Here's a selection of feedback previous and current clients have said about Alexa and her team at The Book Refinery...
Elizabeth Barber - Author of 'Life by Numbers.'
After completing my book Life by Numbers, I really struggled to get it up to a standard I was happy with ready for publishing. This is where Alexa stepped in and completely took over. After our first conversation, I instantly liked her and knew that my book was in safe hands. Alexa sorted everything out, from the typesetting (I had a very specific idea of peacock illustrations around the numbers.) to cover design, ISBN and uploading it to CreateSpace.
At last I had found someone on my wave length and she really understood what I wanted. Her attention to detail was second to none and she patiently worked on my book cover so that it was exactly how I had imagined it to be.
I've learnt a lot from Alexa during this process, including the importance of having the right ISBN, the pros and cons of CreateSpace and tips about marketing my book correctly.
Alexa took all the stress out of getting the books printed too, (we got some printed in the UK as well, not just CreateSpace) and when they arrived I could of cried! The quality is exceptional and the cover is crisp and bright, just like her! 😂
If you're writing a book or have written one, don't spoil the process of trying to do it all yourself, the impression you give is the most poignant part of the whole process, so get it done professionally.
I'm really proud of my book and how it looks, so I want to thank this wonderful lady for everything she has done in getting it to look fantastic!
Elizabeth Barber - Dec 2017
Charles Bevan - author of 'Monkton Wyld School'
If you are an aspiring author with a completed manuscript that you have worked on for months, you may think that getting the book printed/published would be the easy bit. All you have to do is go on the web and contact a self-publishing company, or perhaps you may have been given the name of a local printer, who printed a book for a friend and did a good job.
The self-publishing companies are a varied lot. In response to your interest, you will either get glossy literature and a copy of a recently published book, with no real answers at all or, if you've contacted a company in the USA, numerous annoying phone calls. The glossy literature typically tells you a great deal about nothing, the accompanying book is excruciatingly boring and has lousy photos, and the estimated cost for getting your book published will cause you to take a deep breath. The friendly low-cost local printer may know about printing and seems good value, but probably has no idea about formatting the text to a high standard.
I tried all approaches but was getting nowhere fast, until, as a result of a final desperate web search, I came across Alexa and The Book Refinery Ltd. Unlike the other companies, her sister company, Compass-Publishing did not require me to buy five ISBN's for £75.00 but were able to sell a single number for less than half that price. Not only did that seem a good deal, but Alexa seemed genuinely interested in helping me and my book.
We talked at length about what kind of book it was, and about the printers I had lined up (as they said they could do the necessary formatting.) After a couple of days, she came back to me saying that they had misunderstood the job and that the deal was off.
I was beginning to learn some of the secrets of the trade. The difference with The Book Refinery was that I was not treated simply as the person paying, but as part of a small team getting the project off the ground. Alexa knows her stuff. I was originally intending on a mix of black and white, and colour photos, but the huge expense that was going to put on the project, we decided that black and white would be sufficient. We had long discussions about the cover photo, and what to put on the back of the book. When I had finally agreed to the details, layout, and formatting was completed in just over a week. Drafts of the formatted manuscript were sent to me regularly for checking until I was completely happy that everything was in the right place, at which point Alexa instructed her printers. Within 10 days, my book arrived looking very professional and at a total cost of about 65 % what one of the big names would have charged. Would I use Compass again? You bet I would!
Charles Bevan - July/Aug 2017
Ben Cijffers - Author of 'A Lion in the Allotment'
My book sat in a drawer for about 10 years. I had sent it to several publishers and agents, but none took it up, but I was convinced there was a need and a market for it, so decided to self-publish.
Like most people in my situation I bumbled around trying to understand the world of publishing; Amazon, Ingramspark etc, and then found Alexa at The Book Refinery. Thank God I did! Initially, it was just to buy an ISBN as I had thought my book was ready to go - but after a lengthy discussion with Alexa (who very tactfully told me my book was in no way any shape to be printed) I decided to use her services so that it was.
Alexa brought experience, technical knowledge, and advice to bear on my book, and worked with me hand in hand to get it from my Word layout to a beautifully laid out publication. She was supportive, patient and encouraging throughout, and it made all the difference.
The book is absolutely what I wanted and I'm really proud of it. Her expertise was invaluable and I can't recommend her enough.
I'm so glad I found her, and it simply wouldn't be the book it is if she hadn't have stepped in.
Ben Cijffers - Aug 2017
Anton Jarrod—author of ‘Martinus Cosmology and Spiritual Evolution
"I was referred to Alexa to help me with my cover design. I had already published a book,
but I wasn't happy with the result, so I decided to re-do the entire project.
