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October 2014

27 October 2014 - What's new

October 2014
  • 'Some encouraging publishing-related figures have emerged this week. The number of books published worldwide in 2013 was an astounding 28 million, raising the question of whether there are enough readers - and buyers - for them all. In the US there were 390,000 ISBNs for self-published books and 300,000 for trade (general) books...' This week's News Review.
  • From our Archive, 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 has written a useful article on The Business of Writing: 'Writing is undoubtedly a creative art. Whether we are working on the next Booker Prize winner or ghostwriting blog posts, writers need to be original, imaginative and inspired. 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...'
  • 'I've a pretty good idea of what the story is and where it's going. The trouble is that, though you've laboured to create these characters and thought of plausible things for them to do, they take on lives of their own. I've often thought that writing fiction was like industrial management. Sometimes I've felt like putting thumbscrews on my employees to prevent them messing up on my plans...' Michael Frayn, author of Noises Off and Matchbox Theatre, in The Times, quoted in our Comment column.
  • Our Health Hazards series looks at all the particular dangers faced by writers, from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to Looking after your eyes and advises on how to position your desk and chair. This really is essential reading for anyone who spends a lot of time at the computer.
  • This week's links: a thoughtful and encouraging piece from Michael Bhaskar, BookBrunch - Content is still king, and technology has not dethroned it; the view from Australia, BBC News - Man Booker win a boon for Australia literature; how far and how fast is self-publishing going to go? How Soon Will the Majority of Books Be Self-Published? - Publishing Perspectives; so which side do you support in the Amazon/Hachette dispute, Vox on Amazon: Way off-base, not entirely wrong -; and criticism for Amazon from prominent New York Times writer, Influential Krugman says Amazon 'hurts America' | The Bookseller.
  • 'One of my many theories about short stories is that their titles and first lines ought to be memorable, because if not memorable they will not be remembered, and if not remembered the stories will not be reprinted (because no one can find them).' Damon Knight in our Writers' Quotes.

19 October 2014 - What's new

October 2014
  • This week News Review looks at how ebook buyers are increasing their reading because they're cheaper, an open submission from Little Brown UK's Blackfriars list and a Success Story from Jessie Burton.
  • 'Jessie Burton's road to success is interesting because it's only just happened, following the publication of her first novel The Miniaturist in July. Having spent four years writing the book she was quite overwhelmed by its reception, the competition to represent her and then the eleven-publisher auction at the 2013 London Book Fair. Previously an actor (which must come close to writing in terms of the difficulty of achieving success in your work), Burton supported herself through that four years mostly through temping in the City...' Jessie Burton's Success story
  • Our Comment comes from the same source: ‘I am wary of that romanticised idea of writing a novel, you just have to pick up a pencil or a pen and open your laptop and it is far more boring. It's not glamorous. I learnt that I can write anywhere. You do need time and space but you don't need a cottage in Wales, I'd say...' Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist.
  • Our Writing Opportunity this week is Little Brown Book Group's Blackfriars open submission for one week in early December. Get yourself geared up to go for this by having a look at their submission guidelines now.
  • Are you interested in Getting Your Manuscript Copy Edited? As well as this article we have one from our 19-part Inside Publishing series about Copy editing and proof-reading and we offer a Copy editing service, as well as a Proof-reading service ando our special Manuscript Polishing service, which involves more intensive work, 'polishing' and improving the text, and correcting the English if you are writing in English as a second language.
  • 'A new Mintel survey this week shows that ebook fans are increasing their reading because ebooks are cheaper. These UK figures show that 26% of consumers who have bought an e-book in the last year are reading more than they used to because e-books cost less than paperbacks, a figure that rises to 38% of 16 to 24-year-olds...' News Review
  • We have 24 pages offering hundreds of recommended links to sites, including Interesting Literature, which we've just added, Poetry Sites, Writers Online Services and Writers' Organisations. Share with us any new links you'd recommend.
  • Our links this week:an old subject but an important one at this time of declining advances, Are Publisher Advances Truly Critical? - The Digital Reader; thoughtful comments from Richard Flanagan, Man Booker winner echoes fears over inclusion of US writers | Books | The Guardian; an overview of publishing, Editorial from Frankfurt: Why We Can't Afford to Stand Still - Publishing Perspectives; and a practical and detailed article on How to Get Traffic to Your Author Website: 30+ Tips for Discouraged Writers | Your Writer Platform.
  • 'Writers may be disreputable, incorrigible, early to decay or late to bloom, but they dare to go it alone.' John Updike in our Writers' Quotes.
  • If it's more quotes you are looking for, we've been collecting them for years and have hundreds in Even More Quotes.

