Hi, I’m Simon Appleby
If you need help creating or evolving a website… you’re in the right place!
I run the only digital agency in the UK dedicated to delivering website and e-commerce projects for publishers, authors, literary agents and other book-related businesses. I’ve been doing this for ages, and have worked with loads of great publishers and amazing authors during that time.
I really understand publishing (I spent several years working in-house for a publisher you’ve probably heard of), so you don’t have to educate me about ONIX feeds, AI sheets, ARCs, TCM figures or ISBNs. This means we can spend more time talking about what you actually want to achieve with your project.
Although we’re based in the UK, we have worked with clients all around the world – from the USA and Canada to Egypt and New Zealand.
"Simon has an almost psychic ability to understand exactly what you need. If you’re an author or a publishing company and need a new website, Simon is your man!”Justine Solomons, founder, Byte The Book
How Bookswarm can help you
Branding and design
We develop brand identities for publishing startups and self-published authors, and we can design all of the supporting marketing materials required for any campaign, including print and social media.
Website design and build
We design and build beautiful, bespoke websites for publishers, authors and other organisations and individuals in the worlds of books and publishing.
We mostly use WordPress to make our sites easy for clients to manage, capable of evolving over time and good value.
We also work with Shopify for customers who want to customise its simple e-commerce framework.
Consultancy and advice
We use our publishing knowledge and creative and technical skills to offer consultancy services – whether it’s developing digital strategies or working out how to take advantage of the latest technologies.
Training and support
All of our clients receive a hands-on training session and as much remote support as they require to feel comfortable with their new website.
Our ‘Ninja Support’ plugin gives all clients the ability to ask for help from directly within their website.
Read our full, detailed proposals
We’ve put everything you need to know about creating an author website with Bookswarm into this online proposal – including details of scope, process, timing and cost. Explore our portfolio, hear from past clients and decide if we’re the web agency for you.
We’ve put everything you need to know about creating easy campaign microsites with Bookswarm into this online proposal – including details of scope, process, timing and cost. Explore our portfolio, hear from past clients and decide if we’re the web agency for you.
“Simon is wonderful to work with. We enjoyed every bit of the process and are more than elated with the final result. We love our website! Thank you, Simon.”Elizabeth and Sukey Novogratz, authors
We’re proud of our body of work. Here are some of our recent projects.
Don’t take our word for it…
At Bookswarm we value our reputation for delivering great work that keeps clients happy. Here’s what some of them have to say about the experience of working with us.
“Designing a new site and keeping continuity with my old one was a seamless process with Bookswarm from start to finish. Simon and his team were incredibly clear, responsive and inventive as they kept pace with my many questions and challenges. They immediately understood my brief and fulfilled it to the letter, and the result is I now have a website completely fit for purpose, with a lovely welcoming design, that is also very simple for me to manage and update. The support has been great too. I would recommend without reservation.”
“I find Simon and Bookswarm to be responsive, creative, easy to work with, eager to interpret my vision in an appropriate way, and above all prompt. I am in safe hands. Bottom line – the page they created helped secure the signing of Lap Of Honour.”
“Hugely knowledgeable, practically minded and super-responsive – what more could you want? Simon and all the team at Bookswarm are a genuine pleasure to work with.”
“Simon was absolutely fantastic. His approach was open-hearted, and I felt he really understood what TLC is about, rather than simply rushing in with ‘design solutions’ that had little resonance with our ethos.”
“We opted to completely overhaul our previous website and Bookswarm made the process very straightforward – particularly impressive considering we transferred a lot of content from the old site. They were happy to invest lots of time working with us on the design until we had things exactly right. We’re delighted with our new website and have had glowing feedback from our authors. The ongoing support has been great, too.”
“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!”
Fun Bookswarm FactsSome things you might like to know about us
We offer discounts on our standard packages to members of Byte The Book and The Empowered Author.
Authors represented by our literary agent clients are also entitled to a discount.
Make sure to tell us when you contact us.
At your service
All of our WordPress sites feature our Bookswarm Ninja Support plugin – so help is only a click away, and you don’t even have to leave the Dashboard.