I was using Ingramspark, and to be perfectly honest, the submitting process had me a bit flummoxed, as the template is given under the assumption you have In-design. (I don't!) Here is where Alexa's help came into play.
I wasn't sure of the imagery but after several in-depth discussions and test options, we came up with a cover I'm really proud of.
Working with Alexa was a real joy. She offered sound advice and guidance, and listened to what I was saying. Most importantly, she helped turn my nebulous ideas into something concrete. So a big thanks!”
Anton Jarrod - July 2017
Ian Muir—author of ‘Renting Property
I started writing 'Renting Property' five years ago. However, my best intentions of publishing a book to help students and the Bank of Mum and Dad to save money, had started to feel like rowing the Atlantic in fog without GPS, with no idea of how far it was to reach land nor in what direction. Publishing isn't the easiest world to understand, and like renting property, it has its fair share of rogues and small print, designed to part you from your money.
Fortunately for me, one of my contacts recommended Alexa and The Book Refinery, and after discussing my project, she was able to give me direction, working through the stages to get the book published and printed. As of this month I am now the very proud author of a published book. I wish you could see my smile! 🙂 It is such a special feeling holding your own, unopened, fresh from the printers, book in your hands.
Now I can't say it took just a couple of weeks, nor that it was headache-free... as there was quite a bit of additional thought especially about the audience, book cover and formatting. I know I am not the easiest to work with as I can be pedantic, obdurate and distracted by my business. However, despite my occasional frustrations at just wanting to get the book off my daily "Action list", with Alexa's determination, organisation, and use of her effective team, it's now printed and in the process of being prepared for a listing on Amazon. In concluding, we worked well together and I can now say this is a book I'm really proud of, and I know it will help students and in fact any tenant who is looking to save money on their accommodation.
So, if you're thinking of writing a book (or, like I was, frustratingly stuck), then I highly recommend Alexa and her team at The Book Refinery to navigate you through the fog of publishing. 'Gerronwiyit' and give her a call.
Ian Muir - June 2017
Mark Cottle—author of ‘Offshore or Die!’
I was working to a very strict deadline, as I needed my books printed and shipped to a conference venue so I could hand them out to the delegates. This deadline could not be moved, so there was a lot of pressure on me to write the book in time, and for Alexa to organise everything else.
I’m a busy guy, in fact our company is one of Australia’s fastest growing startups. So for me, or my team, to have to deal with the ‘back-end’ of a book production project was completely undesirable. We aren’t experts in the field, and there was a big chance of us screwing it up.
I’d rather pay an expert to handle it for me. And that’s exactly what Alexa is. An expert.
She brought experience, drive and determination to my project.
And it needed some hustle to get it over the line. In addition to the editing, layout and printing, Alexa offered (and we accepted!) to organise the shipping of the books to our conference venue. This was a big deal, as my team and I aren’t located in the UK. With Alexa on the ground there pushing things it removed a lot of stress from my life.
And true to her word, the books arrived on the morning of the conference in time to be given to nearly 300 delegates.
And the books looked great too. The first time I saw them was at the conference. That’s how much trust I had in Alexa and her work.
Had it not been for her involvement in my project, I either wouldn’t have finished it, or, the quality would have suffered.
As far as I’m concerned, if you are writing a book, and need someone to guide you and deal with the back-end you would be smart to call Alexa and seek her guidance.”
Having worked in marketing and advertising for some of the world’s largest brands (brands like PepsiCo, Gatorade, Unilever and Nike), my standards are incredibly high and Alexa surpassed them time and time again!
She delivered my project on time, within budget and to a really high standard.
If you are thinking of using Alexa and her team to produce your book, then I would definitely get in touch with her. Even working from abroad, she was able to fit around the time difference – which really made a difference in coming in on schedule.”
Mo Yusuff—author of ‘Promo Power Supremacy’
With Alexa’s help and gentle guidance my book was written in just 17 weeks and edited, proofed, published and printed a few weeks later.
When we first started together she helped me complete my book plan, a kind of framework of the chapters and what each chapter will be about. Once we did this, it made the whole process of writing the book so much easier.
Our weekly Skype chats when Alexa would review my previous weeks work and set me “homework” for the following week, meant any adjustments to what I’d written was done as we were going along so there was almost no re-writes to do after editing and also the fear of turning up at the next week’s Skype call and not completing my “homework” gave me the accountability to just get the stuff done.
Alexa’s gentle but firm style and the fact she delivered on every promise, gave me the confidence to carry on, even when I started doubting myself.
If you’re thinking about writing a book, do nothing until you’ve spoken to Alexa. She rocks!”
