Having no previous experience in a business sector can sometimes be advantageous to starting a business: when you don’t know what is and isn’t possible, you aren’t bound by the traditions and trappings of the industry and can come up with new and innovative ways to succeed.
Neil Trigger had previously worked in a variety of jobs when his daughter asked him to write a story for her on his phone. From these humble beginnings, the story grew in to Neil’s first full novel.
With no outlet to publish his work, Neil decided to publish the novel himself. After attending an Outset Plymouth networking event, Neil realised that he wanted to turn his passion for writing in to a full publishing company that was capable of selling his and other authors’ work. He subsequently attended Outset’s Business Start Up programme and received one-to-one guidance on selling his novel online as an e-book before being referred to sister company Outset Finance to become ‘investment ready’ and look at funding streams for growth.
Ghostly Publishing was formed and his novel would go on to be distributed by a number of retailers including Waterstones and Amazon. Neil says of his experiences on the Outset programme: “There is so much to learn in business. Most of it is common sense, but swimming through jargon to get to the common-sense version can be hard. Outset made it easy by explaining concepts in a plain-speaking and pragmatic way.”
Neil’s new company was successful in securing a £7500 loan from the South West Investment Group (SWIG) which gave them better cash flow, allowing them to further expand. Ghostly Publishing now has a roster of 19 authors and illustrators and has attracted investment to “dramatically grow” the business in the next 12 months.
They have also leased a new office space in Edinburgh, hired an extra staff member to assist Neil, secured an exhibit at the London Bookfair and have signed a number of celebrities to read audiobook versions of the novels including Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings) and James Cosmo (Braveheart, Game of Thrones).
“Outset are a tremendous force for good in Ghostly Publishing’s history.” Neil said.
“The courses are a great length and have helped me greatly – I loved that I could talk to a skilled and knowledgeable advisor when I needed to. This was very, very valuable to me.” He continued.
When asked what one piece of advice he would give to new business starters, he said: “Focus on one thing…ONLY one thing.”