• Untold Publishing (DBOP)

    Untold Publishing (DBOP)

    Discover how the Durham Business Opportunities Programme* (DBOP) found the right support for a County Durham based publisher to grow his business by taking on staff, exporting and acquiring another publishing house.

    County Durham based Jeff Collyer founded digital publishing company Aelurus Publishing back in 2016, specialising in young adult fantasy and sci-fi fiction.The company has grown steadily since its inception, so when the chance to purchase another publishing company in November 2019 arose, Jeff saw this as a big opportunity for growth.

    The company Jeff acquired, Impress Books publish titles from a range of genres including non-fiction, biographies and contemporary fiction. A high proportion of Impress sales are delivered through more traditional distribution networks such as book stores, which provided Jeff with a real opportunity to utilise the established distribution networks of both Impress and Aelurus to provide a complementary business model for both publishing companies going forward.

    As a renowned publishing company, Impress titles include the debut novel from Annabel Abbs – The Joyce Girl and best-selling debut novel Widdershins, from County Durham historical fiction author Helen Steadman.

    The Durham Business Opportunities Programme, managed by Business Durham helped Jeff navigate the business support map when he first started Aelurus Publishing. Jeff explains: “Starting a business can be a lonely place, there is a lot of support out there it can be hard to know which programmes will be the most beneficial. Michael from Business Durham helped to signpost me to organisations that could provide the most relevant advice and support for my business.”

    Jeff was introduced to the Department for International Trade, which resulted in a grant  to promote their independent author services in North America, plus guidance to identify student placement and funding opportunities. Business Durham also provided guidance in business planning during the acquisition of Impress Publishing.

    DBOP business Engagement Officer Michael Harriott said: “A large part of our role is to provide impartial practical advice saving businesses valuable time and money.  We help companies to spot opportunities and find the right support to help them to move their business forward.”

    Looking to the future Jeff has merged Aelurus Publishing and Impress to form Untold Publishing. 2020 is set to be a huge year for the business and Jeff added: “We have over thirty new book releases this year, trebling the number of books that we have. We hope to continue this growth into 2021 launching a similar number of titles and taking on more staff.

    “I have found DBOP an excellent source of knowledge that I wish I’d known about sooner. They provide tailored advice that has saved me an enormous amount of time and I would recommend them to any County Durham business looking to grow and develop their business.”

    *The Durham Business Opportunities Programme is a six-year programme for SMEs running up until November 2022, helping County Durham businesses spot opportunities for sustainable growth.. It is funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Business Durham, the economic development arm of Durham County Council.