process intelligent, swift, and professional and it was a pleasure to have worked with them."
Zaid Al-Ali, author, The Struggle for Iraq's Future (Yale University Press)
"Such good grace! Even though we Aussies were slaughtering the Poms on the cricket pitch, Simon responded to our queries at all hours of the day and night, building an absolutely brilliant website and delivering it ahead of our very tight deadline."
Peter Andrews, author, Überpreneurs (Palgrave Macmillan), with Fiona Wood
"The Bookswarm team are very professional, really know their technology and social media, and above all love books."
Joanna Ellis, COO, The Literary Platform
"Simon Appleby and the Bookswarm team immediately understood what I was looking for in an author website, and came up with a design and functionality that fully meets my needs."
Shannon Selin, author, Napoleon in America
"My collaboration with Simon Appleby was so friction-free and productive that, had he been a woman, I would have asked him to marry me."
Peter Watson, award-winning author and journalist
“Bookswarm’s technical and aesthetic experience clearly shines through in their work. When this is matched with a clear understanding of books and readers, it’s a powerful combination. We’re delighted with the results.”
Chris Hamilton-Emery, Operations Director, Salt Publishing
"Genuine 24/7 support, full of good ideas and advice, and an ability to make the most complicated web-speak accessible to a Luddite (and techo-phobe) like myself, I can't recommend Simon Appleby and the Bookswarm crew more highly."
Lesley Lokko, bestselling author (Orion)
"I think Bookswarm are unique in that they combine technical and creative expertise with a can-do spirit and an understanding of what writers, readers and publishers need from the web."
Chris Cleave, New York Times #1 Bestselling Novelist, author of The Other Hand and Gold (Sceptre)
"I can’t speak highly enough of Simon Appleby and the team at Bookswarm. They built a beautiful website for me and Simon was always available to help me learn how to use it."
Pam Evans, family saga author, most recently of A Distant Dream (Headline)