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Comment from the book world in November 2010

November 2010

Handling rejection

29 November 2010

'I always look back to that and tell people if I had given up then, if I had said well I tried it and I'm not good enough, it didn't work out, I would still be practising law right now... I think so much of whatever we do in life is about hard work and it's about luck, but I think hard work creates luck so you have two things that can control right there.It's about having faith in yourself, and keeping that faith, even when you're disappointed.'

Emma Giffin, author of Heart of the Matter in the Bookseller

Creating more value

22 November 2010

'At heart, publishers exist to create more value for writers than writers can (or wish to) create for themselves. It's clear that the specifics of this role are changing. Some writers have decided that they can create as much value as they need alone, and feel freer by doing it themselves. Elsewhere there is a debate about where the line lies in a fair return for licensing copyrights, particularly when it comes to older books. Fundamentally, though, the need for publishers endures, even if not in their current form. Readers will be best served by publishers who can marry the best of what is sometimes labelled "legacy" publishing to the new means of developing and delivering what readers want and writers need. And if that marriage is achieved, then the persistent reporting of the death of old publishing will continue to be mere exaggeration.'

Stephen Page, MD of Faber and FaberClick for Faber and Faber Publishers References listing, in the Guardian blog

Making lesbian writing mainstream

15 November 2010

'Of course, it didn't hurt that we had begun to write fiction that's hugely enjoyable to read. And maybe that's the key part of the answer. Maybe our present success has something to do with escaping from the weight of misery that was at the heart of The Well of Loneliness: the tradition Radclyffe Hall established of writing about crippled and damaged lives. We've left that behindus now. We've walked out into the sun and found a way to communicate our wider experience. We lesbian writers are far less obsessed and defined by our sexuality than the straight world might think. Anyone who's human can enjoy our work. If you're a woman, there are aspects of our novels that may speak more clearly and deeply to you. And it you're a lesbian - well, that's just a bonus. really.'

Val McDermid in the Independent on Sunday

Poet to crime writer

1 November 2010

'Both have a massive preoccupation with structure. In a poem, every word has to be in the right relation to every other word. In a crime novel, if you are going to have a big revelation in chapter 30, you have to plant the information in chapters three and 11. (Her new publishing contract) was the biggest deal I had done in my career. I felt that, instead of being this person writing in a little room, business was being done. Things moved up a gear. That was great, but also a little bit scary. I thought, "Who am I to deserve this?"'

Sophie Hannah in the Independent on Sunday