From SilverWood to Pulcheria – Roma Nova steps out

When I typed the last word of the first draft of INCEPTIO in 2009 I didn’t have a clue what to do with it. After advice, professional assessment, and submitting to a lot of agents whose response was “great concept, great story, great writing – not sure I could sell it” I decided to go the independent route. Following my nature and professional experience, I researched it to death. I’d self-published a history book in 2012, so I knew how hard it was! Although a computer geek, when it came to publishing and printing I knew enough to know that I didn’t have the fine skills to achieve the top of the trees result I wanted for INCEPTIO.

So I searched for help and found what I was looking for – assisted publishing – in SilverWood Books of Bristol. That first telephone conversation with publishing director Helen Hart has stayed with me. She was encouraging but realistic, emphasising that they didn’t accept every manuscript, that I might not get the costs back, that publishing under your own steam was hard work. She was very straightforward about the services that SilverWood offered and what it didn’t.

I was impressed. What a contrast to the overdone enthusiasm of others I’d approached. I’d run a business for 20 years and could smell the difference between a cabbage and a bouquet (no offence to cabbages).

So began a very productive business relationship.

SilverWood Books emulate the traditional publishing process; their books are indistinguishable from (and often better than) many mainstream ones and they are one of the few ethical publishing services providers around.

INCEPTIO (2013), PERFIDITAS (2013), SUCCESSIO (2014), AURELIA (2015) and INSURRECTIO (2016) – have all been produced with SilverWood Books’ expert help. As I worked with them on AURELIA in 2015 I realised just how much I’d learned in the previous three years. I became more confident about both my writing and the publishing process. With INSURRECTIO, the fifth book, I was almost firing on automatic.

So when discussing RETALIO (out this spring), SilverWood’s publishing director Helen Hart suggested a different arrangement. She felt that I had outgrown the full support package suitable for less experienced or less knowledgeable authors and was ready to fly by myself. Talk about a light bulb moment! She was, of course, completely right.

If SilverWood hadn’t been behind me I would not have had such an easy time of publishing my work, especially with the first and second books. It’s been a mutually beneficial business relationship but with a huge dollop of personal as well as professional support and guidance.

But now I’m ‘graduating’.

SilverWood Books will continue to produce my book files; I need their quality. But my own imprint, the sparkling new Pulcheria Press, will be the publisher. (I think we all know where ‘Pulcheria’ came from…)

Helen Hart from SilverWood says,’I’ve worked with Alison on the publication of five Roma Nova titles so far. When it came to SilverWood starting production on her sixth, it seemed natural for us all to consider whether the time and circumstances might be right for Alison to set up her own imprint. With her business skills, and having been taken on by a literary agent, she’s perfectly positioned to make the transition from assisted publishing to accomplished independent status.

Alison is a consummate professional, as well as a superb writer, so it’s wonderful for me and the SilverWood team to be alongside her as her knowledge and experience develops. We’re now starting production on the sixth book, RETALIO, and it’s exciting to be part of the Roma Nova/Pulcheria Press journey.’

With SilverWood Books director Helen Hart, launching INSURRECTIO

Thanks to SilverWood I’ve gone from newbie author to multi-published author with my last book, INSURRECTIO, launched at the 2016 London Book Fair. And Blake Friedmann, sold the first four books to AudibleUK, (audiobooks just released!).

Being part of the self-publishing sector as it matures exponentially with the best ‘professional indies’ selling millions and gathering acclaim is a heady ride. SilverWood Books has been an essential part of that journey for me.

Now I’m travelling on.

Pulcheria Press site       Twitter:  @PulcheriaPress




Updated November 2021: Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO, CARINA (novella), PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA, NEXUS (novella), INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO,  and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories.  Audiobooks are available for four of the series. Double Identity, a contemporary conspiracy, starts a new series of thrillers. Double Pursuit, the sequel, is now out!

Download ‘Welcome to Alison Morton’s Thriller Worlds’, a FREE eBook, as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be among the first to know about news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

16 comments to From SilverWood to Pulcheria – Roma Nova steps out

  • Suzanne Goldring

    Wow – what a huge step forward! You’ve grown so much in this time. Well done.

    • Alison

      Thank you, Suzanne. Yes, a big step forward. Slightly unnerving, but what a journey to come!

  • Helen Aurelius Haddock

    Well done Alison – A well deserved graduation into even more exciting times ahead!

    • Alison

      Thank you, Helen. These four years have flown by and I have the feeling it’s all going to get a lot faster!

  • Congratulations! What an achievement. Very well done to you and wishing you lots of success with the new venture.

    • Alison

      Thanks, Julie, really appreciated. It’s a big milestone but one that seemed to emerge naturally. Now the hard work begins…

  • Great stuff. Well done, Alison.

  • Hi Alison. Many congratulations on your well deserved ‘graduation’ You are one of the authors who give your readers not only super novels to read and enjoy, but also time and commitment to your readers in spite of your extremely busy life. I always look forward to your interesting newsletters and have learned such a lot from them. What a blessing for you to have found Silverwood Publishing and the very best wishes for your new venture – Pulcheria Press. Looking forward to your next book of course.


    • Alison

      Thank you, Leila. I do enjoy interacting with readers; they give me ideas all the time!

      SilverWood were a very good guiding hand and supporter but now it’s time to venture out by myself. Of course, SilverWood will be working with me on book production, so the quality of the books will be at the same high level.

      RETALIO is scheduled for late April, so not long now!

  • Good luck, I’m sure you will be a great Successio

  • Congratulations, Alison!! You’ve clearly gone from success to success, and this is an exciting new stage in your writing career. Good luck with it. xxx

    • Alison

      Thank you, Liz. Yes, a milestone indeed! SilverWood gave me a very good start and they’ll be producing the book files for me still – no compromise on quality! Much fun ahead…

  • Wow! Fantastic new, Alison, and well done for taking the plunge. I hope to continue working as editor with the (ahem) august owner of Pulcheria Press.

    Sympathies, though, on having to run another website and associated social media accounts. Keeping all those balls in the air ain’t easy.

    • Alison

      It *is* a bit of a plunge, but the only way is up! That sounds like mixing metaphors, but you know what I mean. I hope you will come on the journey with me.

      Enough of that!

      Pulcheria Press website won’t be blogging very much, only to announce publication news, so not too bad.