“I was recommended to Alexa by a colleague of mine, Den Lennie, who had written a book for his filmmakers business. I was hesitant at first, because although I knew writing a book was one of the quickest ways of gaining expert status, it wasn’t something I felt I could realistically achieve, as I thought to write a book must be hard! However, from my first call to Alexa, she appeased my doubts, and here I am, six months later, a published author.
Alexa and her team made the writing process easy (although there were a few nights where we on the phone till 10pm getting chapters finished) but she took me by the hand and helped me every step of the way. I really wouldn’t have been able to do it without her help.
Once the book was written – I then just left it to her – although I had quite a specific layout in mind – and Alexa created it for me. Her and her team then worked their magic, and the book is now working tirelessly in creating targeted leads, in fact, I went to a trade show recently, and gave my book out to delegates, it was received really well, and made me stand out as THE person to do business with. To say I’m delighted is an understatement – I’m now just super busy on the back end of the publication! So, if you don’t have time to be busy with new clients… don’t write a book.
I have no hesitation in recommending Alexa to anyone who is interested in writing a book – in fact you just need a seed of an idea, and she will help you create a publication you are proud of. Her customer service is 2nd to none. I couldn’t have written this book without her.
Just do it, and don’t put it off. I’m really glad I did.”
Simon Banks – Tallboy Communications Ltd. – November 2016
“They say patience is a virtue well, this is something Alexa has in spades and she needed it with me. It took me just short of two years (all bar a couple days) from the first time I contacted her, to the day when my book arrived, printed, at my office. I spent far too long procrastinating over things and should have just got on with, (something Alexa really tried to help me with, but I can be difficult with things like that!) However, all of my worries were needless because when the book arrived it gave me a real feel of accomplishment. Plus I got some pretty good reviews to boot!
If you’re thinking of writing a book, Alexa will help you to put it together, from writing to production (a complete process), and she will push you to get it done. Hopefully you won’t take as long as I did (I’m sure Alexa had back ache from the amount of pushing I needed), but she stuck with me and I am so glad she did. Listen to what she says and be guided by her experience, soon enough you too will become a published author.
I now have that accolade, and I’m already starting my next one, and that is down in no small part to Alexa. If you are considering writing a book, then go no further. I have recommended Alexa on a couple of occasions and will continue to do so. Give her a call!” – October 2016
Rachel May—author of ‘Say ‘No!’ and Reclaim Your Life’
“I can honestly say that working with Alexa was an absolute pleasure. I was a first-time author and full of anxiety about the publication process when I first set out on my publication journey.
When I first started to work with Alexa, I was convinced there was a ‘catch’ as she was offering everything I needed, at a super good price – where were the hidden costs and charges? There were none! What you see is what you get when you work with The Book Refinery. She tells you right from the start what to expect and how the process works and her advice has been invaluable. (Although there is a lot to get your head around when you first start, but Alexa and her team really helped me understand the whole process and made it really easy to finish my project.
Like most first-time authors, I considered my book as my baby, but Alexa knows exactly these concerns and her expertise and professionalism helped me produce something that I’m really proud of. Alexa provides excellent value for money and is totally professional from start to finish.
I feel thrilled that I chose to work with her from the start and would recommend anyone who is embarking on this journey to get in touch with her, you won’t regret it.” – April 2106
Den Lennie—author of ‘Business For Filmmakers’
“Alexa is brilliant! She encourages you in a straight forward way and helps you achieve the ultimate goal of finishing your book.
As a new author, I was intimidated by the mammoth task that lay ahead. Alexa breaks down the ‘how to’ and helps keep you on track to make your deadline. This was something that I found quite challenging, as I was running my filmmakers business full time, but with her dedication to your project, we got there!
I plan to write another book and Alexa will definitely be working on it with me… if she can fit me in. ????
If you have a project that has been lurking on your computer – or you just have an idea of one – then get in touch with Alexa and her team.
She knows exactly the right questions to ask, and she has a system that makes writing your book almost seem effortless. Don’t put it off… if you have ‘Write a book’ as one of your things to do in 2016 – then contact her ASAP. She will make sure you achieve your goal!” – November 2015
Alison Ward–author of ‘Awarded by Angels’, ‘Bringing You Back to YOU!’ and ‘Get That Friday Feeling’
“I have had the pleasure of working with Alexa on all of my books. I first worked with her on my second book ‘Bringing You Back To YOU!’; she was so in tune with my needs, including the front cover design and what I wanted to get across to my audience.
It made the birth of my second book really enjoyable and swift.
We received my books before the deadline which was a lovely surprise.
Alexa knew exactly what I was trying to achieve and made the book look really pretty and attractive to my audience, as well as recommending a pocket sized book to best suit the project.
