'Astonishing new figures just released by Bowker in the States
show that US book production declined by 3% in 2008 but print on demand
publishing almost doubled. ' News Review looks at print on the latest
figures from the States.
'Authors who have struggled to find an agent may not feel sympathetic to
their plight, but this is the reason why it is so hard for unpublished writers
to persuade an agent to take them on - the agents have to be convinced not only
that the writers are producing good work but also that they can sell that work
in an increasingly tough market.' News Review looks at changes in the
'The announcement of the new UK Poet Laureate, combined with a series of
BBC programmes on poets, has brought poetry into the headlines in the UK in the
last couple of weeks.' But what is the state of poetry and how is it being
affected by the recession? News Review takes a look.
'The surprise announcement of a new novel from Dan Brown to be published in
the autumn has emphasised yet again the importance of big bestsellers to the
book world.' News Review looks at expectations for The Lost Symbol
and Audrey Niffenhegger's Her Fearful Symmetry.
'So how on earth have we reached this extraordinary situation where authors
may find their books have been digitised without their knowledge or consent,
just because copies of them are in US libraries? Just how has Google managed to gain the initiative and what
should authors do? The first thing is that if you want to opt out, you must do
so by 5th May.' News Review reports.
'Writers like Jeanette Winterson have resisted the lesbian label, but it's
never felt like a problem to me. I'm very lucky. I have a lesbian audience
but a mainstream one as well... Sarah Waters, author of The Little
Stranger, in the Sunday Times.
‘The enemy of most authors is not that they are not making money, it’s
that they are not being read. Eighty or 90% of authors don’t make a living from
it, so why do they write? For other reasons that don’t pay the mortgage:
attention, reputation and expression. For them, free is great because it
minimizes the barriers to entry.' Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail in the Bookseller
'Commercial fiction will be interesting. I have a feeling there's changes
in taste afoot: a move back to more 'big', 'airport' novels; historical moving
into different eras; a real reduction in 'chic'.' Trevor Dolby of Random
House UK on books in the recession.
'Above all else, we object to the assumption that it's 'easy' to write
commercial fiction - that 'chick-lit' (an umbrella term I've always loathed...if
anyone called me a chick I'd belt them...) is but a dumbed-down genre that
'anyone' can turn their hand to. It’s great commercial fiction, it’s perennially
popular and there should be quality controls!!!' Freya North in a
‘I see the role of the writer as creating a room with big windows and
leaving the reader to imagine. It’s a meeting on the page.’
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
Chas Jones reports
on ebooks, where the focus was
on the adoption of an ebook design standard, which will offer publishers
inter-operability between present and future hardware platforms.
1st Report from the London Book Fair
Twenty twenty vision - a view of the future, a future which will be
fundamentally altered by digitisation.
Latest changes in the book trade
Chris Holifield gives an update on recent changes in the bookselling
world, including the effects of recession and an even greater focus on
Here's our report from the 2009 Masterclass at the London Book Fair,
where a packed audience listened intently to a varied group of speakers in a
session chaired by journalist Danuta Kean. Bill Swainson, senior editor at
Bloomsbury and Simon Trewin, co-head of the book department at new
agency United Agents, were joined by authors Kate Mosse, Lola Joye and
Since many writers who come to the site are interested in writing for the
booming children's market, we are delighted, by kind permission of the
publisher, to be featuring two extracts from Linda Strachan's Writing for
'One of the most exciting things about writing for children is the sheer
diversity. You have different ages to choose from; you can write picture
books, easy readers, short books for more confident readers, or novels –
each quite different in length and often in content.'
Benjamin Zephaniah describes his fascinating route to being published in
an excerpt from the Writers and Artists’ Yearbook 2009.
Tips for Writers
Our new series to help writers improve their writing , consider
self-publishing and make submissions to publishers and agents.
Learning on the job
and the Internet
Self-publishing - is
it for you?
Promoting your writing (and yourself)
Other kinds of writing
Keep up to date
publishers and agents
'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
Here's the winner and shortlist for the 2008
Diagram Prize. It's been another strong year.
So, was it Baboon Metaphysics, Strip and Knit with Style or
The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-miligram Containers of Fromage
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
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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.
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.
WritersServices editor Kay Gale has many years of experience dealing with
the slush-pile. Here are her tips on how to get your submission