13 October 2014 - What's new

October 2014
  • This week's update is pretty much focused on the 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., with the Man Booker Prize also finding its place and The Brunel University African Poetry Prize 2015 is our Writing Opportunity.
  • 'Frankfurt was much more ‘business as usual' than anyone might have predicted. With just a few less visitors than last year, the mood was pretty upbeat, with a lot of solid rights business being done. Apart from the very real ongoing anxiety about the Amazon/Hachette dispute - no big publisher feels safe from the feeling that they might, and probably will be, next, - there's the progress of the digital revolution and, surprisingly, publishers seem to have taken things very much in their stride...' News Review
  • Our Writing Opportunity this week is the The Brunel University African Poetry Prize 2015, open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. The winner gets £3,000 and it closes on 30 November.
  • Our list of other opportunities which have not yet closed.
  • Our tips on Entering competitions are well worth a look if this is something you want to do.
  • Our Comment this week is from David Nicholls, author of One Day and Us: 'I think the worst thing you can do when you start to write is think: "Will this make sense in Brazil?" I actively tried not to write in a way that felt unnatural or to twist things, cut out cultural references, alter the sense of humour, or have any of those cliched notions about what might appeal to a French audience or a Spanish audience. I am aware of the expectations of people in Sweden and Brazil and the US, but it's crazy to let them interfere...'
  • Just announced, the winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize, Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North, which was based on his father's experiences in WW2. There's a great piece from the shortlisted authors in the Guardian, talking about why they wrote their books, Man Booker prize: the six shortlisted authors reveal the story behind the book | Books | The Guardian.
  • If you've picked up on the furore surrounding the film of Gone Girl - or even already seen it - you might be interested in our Success story on the author Gillian Flynn.
  • Other links this week include: publishers' real anxiety about Amazon Kindle's newly-launched subscription service, Publishers consult lawyers over Kindle Unlimited | The Bookseller; and two 'editorials' from Publishing Perspectives at the Frankfurt Book Fair, When Publishing Begins to Look Like a Bad Relationship | Publishing Perspectives and Editorial from Frankfurt: Collaborate! Innovate! Evolve! Create! | Publishing Perspectives.
  • 'Use your imagination. Trust me, your lives are not interesting. Don't write them down.' W B Kinsella in our Writers' Quotes.


6 October 2014 - What's new

October 2014
  • This week we're focused on the 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. and IPR LIcense, as well as taking a look at Proof-reading and Preparing for publication, whether you're a self-publisher or have found a publisher.
  • We're just coming up to the Frankfurt Book Fair, which starts on Wednesday. and publishers from all over the world are about to converge on Frankfurt for the annual jamboree. It is remarkable how well this big fair has retained its international dominance in the face of digitisation and instant communication... Even in an age of books fairs, this is the one that everyone in the publishing world wants to go to and it is extremely international, although on the days when it is open to them the German halls house a buzzing national fair, attended by large numbers of the public in this bookish country. News Review
  • And this is a good time to mention IPR License, the rights organisation, who have just announced a partnership with Publishers WeeklyInternational news website of book publishing and bookselling including business news, reviews, bestseller lists, commentaries to provide a Global Rights Report twice a month to an audience of 90,000 subscribers. Coverage includes rights deals, country focuses, interviews with agents, detailed book fair reports and newly inked deals, trends, rights news and advancements. It's probably pretty much for publishers but the two articles CEO Tom Chalmers has written for us show how important rights are to authors. They are: Self-publishing: the rights way and How to get your book in the hands of an international audience.
  • In case you're wondering what Subsidiary rights actually are, here's the answer.
  • Proof-reading is the last stage before getting your book printed. If you have a publisher, it's something they will do, but if you're self-publishing you should allow for this last stage after getting your manuscript copy edited to make sure its's ready to go. What's the difference?
  • What's involved in Preparing for publication if you do have a publisher? Or do you need our Services for self-publishers?
  • ‘Young writers, if they're meant to be writers, they will write. There's nothing that can stop them. It may kill them. They may not be able to stand the terrible indignities, humiliations, privations, shocks that attend the life of an American writer...' Tennessee Williams in Writers at Work quoted in our Comment column.
  • Our links this week: what do big name literary writers think about the Amazon dispute, Literary Lions Unite in Protest Over Amazon's E-Book Tactics -; a rather unkind but useful checklist of The 29 Errors a Publisher Can Make...And Counting | Publishing Perspectives;  views from London, UK Publishing Crowd Gathers in London to Discuss Self-Publishing | Publishing Perspectives; and is this the future? Crowdfunding Authors' Books Could Save Publishing.
  • Our September Magazine is ready!
  • 'It's none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.' Ernest Hemingway in our Writers' Quotes.

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