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June 2011 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • 'The British Library and Google have just announced a partnership to digitise 250,000 out-of-copyright books from the Library’s collections. Opening up access to one of the greatest collections of books in the world, this demonstrates the Library’s commitment to increase access to anyone who wants to do research. ' News Review reports.

  • 'Australia breaks into the international publishing news less often than it should, but last week government minister Nick Sherry hit the headlines when he said: ‘I think in five years, other than a few specialist booksellers in capital cities we will not see a bookstore, they will cease to exist.’ He believes it is ‘inevitable’ that online shopping would wipe out general bookstores within five years, leaving only specialist shops in capital cities.' News Review reports on events down under.

  • 'An article in last week’s Bookseller looks at the long-heralded death of the mid-list. Discussions about this have been going on as long as anyone in the business can remember, but this time it really does look as if we’re on to the last rites. The economics of contemporary publishing dictate that it’s more efficient for publishers to publish fiction at a higher level and to focus on new authors, rather than going for the long slow build, as they used to do. This means a bigger up-front investment in a new author, in terms of both advance and promotion, to build them into an instant bestseller. The reason for this seemingly risky strategy on the part of publishers is the way the book trade will support or not support the author in question.' News Review investigates.

  • 'Never has there been a time when so much is changing so fast in the world of books. Seminars and discussion from Book Expo America last week underlined the way things are going, and it’s a scary prospect for people who have spent their lives in publishing or bookselling.' News Review reports on the scrum.


  • 'Although it is hard for many of us to emotionally detach ourselves from the book as an incredible medium, what with all its historical contributions to humanity, we must admit that the concept of the book as the best delivery system for knowledge and information is, in fact, dead.' Julius Wiedemann of Taschen, in the Huffington Post.

  • 'Writing for television is such a strange world, you have to write up to 25 episodes of a programme each year and you need to create a lot of drama. You end up thinking: "Have we done this before and if we have, will anyone notice?"' John Stephens, author of The Emerald Atlas in the Bookseller

  • ‘A few weeks ago, I was talking to a group of writers online. The subject was what an author can do for herself if her book isn’t chosen to get the "big love" from her publisher. We all knew what she meant: each season, it seems like some books are selected for star treatment — often, but not always, debut novels — and all the rest are left to take off, or more likely, fade into obscurity, without much support... ' Lisa Tucker, author of The Promised World in Publishing Perspectives.

  • Writing biographies:‘If you get to hate them you should give up the book! But it is a bit like being married. You have days when you feel fed up and days when you feel passionately in love. Dickens did terrible things in his life. But a good thing about being old is that you’ve seen it, you’ve done it. You know we all do terrible things… Claire Tomalin, author of nine biographies, with Charles Dickens : A Life coming later this year.

Writers' Quote

'If you have other things in your life - family, friends, good productive day work - then these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.'
David Brin

Set up your own blog

In order to be in the best position to promote yourself and your writing, it’s well worth setting up a blog. In case you find this idea a bit alien, here’s why you should take the trouble to do this.

A blog offers you the opportunity to start building an audience for your work and the chance to experiment with writing about yourself and with different kinds of writing. Many successful writers’ blogs start with a small readership of family and friends, but build a good audience over the years. Relax and just write what comes naturally, it makes sense for your blog to be more informal, more personal than a standard piece of non-fiction writing and more lively than a slice of autobiography, as there are no conventions that go with it.

Help get your book ready for publication with an editorial service

Marti Norberg, who has worked as a reporter and managing editor for several Colorado newspapers, advises on how to use an editorial service (such as WritersServices) to get your book ready.

Historical Writers' Association

Novelist Manda Scott has recently formed the [no-glossary]Historical Writers' Association[/no-glossary] as a forum for writers and to promote the genre. The internet-based group already boasts around 100 members including authors, agents and editors, is open to writers of historical fiction and non-fiction.

Novelist Manda Scott has formed the Historical Writers’ Association as a forum for writers and to promote the genre. The internet-based group already boasts around 100 members including authors, agents and editors, and is open to writers of historical fiction and non-fiction.

