About us

Hi, and welcome to the Book Stewards.

Do you have a burning idea for a great book, but wonder whether anyone wants to read it? 

Do you sometimes struggle to find the time, motivation or energy to be creative?

Do you abandon first drafts when inspiration fails you?

Do you fear that you don’t have the connections, experience or knowledge needed to break into the publishing world? 

Do you wonder how you should publish: agent or Amazon? Smashwords or small press? Big 5 or Indie?

If so, this site is here to help. The world of publishing is complicated, ever-changing, and full of tall tales, insider knowledge, and a bewildering array of choices. The art of writing is creative, emotional, laborious, and dependent on mercurial muses and financial uncertainty. Navigating a book from idea to shelf is a formidable task.

Our goal is to help by writing out the things we have learned in witty and insightful blog posts, so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes as us.

If you would like more tailored publishing advice, Teika is available for consultancy work. Feel free to get in touch with her via the contact page to discuss your needs.


Photo credit: Izzy Brittle and the Leeds Big Bookend Festival

Teika Bellamy is the founder and director of Mother’s Milk Books. In 2015, Teika was the recipient of the Women in Publishing’s New Venture Award for pioneering work on behalf of under-represented groups in society; Mother’s Milk Books was also longlisted in the 2017 Saboteur Awards category ‘Most Innovative Publisher’. She is a popular speaker and sought-after mentor who is passionate about the role of independent presses and women authors within the publishing world. A regular workshop leader at Nottingham Writers’ Studio, she was the recipient of the 2018 NWS Writing Teacher of the Year award. She also writes poetry and fiction (under the pen-name, Teika Marija Smits), and her writing has been widely published. She is continually delighted by the fact that Teika means ‘fairy tale’ in Latvian.

Tom Bellamy is an academic neuroscientist at the University of Nottingham, with an interest in the psychology of motivation, productivity and self-discipline. He has published over forty scientific papers, book chapters, and abstracts, on esoteric aspects of neurophysiology, but also writes for fun.