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November 2008 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • News Review looks at how publishers are going for print on demand to keep backlist in print, and how online bookselling supports this trend.
  • 'The storm clouds are gathering as more economies go into recession.  The book trade looks gloomier in the US than the UK, where Christmas may still show good sales. News Review reports.
  • 'Perhaps it’s too late to talk about the danger of one company dominating the market so completely.' News Review looks at the rise and rise of Amazon, with its 'great price and great service'.
  • 'A ground-breaking agreement was reached in New York this week in the case of the Authors’ Guild and the Association of American Publishers v Google. Google will make payments totalling $125m... the agreement will allow for the expansion of online access to millions of in-copyright books from the libraries taking part in Google Book Search.' News Review has the story.
  • News Review looks at this year's winner and the tradition of controversy surrounding the Booker - plus its increasingly global reach.


  • 'Write about what you know.  And embroider the hard facts a little if absolutely necessary.  I don't exaggerate or embellish so much in my stories since I started writing for the New Yorker because their fact checkers are as fearsome as their legend suggests.' David Sedaris, author of When You Are Engulfed in Flames in the Observer.
  • Saturday Night and Sunday Morning hits 50: 'It's something that comes from within you, the need to write. You're born with it...  As long as I'd had a roof over my head and food on the table, I would have carried on writing whether I was published or not.' Alan Sillitoe in The Times
  • ‘Digital activity is critical to the evolution of publishing and in children’s we are best placed to break this out because our audience is already there, growing up with it.' Ann-Janine Murtagh of HarperCollins Children's Books UK, in Publishing News
  • 'When I began, there was just one thing that I wanted to write about, which was the true devastation of racism on the most vulnerable, the most helpless unit in the society - a black female and a child.' Toni Morrison in the Observer
  • 'At the end of the day, the writer herself is a more valuable brand than the publishing house and it's time for writers to wake up to this fact.' Kate Pullinger on Guardian Online

Writers' Quote

'When you live and work on your own, as I do, writing takes a long time. You can keep producing shit and you're always wondering whether you should stop. I'm so glad I had friends who told me to keep going.'

Aravind Adiga, winner of the 2008 Booker Prize, in the Sunday Times

Writing for the web 

Writing effectively for the web is quite different from writing for the printed page. Our latest new checklist shows you how to write web pages to attract and keep visitors.

New Categories series

Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy

This is the second article in a new series by Chris Holifield which will cover the major writing genres. This one looks at Science Fiction and Fantasy and suggests how you should get started, what special considerations you should bear in mind and what the market's like.

Writing Crime Fiction, the first article. looks at the international market for crime novels and shows what is working for this readership and how you can give your own crime fiction its best chance of getting published.

Your copyright

We have updated our article on your copyright and added a section on interviews.  Use this to check on your copyright, find out what 'fair use' means and what's in the public domain.


Our new page on this points out the pitfalls and gives a sample interview release document.

How to market your writing services online

Ghostwriter Joanne Phillips shows you how you can market yourself online through your own website, optimisation, ezines and freelance writing websites.  Essential reading for any writer who wants to promote themself on the web.

See also our more general article on Copyright in our Inside Publishing series and our article Print on demand and the Long Tail in Changes in Publishing.

if:book - the future of the book

Chris Meade, the founder of if:book, explores the future of the book and the creative potential of new media for readers and writers, in his look at the exciting new possibilities for the book.

Magazine - Light Bulb 2

Review of the Children's Writers' and Artists' Yearbook updated for 2009

Our reviewer thought this was: 'a fantastically valuable resource for anyone who wants to venture into this highly specialised area of publishing'.  Now updated with new articles and a foreword by UK Children's Laureate Michael  Rosen.

Story - Submission Critique

In our latest fictionalised story Australian journalist Ben finds that a Submission Critique helps him get his submission package into good enough shape to get his novel taken on by a London agent.

Our Submission Critique service.

Services stories index

Also available, stories on the Reader's Report, the Editor's Report, Editing, Contract vetting, Private publishing, Manuscript Polishing and Self-publishing.

Success story: Brian McGilloway

Crime writer Brian McGilloway had the good fortune to be taken on by Macmillan New Writing and now has a two-book contract with the main Macmillan imprint.

Tips for Writers 5

The fifth set of our new pages of tips for writers deals with promoting your book (and yourself), and explores the many specific ways in which you can promote and sell your own work.

Tips for Writers 1: Improving your writing

Tips for Writers 2: Learning on the job

Tips for writers 3: New technology and the Internet

Tips for writers 4: Self-publishing - is it for you?

Colour printing

Colour printing is now available using print on demand, which means you can print one copy at a time.  Chas Jones reports on this technological breakthrough which means that self-publishers can produce colour books of as little as 4 and up to 480 pages through our WritersPrintShop.

The Poetry Archive

The Poetry Archive was launched in 2005 to record living poets for posterity and to bring poetry to a wider audience. It has recently released its 100th recording and also added 14 distinguished American poets to its roster. Visit their website to listen to the  voices of living poets.

Changes in the book trade

This new series by Chris Holifield looks at the book trade and investigates how fundamental changes in how it works are affecting writers. 

The first article is on Bookselling, the second on Publishing, the third on Print on demand, the fourth on Self-publishing - 'really great' or career suicide?, the fifth on Writers' routes to their audiences, the sixth at at copyright under pressure and the seventh deals with Creative Commons.


If you're thinking about self-publishing, this is the place to find out what's involved. If you're ready to go ahead, our high quality service is second to none and there's an economy version for those who want to tackle some of the work themselves. You can estimate the cost for yourself.

Our Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 16 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Rewriting.

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.