On the 25th of March this year I attended a workshop titled ‘Getting Published’ at the Waterford Writer’s Weekend. The presenter was Vanessa O’Loughin, the founder and editor of the writing web site writing.ie. The information Vanessa presented was very practical and as I had recently completed writing my first book, Finding Nancy, and had decided to go down the self publishing path, I was keen to find out about printing companies in the south east of Ireland. Vanessa recommended Lettertec Ireland Ltd in Carrigtwohill Co. Cork. That recommendation was one of the most valuable pieces of information I took away with me that day.

The following week I contacted the Manager of Lettertec Frank Kelly and from that first contact I received exemplary service from all the staff of the company. I made an appointment to visit the Lettertec office and was very impressed with the neat, up to date premises and the friendly and helpful attitude of all the staff I encountered. On that visit I spent about an hour with Elaine Barry the Graphic Designer to discuss ideas for the cover design. Elaine provides an efficient and professional service and actually reads your book, to inspire her imagination to produce a design that reflects the story to best effect. She wasted no time reading my book and contacted me later that same day to tell me she was enjoying the story so much she couldn’t put it down! By the following day she’d finished reading it and emailed me the artwork for the front and back cover for my consideration. I was over the moon with Elaine’s work and I didn’t require her to make any alterations; her cover design really captured the heart of the story.

On our first visit we also met Justin, who works on the manuscript. I’d emailed my draft word document to him prior to our visit and after a brief discussion regarding my preferences for the layout etc, he produced a hard copy of the manuscript for me while we were there. That hard copy gave me a good idea of how the final draft would look and I was able to take it home to proof. My book also contains photographs and Elaine assisted me with the placement of those as well. The time period from that initial meeting to collecting the finished books was three weeks. I’m so pleased with the quality of the books and I would highly recommend Lettertec to anyone contemplating having their book self published.

There are several benefits to self publishing. It’s time efficient as it doesn’t involve waiting around for publishing houses to get back to you with a yes or no. Sometimes budding authors don’t even receive a reply! Therefore self publishing spares you the negative impact of rejection. It’s economical because the cost of printing through Lettertec is very reasonable and you as the author will receive more return on the sale of the books. So for me self publishing has been a very positive experience. Lettertec operates a state of the art printing facility utilizing the latest high tech digital equipment. In fact the company has recently acquired a new piece of equipment which Frank proudly boasts is the best available printing machine in Ireland today. Thanks a million to Frank, Elaine, Justin and all the staff at Lettertec for making my first publishing experience such a rewarding and enjoyable one.

Frances Mulcahy