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
Website design and build
We design and build beautiful, bespoke websites for publishers, authors, literary agencies and other organisations and individuals in the worlds of books and publishing.
We use WordPress to make our sites easy for clients to manage, capable of evolving over time and good value. As of 2020, WordPress has a 60.8% market share in the CMS market.
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.
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 – for the full life of the 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.”
“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!”
“Right from the very first phone conversation I felt I had an ally in Simon. He wanted to understand what we were about, how our market worked, what the priorities were, how quickly we wanted to be up and running, and he created a plan to deliver it on time and cost-effectively.”
“Bookswarm, and particularly Simon, have been a brilliant partner for our website rebuild. He completely understood what we needed to do to improve the site, and built us a new version with a far better user experience as well as a much better backend that we can manage most of ourselves.”
“I’ve had a complicated career that’s involved multiple projects and many publications on a wide variety of themes. In the past, I’ve commissioned personal websites but never been satisfied with the results. Until now, no one has ever managed to build something that strikes the right balance between breadth and depth. I’m delighted to say that Simon and Bookswarm have managed to build me a website that allows me to publicise my books while also housing my personal archive. I was hugely impressed with the patience with which Simon discussed my needs with me and then developed a website that reflected my idiosyncrasies.”
“I was bowled over by Simon and his team at Bookswarm. They were efficient, creative and incredibly helpful. I couldn’t recommend them more.”
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
On Thursday 29th September 2021 something happened to the security infrastructure of the Internet which has had far-reaching implications despite not being well publicised or well understood. Like many organisations, Bookswarm uses Let's Encrypt to generate digital...
Yesterday at the 2021 Independent Publishing Awards from the IPG, Bookswarm was the proud winner of the GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award. We were so pleased and proud to be chosen for this against some very stiff competition. Congratulations to the IPG for...
Since getting the running bug a little while before lockdown, when he started the Couch to 5K programme, Simon is now running the 2021 Cambridge Half-Marathon to raise money for Cancer Research UK. This won't be his first half-marathon but he's aiming to make it his...
We are delighted to announce that Bookswarm is one of six nominees for the GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award at the 2021 edition of the 2021 Independent Publishing Awards, organised by the IPG. The winners of all the Awards will be revealed at a very...
July 1 saw the new EU Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) scheme for businesses outside the EU selling to consumers inside the bloc come in to effect. This has caught plenty of people on the hop, and we've had numerous conversations with our customers about it. Because of...
The Online London Book Fair event that Simon took part in is now available to watch on demand - including both the main discussion and the Q&A at the end. Click the button below to watch it - you will need to register for the Online London Book Fair, which is...
“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.
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.
Designer / Developer
Susie is a graphic designer and front-end developer. After many years spent working for both print and digital agencies, she decided to take the leap and pursue life as a freelancer, focusing mainly on working with clients in the arts industries.
Susie is a big fan of non-fiction, enjoying the works of writers such as Mary Roach and Jon Ronson. In her spare time, she enjoys the cinema, playing music, binge-watching true crime documentaries, and a good cup of tea.
“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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