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November 2011 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • 'A review of the UK children’s publishing scene by Caroline Horn in this week’s Bookseller provides an interesting picture of a part of the publishing business which is in pretty good shape. There is a strong feeling in the trade that the focus has shifted to bestsellers, bestselling authors and brand-name series. This makes it hard for new authors to get a sympathetic view taken of their work. The view is that nobody is interested in unknowns unless they are likely to be instant bestseller material.' News Review takes a look.

  • 'Many of us who have worked in the publishing business have long expected hardbacks to be superseded by paperbacks. But over the years hardbacks have been surprisingly durable in their grip on the book-buyer, with various come-backs affecting how much they are produced. Although it’s obviously going against normal pricing rules, the more expensive hardback edition survives partly because of the gift market and partly because readers don’t want to wait to read their favourite novelist. But why not publish that novel straight into paperback? News Review muses on the latest trend.

  • 'Certain genre areas of fiction publishing seem to be coming into their own in a big way at the moment, which is good news if that’s the area you write in. Science fiction and fantasy are particularly popular. Last month major SFF author Terry Pratchett’s new novel became the fastest selling adult hardback novel by a British novelist since records began, selling no less than 31,094 copies in its first full week... News Review looks at the boom in genre publishing.

  • 'Amazon has been much in the news this last week. After the announcement of it first big purchase for its new publishing arm at the Frankfurt Book FairWorld's largest trade fair for books; held annually mid-October at Frankfurt Trade Fair, Germany; First three days exclusively for trade visitors; general public can attend last two., which sent tremors through the publishing world, it is now consolidating its position on e-books. The deal in question may have garnered the book for Amazon because of the high ebook royalty offered. But the question is going to be whether the company can get the book into the book trade – or will Amazon sales be enough? News Review reports.


  • 'We've arrived at this place where we just thoughtlessly plunge towards whatever the thing is that will allow us to make less of an effort. We know we're diminishing experience. We know that it was richer to walk to the store, talk to the bookseller, maybe meet your neighbour than it is to click online. But we can't stop ourselves...' Nicole Krauss, author of Great House, in the Observer

  • ‘The world does not have tidy endings. The world does not have neat connections. It is not filled with epiphanies that work perfectly at the moment that you need them...' Dennis Lehane, author of Moonlight Mile in The Independent on Sunday.

  • 'Books have always been defined by their physical presence. Those under 50,000 words do not give customers value for money, books much over 200,000 words are cumbersome to read and prohibitively expensive to produce. EbooksDigital bookstore selling wide range of ebooks in 50 categories from Hildegard of Bingen to How to Write a Dirty Story and showing how the range of ebooks available is growing. make those rules redundant. Piers Blofeld, agent at Sheil Land, in the Bookseller.

  • 'There's just too much stress on authors. The business model seems to be that publishers want a book a year. I wanted to spend time on my novels, but that isn't economically viable... Steph Swainston, fantasy author, who is abandoning writing to become a chemistry teacher, in the Independent on Sunday.

  • 'Peter (Kravitz - her editor) said to me, I'll give you money for this. It had never occurred to me that anyone would give you money for writing: I thought writers were wealthy people who just wrote things out of the goodness of their heart and gave them as gifts. Janice Galloway, author of All Made Up, in the Guardian


Writers' Quote

'The majority of poems one outgrows and outlives, as one outgrows and outlives the majority of human passions.'
T S Eliot

Success story

Darren Shan’s first book, Ayuamarca, was published in 1999 by Orion and didn’t have much impact. The sequel, Hell's Horizon, sold fewer copies than the first. But in January 2000, Shan released Cirque du Freak, the first book of The Saga of Darren Shan series in the UK and Ireland and this was the beginning of his tremendous success and as a YA (and, more recently, adult) horror writer.

Help for Writers

Use this page as a springboard to over 2,000 pages on the site.

John Jenkins' October column

Did you know – as you sit at your state-of-the-art computer – that Qwerty has been going virtually unchanged for around 140 years? Not many such useful inventions last that long without some idiot trying to change them.

It’s a classic case of -- it works don’t fix it. These letters are now fixed into the brains of millions of users and operate on millions of computers across the world.

Colourful Globe

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.


Previous magazines:




Magazine index

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

WritersServices Self-Publishing

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 book review section

John Jenkins' November column

What kind of a free Press do we writers want? A totally free Press left with its own self-governing body for standards of behaviour?

Or a Press without any restrictions other than the existing laws of libel?

Or a Press subject to government and legal censorship?


Our new service is for anyone who is having difficulty producing their cover or jacket copy and may be especially helpful for self-publishers. Let our skilled editor/writers do the job for you, so that you end up with a professional blurb.

Rotten Rejections

Our latest new contribution: 'One agent wrote to say my titles were so uncommercial that reading my synopsis made him laugh and that he couldn't sell any of my titles to a publisher even if he had a million years to try.'

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.

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.

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.

Our Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 18 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Rewriting. Check out this page to find links to the huge number of useful articles on this site, including Finding an Agent and Making Submissions.

We Watch the web for writers

Our huge section on technology and the web, and how writers can make use of them, takes you from beginner-level articles to advanced technology.

Choosing a Service

Are you having difficulty deciding which service might be right for you?  This useful 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.

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