Case Study

Lettuce Publishing

Julia Parker, Founder of Lettuce Publishing Ltd. Image credit to Charlie Boulton.

Case Study - Lettuce Publishing

In conversation with Julia Parker

Hi, I’m Julia and I am a self-taught gardener, broadcaster, podcaster, and author of The Little Grower’s Cookbook. I run regular workshops from my home in Sussex and in other locations around the South East, teaching people how to grow vegetables and fruit mainly from seeds, and sharing sustainable ideas.

Lettuce Publishing Ltd was established as a book publisher. The company is owned and run by women, and the first title, The Little Grower’s Cookbook, was written by myself and my co-author. The plan is to focus on gardening books, that encourage self-sustaining growing.


We spotted that the major publishing houses aren’t that interested in taking risks on a new author combination. In addition, for authors, first books simply don’t pay. As a result, Lettuce Publishing Limited was born with the intention to retain profits and control if the company is successful.

Also, I’ve always wanted to be my own boss, so that was another motivation behind the business.

The journey

It’s been fun, but certainly not without its challenges. Covid hit whilst the book was being printed, and thus the publication date had to be delayed, which has undoubtedly set us back. But with sales on the increase and break-even achieved, I am pleased with the progress we’ve made.

In addition, I have learnt a lot, overcome problems, and now I feel that I’m able to publish more books with a wiser head.

The growth curve

As above, with the impact of Covid, the number of books I’d like to publish has not been achieved. However, the next project will be underway soon, and I’m confident that as the number of titles published increases, we will see a steady growth in turnover and profitability.


I think our marketing strategy has been one of the biggest challenges so far. We were naive when we first published, assuming that having wonderful reviews would sell our book for us.

In addition, online booksellers use algorithms to determine their stock numbers. Thus a review is published and suppliers run out of stock far too quickly. That means that orders cannot be immediately fulfilled, losing buyer momentum.


I am very proud of our first book, and enjoy contacting new potential retailers, being a woman at the head of a publishing business, and receiving very positive feedback on the product.

The future

More titles are yet to come. Watch this space.


Research, research, and more research. Don’t be shy to ask for advice from professionals in your field and listen when advice is given. They have experience, and sometimes, what seems like the best idea to you might be costly in the long run.

Using 1st Formations

I came across 1st Formations through Google and good reviews from existing customers. My experience with 1st Formations was easy and the instructions were clear for someone like me who has no business experience.

1st Formations today

I have used customer support whenever I have had a question, and I’ve always found the team to be incredibly helpful and informative. I also occasionally read the newsletters.


Gallery image: Rona Wheeldon
Page image: Charlie Boulton

The package you offered was exactly what I needed to get my company started.

Akinkunmi Oladeji, Learnwithpride View customer story
Akinkunmi Oladeji, Founder of Learnwithpride.