Mary Egan Publishing
NZ Book Publishing Specialists


We guide our authors through editing, proofreading, design and printing to marketing and sales (and everything in between). We cover all things publishing and do a mixture of self-publishing, joint-publishing ventures and commercial publishing. 

What We Do

At Mary Egan Publishing we help individuals put their ideas into book form and into the hands of readers.

We guide our authors through editing, proofreading, design and printing to marketing and sales (and everything in between). We cover all things publishing and do a mixture of independent publishing, joint-publishing ventures and commercial publishing. 

Our range is diverse: from fiction and memoir, biography, history and health, to cooking and other beautiful illustrated books. What strikes us as worthy of our time and attention is a book that moves or inspires us somehow, a book that speaks to us or intrigues us.


The Process

  • Project management

  • Copy editing

  • Internal and cover design

  • Page layout and typesetting

  • Proofreading

  • Taking in changes

  • Final read

  • Final sign off

  • Print and delivery

  • Publicity and distribution


A beautiful book doesn’t make itself. Getting it right is a collaboration between the author and many others – the editor, designer, proofreader, indexer and printer. We take care of the whole process by working with you and involving you in every decision. We carefully guide you through the process so there are no bumps along the way. At the end of the process you receive a professionally designed book and/or e-book that you will be proud of. We also help with the marketing and distribution of your book. See Publicity and distribution.

As well as single book projects, we also specialise in multi-book projects, where we provide full production services, including writing and illustration (if required), and supervision of the entire process from concept to delivery.

Approximate cost: $80/hour.



These days many illustrations come to us as digital files, which makes our job easier. Some digital files, however, are not in a usable state and require work. Sometimes they can be replaced with another option, but other times the photo or image supplied is the only one that can be used. Fortunately we have all the skills to retouch, rebuild, redraw and repair almost anything that passes over our desks.

A brilliant illustration can make all the difference to the design of a book. From simple spot art to elaborate compositions, we can discuss your requirements and either create the illustration in-house, supply images from our extensive range of photo libraries or call on the specialist expertise of one of our experienced team of freelancers.

As well as illustrations, we take care of high-quality reproduction scans, including colour correction, optimising endpoints for printing (how much ink is on the page), retouching (including restoration) and clear-cutting (cutting the image out of the background).




Publicity and distribution

Publicity and distribution go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. There is no point in publicising a book that is not available to purchase, and there is no point having the book in stores without publicity driving interest and sales. 

Our distributor and publicists take books on a case by case basis. There are some books that have a natural and easily defined readership, a family history for example, but most of the books we produce are intended for the marketplace. The distributor sells the books into stores and online nationwide. The publicists writes PR material and arranges reviews and interviews with various media. Publicity and distribution is best discussed at the very beginning of the process. 

We can help with almost anything in regard to the marketing and sale of your book. We have trusted relationships with distributors, book publicists, web developers and marketing specialists, both in traditional and social media spheres. Talk to us and hopefully you will gain a full understanding as to what is possible when publishing a book.



A famous maxim says ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’. Unfortunately it’s not true! Books are judged by their covers at a crucial point of decision – the point of purchase. When you browse in a bookshop or online, what makes you skim over some books and pick up others? The cover is the first thing a prospective reader sees, and with so much competition in the marketplace, the cover sells your book or e-book. This is especially true for first-time authors. When you work with us we discuss your likes and dislikes, share our ideas and experience, read through the manuscript and present you with three cover concepts, one of which will be developed through to the finished design. Our designs grab readers’ attention, communicate the content of your publication and stand up to the rigorous demands of the book trade.

Approximate cost: $1400–$2500.


We seek quotes and purchase print from a carefully selected list of suppliers based in New Zealand, China and Singapore. We ensure delivery of correctly prepared files, maintain quality control, check proofs, liaise with suppliers, and organise and manage freight, custom clearance and delivery to your door. We can meet all your special packing and freight requirements.



Proofreading happens after the first proof stage (when the book has first been designed and typeset in full). It’s a read-through by a professional who checks that it all makes sense, that it is grammatically correct, that there are no typographical errors and that editorial styles have been applied correctly and consistently throughout. This is the point where some authors, once they see what the book looks like, have an opportunity to make any last minor corrections and amendments. Proofreading is the final polish.

Approximate cost: $40–$60/hour


Very recently, e-book sales exceeded that of printed books. As a result we now work increasingly with authors who publish both e-books and printed books. In some cases our customers opt to only publish electronically. Reading an e-book is a completely different experience to reading a printed book, so as a result your book design will need to be adapted. We are happy to produce both a printed book design and an e-book design. We take great care to ensure that the experience of reading your book is pleasant for your readers, regardless of the medium.

E-books are cheaper to produce because there are no printing costs, so you can get your book into the hands of the reader more cheaply and much faster. E-books still, however, require editing, proofreading and formatting. And they need a professionally designed cover that looks appealing both in small format and in grayscale. Don’t be tempted to skip these vital steps because it is here that the secret to making a professional book lies.



Internal design is an anachronistic way of describing what lies between the front and back covers. Perhaps a better term would be ‘page layout’, but having been trained in classical book design we are still attached to many of the old terms. Internal design is about typography, balance, grid and fit for purpose. It’s about planning page layouts, applying correct type styling, creating tables, hyphenating appropriately, inserting images and other graphics (with their captions and credits) and providing professionally produced files, free of error, to the printer and e-book producer. It’s skilled work and it takes many years of training and experience to perfect. Fortunately, because of our high standards and many years of experience, we have a reputation for being one of the best in the industry.

Page layout is just as important as the book cover – after all, it’s the main thing people will experience as they read your book. From simple text-heavy books to more complex pictorial layouts, we are highly skilled at producing them all. Typically we design the internal and external design of books. This level of involvement from start to finish allows us to give a book an aesthetic continuity throughout.

Approximate cost: $600–$1800.


Whether your book is printed or in an electronic format, editing is the crucial step in making a professional publication. Only in exceptional circumstances can this step be overlooked. Any author wanting to be taken seriously should be willing to go through this stage. 

We try to make this process easy and rewarding for you. Where necessary, our editorial services include structural editing (reviewing the whole structure of the book and suggesting or making rewrites) and copy-editing (attending to matters such as clarity, accuracy of cross-references, spelling, punctuation, grammar and consistency of style). Many editors do this all at the same time, and often explain their changes for the author's benefit so it’s not as daunting as it may seem. Having a well-edited book means that it will read smoothly and have a solid, consistent voice and message that is free of errors. Editing occurs before the book is designed and typeset.

Approximate cost: $60–$80/hour


Not all books need indexing but, for those that do, indexes enable your readers to find all the important information at a glance. We can prepare indexes for academic textbooks, family and corporate histories, cookbooks and everything in between, from simple name lists through to nested academic indexes.

Approximate cost: $6–$8/page

Branding and marketing material

Although our main focus is book design and production, we do a fair amount of commercial graphic design too. We are experienced in everything from logo design, branding, business cards and websites to flyers and signage.