Poetry Book SocietySpecialist book club founded by T S Eliot in 1953, which aims to offer the best new poetry published in the UK and Ireland. Members buy at 25% discount. The PBS has a handsome new website at fights Arts Council England funding withdrawal

The tiny Poetry Book Society is fighting back against the Art's Council's shocking decision to remove its funding completely in one year's time.

Carol Ann Duffy, the UK Poet Laureate, was widely quoted in the press last week: "This news goes beyond shocking and touches the realms of the disgusting. The PBS was established by T S Eliot in 1953 and is one of poetry's most sacred churches with an influence and reach far beyond its membership. This fatal cut is a national shame and a scandal and I urge everyone who cares about poetry to join the PBS as a matter of urgency."

Magazine - Time has stopped

Great review of WritersServices

We're complimented by Stuart Aken's review of our site in his blog:

'It is the Resources pages that really make this site stand out from the crowd. Here you’ll find reviews of books and software, listings of agents, self-publishing facts, educational matters, health and safety advice, and there’s a new feature, reviewing writing magazines. You’ll see there is a great deal of information on this site. It’s well presented and easily navigated, which is as well, considering the number of pages. It’s a site I browse often and I think you’ll benefit from a good look at this one.' Read more.

Writing Memoir and Autobiography
Writing Historical Fiction
Writing Romance
Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy
Writing Crime Fiction
Writing non-fiction

Choosing a Service

Are you having difficulty deciding which service might be right for you?  This useful new article by Chris HolifieldManaging director of WritersServices; spent working life in publishing,employed by everything from global corporations to start-ups; track record includes: editorial director of Sphere Books, publishing director of The Bodley Head, publishing director for start-up of upmarket book club, The Softback Preview, editorial director of Britain’s biggest book club group, BCA, and, most recently, deputy MD and publisher of Cassell & Co. She is also currently the Director of the Poetry Book Society; During all of this time aware of problems faced by writers, as publishing changed from idiosyncratic cottage industry, 'occupation for gentlemen', into corporate business of today. Writers encountered increasing difficulty in getting books edited or published. Authors create the books which are the raw material for the whole business. She believes it is time to bring them back to centre stage. offers advice on what to go for, depending on what stage you are at with your writing.

Our Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 17 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Rewriting.

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Magazine index

Our book review section

Our Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 17 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Rewriting.

Update to our links

Our 23 lists of recommended links have just been updated with many new links to sites of special interest to writers. these range from Writers Online Services to Picture libraries and from Software for writers to Writers Magazines & Sites.

John Jenkins' June column

John's latest column is entitled 'A new chapter for publishers' and deals with the vast changes sweeping through the publishing world as the ebook rapidly gains a large audience - to his regret.

Getting your manuscript copy edited

If you are looking for copy editing online, it is difficult to ensure that you are getting a professional copy editor who will do a good job on your manuscript.

WritersServices has now made its copy editing service unique, as it will offer as standard two versions of your script, one prepared using 'track changes' and one with all the changes accepted.

John Jenkins' April column

Ideas for stories begin in many different places:

A snatch of dialogue

A character

A title

Sometimes from a news fragment from TV or newspapers.

Whatever the start point, the crucial question – whether from Aristotle to Shakespeare or Sam Goldwyn to Stephen Spielberg is:

What’s the big idea?

Writing Historical Fiction

Our revised article on Writing Historical Fiction brings this subject up to date.

Other articles cover Writing Crime Fiction, Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, Writing Romance, Writing Non-fiction and Writing Memoir and Autobiography.

Inside Publishing series

This extremely useful 19-part series is in the midst of being revised to take account of changes in the publishing world. The introduction, How the publishing business works, Advances and royalties, The Relationship between agents and publishers, Subsidiary rights, The English-speaking publishing world and The Marketing department have all just been brought up-to-date.

This second week we're on to The Frankfurt Book Fair, the Sales Department, the Production Department, Pricing and Distribution.

And the third week it's Books clubs and Direct selling.  The fourth covers Creative Commons.

Tips for Writers Our series for writers:

Improving your writing, Learning on the job, New technology and the Internet, Self-publishing - is it for you?,  Promoting your writing (and yourself), Other kinds of writing, Keep up to date and Submission to publishers and agents

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.


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.