Case Study: Heather Blanchard

Dark Is The Sea

Published: October 2014


Your Experience Before Working With Sam Pearce and SWATT Books

  1. What were you doing for book design prior to working with us?

This was my first book so I had no previous experience with book design.

  1. Summarise three points of frustration you faced?

As it was my first book, I had no real frustrations other than feeling very naive and clueless regarding the book writing, design and publishing process.

  1. What was the big “Aha!” moment when you realised that you needed a professional book designer?

My husband told me that I’d need a book designer in order for my book to look professional and be formatted correctly for both paperback and Kindle.

  1. How did you hear about our service?

Through my husband who had worked with you before, I believe.

  1. Why did you choose us over other design options?

You came highly recommended.


Your Experience Working With Us

  1. Describe your experiences working with us?

Very pleasant and quick, and a huge learning curve for me in terms of the whole creation of a book. I really didn’t know what I was doing so I’m eternally grateful for how patient you were with me, and your guidance really helped me.

  1. What element of our service did you feel helped you the most?

The process of seeing the book come to life in a format fit for print, and knowing how it should look.

  1. How does our service differ from other designers you have worked with in the past?

No, as I haven’t worked with anyone else on book design.

 The Results

  1. What was your initial reaction when you received your finished books?

It was surreal to see my novel as a physical book. It was something I had dreamed about for a long time.

  1. How many books have you sold so far?

I’m not actually sure. I’ve never kept a count.

  1. What has been the general reaction of your readers to the book?

I have received mostly overwhelmingly positive reviews.

  1. How much of that success would you attribute to the design?

I definitely think that the ‘meat’ of the novel has to appeal to readers, but I have been praised many times for the cover and ‘look’ of my book, and I feel it looks a lot more professional than some self-published books I had encountered before. The quality of the physical book was always something that really mattered to me, as a writer and as a bibliophile.



  1. What three words would you use to describe your experience working with us?




  1. What is the single biggest reason you would recommend our service?

Your service met my vision for how I wanted the finished book to look and accomplished that and more. It is a very helpful service for first-time writers with a really high level of professionalism, but of course, because the service is so good, I’m sure that more seasoned writers would be thrilled too.