'Recent changes in the ranking of British publishers by market share show
how vulnerable even big publishers are to the recession and the extraordinary
effects of just one megaselling book... A year ago, just 0.2%
separated Hachette from its nearest rival Random House UK. Now the gap has
widened, Hachette has 16.1% of all book purchases and Random House has slipped
back to 13.1%.
'Since News Review last reported on e-books and e-book readers in the
happened to the ‘big story’ of the book world? Well, everyone’s been pretty
preoccupied with what else is going on right now, with all eyes on the
developing recession and how this is affecting booksellers and publishers, but ebooks and the effects of digitisation are still the hot topics of the
'The London book world was shocked last week by Penguin’s announcement of
100 redundancies, 10% of the workforce. The company had seemed to be
relatively unscathed by the recession and to lead a charmed life when other
large companies in the UK, such as HarperCollins and Random House UK, were
announcing 5% redundancies.' News Review reports.
'Authors should get better discounts on the books they buy direct from
publishers, claims the President of the UK Association of Authors', but
they're also suffering from the 'high discount' clause. News Review on the
thorny questions of authors' copies discounts and high discount royalties.
News Review looks at the latest prize announcements, the Carnegie, won
posthumously by Siobhan Dowd, and the innovative new Michael Marks Awards for
‘Of course publishing companies should spend money and time on trying to
define how the new digital world will work, making it easy to read books on
whatever electronic devices appear. What I have a problem with is the inordinate
amounts of time spent on the touchy-feely side.' Trevor Dolby, Publisher of Preface, on Bookbrunch
'It’s imaginary encounters with death that generate life on the page… ‘There are plenty of books that tell you how to become a writer, but not one
that suggests how, if you want a normal life, you might reverse the process.’
Hilary Mantel, whose latest book is Wolf Hall, in the Observer.
'It’s about warmth and empathy and getting that fuzzy feeling. Knowing
that when you open the book you bought during your lunch break, it’s guaranteed
to take you to a place you really want to be, meeting characters you really want
to know.’ Kate Thompson, author of The Kinsella Sisters on Irish
women writers in the Independent on
‘It's a colossal irony to have the guys and gals of Amazon, Google and
their ilk lusting for free book "content" as premium material on which to stake
their enlarged claims to commercial riches. For these clever mathematicians
and engineers who are shaping the electronic business of our time and the
archives of the future, these baby-faced young entrepreneurs, have risen to
their mercantile eminence without encountering books, and don't think they need
to. Veteran American editor Elisabeth Sifton of Farrar, Straus & Giroux in
'For books are more than books, they are the life, the very heart and
core of ages past, the reason why men worked and died, the essence and
quintessence of their lives.'
In the second part of this series, Chris Holifield gives an update on recent changes in the
world, including conglomeratisation, the effects of recession and an even greater focus on
'Before publication I wondered what the key was, the magic formula. I
attended conferences and literary festivals, nurturing a fading hope of
finding the answer. Here are the things I gleaned, helping me cross that
fine, elusive line dividing unpublished and published writers...'
First published in the spring issue of The Self-Publishing
Magazine, this article by Chris Holifield looks at what's going on
in the publishing world and why it might make sense to consider
Danny found that WritersServices'
was just what he needed to get his submission package ready to go out to
Here's our index of
fictionalised stories, which explain how the services work and what
they might be able to do for you. Ranging from the
Editor's Report to
Private Publishing, these
provide a different picture of what the services can do for you.
by Robert J Ray
Maureen Kincaid Speller reviews this new book from the author of The
Weekend Novelist, concluding that:
'For the first-time redrafter, Ray’s methods provide a good foundation,
and most importantly, they use a clear timetable. Over eighteen weekends
(that is, four and a half months), a writer can carry out the work necessary
for an effective rewrite of a novel, and have the manuscript ready to go.'
Chas Jones's final report from the LBF looks at academic publishing,
where the author's wish to publish quickly may conflict with the publisher's
preference for the slow and considered approach.
2nd Report from the London Book Fair on
1st Report from the London Book Fair
Twenty twenty vision - a view of the future
Two extracts from Linda Strachan's Writing for
Check out this page to find links to the huge number of useful articles on this site,
including Finding an Agent
and Making Submissions.
Are you having difficulty deciding which service might be right for you?
This useful new article by Chris Holifield offers advice on what to go for,
depending on what stage you are at with your writing.
Our huge section on technology and the web, and how writers can make use of
them, takes you from beginner-level articles to advanced technology.
by Joanne Phillips
'Writing is undoubtedly a creative art... But writing is also a
business, with invoices to raise, accounts to be submitted and records to be
kept. Writers, like artists, can find themselves floundering when it comes to
the ‘business end’ of the job. Read on for our easy-to-follow guide to the
business of writing...'
Our reviewer's view was that: 'This packs a lot of information into its
976 pages and is very good value for money at £12.99... The result is a useful
handbook for any writer, which delivers a great deal of useful information in an
easily accessible form.'
Our book review section
Salt's Just One Book campaign.
'There’s only one difference between published and unpublished writers and it
is this – the first group see their work in print on the shelves of Waterstone’s
or Tesco or online at Amazon; the second group are yet to have physical evidence
of the hours, weeks, years spent fashioning words into their patterns. You are
already a writer.'
From the Foreword to the Writers and Artists' Yearbook 2009.
New Categories series
This is the third article in a new series by Chris Holifield which will cover
the major writing genres. It looks at romance, which is dominated in the UK and
the US by Mills and Boon Harlequin, which brings out 120 books a month.
Study their guidelines before you get started or at least before you submit to
Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy
Writing Crime Fiction
The agents' listings from
the 2009 Writers' and Artists' Yearbook can be
searched and provide the most up-to-date information about literary agents
across the world:
from the rest of the world
Children's specialist agents
Services for writers
Check out the 16 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to
Copy editing, Typing to Rewriting.
If you're thinking
this is the place to find out what's
involved. If you're ready to go ahead, our high quality service is second
to none and there's an economy version for those who want to
tackle some of the work themselves. You can
the cost for yourself.
Our new series for writers:
Improving your writing
Learning on the job
technology and the Internet
Self-publishing - is
it for you?
Promoting your writing (and yourself)
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publishers and agents
WritersServices editor Kay Gale has many years of experience dealing with
the slush-pile. Here are her tips on how to get your submission