Because I was so impressed with these two projects, we have just finished re-publishing my first book ‘Awarded by Angels‘ and I knew I could rely on Alexa and her team to get the book to print with little to no stress or hassle.
Working with Alexa is always fun, problem free and effective. I look forward to a long future together to publish yet more books and products.”
Liz Keaney–author of ‘Warrior Women – How to be Magnificent through the Courage of Self Kindness’.
“I felt passionate about getting my book, ‘Warrior Women’ out there in the right way and Alexa got me there! She has a great gift of understanding an author’s passion; she shared my vision and was very generous with her time to help me explore options for the layout, and cover design.
The joy I felt in seeing my book in print – not just the words but the visual depiction; the ‘look and feel’ and the delight when people held it and said ‘this book speaks to me’ before they’ve even read it.
I know the words inside ‘Warrior Women’ carry a valuable message – one that has been enhanced with Alexa’s expertise.
If you are considering getting your book ‘out there’, speak to Alexa and her team – you will love their energy and understanding for your project.”
Liz Keaney was the Featured author/speaker at the Emirates Festival of Literature 2016.
Louise Presley-Turner—author of ‘Mindset Mastery’
“Loved working with Alexa as she made the whole process painless and easy, the finished product looks amazing! Having published my first book through Hay House, I was rather daunted with self-publishing my second book, but working with Alexa and her team was much easier than expected.
She was able to integrate my ideas for the layout and cover design, and the end product is something I’m really proud of.
I’m looking forward to working with her for my next book.”
Louise’s book is available to buy from her website www.GameOfLife.co.uk
Kat Smith & Terry Wilson—authors of ‘101 Naked Confessions of a Gay Hairdresser’
“The best way to find someone to do business with is via referral from someone you trust. And this is how I found Alexa and The Book Refinery. I am glad I did.
Alexa took on my first book project with enthusiasm and passion that, at times, outweighed my own. She laid out her requirements very clearly, listened to and acted on my requirements, and delivered the results when she said she would.
She is one of those rare businesswomen who actually provide a personalised, hassle-free service. And is a delight to work with.
Writing a book is hard work. Going over and over your written work is soul-destroying and in the end I hated it. But Alexa put the fun back into everything including the proofing, so that when I saw a photo of my completed and printed book in her hands I nearly wet myself! It is all worth it.
The highest praise a business can get is referrals and I have already referred a number of people to Alexa. I don’t hesitate.”
‘101 Confessions’ is available from http://hairorganics.co.uk/101-naked-confessions/
Update August 2016: Kat has written a second book—‘Grow Your Salon Fast’
“Another book written and published!
Couldn’t have done this without Alexa’s help – she knows what she is doing and this book is something I’m really proud of.”
Will Wood—author of ‘The Organised Business’
“Once I had finished writing my book I was daunted at the prospect of getting it into print – I decided to self-publish but where to start? Fortunately I found Alexa and the Book Refinery from a recommendation by a client of mine and it’s been a godsend.
Alexa was able to take my Word document and transform it into a proper looking book.
There was a theme running through it, which required some clever typesetting, to distinguish the text, to the story and it made such a difference to be able to discuss with someone how to get that right. Plus, she added some other little formatting tricks which makes my book easy to read, along with adding some style and differentiation to other similar business books.
If anyone is looking to self-publish, and is feeling lost at the prospect, then look no further. Alexa and her team can make the process much easier for any first time author and I am very pleased with the final result of my book.
Ingrid Ord—author of ‘Act With Faith’
This letter is to thank you for all the hard work and attention to detail from you whilst you were working on the layout of my book.
Your lively manner and voice infused every conversation with energy and gave me the boost I needed to discuss yet another revision! You worked tirelessly to ensure that everything was perfect and to my satisfaction.
Your experience and professionalism gave me complete confidence that my book would meet the highest standards.
Throughout the entire process, your sense of humour created a sense of fun and purpose in even the most difficult times.
Thank you so much for taking such great care of me and of this book which means so much to me. Your personal interest throughout, and in my reaction to our final creation caused me to feel that this was not just another assignment for you.
I appreciate too that you maintain contact ensuring that all the necessary details for the landing page, free handouts and so on are finalised.
Thanks so much.
Terry Edwards—author of ‘The 7 Deadly Threats’
Alexa was recommended to me by Paul Green, when I made a few enquires as to who I should speak too. Almost immediately Alexa was able to put my mind at rest.
Her boundless energy and enthusiasm was at times infectious as she cajoled and gently pushed me towards completion of my first book. (I have to admit here, I did find myself steering off track a few times, but Alexa gently, and sometimes firmly, got me back on track!)