Bookswarm is a member of the Independent Publishing Agency Collective.
IPAC is an association of like-minded independent companies that work for and within the book industry. It offers a diverse and comprehensive list of services for publishers, authors, booksellers, agents and many others involved in the book world.
We can work co-operatively with other IPAC members on multi-faceted projects.
When we turned 10, I sat down to reflect on all of our experiences, and to try and and identify some of the key lessons. So, behold, the result, which I have modestly chosen to call… Appleby’s Laws!
News from Bookswarm Towers
We were recently featured on Byte Connects, a Byte The Book series that highlights collaborations between their members. In this case, the collaboration was us creating a website for Lucy Ridout, an editor of fiction and travel titles. You can read the article on Byte...
Bookswarm is pleased and proud to be sponsoring the 2021 edition of Byte The Book’s Confluence event on the business of storytelling. Like many events this year, it will be running virtually, and we will be on hand to meet exhibitors.
Many years ago, early on in my career, I was responsible for the Local Area Network of a small office with about 15 members of staff. As I had no formal background in network admin, I bought a book on network troubleshooting, and there was one chapter that really...
Most of the websites you can see in our portfolio were designed and built from scratch by Bookswarm - but not all. Sometimes we are asked to come in and update, fix or otherwise rescue a website created by someone else. This can be for a variety of reasons, including:...
Jeremy Mason and Mark Stay were kind enough to invite me to take part in Episode 12 of their Book Marketing Challenge video series. I had a great time talking to them about author websites and digital marketing. I just watched it back and I think it's a really good...
Author of this parish Mark Stay commissioned us to make a website for his new Witches of Woodville series recently - and then made this video to explain it. We think it's too good not to share! Check out Woodville Parish Council
“Simon and his group have a great system for authors to express their creativity and passion through their website. If you are an author in need of a site to highlight your writing and other work, Simon is the right guy for you!”Matthew S. Bennett, speaker, trainer, author
Meet the Bookswarm Team
Simon Appleby is the founder and Managing Director of Bookswarm, the only digital agency in the UK dedicated to delivering projects for publishers, authors and others in the world of books.
Simon has spoken at the Publishing Scotland conference and the Faber Factory conference, contributed to the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook, and created and delivered a course on digital project development for the Publishing Training Centre.
Simon’s career in digital media started in 1998, and he gained experience of digital project delivery for a range of clients while working for a number of digital agencies. In 2009 he went ‘client-side’, where as Digital Projects Manager for Octopus Publishing Group, he gained invaluable inside experience of the publishing world.
Simon is a keen reader of many types of writing, both fiction and non-fiction.
Alex is a web developer. She has worked at digital media agencies in London and Birmingham and more recently has chosen to freelance. She is passionate about creating pixel perfect websites, being skilled in both back and frontend coding.
She enjoys reading a variety of genres, with sci-fi and fantasy being favourites, and tends to have a couple of books on the go at once. Despite being a bit of a geek when it comes to owning gadgets she still prefers a real book to a Kindle.
Alex loves the sea, and lives in south Devon where she grew up. When not in front of a computer she can be found kayaking, sailing or exploring Dartmoor.
Hazel is a tea-fueled Graphic Designer of many years experience.
Hazel has experience in a range of design disciplines. Starting out in design for print, she moved into web design, and retail and packaging design before deciding that it was time to branch out on her own. Working for herself Hazel has found greater creative freedom and enjoys working with a purring cat inches from her keyboard.
Although Hazel feels the Kindle is “a marvellous invention” she is adamant that she will always read the printed word… unless it’s one of the many blogs she follows. Hazel has more books than time but when she does find time to read Hazel enjoys a wide range of genres with a particular fondness for the classics.
“Authors should look no further: Bookswarm completely understand our needs.”Annabel Kantaria, author
Want to get in touch? Use the option that suits you best. You can…
- Use the live chat facility
- E-mail us on [email protected]
- Call us on +44 (0) 7847 912989
- Fill in the contact form
We’d love to hear from you!
“Simon and the Bookswarm team are always a delight to work with. Receiving an email from them is usually the highlight of my work day!"Laura Jones, Bloody Scotland
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