Project archive: Fiction

Academy of New Zealand Literature

The Academy of New Zealand Literature / Te Whare Mātātuhi o Aotearoa is a writer-led initiative developed to help New Zealand’s active practitioners sustain themselves – creatively, intellectually, psychically, practically – through a writer’s life.

Bookswarm developed the brand identity for the Academy and applied it to new website that was designed to present a contemporary picture of the New Zealand literary scene.

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Ali Knight

Website for Hodder & Stoughton crime author Ali Knight

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Alma Books

Established in 2002, Alma Books now has five imprints, and we have created a single new e-commerce website which encompasses all of the imprints.

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Anatomy of a Soldier

Microsite commissioned by Faber for Harry Parker’s Anatomy of a Soldier.

Captain Tom Barnes is leading British troops in a war zone. Two boys are growing up there, sharing a prized bicycle and flying kites, before finding themselves separated once the soldiers appear in their countryside. On all sides of this conflict, people are about to be caught up in the violence, from the man who trains one boy to fight the infidel invaders to Barnes’s family waiting for him to return home.

We see them not as they see themselves, but as all the objects surrounding them do: shoes and boots, a helmet, a trove of dollars, a drone, that bike, weaponry, a bag of fertilizer, a medal, a beer glass, a snowflake, dog tags, an exploding IED and the medical implements that are subsequently employed.

Anatomy of a Soldier is a moving, enlightening and fiercely dramatic novel about one man’s journey of survival and the experiences of those around him. Forty-five objects, one unforgettable story.

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Annabel Kantaria

Website design and build for Dubai-based author of ‘domestic noir’ Annabel Kantaria.

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Anne Holt

Anne Holt is a journalist, lawyer, politician, news anchor and crime writer, published by Atlantic Books in the UK. This new website promoted Anne and her work ahead of the broadcast of a new television adaptation of her work, Modus.

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Apple Tree Yard

Competition microsite to collect reviews for inclusion in a “people’s edition” of Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

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Atlantic Books

Atlantic Books is an independent British publishing house founded in 2000.  Based in the heart of Bloomsbury, they publish quality literary fiction and non fiction.  Atlantic are also the home of commercial imprint Corvus, and proud publishers of a selection of books from Grove Atlantic in the US as well as a home to a growing list of fine fiction and non-fiction from Allen & Unwin.

We designed and built Atlantic’s new site to be updated with a feed from their Biblio system, and put their four imprints at the heart of the structure – so each imprint has its own ‘home page’ within the site.

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Barbican Press

The Barbican Press list holds poetry, drama, writing for children, and compelling nonfiction too, including vivid tales of maritime communities.

The publisher is the writer Martin Goodman. He knew what sort of publisher he would like to find for his own work, and so created it for others. The Press was born in Plymouth – hence the name ‘Barbican Press’ for the Barbican in that city, and a sense that a Barbican is a strong and protective space in which writers with a fighting spirit can take shelter.

Barbican Press were already using WordPress, but we worked with them to create a completely new look-and-feel and content structure, including the ‘Where in the world?’ map, which plots the key settings of all of their books.

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Belgravia Books Collective

A new web presences for two linked brands, under the banner of the Belgravia Books Collective:

  • Gallic Books (publisher)
  • Belgravia Books (bookshop)

This e-commerce website replaces two older websites, and allows the the client’s team to manage everything within one WordPress website.

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Black Horse Westerns

A new website for the Black Horse imprint, which in 2015 became part of The Crowood Press, a family owned publishing house, which is committed to continuing with the Black Horse imprint and to working with both new and established authors and editors.

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Boldwood Books

Boldwood Books is a new fiction publishing company with its first books published globally in August 2019.

Based on the principles of a true partnership with authors, consumers and team members, Boldwood seek out the best stories from around the world from both new and established writers and bring them to readers everywhere.

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Bonnier Rights

Bonnier Rights sells foreign rights to fiction, illustrated and narrative non-fiction, and children’s books from the Swedish Bonnier Publishing Group, Sweden’s largest publisher.

