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October 2009 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • 'A recent study shows that a higher percentage of the British than of the US population bought books in 2008.' There are other fascinating differences - and similarities - between the two book markets. News Review reports.
  • News Review reports on Frankfurt and after: 'But even when the book business comes out of this recession it’s still going to be a different world. Publishers will rebuild their lists cautiously, with an emphasis on the tried and tested, and what is already bestselling. Unpublished authors will continue to think hard about self-publishing. And digitisation and the growth in e-books may yet change the market so radically that we are really talking about a whole new ball-game.'

  • 'This was the week when, in the middle of an unsurprising Booker and an unremarkable Nobel Prize for Literature, Amazon launched its much-heralded Kindle 2 international edition... '  But what about the other devices, which enable buyers to shop elsewhere? And have Amazon left it too late? New Review reports.
  • 'The annual Frankfurt Book FairWorld's largest trade fair for books; held annually mid-October at Frankfurt Trade Fair, Germany; First three days exclusively for trade visitors; general public can attend last two. starts on 14 October and already publishers from around the globe are gearing up for the many meetings, arranged weeks ago, which they will be packing in with publishers from all over the world... ' News Review is gearing up.

Comment

  • ‘The difficulty always, for any book, is the reveal.  How much does the reader know at any given moment?  Are you being fair if you hold that behind your back and don’t tell them until later?... That’s what mystery writers do and I’ve always had a lot of respect for them because it’s such an amazing craft.' Audrey Niffenegger, author of Her Fearful Symmetry, in the Bookseller
  • ‘In the Fifties, when a strong child was dealing with difficult circumstances, there was always a rescue at the end of the book and it was always a middle-class rescue...  Books for children became much more concerned with realism, or what we see as realism. But where is the hope? How do we offer them hope within that? It may be that realism has gone too far in literature for children. I am not sure that we are opening doors for children who read these books, or helping them to develop their aspirations.' Anne Fine in The Times
  • 'The short story is a moment of enlightenment.  A moment of vision.  The story is going to fall on my head like an apple.  But the novel… there is a school of thought, and I agree with it, that we do not have to invent novels; we discover them.  The novel exists in my heart and in my mind and I must concentrate to get it out.' Egyptian author Alaa Al Aswany in the Observer.
  • ‘Publishing is often an extremely negative culture… The sheer book-length nature of books combined with the seemingly inexorable reductions in editorial staffs and the number of submissions most editors receive, to say nothing of the welter of non-editorial tasks that most editors have to perform...' Daniel Menaker, former Random House US executive editor-in-chief, in the Barnes & Noble Review

Writers' Quote

'You just have to work with what God sends, and if God doesn't seem to understand the concept of commercial success, then that's your bad luck.'
 Michael Frayn

British Library web archive

We feel very honoured that the British Library has asked to archive www.writersservices.com in its web archive.

The UK Web Archive is a corpus of websites selected by leading UK institutions for their historical, social and cultural significance in the UK. Also listed in this article on their archive are other international web archives.

New Categories series

Writing Non-fiction

This is the fourth article in a new series by Chris HolifieldChris HolifieldManaging director of WritersServices; spent working life in publishing,employed by everything from global corporations to start-ups; track record includes: editorial director of Sphere Books, publishing director of The Bodley Head, publishing director for start-up of upmarket book club, The Softback Preview, editorial director of Britain’s biggest book club group, BCA, and, most recently, deputy MD and publisher of Cassell & Co. She is also currently the Director of the Poetry Book Society; During all of this time aware of problems faced by writers, as publishing changed from idiosyncratic cottage industry, 'occupation for gentlemen', into corporate business of today. Writers encountered increasing difficulty in getting books edited or published. Authors create the books which are the raw material for the whole business. She believes it is time to bring them back to centre stage. which will cover the major writing genres.

So you want to write non-fiction? Here are some suggestions about how to approach it, covering the competition and marketing, planning, research, selling your book and self-publishing.

Writing Romance

Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy

Writing Crime Fiction

T S Eliot Prize shortlist

John Jenkins' October column

How to kickstart a biography

'In my writing classes I always urge people to have two pieces of work in progress simultaneously. And the easiest and most satisfying second option is a family history.

Tackling a family history employs all the qualities you need to be an entertaining writer –and anybody who has a clear mind and can write a letter can write such a book...'

Colourful Globe

 

My Say by Jae Watson

 

'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...'

Choosing a Service

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.

Help for Writers

Check out this page to find links to the huge number of useful articles on this site, including Finding an Agent and Making Submissions.

Tips for Writers Our new series for writers:

Improving your writing, Learning on the job, New technology and the Internet, Self-publishing - is it for you?, Promoting your writing (and yourself), Other kinds of writing, Keep up to date and Submission to publishers and agents

Our book review section

Latest changes in the book trade 3:

In the third part of this series, Chris HolifieldChris HolifieldManaging director of WritersServices; spent working life in publishing,employed by everything from global corporations to start-ups; track record includes: editorial director of Sphere Books, publishing director of The Bodley Head, publishing director for start-up of upmarket book club, The Softback Preview, editorial director of Britain’s biggest book club group, BCA, and, most recently, deputy MD and publisher of Cassell & Co. She is also currently the Director of the Poetry Book Society; During all of this time aware of problems faced by writers, as publishing changed from idiosyncratic cottage industry, 'occupation for gentlemen', into corporate business of today. Writers encountered increasing difficulty in getting books edited or published. Authors create the books which are the raw material for the whole business. She believes it is time to bring them back to centre stage. gives an update on developments relating to Print on demand and the Long Tail.

Print on demand makes it possible to produce just one book at a time, opening up the possibility of keeping everything in print forever and offering writers the opportunity to self-publish.

First article: Bookselling
Second article: Publishing

Review of The Creative Writing Handbook  

Maureen Kincaid SpellerMaureen Kincaid Speller a reviewer, writer, editor and former librarian, is our book reviewer and also works for WritersServices as a freelance editor. reviews this useful new book and concludes that: 'It is true the handbook asks for a lot from the reader in terms of participation and active thought, but for those writers who are extremely serious about improving their work, it provides a valuable course in how to think about the art and craft of writing.'

The Ins and Outs of Indexing

'Very few works of non-fiction can do without an index of some description... If the reader is lucky, the index will allow them to find the term they seek and take them immediately to a relevant and useful mention of that term or concept... So why can’t a computer programme achieve this?

Joanne PhillipsUK-based freelance writer and ghostwriter. She has had articles published in national writing magazines, and has ghostwritten books on subjects as diverse as hairdressing and keeping chickens. Visit her at www.joannephillips.co.uk' article on Indexing looks at why non-fiction books need them, why it's a specialist job and why computers can't achieve the same result as a skilled indexer.

Our new Indexing service 

A professional index is essential for any work of non-fiction. Readers expect to find a useful, well-presented index at the back of a book, and can get very frustrated if the index doesn’t quickly lead them to the information they seek.

  • Are you an author planning to compile your own index?
  • Have you been asked by your publisher to provide an index for your book?
  • Are you self-publishing your work? If so, don’t let your readers down by offering them a sub-standard index.

A professional index will set your work apart from other self-published books. Indexing need not be expensive – and an effective index is the key to a good non-fiction book.

Don't give up the day job

It’s a common enough fantasy for writers: maybe now I can leave that dreary job and devote myself whole-heartedly to writing... Perhaps you’ve even been indulging in it as you lay on the beach this summer, or more likely spent your precious holiday working on your latest novel.

The business of writing
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 Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 17 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Rewriting.



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