Self-Publishing Options

So you've written your book, or perhaps you have a book concept that you think is unique. The only problem is, how do you get that idea and turn it into an actual volume on a bookshop shelf?

You enjoy the writing, you know your subject but you don't have the time or the inclination to learn the publishing business to ensure that you get the results that you want.

At Matador we've been helping people get their books into print for over 20 years, and it can be cheaper than you think, with prices starting at only £350. We also offer a personal service, and pride ourselves on our high quality customer service.

In this section you’ll find a useful overview about the services we offer, but we strongly recommend that you also visit our Author Centre, or read a copy of our Guide to Self-Publishing, both of which offer more detailed information about every stage of the self-publishing process.

Turn to Matador, and we'll turn your manuscript into a book to be proud of...

Finding Out More…
Every book is different, so we don’t have a 'one-size-fits-all' price list. We prefer to look at every manuscript we’re asked to publish, so we can make sure we’re happy to publish it, and so that we can give an accurate written costing.

If you’re interested in getting a no-obligation written quotation from us, then please send us a copy of your manuscript. We’ll acknowledge receipt and get back to you within two working days.


This is the bit that you as the author have to do! We can't write your book for you, nor take your notes and turn them into a book. For those of you who need help in actually writing your book, we’d suggest looking for a ghostwriter online.

Guide to Self-Publishing
View our Guide to Publishing your own work. Alternatively, if you would like us to post you a copy of our Self-Publishing Guide, simply click below (remember to give your full postal address).

Editing and Critical Assessment

It takes skill and experience to read and critically assess a new manuscript, and it is a time-consuming process. To ensure that critical assessments are entirely unbiased and of a suitably high quality, we do not carry them out ourselves. As an author you thus have the assurance that we are not going to tell you how fantastic your manuscript is just so that you will publish it with us.

In-depth editing also takes skill and time, and invariably an editor working closely with an author will improve a manuscript for publication. Editing can be time-consuming, and thus costly, and is best undertaken by an experienced literary editor.

We recommend that authors wanting a good quality critical assessment or who wish to work with an editor in depth should contact one of eight companies that we know carry out good quality critical assessments and editorial work at a reasonable cost. All of these companies will also offer you a discount on their usual fees if you mention that you have come to them from Matador.

Copy Editing

You've written the best book you can, checked your facts and double checked your spelling. Yet there will be lots of mistakes! Particularly when you've lived with a project for a long time, you can become 'blind' to such mistakes, not spotting them until they're in print. The wrong caption, the wrong picture, inconsistent spelling, poor grammar, lack of punctuation...

The copy editing process involves an independent party checking through your manuscript to look for such things and correct them. This ensures that your manuscript is of the highest quality (and you also get to approve any changes made before publication).

Our quotation lists the cost of Matador’s in house editorial team undertaking a copy edit on your behalf, should you wish to take up this service.


First impressions count and you want your book to look good, inside and out. Matador can typeset your book to give that fantastic first impression. The typesetting process involves taking a manuscript and converting it into the way it will look in the book. We will use your text (from disk) and apply a typographical design to the book, placing photographs and graphics, choosing colours, page size, type size, etc. This will give the book a certain 'feel' and style, that will be carried through to the cover design. Once this process has been completed, you will be sent typeset proofs to check (proof read).

Text and Cover Design

Take a look at any two books on your shelf and you'll notice how the appearance of their text is different. How do you decide what font to use, what weight, how large should the pages be (and what's the most economical size), what will make the page pleasing to the eye...? Textual design is an art form which should not be overlooked. The best book can be ruined by poor typographical design, and if it's not easy to read, by and large people won't read it. We'll design your book and ensure that you're happy with that design before typesetting begins.

Cover design is arguably even more important, as it's often the cover that sells a book. How often have you seen 'home produced' books with terrible covers on the local bookshop shelf? We can design your book's jacket from scratch, using either your own artwork or supplying professional quality photographs or illustrations. We also ensure that your book cover includes a bar code - a necessity for stocking in bookshops.

Highlights Magazine
Our quarterly Highlights magazine features interviews with some of our author, extracts from forthcoming titles and details of books about to be released. The magazine is sent to retailers and book buyers, and is made available at events we attend. You can also view a copy online here.

ISBN Registration

There is no legal requirement to give your book an International Standard Book Number (ISBN). However, without an ISBN, a book cannot be ordered through any bookshop (physical or online) as the book ordering systems all work using the ISBN, not a book's title. The ISBN enables a bookshop to identify the book's publisher, and thus be able to order it. Without an ISBN on your book, you are effectively limiting yourself just to private sales. We can supply ISBNs under our Matador imprint for books published in the UK, or we can source an ISBN for you if you wish to publish under your own imprint. We strongly recommend you read the more detailed information about ISBNs, especially if you are going to be providing your own ISBN.