We designed and built their new website using WordPress, and set it up so that books and authors are automatically added and updated, using a feed from Bonnier’s Opus rights management system.

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Books from Scotland

BooksfromScotland showcases the best books of Scottish interest around, including the latest children’s, fiction and selected non-fiction titles, as well as titles from publishers based in Scotland.

Bookswarm developed a new Books from Scotland brand identity and a new website to showcase the Scottish titles, as well as developing a technical strategy to help easily identify which titles should include, based on processing of bibliographic data from Nielsen.

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Charles L. Carson

Responsive website design and build for US thriller writer Charles L. Carson.

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Christina Enquist

Website for debut author Christina Enquist, with her first YA novel The Immundus.

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Christina Hopkinson

Two generations of this author website for author and journalist Christina Hopkinson.

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Colin Fletcher

Website for Colin Fletcher – author of historical adventures White Clyffe and King’s Mercy, and a forthcoming volume of non-fiction, Southern Waters. The design is inspired by the beautiful countryside of South Western England, where Colin’s books are set.

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Cornerstones is one of the founding UK literary consultancies, set up in 1998, with a reputation spread by word-of-mouth with agents, publishers and writers.

We wanted the website to emphasise this depth of experience and know-how.

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Crime fiction community website for Hachette publishers Headline, Hodder & Stoughton and Quercus, showcasing their combined crime list as well as staff and guest blogs and a regular podcast.

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Deborah Swift

Rebuild of an existing website, using most of the existing design elements but simplifying how books were managed and recreating the theme using Divi.

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Dorothy Koomson

Dorothy Koomson is an award-winning novelist and best-selling author of My Best Friend’s Girl, The Ice Cream Girls and The Woman He Loved Before and many more books. Dorothy was already using WordPress, and we have created a new, custom design for her website, tied in to her transition to a new publisher; we have also streamlined the management of content on the site, using custom post types and custom fields to make it easier to add books.

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Douglas Westcott

Douglas Westcott is a pseudonym for a well-known Bath businessman, self-published author of Go Swift and Far.

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Duckworth nurtures a rounded world view through accessible and stimulating works of popular science, psychology, memoir and history. Founded by the family of Virginia Woolf in 1898, Duckworth have published incredible authors including D.H. Lawrence, Oliver Sacks, Evelyn Waugh and Beryl Bainbridge.

We really enjoyed creating this site for Duckworth after they joined the Prelude Books family – and reading about their interesting and at times hair-raising history!

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Elly Griffiths

Website for Elly Griffiths, author of the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries, and the Stephens & Mephisto novels.

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Erich Segal

Erich Segal (June 16, 1937 – January 17, 2010) was an American author, screenwriter, and Classics Professor. He was best known for writing the phenomenally successful novel Love Story (1970), and the hit major motion picture of the same name.

We worked with his literary estate to launch a new website in time for the 50th anniversary of the first publication of Love Story – designed to showcase Erich’s achievements in the fields of writing, academic and sport. We wish we could have met Erich while he was alive, but working on this website alongisde those who did know him was the next best thing.

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Faber Modern Classics

‘Definition of a classic: a book everyone is assumed to have read and often thinks they have.’

Alan Bennett

A responsive one-page microsite for the launch of Faber’s Modern Classics list. Designed and built in one week from initial briefing.

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Farrago Books

Website for Farrago Books, the series-driven humour imprint of Duckworth Books Group.

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Felicity Bryan Associates

Felicity Bryan Associates is an independent literary agency based in Oxford, with a client list includes prize-winning and bestselling authors in adult and children’s fiction, and non-fiction. We designed and built a new website for them designed to showcase their clients in an easy-to-maintain site, while also attracting plenty of submissions through an easy-to-use online process.

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Folio Society Blogs

We created a new WordPress-based news and blogging site for The Folio Society, which integrates with their main e-commerce site. We replaced two separate WordPress sites which were not mobile-friendly.

