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Comment from the book world in September 2007

September 2007

'The largest group in the population'

24 September 2007

'Demographically women of my age group are the largest group in the population and certainly of the book buying population and we are not very well catered for.

I think publishers are becoming more aware of this. We are intelligent, well read, have brought up families, we have been to universities, we have professional qualifications and nearly all of us have worked hard and maybe now have a little more time. Some of us have grandchildren and may have grandparents still living.

I think there's a huge market for literature which deals with that. I think it is an extraordinary time in our lives.'

Sarah Challis, author of Footprints in the Sand, in Writers' ForumBritish writers' magazine which is highly recommended for all writers. It features wide range of news and articles which help writers to improve their work and get published:

'Let's review the author'

17 September 2007

'Never mind the work, let's review the author. Someone who sits alone for hours at a time, typing, must be really fascinating and it beats having to think about anything, doesn't it? The main thing you'll probably learn below is that no one goes to conduct an interview without preconceptions.'

And on her prolific output:

'If you're quite a fast cook, you don't have children, you don't have pets and you've got no-one to talk to, what else are you going to do?

A L Kennedy on her website and in the Observer

Self-publishing - a step in the right direction?

10 September 2007

'So here's the essence of what I learned as a do-it-yourself author: a publisher is far, far more than a printer and distributor of books, and an agent is more than a deal-maker. Industry insiders may get a chuckle out of the sheer obviousness of that, but I'll take the hit; I admit it, I had no idea. Until I'd found an agent who loved the book as much as I did, and saw more in it than I had, until I'd found an editor who led me to make this story better than I ever could have made it alone, I really had no idea. And... I didn't find them, I wasn't even looking for them. They found me, and I'll always be grateful for that.

Was self-publishing a step in the right direction, then, towards a big deal in traditional publishing? Yes, in some sense I suppose it was, but it only works that way in hindsight. In truth, I was just persistently following the advice of the big, blue coffee cup on my desk. It quotes Thoreau: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. My wife bought that cup for me, five years ago, in a bookstore.'

Jack Henderson, author of Maximum Impact, in Publishing News

'A remarkably reliable guide'

3 September 2007

'Just as there are more new books published than ever before (close to 200,000 per annum in the UK alone), so there are more sources of opinion than ever before. If there ever was a consensus... it has gone the way of Nineveh and Tyre.

In this blizzard of commentary, from blogosphere to talk radio, it's odd to discover that literary prizes now stand out as a remarkably reliable guide...

The literary prize has many well-rehearsed drawbacks, but it has one great virtue: it is conducted in public and is answerable to scrutiny... On the plus side, the winners of this year's Orange, Booker and Samuel Johnson etc will take home cheques of variable value and attract varying quantities of press. Their books, now recognised, possibly for the first time, will attract new readers. Then the final and supreme act of judgment will begin. This is immune to the pressures of hype or favouritism. It's called reading alone for oneself.'

Robert McCrum in the Observer