The process of printing can be a minefield that Matador can lead you safely through. Printers vary in equipment, the systems that they use and the price that they'll quote for the same job. How do you know exactly which quote will work out to be the best?

The printing industry has its own conventions and standards and if you don't know what these are you may not get the final product that you hoped for. There are also different printing processes. Lithographic or digital? What are the differences? Which would be appropriate for your book? How do I know a good printer from a poor one? How many copies should be printed? What will reprints cost?

Authors should be aware of the differences between printing ‘on demand’ and printing copies in advance. With a print on demand (POD) book, no copies exist until someone buys one, at which point the book is printed and sent to the customer. POD books are thus almost exclusively sold through online retailers. The book trade works on a sale or return basis, so bookshops will rarely if ever pay to have copies of a POD book printed in the hope that they will then sell them.

POD is thus not only a form of printing, it is also a form of distribution. If you want to see your book on the shelves of a bookshop, then POD is not the correct form of distribution. You should opt instead to print a number of copies in advance (short run digital printing or litho printing) and have these distributed through the traditional book trade distribution channel of sale or return supply.

At Matador we use a wide range of printers in the UK and overseas, each with their own strengths, so we can take over that lengthy hunt for the right printer at the right price for your book. We can also advise on the correct form of printing and distribution bearing in mind your aims in self-publishing.

Publicity and Marketing

Publicity and Marketing are a part of publishing a book that many authors overlook; perhaps they are daunted by the prospect of "selling" their book, or perhaps they simply don't know how. The book trade undoubtedly has complex distribution and sales systems which can appear to be impenetrable from the outside. Yet if you're serious about getting your book onto the shelves and selling more than a few copies, it's this part of the process that should demand your attention, even before the book has been printed.

Marketing is so important that we have devoted a completely separate section of this website to it, where we give details of the marketing and publicity services that we offer to authors. This includes book trade marketing to bookshops and wholesalers, media / public relations marketing offering regionally targeted marketing as well as social media and ebook marketing services. To find out more about the marketing we offer click here.

For authors who sign up with Matador, we offer a password-protected section of our website that gives even more detailed information on the whole marketing process, as well as offering further ideas and resources on marketing for our authors.

Your book will also become available online via and other online retailers. In addition, your book will become available through any ‘bricks and mortar’ bookshop in the UK via Teleordering.

What we (or anyone else) cannot do is guarantee sales of your book; we may be selling your book, but by the same measure, someone also has to buy! We will be as realistic about the chances of your book reaching a wider market before we agree to undertake the marketing of your book, but marketing cannot guarantee sales.

Repping and Sales

We can act as your sales agent, taking orders and fulfilling them on your behalf. We will send you a payment every three months (minus 15% to cover our costs), and you can check your book's sales through our website on a day-to-day basis.

Whether you are publishing your book using Print On Demand or you're printing larger numbers for wider retail sale, we can get your books out there into a crowded market so that they stand a chance of selling.

Many of our books are also represented by Star Book Sales to the book trade. Star have a team of sales reps who sell books into independent, national and online retailers on a one-to-one basis. To take advantage of this, an author needs to print at least 300 copies of a book, so that we have enough stock to actually place with the retailers. More information on having your book repped to retailers can be found in our Factsheet.

Distribution and Warehousing

We can arrange distribution of a book through either traditional sale or return bookshop channels or using Print On Demand distribution. Authors should be aware of the pros and cons of each of these respective forms of distribution (see Printing above).

We can store bulk copies (300 or more copies) of your book for a nominal monthly charge of £20 for a two-year period following publication. Smaller quantities are stored free of charge for a period of at least two years. Alternatively, your books can be delivered in bulk direct to you. Most authors opt to take delivery of a percentage of their books, leaving the rest in our warehouse to sell on their behalf. We have appointed Orca Book Services (in Poole) as our distributor, and we also handle some distribution in-house.

Books that are distributed using the Print On Demand model exist only as entries on online retailers’ websites until such a time as a copy is bought by a reader. This avoids the need to print copies in advance, but it does effectively limit the sales of POD books to online retailers.

Finding Out More…
Every book is different, so we don’t have a 'one-size-fits-all' price list. We prefer to look at every manuscript we’re asked to publish, so we can make sure we’re happy to publish it, and so that we can give an accurate written costing.

If you’re interested in getting a no-obligation written quotation from us, then please send us a copy of your manuscript. We’ll acknowledge receipt and get back to you within two working days.

Contact Us!

Contact us for an informal discussion about your book's publication - advice is always freely given, and there's no obligation at all.

Tel: 0116 2792299