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Gaelic Books Council

Bi-lingual site in English and Scottish Gaelic for Tha Comhairle nan Leabhraichean / The Gaelic Books Council. Their main missions are:

  • To support the development of Gaelic writing.
  • To stimulate interest in Gaelic books and other related materials.
  • To support Gaelic authors by awarding grants and commissions.
  • To support the Gaelic publishing industry.
  • To increase the range, quality and impact of Gaelic literature

The new site uses WooCommerce to allow the sale of books and other products, and is integrated with the in-shop POS system Merlio, allowing streamlined inventory and stock management. It’s fully bilingual in English and Scottish Gaelic through the use of the WordPress Multiingual Plugin (WPML).

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Geoffrey Gudgion

Website for Geoffrey Gudgion, who writes stories with a subtle, other-worldly twist.

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Gerard F. Kennedy

Author website for architect-turned-writer Gerard F. Kennedy.

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H for History

H for History is the historical fiction and non-fiction community from Hodder & Stoughton, Headline and Quercus. Bookswarm designed and built this responsive website to allow both books and blog posts to be explored using a range of classifications, including Period and Genre.

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Hanif Kureishi

Author website for novelist, playwright and screenplay writer Hanif Kureishi CBE.

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Harriet Evans

A new home on the web for Harriet Evans and her writing, to coincide with her move to new publishers Headline.

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Hector’s Journeys

Title microsite for Gallic Books

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Helen Bell

Website for Helen Bell, author of the Ilmaen Quartet.

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Updating the Hodderscape blog to use a new version of the brand, with a new-look mascot (Pickwick the dodo).

This was an update to a previous iteration of the site, which we created several years before, with the same underlying architecture.

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Holly Bourne

Holly Bourne is a bestselling and critically acclaimed author. Inspired by her work with young people, and her own experiences of everyday sexism, Holly is a passionate mental health advocate and proud feminist.

We created this site jointly for Holly’s publishers Usborne and Hodder & Stoughton.

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Brand development for The American University in Cairo Press’s new fiction imprint, Hoopoe. AUC Press has previously published acclaimed Arabic writers including the Nobel Prize-winning Naguib Mahfouz and Alaa al-Aswany. Hoopoe is their response to the surge in interest in new fiction writing from the Middle East. The new imprint will showcase groundbreaking literature from celebrated Arabic writers packaged and priced in a way that will better access that large new market of general readers.

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Website for Hoopoe, the new fiction imprint of The American University in Cairo Press.

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Imogen Clark

Website for author Imogen Clark, who originally self-published her debut novel but then signed with Amazon publishing imprint Lake Union.

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Isabelle Dupuy

Isabelle grew up in Haiti, went to university in America and moved to London to work at Merrill Lynch in her late twenties.  She’s lived many lives since but all of them in North-West London. We created this website in support of Living the Dream, her first novel.

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J.B. Turner

J.B. Turner is a thriller writer, best known for the Jon Reznick® series of novels. He is a former journalist. His next book, NO WAY BACK (Thomas & Mercer), will be published on 1 January 2022. He also wrote the American Ghost® series of political thrillers and the Deborah Jones® crime books.

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Jill Mansell

Website for bestselling author Jill Mansell.

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Jo Thomas

New scrapbook-style author website for Jo Thomas, author of romances about food, love, family and fun.

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Joelle Izack / Opal Iden

A pair of websites for an American romance novelist who writes under two different pen names – the sites use the same underlying structure and basic theme, with two different ‘skins’.

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Jonathan Coe

Website for leading British novelist Jonathan Coe, showcasing his full catalogue of work, including galleries of numerous UK and overseas editions of his books.

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K L Slater

Author website for psychological thriller author K L Slater. We already created a website for Kim as a young adult novelist, but she needs to keep her two professional personas separate.

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Karen Maitland

Website for Karen Maitland, author of medieval thrillers including The Vanishing Witch, Liars and Thieves, Falcons of Fire and Ice, The Gallows Curse and The Owl Killers.

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Karen Rose Cityscape

Commissioned by publisher Headline, Karen Rose Cityscape allows fans to explore the work of internationally bestselling, RITA-award winning, author Karen Rose via an interactive map, and to see which characters feature in which books.