Not only did she help with the content layout but she also arranged the printing and delivery – which was a great relief as I had no idea how to go about this. The Book Refinery really is a one-stop shop for book writing and publishing)
In fact I enjoyed it so much I am now in the process of writing my second book and have so much more confidence in my own writing ability!
If you believe you have a book in you, and want someone to get the book out and the best out of you, then I would highly recommend having a conversation with Alexa and her team. They really know what they are talking about!”
Freddie Raynor—author of ‘How I bought a house for £1’
“Alexa and her team at The Book Refinery really helped get my book out of my head and into print! They encouraged me to keep writing (even when I was struggling with other deadlines) and they helped me set up everything I needed to know about writing and publishing a real book!
I’m also really pleased with the cover (a clever use of font and colours) to really align my content to what I was wanting to express to my target audience.
My book is selling well on Amazon and I know I wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of this without Alexa’s help.
I would certainly recommend The Book Refinery to anyone considering writing a book, as without their help, this just wouldn’t have been published.”
Katrina Blunt—author of ‘Ultimate Idea Generation’
“If you’re looking for someone who is knowledgeable in their field, a pleasure to work with, with just the right mix of patience and tenacity, then I would thoroughly recommend Alexa as your book coach.
I came across Alexa and her team quite a while ago after reading a couple of books that she’d been involved in publishing. I sent for a free report about becoming a published author and we exchanged a few emails. I had been contemplating a few different ways to get my expertise out there and had almost completed writing a 30-day course to be delivered via email. But something about that didn’t feel right.
So after an email from Alexa to see how I was getting on, (she knew I was thinking about a book) I realised that converting my 30-day course into a book was the way forward. I had spotted a gap in the market – having come across so many people who wanted to start their own business but who were struggling to come up with a good idea.
I set myself a deadline for the writing of the book, which Alexa made sure I stuck to and finally got the point where I was happy to send my completed book over to The Book Refinery for a full quote.
They came back with a very fair price and also suggested that I have my document read by a few people, as I had quite a few long sentences in there that weren’t easy to read (much like this testimonial I should think!) A critical step, that I’m glad she made me take. No point in writing a book, if it’s not proof read and edited.
Once the final document was agreed I basically handed over to Alexa and her team and they then provided me with a PDF version with a free extract to be used for promotional purposes, then a print ready version, ready for the printers. I had an idea in my mind for the cover of my book and worked with Alexa on getting it just right.
The Book Refinery then handled the rest, from ISBN numbers, to printing quotes and managing the entire printing process (which was great for me, as I had no clue how that side of publishing works) – so once I emailed her the finished word doc, I then just waited for the printed book to be delivered!
Alexa also gave me step-by-step instructions on how to get my book onto Amazon which I have just done. And I’ll be adding the Kindle version, (which The Book Refinery also did for me), to the site soon.
Since I had my book, Ultimate Idea Generation, published, I have already had more and more requests for help from individuals and small businesses. So I’m busy writing my second book and won’t hesitate to choose Alexa again as my book coach!”
Tony Messer & Pilar Torres Wahlberg—authors of ‘The Lazy Website Syndrome’
When you first realise that you want to write a book, it seems a daunting prospect. Getting a book published is something that ‘other people’ do. But once you have overcome that initial hurdle and you sketch things out, it starts to appear feasible.
However, that’s when the problems started! It’s fairly easy to lose the plot, even in your own book!
This is where Alexa comes in. She has been invaluable in terms of giving us direction, gently pointing us in the right direction of getting the initial plan down on paper. Whereas before we had the ideas for the book, they were really just sketches that lacked a coherent theme and more importantly, a compelling ‘Call to Action’.
Alexa has been excellent at helping us to develop a narrative that means that the book has a much better flow to it than before.
That is not to say that she will do all the work for you. Our regular online meetings were a great way to ensure that progress was continual as there was pressure on us to complete our actions. There is no slacking and I am convinced that we would never have released the book so soon without Alexa’s help.
Once it was written, Alexa and her team at The Book Refinery set everything up, from arranging proof reading, typesetting and publishing, (she has her own publishing house) so it really was a turnkey project.
A book is a fantastic way to position yourself in your chosen field as a ‘go to’ expert and if you want THE go to writing coach and publisher, then Alexa comes highly recommended.”
The 5-Star rated book The Lazy Website Syndrome is available in both paperback and Kindle format from Amazon.co.uk.
‘The Natural Sales Evolution’—by Natural Training
“As Alexa and her team at The Book Refinery produced and published my first book, so when I was asked to publish and produce The Natural Sales Evolution for Natural Training, I immediately got Alexa on board.
She helped create a 240 page e-book, as well as a paperback and Kindle edition too. She and her team were incredibly patient with all of our changes (there were quite a few, as the book evolved) and the book is now tirelessly working to gain new clients into our sales funnel. She even helped us get the book listed on Amazon, (as well as the Kindle version) – and it’s available for download both on our site, and on Amazon.
