Dettori Publishing was created to bring together the resources and services provided through two businesses:
- Post Pre-press Group
- Independent Ink
Up until recently, these two businesses operated as individual entities, but all two are very closely related. It became clear that a central hub explaining each business, their unique offerings, and how they are interconnected, was necessary. Dettori Publishing was born to be the mothership to all these publishing endeavours.
Each of the two businesses has had a different journey, and this has shaped the work we do today. It is our history that makes each of us unique and I would like to share with you a little bit about mine.
Post Pre-press Group – from bookkeeper to business owner
Post Pre-press is a typesetting company founded in the 1970s by Alan Gillatt, primarily working with traditional publishers and corporations.
Back in the day, type presses were used and publishing was a very hands-on experience. Books took many hours to typeset, design was limited and mistakes were a nightmare to fix. It was a very labour-intensive job. From the stories I have been told, it was like the TV show Mad Men: lunchtime drinks at the pub, long days with bottles of whiskey stored under desks, wild parties at the office. Life was lived in the fast lane …
When I joined the team at Post as the bookkeeper in 2008, I had no idea that in 4 years I would be the owner of the business. At that time, Ron and Lisa Eady were chief managers of the team and were old hands in the typesetting business. Ron had been with the company for 30 years and Lisa, 20. They knew the business inside and out and trained their staff in the old-fashioned, close-attention-to-detail way of doing things. It was Lisa’s way or the highway, and she was very well known in the industry for her excellent work.
When I started taking over the business in 2012, things were rapidly changing in the publishing world. Reams of faxes were no longer received and bundles of manuscripts were no longer sent and delivered every day by courier. Emails were in full swing and the internet was improving. Digital books were becoming popular, self-publishing was on the rise, and traditional publishers were nervous. What would the new digital age do to the traditional model of publishing?
In April 2012, Post Pre-press lost one of their major clients and overnight, 50% of the incoming work dried up. Alan was well in his seventies by then and knew he could not build the business up again, having already reinvented it numerous times, so he handed over the reins to me.
By mid-May, I was the official owner of Post Pre-press. Having been the bookkeeper, I knew the figures weren’t good but I was prepared to give it a go. I was a mum to four children, but I knew the time had come to do something for me. I wanted to set myself a challenge and do what I always said I wanted to do: run my own business.
Now, I didn’t come in completely naive as I had been running a construction business with my now ex for well over 25 years and knew being a small business owner was tough. I knew it wasn’t all bright shiny lights, long lunches and big bank balances. I wish!
It was a very tough start. We had to make redundancies and move premises, which was not fun with a library as large as Post’s, but all the staff were determined to give it our best shot and take a traditional business into the future. We knew we could adapt to new ways while keeping the good, old-fashioned attention to detail and producing high quality professional work.
Slowly we began working with more clients and we diversified our income stream. Under Lisa’s watchful eye, I was trained in all things production management and slowly she stepped out of the business into retirement in 2018.
It has been a journey of ups and downs. Running a business is rarely the glossy image that is often portrayed, but one thing that has remained consistent is our love of what we do and the pride we have in the work our team produces. Meet our extraordinary Post Pre-press team.
Independent Ink - professional help for self-publishers
In 2015, I noticed more and more authors were self-publishing – some were doing a great job on their own and others not so great. What I also noticed was the increase in companies offering self-publishing services and, more often than not, these were businesses that had popped up overnight with no obvious publishing experience. The sharks were circling and people were getting eaten alive. There was some really dodgy work being produced (and there still is) and trusting authors were being taken advantage of, but I wanted to offer an alternative.
How we help self-publishing authors
So I formed Independent Ink to cater to the production needs of self-publishing authors. We offer everything from editing, proofreading, cover design, internal design, typesetting and print and digital file creation. We also work with our authors to obtain ISBNs, barcodes, create online distribution accounts and upload their files ready for printing or to be purchased as an ebook.
Independent Ink authors cover all ranges of genres from cookbooks to children’s books; from fiction, to poetry, to non-fiction. Our authors own the full rights to their books and have the final say on everything: total control belongs to them. We guide our authors through their journey, and offer them our professional editing, design and production advice – but all decisions are ultimately theirs (even if we don’t always agree on a particular aspect, but that is what the creative process is all about!).
What makes Independent Ink unique is that every member of our team working at every stage has worked in traditional publishing. All work is carried out in-house, or with some assistance from a small group of hand-picked, highly-skilled freelancers all based in Australia or New Zealand.