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Kathryn Hughes

Kathryn Hughes is author of digital number 1 and international bestseller The Letter, as well as The Secret and The Key.

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Keelan Nicks

Keelan Nicks writes for a new age of urban fantasy. Current projects include his upcoming debut novel Burden Of Care and the occult mystery novella Olivia Finch. Keelan is also a freelance content editor with over three years of experience with helping self-published and aspiring authors find their light in the writing community.


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Lion Hudson

Lion Hudson publish books and other media for children and adults to help them grow in their Christian faith. We created a new e-commerce website for Lion Husdson to replace the previous incarnation, focusing on ease of use and integration with multiple distributors and internal systems.

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Lisa Gardner Case Files

A UK digital presence for bestselling crime-writer Lisa Gardner. Redesigned and relaunched in November 2016.

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Madeleine Reiss

Madeleine Reiss is the author of Someone To Watch Over Me, This Last Kiss, Before We Say Goodbye and Live A Little – with a fifth book on the way. This is her first website, designed to showcase her books as well as her editorial services offering.

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Marcel Theroux

Website for novelist, travel writer and journalist Marcel Theroux

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Marina Warner

Marina Warner is a writer of fiction, criticism and history; her works include novels and short stories as well as studies of art, myths, symbols and fairytales. We created a new site to act as a definitive bibliography and news source.

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Martina Cole

A new website for Queen of Crime Martina Cole, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the publication of her first novel.

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MBA Literary and Script Agents

Based in London’s Fitzrovia for over 45 years, MBA is a leading literary agency representing writers in all media – books, and scripts for film, television, radio and theatre.

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Michael O’Mara Books

Creation of a new website for specialists in creative and inspired adult non-fiction, Michael O’Mara Books, encompassing their LOM ART and Buster Books imprints too. The website take a feed from the client’s Biblio system to keep the catalogue up to date.

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Michael Symmons Roberts

Michael Symmons Roberts has won the Forward Prize, the Costa Poetry Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award, and been shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize. He has received major awards from the Arts Council and the Society of Authors. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and of the English Association.

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Neem Tree Press

New website for Neem Tree Press, a vibrant, young publishing house producing books that change and broaden perspectives. Neem Tree Press are global in scope with books under contract from Germany, the Middle East, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom to date. The common theme for their books is to provoke both thoughtful discussion on sensitive issues and a thirst in the reader to explore further the ideas or cultures they encounter.

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New Welsh Review

Founded in 1988 as the successor to The Welsh Review (1939-1948), Dock Leaves and The Anglo-Welsh Review (1949-1987), New Welsh Review is Wales’s foremost literary magazine in English.

After undertaking an initial consultancy exercise funded by the Welsh Books Council into the options for digital publishing that would work best for NWR, we designed and built a new website for New Welsh Review, which uses WordPress and WooCommerce to allow them to sell books, magazines and subscriptions – with subscribers also receiving access to an extensive archive of online articles, and a library of digital back issues delivered via our partner Circular Software’s Masterplan system.

The site also acts as the home for the New Welsh Writing Awards, and as a submissions portal for non-fiction, short fiction and poetry.

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P. D. James

Website for the late, great crime author P. D. James, designed to showcase her backlist as well as new publishing output from Faber, and provide readers with access to a range of archive material.

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Pam Evans

Website for established family saga author Pam Evans.

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Patrician Press

Branding and website design for startup independent publisher

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Patrick Gale

New website for Patrick Gale, author of novels including A Perfectly Good Man, The Whole Day Through and the Richard and Judy bestseller Notes From An Exhibition.

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Pavilion Books Group

Pavilion Books is a thriving independent London-based publisher specialising in illustrated books for the UK and all international markets. Their new website is populated with bibliographic data feeds from their Stison title management system, and also features a blog, news & events section and many different ways of exploring their books – by category, by imprint and by author.

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Penguin blog on

Creation of a customised theme for the Penguin Blog in its new home on the platform.