Alexa was able to not only turnaround this huge project in a matter of months, but also come up with a great looking cover (we really had no idea what concept to use) and I would highly recommend anyone thinking of writing or publishing their book to use The Book Refinery.
Although I now no longer consult with Natural Training, I was involved with the entire book project, and I know Alexa’s involvement made the project move forward quickly and easily.
I can’t rate her services highly enough!”
Richard Morgan—author of ‘How to Get the Best IT Job Ever!’
I had heard of Alexa’s services through a colleague of mine and decided, (after a few persuading emails of hers) to give her a call. She was energetic and enthusiastic and it was hard not to be inspired by her ‘can do’ approach.
We quickly established what the book was going to be about, and who the book was for (and without those key aspects determined first would have been a much harder project) and I signed up for 2 months of coaching, which helped me get the strategies in place to write my book.
However, it was soon apparent that writing a book, compared to writing sales copy (what I do easily) was very different, and I soon found myself struggling to complete my publishing project. I was really finding the whole process difficult and it was frustrating to say the least – I mean I had a writing coach, surely that was enough?!
After talking this through with Alexa, she came up with a different tack – and after exploring my ability to talk animatedly about what I wanted to write about, we hit on the strategy of recording my book, then transcribing it.
It worked like magic!
Alexa also helped me with the all-important call to actions (I was unsure how these were going to work…) as well as helping me with my marketing strategy and before the book was printed, I already had an order for 20+ books!
This book would not have been finished without Alexa’s support and her expertise in knowing what to write about, how to make it interesting for the reader, and more importantly how to inspire the reader to find out more about my back end services.
If you’re thinking of writing a book – then give Alexa a call first. She will be able to guide you through all of the important questions you need to ask, before you start (or if you have started what you need to consider) as well as helping you finish and getting the book to print. (By the way, once you’ve written your book, you just hand it over to her and her team, and she does the rest for you… cover, book design, printing… the lot!!)
I can’t recommend her services highly enough!”
Paul Hajek—author of “Don’t Even Think of Buying or Selling Your Home, Until You’ve Read This Book!”
However, I did have a free report which I was offering targeted customers (in return for their name and email address) and wondered whether or not that would be enough to be turned into a book.
That was when I got in touch with Alexa from The Book Refinery. I had heard about her expertise from another colleague and after speaking with her, she confirmed that yes, in fact I already had the majority of the book written (the report) and with a few planning sessions, we were able to turn it into a full blown, 96 page proper bound paperback, with minimal amount of fuss.
I only needed to add updated information and surprisingly, not that much more material was needed. It’s surprising how – if you get a professional typesetter – you can turn a seemingly short report into a proper publication. (And not a ‘free’ e-book.)
Alexa held my metaphorical hand throughout the process, and injected much needed creativity and flair as well as smoothing out the inevitable stresses and strains (she took care of the printing side of things as well) and within 8 weeks, I was a published author and took delivery of a book, for which I am very proud.
In fact, I was so impressed by how she was able to quickly and effortlessly turn this project around, I have already threatened her with my next project and I have no alternative but to retain her for my second publication!”
Simon Lotinga—author of “The 7 Mistakes Salon Owners Make” and “The Salon Owner’s Guide to Beating The Recession”
I knew it was a good idea and I should get round to it but inevitably life kept getting in the way and it didn’t happen.
One day I was reading a post on line from Ed Rivis and he was saying how much Alexa had helped him with the publication of his first book. It gave me the push I needed and I started writing. I remember thinking “If Ed can do it, so can I” and 5 months later “The 7 Most Expensive Mistakes Salon Owners Make” was ready in a rough sort of form.
That’s when I contacted Alexa for the first time and If I’m being honest I was a little nervous, but I needn’t have worried because she was really encouraging, friendly and helpful.
She knew exactly what was needed, how to get it done and her advice and input made all the difference because 2 months later I was an author. With the benefit of hindsight I wish I’d contacted Alexa sooner in the process, because it would have saved me time … but we live and learn, don’t we!
The good news is, the reaction to the book was very positive. To date I’ve sold nearly 1500 copies, made a handsome profit and gained many new clients as well, so it was well worth doing … so much so I’ve just done it again!
‘The Salon Owners Guide To Beating The Recession” is now published and once again Alexa has come up trumps making the whole process quite simple and painless.
The new book has only been out for a week and already I’ve been approached by four new potential clients … so if you’re in business and are looking for a way to position yourself and what you do as an expert you must write a book … and if you’ve got any sense you’ll ask Alexa to help you!
