Hello, I'm Simon Appleby

I blend digital skills with publishing know-how

I have 20 years’ experience of delivering digital projects – websites, apps and e-books – and have spent the last 10 years working exclusively with publishers, authors, literary agents and reading charities. As well overseeing the design and production of an extensive portfolio of projects, I have also provided consultancy, delivered training and talks, and written articles for the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook, The Bookseller, Futurebook and others.

My key skills include:

Digital strategy
Requirements gathering and analysis
Information architecture
Data modelling and database design
Project management
WordPress development and integration

I am available for consultancy engagements – please contact me to discuss your requirements and how I may be able to help.

“Simon and Bookswarm have always been so much more than web developers or digital consultants to The Reading Agency. Simon’s patient and approachable style and his positive, solution-focused methods make him a pleasure to work with. He really understands our work and the world in which we operate and because of that has been integral to helping us reach new audiences, develop new projects and interact with our partners and beneficiaries.”

Sue Wilkinson MBE, Chief Executive, The Reading Agency

“Simon has successfully delivered a diverse range of projects for us at Octopus, from hand-crafted illustrated e-books and complex apps to websites and databases. He understands book publishing extremely well, is bang up to date yet refreshingly free of geek-speak, and is a highly creative, nimble problem solver.”

Denise Bates, Group Publishing Director, Octopus Publishing Group

“Simon is a pleasure to work with, creative, entrepreneurial and deeply knowledgeable about digital media in the books and publishing sector, Simon’s friendly manner, wise advice and holistic approach helped ensure that his business delivered great solutions.”

Alistair Burtenshaw FRSA


Contact Details

  • E-mailsimon.appleby@bookswarm.co.uk
  • Phone+44 (0) 7847 912989


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Professional Experience

  • Bookswarm – Founder and Director
    2008 - present

    Bookswarm is a small, agile digital agency dedicated to delivering projects to the UK book publishing trade – publishers, authors and agents. We have a great deal of experience in these areas (plus, we’re mad about books!). We focus on the delivery of beautiful and easy-to-use websites using WordPress, including e-commerce projects using WooCommerce.  

  • Independent Publishing Agency Collective (IPAC) – Founder
    2014 - present

    IPAC is an association of like-minded independent companies that work for and within the book industry. It offers a diverse and comprehensive list of services for publishers, authors, booksellers, agents and many others involved in the book world. At the heart of the IPAC group there is an immense amount of digital expertise but it is also multi-disciplined. It offers support across all forms of marketing, publicity, event management, and design, editorial and in particular system, business and content management and development.

  • Octopus Publishing Group – Digital Projects Manager
    2009 - 2012

    Responsible for the development of the digital publishing programme, including the specification, vendor selection and project management for three iPhone apps and the creation of illustrated and text-only e-books. Initially worked as a member of staff, then on a consultancy basis.

  • The Publishing Training Centre – Tutor

    I jointly delivered the two-day course 'Developing Digital Products the User-Centred Way' with co-tutor Zelda Rhiando.


  • University of Cambridge – BA (Hons), History
    1995 - 1998

Contact Me

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Contact info

Give me a call or drop me an e-mail to discuss how I may be able to help. I am always happy to chat, and can host meetings in London if needed.

  • 49, Greek Street, London
  • +44 (0) 7847 912989
  • simon.appleby@bookswarm.co.uk

Send me a message

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