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Penny Vincenzi

Author website for multi-million bestselling author Penny Vincenzi, commissioned by publishers Headline. Updated in August 2018.

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Peter Watson

Design and build of a WordPress-based website for award-winning author and journalist Peter Watson.

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The Quarto Group creates a wide variety of books and intellectual property products, with a mission to inspire life’s experiences. Produced in many formats for adults, children, and the whole family, their products are visually appealing, information rich, and stimulating. The Group encompasses a diverse portfolio of imprints and businesses that are creatively independent and expert in developing long-lasting content across specific niches of interest.

Bookswarm undertook the creation of a new information architecture and design for the Quarto website, before handing our designs over to their in-house development team for implementation. The new structure consolidates two previously separate websites, one of which was more trade-focused and one of which was more consumer-focused, bringing the content together into a new entity that’s much easier to explore and allows users to gain a full understanding of the range of imprints and titles that the Quarto Group has.

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RA Williams

RA Williams is the author of the Gothic fiction trilogy The Gift, perfect for readers of Gothic and historical military fiction who don’t mind a good fright now and again. His new website is designed to be a digital representation of his writing desk.

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Raymond Khoury

Website and for New York Times #1 Bestselling thriller writer Raymond Khoury. First designed by Bookswarm in 2011, and re-designed in 2013.

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Robert Hale

Responsive site for Robert Hale, independent publishers since 1936. The site has four themed sections for Robert Hale’s four imprints – Robert Hale, J.A. Allen, NAG Press and Buried River Press.

Robert Hale is now part of The Crowood Press.

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S. K. Tremayne

S. K. Tremayne, a bestselling novelist and award-winning travel writer, and a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines around the world.

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Blog design for innovative independent publisher Salt Publishing.

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New website for independent publishers Saraband, winners of the inaugural Saltire Scottish Publisher of the Year.

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Saraband 2020

Saraband is an award-winning independent publisher of outstanding fiction, absorbing nature writing, pressing environmental issues and compelling memoir. Over the last quarter century, they have provided a platform for underrepresented and marginalised voices that are often overlooked, championing diversity and inclusion as part of our commitment to excellence – and to their readers of all ages, backgrounds and personal identities, wherever they may live.

This is the second version of the Saraband website we have created.

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Saul David

Website for historian, novelist, lecturer and broadcaster Saul David.

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Serpent’s Tail

Serpent’s Tail is an imprint of Profile Books. They are passionate about finding and championing books that excite them creatively, by talented writers who don’t just break but smash the mould with work that opens up space for readers to think, and live, differently.

We designed their new website in tandem with the new website for Profile Books.

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Shannon Selin

Responsive website design for Shannon Selin, Canadian author of historical novel Napoleon in America. We also created a logo for Shannon to use on her business cards and on the books themselves.

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Sheila O’Flanagan

Responsive website for Sheila O’Flanagan, number 1 bestselling author of contemporary women’s fiction.

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Simon Scarrow

Responsive author website for Simon Scarrow, number one bestselling author of the Cato and Macro novels and many other historical best-sellers.

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Six Tudor Queens

Campaign microsite for Alison Weir’s new Six Tudor Queens series, which will encompass all six of the wives of Henry VIII in six books.

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Stephen King Books

A home on the web for international multi-million selling author Stephen King’s Books – focused on the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, and commissioned by his publishers in those territories, led by Hodder & Stoughton.

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Susanna Lea Associates

Created in 2000, Susanna Lea Associates has offices in Paris, London and New York. Their aim is to work in close collaboration with authors and publishers in order to maximize the potential of each project both domestically and in translation – in print, audio and electronic media – and, when applicable, for film.

We designed and built the new website for Susanna Lea, allowing each office to show market-specific covers for key titles and showcase its own team and social media presence.

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Swift Press

Swift Press is an independent publishing company that launched in June 2020. Part of the Independent Alliance, they publish fiction and a wide range of non-fiction.

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The Buried Giant

Microsite commissioned by Faber for the launch of Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in ten years, The Buried Giant. The site aggregates content from Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Flickr with the hasgtag ‘theburiedgiant’, bringing together all the buzz for this much anticipated book.