Update 2013: Simon has now got two 5* reviews on Amazon.co.uk and his first book, The 7 Most Expensive Mistakes Salon Owners Make has got five 5* reviews.
‘The Salon Owners Handbook’ – published Sept 2014
“As always Alexa’s help with my latest book ‘The Salon Owners Bible’ was invaluable. There’s a reason why I go back to her time after time for help bringing my books to market and it’s this … the way she brings everything together makes it all seem so easy!”
Andrew Ludlam—author of “Maverick Marketing”
“I was already aware that becoming a published author was a great positioning tool – it is after all the ultimate business card to give to prospects. In fact, I often urge clients to write a book. And so it was my turn!
Writing the manuscript was only the start of this journey, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the expert help of Alexa from The Book Refinery.
Alexa was great from start to finish; professional, personable, gently prodding and pushing me to get bits done! She also offered some great advice on how to turn the book into an effective marketing tool.
It’s one thing putting your thoughts and ideas on to paper, it’s another knowing how to lay out the book, design the cover, as well as all the myriad of technical requirements that go with producing a professional looking book.
However, if you want the help, support and guidance from a professional then there really is only one place to turn, Alexa Whitten and her team at The Book Refinery.”
Update: Andrew's book has multiple 5* star reviews on Amazon.co.uk and continues to generate highly targeted leads for his consulting business.
Mark May—author of ‘How To Rent A Property, Be A Great Landlord And Make More Money!’
“My book was written and published on Amazon in a 120 days, not without a little help from Alexa Whitten, head book coach at The Book Refinery.
Even when you have your book printed, that’s not the end of it. There are things to know and do.
My thanks to Alexa for helping me finally get there, great support, professional service. Anyone thinking of writing their first book, I would urge them to talk to Alexa before putting pen to paper.
Thanks once again.”
Rob Purfield—author of “The Ultimate Knockout Closing System”
“Well I made it! My book is at the Printer’s! There are so many things to think about that, as a layman, I would never have considered in the word to print process, and I have so many things to thank Alexa for.
I thought it would be simple; write a book, get it type set and then get it printed!
Alexa’s attention to detail was a godsend, this with her knowledge of what it takes to make the finished book come together properly, right down to how many pages I needed for the final product to actually work for the printer was invaluable.
Plus, the book would still be a work-in-progress without the deadlines that were imposed by having her involved in the process. Alexa’s gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) prompting kept me on track. Her regular ‘to do lists’ made sure I was able to do everything in the right order, and at the right time.
And the fact that she was available to answer my questions and provide me with hints and advice together with the generosity of sharing her considerable experience and expertise, really made the whole process painless. I especially appreciated the fixed project costing and was delighted to discover that I wasn’t being continually charged at every amendment. (We ended up with 8 versions of the book, before we got it right!)
Therefore, Alexa is, in my opinion, the ‘Go to Person for books’ for anyone who is really serious about producing a high quality product at a sensible cost, and I would really advise anyone to think twice before embarking on this journey without the support of a professional.
So, I absolutely recommend her services to anyone who needs support, input and guidance for the professional production of their written products. I can’t express enough how The Book Refinery have made this journey a pleasurable one, and I look forward to working with them again on my next project and many, many more in the future.”
Paul Hurst—author of “Business Survival & Prosperity Guaranteed – second edition”
“Like many others, I had a long held dream of writing a book. There were several false starts, and even one painful time when the first ‘Word’ file became corrupted beyond salvage or repair. But in 2009 ‘Business Survival & Prosperity Guaranteed’, finally made it to publication. The first edition sold out, and an improved second edition followed.
The book did not end up as originally planned. It sort of evolved along the way – the act of thinking about the subject, my experiences to date and what advice to give readers made me take a much wider view of my business life to date. I ended up covering a much broader range than first envisaged, and the overview caused me to think of other opportunities, other openings to explore. The process of writing helped me make sense of the bigger picture.
I had been told that the mere fact of being an author would change other’s perceptions of me, and this indeed proved to be the case. It did not come as a surprise though, as a psychology undergraduate I understood the way we use handy mental shorthand to quickly pigeon hole others, assigning characteristics to a group as a whole. And I already knew that describing myself as a Company Director would get a different response to calling myself a musician. Being the published author of a glossy paperback seems to make others treat me with more weight. It is certainly far more effective (and probably cheaper!) to give a business contact a signed copy of a book, rather than the conventional T shirt, coffee mug or mouse mat.
One of the biggest ‘wow’ moments in the journey was having the text formatted into a proper book layout by Alexa.
