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April 2012 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • 'Erotica, romance, crime and fantasy bullish - So what do these four areas of genre publishing have in common? Well, they’re all in demand at the moment, in some cases after a period in the doldrums. How much is this down to ebooks? Well, hard to say, but with romance in particular this is certainly part of the equation.' News Review looks at genre publishing.

  • 'In the halls of the London Book Fair, publishers and others continued to agonise about whether the e-book agency model can survive globally in the wake of the US Department of Justice lawsuit (see News Review last week) and there was also widespread frustration at the delay of the Nook device launching in the UK...' News Review reports from LBF.

  • 'At the beginning of the week it looked like the London Book Fair would be the story of the week. But by mid-week a tsunami had swept through the book world and there was only one story dominating the headlines. In a move which may ultimately affect publishing across the world, the American Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit alleging that Apple and five publishers (Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins) conspired to limit competition for the pricing of e-books when they moved to the agency model in early 2010 in a "collective effort to end retail price competition by coordinating their transition to an agency model across all retailers". News Review reports on this astonishing week.

  • 'The annual Books & Consumers research into the British book market was delivered to a highly interested audience last week. Rarely can there have been so much change in one year and the assembled bookseller and publishers were keen to hear what had actually been going on.' News Review joined the audience.

  • 'The launch of the Harry Pottter books in ebook form last week was described by the Bookseller’s Philip Jones as ‘digital publishing's Beatles moment’. He said ‘These will be huge – they are a game changer because of the power of the Potter brand.’ (The Harry Potter series has sold 450m print copies worldwide to date.)' News Review reports.


  • ‘This has been a tumultuous year for the book business, a time of profound change in the way books are distributed and read. It is no exaggeration to say that the widespread acceptance of digital devices and a simultaneous contraction of shelf-space in stores qualify as a historic shift...' Peter Osnos, founder and editor at large of PublicAffairs Books in The Atlantic

  • ‘I don’t believe in writer’s block. Think about it—when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due? Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands. If you have a limited amount of time to write, you just sit down and do it... ' Jodi Piccoult, author of Lone Wolf

  • 'Before my first book, Cityboy, was published I had foolishly assumed that an author's job was to write books. What a naïve buffoon I was! Having had three books published, it is now clear that writing stuff is only half the battle… at best. Unless you are already an established author or have written something so outrageously fantastic that it makes Catch-22 look like insipid balderdash you need to get out there and promote the hell out of it. Geraint Anderson, author of just-published Just Business  in Bookbrunch.

  • 'Oddly enough, despite the explosion of new formats and new media, the fundamental things apply. Vanity Fair confirms that the grammar of writing and publishing is unchanged. Authors work alone in their private space. Eventually, their work is ready to be seen by readers...' Robert McCrum in the Observer

Writers' Quote

'Beware of self-indulgence. The romance surrounding the writing profession carries several myths: that one must suffer in order to be creative; that one must be cantankerous and objectionable in order to be bright; that ego is paramount over skill; that one can rise to a level from which one can tell the reader to go to hell. These myths, if believed, can ruin you. If you believe you can make a living as a writer, you already have enough ego.'
  David Brin

Links to recent stories

Our new feature links to interesting blogs or articles posted online, which will help keep you up to date with what's going on in the book world:

Larry Kirshbaum shares many more details on how Amazon Publishing will work

Lack Of Pulitzer Didn’t Hurt Book Sales

Publishers Beware, more creative destruction on the way

Links to stories of last week

Love, Sex & Romance - In a move to build community and learn more about its customers, American publisher Sourcebooks is launching a romance e-book club.  

Trending: clash of the book titles - What's worse than seeing that someone else has come up with the same book title as yours? But there's no copyright in titles, as John Walsh points out.

British Library Web Archive

We feel very honoured that the British Library asked to archive in its web archive. It was initially archived on 15 October 2009 and has been updated at six-monthly intervals ever since.

Success story

With the publication of Inheritance, Christopher Paolini brings to a triumphant conclusion his epic sequence. In the UK this book had a first week sale of 76,000 copies and the series as a whole has sold 1.2 million books to date in the UK. It had a first printing of 2.5 million in the US. Not only have the books been translated in 49 countries but total sales for the first three books in the series have been 25 million copies worldwide.

Magazine - Lake

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.

Previous magazines:



Magazine index


Writing Memoir and Autobiography

Writing Historical Fiction

Writing Romance

Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy

Writing Crime Fiction

Writing non-fiction

A Library in Your Living Room

Oxford University Press have just announced that public libraries in England, Wales and Scotland will be able to provide library users with access to a myriad of fantastic reference works and language collections. Anyone with membership to these libraries will be able to use their library card to get instant free access in the library or at home.

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. There's a new Writers' Blogs listing which needs populating, so please send your suggestions in.

Help for Writers

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

The 2011 Diagram Prize

The winner has just been announced of this year's Diagram Prize.  Ranging from Mr Andoh's Pennine Diary: Memoirs of a Japanese Chicken Sexer in 1935 Hebden Bridge to Estonian Sock Patterns All Around the World, this is a vintage year.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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