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The Clover Crate

The Clover Crate was founded by a team of book enthusiasts spread around the world, readers who love their shelves filled with books and goodies! Their purpose is to introduce their customers to new reads as well as help them rediscover their favorite series in unique ways, while creating bookish merchandise related to beloved novels and characters.

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The Girl With a Clock For a Heart

Promotional microsite for crime debut The Girl With A Clock For a Heart, by US author Peter Swanson, commissioned by Faber. This is a responsive site – desktop users see a clock-face but mobile users see a more space-efficient digital clock!

George Foss never thought he’d see her again, but on a late-August night in Boston, there she is, in his local bar, Jack’s Tavern.

When George first met her, she was an eighteen-year-old college freshman from Sweetgum, Florida. She and George became inseparable in their first fall semester, so George was devastated when he got the news that she had committed suicide over Christmas break. But, as he stood in the living room of the girl’s grieving parents, he realized the girl in the photo on their mantelpiece – the one who had committed suicide – was not his girlfriend. Later, he discovered the true identity of the girl he had loved – and of the things she may have done to escape her past.

Now, twenty years later, she’s back, and she’s telling George that he’s the only one who can help her…

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The Hamilton Agency

The Hamilton Agency Ltd is a literary agency based in Michelin House in South Kensington. It was founded March 2019 by Matthew Hamilton, who was an agent with Aitken Alexander Associates for over 12 years. Previously he was editorial Director at 4th Estate, and Publishing Director and a member of the Board at Bloomsbury. He has a particular interest in politics, music, entertainment, narrative non-fiction and literary fiction.

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The Prime Trilogy

Set in an alternate universe, The Prime Trilogy is a gritty, albeit comedic coming of age tale that poses a serious question, “Could the greatest heroes from inspired texts and world mythology, even begin to fill the shoes of a modern teen?”

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The Seven Secrets of Successful Crime Writing

Facebook app with videos and competition mechanic

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The Thought Fox

Responsive re-design of Faber’s blog, which is named after a famous poem by Ted Hughes. Back in 2009 Simon worked on the first iteration of this project – technology has moved on since then, but the appetite for quality content on the web has not diminished!

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Three Hares Publishing

Brand creation and website design for startup publishing house Three Hares.

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Tiffani Collins

Author website for Tiffani Collins, creator of the epic fantasy series The Traveler’s Journal, chronicling the adventures of Danny North Star and Alice Sinclair.

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Tinder Press

Blog and catalogue website for Headline’s fiction imprint Tinder Press, a place where classy, intelligent writing thrives.

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We Don’t Know What We’re Doing

Responsive microsite for Thomas Morris’s debut volume of short stories, published by Faber.

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Who Killed Cuthbert Harverville?

Promotional microsite for Faber to celebrate the release of a Christmas-themed P.D. James anthology, The Mistletoe Murder.

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Wildfire is part of the Headline Division of Hachette UK, a vibrant and dynamic publishing company which is also one of the biggest in the world. Wildfire publish a broad range of quality commercial fiction and non-fiction.

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Will Harker

Will Harker is the pen name of William Hussey, the award-winning author of several novels for adults and children. As the son of a fairground showman, he has now used his inside knowledge of this still largely hidden community to create a detective unlike any other: the brilliant but troubled Scott Jericho.

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Woodville Parish Council

Probably best to let author Mark Stay explain this one! Here goes…

“What the blinking flip is the Woodville Parish Council you might ask (not unreasonably)?

Woodville Village is the setting for my new Witches of Woodville books, and not a completely made up place, no siree. It is here that you will find everything you need to know (or at least everything we’re allowed to tell you) about the strange goings on in the village of Woodville.

On the Notice Board you’ll find all the latest blogs from me. Sign-up and join the Village Library for free eBooks. Pop into the Village Bookshop to buy any of my books. And drop me a line via Writers’ Notes.”

We tried to design what we thought a website might look like if the technology had existed in about 1940 – which was great fun!

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