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'A new evolution'

30 August 2010

'What's different about digital publishing? The answer should be: nothing. It's a fact that we talk about digital and traditional publishing and we need to stop that now. One of my frustrations is that many publishers seem to keep editors away from digital discussions, leaving contracts and "digital" departments to take things on. I met a writer at the book fair who had talked to a corporate digital supremo. The hint had come that "digital" publishing would be better without editors. Many of the editors I've worked with in the past 20 years roll their eyes at the digital bollocks they now have to consider. From an agent's perspective, I want a publisher to have a view as to how to publish a book, and the editor should be intrinsic to those discussions.

From where I sit, digital provides the publishing industry with a new platform, creates new formats. Just as Allen Lane created the paperback in 1936, we now have digital editions, on e-readers, phones, Kindles, iPads, you name it. It's here, and more is coming. But it's not the future of the book, it's another future. Anyone who thinks the book is going to die is cuckoo.

Publishing is being driven to a new evolution through a technological revolution in which the consumer of other products will demand new things from our industry, will seek to read writers and their words (and let's not call that 'content').

David Miller, agent at Rogers, Coleridge & White

Set up in 1967 and shortly afterwards was joined by Pat White. Rogers, Coleridge and White was founded twenty years later, when Gill Coleridge left Anthony Sheil Associates to join them in 1987.

Full-length book MSS, including children's books (home 15%, USA 20%, translation 20%). No unsolicited MSS, and no submissions by fax or email.

Children's fiction and non-fiction (home 15%, USA 20%). Handles novelty books, picture books, fiction for 5-8 and 9-12 year-olds, teenage fiction, series fiction, non-fiction and reference.

Submissions should include a covering letter telling about yourself and the background to the book.  In the case of fiction they should consist of the first three chapters or approximately the first fifty pages of the work to a natural break, and a brief synopsis.

Non-fiction submissions should take the form of a proposal up to twenty pages in length explaining what the work is about and why you are best placed to write it.   Material should be printed out in 12 point font, in double-spacing and on one side only of A4 paper.

No unsolicited MSS. No submissions by fax or email. No reading fee. Will suggest revision.

in the Bookseller and in its Future Book blog