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Looking for book publishers and designers?

April Sky Design in Newtownards works with individuals and organisations to produce quality books designed and produced exactly how you want them to be. Contact our team today to get started.

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Self-publishing specialists

Drawing on over 20 years’ experience in publishing, April Sky Design is uniquely placed to help self-publishers and all those who require quality book design. We have become recognised as one of the top book designers in Northern Ireland. We maintain a library of all the work we have done, which is available at our offices for anyone to inspect - just ring to arrange a time.


If you need expert advice on any matter related to self-publishing, contact us today to arrange a free initial chat with no obligation.

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Extensive book design experience

We will guide you through the process from the first manuscript to the finished book, which you can then give away or sell, whatever you wish. You retain all the copyright and are the ‘publisher’ of the book. The team at April Sky Design has extensive experience of working on all kinds of books, including heavily illustrated coffee table hardbacks as well as more text-based histories.

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Free no obligation quotes, just ask for Wesley

At April Sky Design, we take a flexible approach to each individual project and we’d be delighted to talk to you about your ideas or answer any questions you may have. Fill in our contact form or call us on 028 9182 0505 and ask for Wesley.

  • What do we do?
    If you want your manuscript professionally published into a finished, printed book, we can help you! We are associated with two of Northern Ireland’s best-known publishers, Blackstaff Press and Colourpoint Books. This means that we are, first and foremost, crafters of beautiful books. We will take you through the process from your first ideas to delivery of the finished books.
  • How does this differ from publishing?
    In traditional publishing, you sign a contract with the publisher. They produce the book at their own expense, to their own timescale and to their remit. Authors have limited say over how the book is produced, how it looks and when it is published. Their name is on the book as the publisher and they share the copyright with you. What we do is called self-publishing. Under this model you pay for the production of the books, and as a result the book is produced exactly how you want it, to your timescale and with your choice of cover. In addition, you are listed as the publisher and you retain all the copyright. April Sky Design does not hold any copyright over what we produce for you, it is all yours.
  • What is the process?
    No two books are alike, so we treat every project individually. That said, there is a common process: 1. We will meet with you or chat on the telephone and discuss your individual project personally. This helps us to get a better idea of exactly what you have in mind. Coming into our office in Newtownards will allow you to hold examples of our previous work. 2. We will provide an estimate for carrying out the design and print work for you. We can provide prices for multiple options if needed. 3. If you decide to proceed, we will next get the material from you. This means the final version of the text in digital format, and any images you want to include. 4. We will produce a “style” for you to look at and give us feedback on. Based on your feedback we will tweak the style until you are happy with it. 5. We will then design the rest of the book and the cover. We will then let you see this and you can give us any amendments you wish to make. We never print a book without you first giving it a final sign-off. 6. We organise the book to be printed. 99% of the time this will be through a local printer. As the largest publishers in Northern Ireland we are able to get better print prices than an individual customer can achieve. 7. We will arrange for delivery of the finished books to you – free for addresses in Northern Ireland. You can then do with the books as you wish, whether that be selling them, giving them away to family and friends or taking them to events. If useful, we will list the book on our own web site so that people can order it online.
  • How much does it cost?
    Every project is different, and small factors can have a big impact on price, so as a policy we never give out price estimates without discussing your project. There is absolutely no obligation if you just want to have a chat and get an estimate. If you get a price and decide not to go further, then it will have been a pleasure to meet you!
  • How long does it take?
    Our services are popular and we usually have a waiting list of a few weeks. However, for a finished book that is provided in finished form we would advise allowing about 6-8 weeks for the whole design process, to give you enough time to look over the design and for us to tweak it until it looks its best. Once complete, print typically takes 2-3 weeks for a paperback book and up to 6 weeks for a hardback book.
  • Do I need an ISBN?
    An ISBN is the number in the barcode on the rear of a book. There is no legal obligation to have an ISBN. However, if you are hoping to sell the book via a physical bookshop or Amazon, you will need an ISBN. We can get an ISBN on your behalf and generate the barcode for you. It costs just under £100 to get an ISBN. If you are only selling your book personally, eg at events, or giving it away, then you do not need an ISBN.
  • What about copyright libraries?
    The British Library is, under both UK and Irish law, entitled to ask for up to six free copies of every book produced in the UK and Ireland. These books are distributed to the six “copyright libraries”, five in Great Britain and one in Dublin in Ireland. The aim is to permanently preserve every book for future generations to enjoy. So, if you get a letter from the British Library asking for one (or up to six) copies be assured it is legitimate and that you are required to provide them. Northern Ireland does not have a formal copyright library, but the Linen Hall Library in Belfast hosts a voluntary archive called the Northern Ireland Publications Resource (NIPR) which aims to archive one copy of every book published in Northern Ireland. We will automatically send a copy of your book to NIPR, unless you ask us not to.

Our previous work

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Want to get your book published? 

Contact April Sky Design using our enquiry form and we’ll be in touch soon.

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