Up to that point, it resembled nothing more than an essay, or lengthy bit of correspondence. All of a sudden though, it was transformed into looking just like a real book. Not only that, Alexa also picked up on typos, layout errors, dodgy grammar and other mistakes that I was too close to the project to see. Yes, I could still have had the book printed without her help, but it would have been pretty naff and somewhat of an embarrassment.
Writing can be a pretty lonely occupation, there are times when two heads are definitely better than one!”
Fiona Challis—author of “How to Treble your sales results in Six Weeks!”
“Having learned and understood the importance of writing a book, not only for positioning myself as an expert in my field, but being able to use it as a very low cost, but highly targeted client acquisition tool – I wrote “How to Treble your sales results in Six weeks.”
I used the technique that Alexa recommends, which is to mindmap the idea of what I wanted the book to say, (what Alexa refers to as a ‘blueprint plan‘) I then recorded the book content and got it transcribed. Once that was finished, I then handed it over to Alexa and she, with her knowledge and expertise transformed it into a 96 page book.
The result was fantastic! Alexa understood the purpose, and efficiently turned the project around in under 8 weeks, and that included the printing.
She included things that I didn’t even think of, and consequently didn’t have to worry about, and within weeks I had a web friendly PDF which I was able to use, whilst the book was at the printers.
In fact, I only used Alexa – I didn’t have time to get individual quotes for the different aspects of the book, she was a one stop shop, and that was invaluable, especially when you’re running a busy business.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Alexa and her team again.
Think it’s hard to write and publish a book? Think again, it’s easy and relatively low cost, but gets great results and does more than you could ever realise to propel you into the ‘authorship circle.’
Alan Hughes—author of “The Single Most Helpful & Profitable Book Ever Written For Your UK Small Business… fail to read it at your peril (seriously)”
I have used my books at a series of small seminars I have been running and people are very impressed when they realise they are listening to a ‘published author’ – an expert in their field.
Writing a book is one thing, knowing how to get it published and all the technical requirements like bar codes, page layout and ISBN’s is what would have held me back if it wasn’t for Alexa’s skill and knowledge.
Their service is so professional and friendly. They made it all happen so effortlessly.
If you think you have a book in you, get writing. Alexa will do the rest.”
Hollie Wilson—author of “Superstar Staff Solution”
I teamed up with Alexa, who has the skills, knowledge and artistic know how to plan and produce a book . Alexa took my pages and pages of text and within a week the book was produced, designed and on the printing press, registered with an ISBN number and published on Amazon.
My book has become the core of my business. I gift it to business owners and managers all over the UK, it’s a great way to attract new customers or clients, it holds so much value and they get to read and apply what I teach for themselves.
If you have a niche, I recommend you use their services to motivate you and get you to actually produce a book of your own. It gives you confidence and immediately catapults you to being an expert in your field. Even if you don’t have anything written on paper yet, I know for a fact that Alexa has a very good formula to actually get your book out of you from scratch, so don’t think for one second you cannot write a book. If you can sit and talk to your friend for an hour about what you do then you too have the expertise to produce a book effortlessly with Alexa’s help.”
Tim Wareing—author of “Toddler Soccer – The essential guide to a toddlers First steps in soccer”
“Alexa and her team helped make my first book a reality through their professionalism and friendly support.
They took my dream of writing my first book by publishing inside 3 months! Not only did they support me every step of the way but they organised everything from ISBN numbers, the legal side of things right to the basic design and lay out.
They even showed me how to get my book onto Amazon! Another huge bonus they offered was making my book available as an e-book. This has assisted in the sales doubling and more!
Within 7 months of the book being published it has sold in 18 different countries along with Amazon and SoccerTutor.com wanting to work with me. In fact I have been offered to write another book! The interest around the book offered me an interview live on BBC Radio, you can listen to my interview here.
This really has put me as a leader in my market place with interest coming from all parts of the globe. I would not hesitate in recommending Alexa to publish your book. You will not find a more friendly, honest, professional woman than Alexa. My project was paid for inside 3 months! I’ll soon be contacting Alexa again for my second edition!”
Update: Alexa and her talented team completed my first book, ‘Toddler Soccer the Essential Guide’ to such a high standard that I’ve returned a year later for Alexa to publish my second book.
‘1-on-1 Coaching The Secrets To Improve ALL Football Players – GUARANTEED!’ was a project started during April 2011 & completed in June 2011. I always find Alexa and her team a pleasure to work with. Their friendly, down to earth, but professional approach, allows people like me to develop their profession into a book.
Alexa helped tweak important issues in the book. This included the title of the book, back cover info, landing / squeeze page and overall look and feel to the book / e-book.
The saying, ‘everyone has a book in them’, I believe is true to an extent but unless you get the right people to develop your project your dream will not become a reality.
Let Alexa and her dream team make it happen.”