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July 2012 - Writers Magazine

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News Review

  • The Little Brown UK paperback imprint Sphere has announced that it is setting up an online hub for crime, thriller and mystery e-books, commissioning new content as well as acquiring titles which have not previously been available in the UK, with the aim of becoming a "powerful marketing platform for digital-first titles".
  • The purchase of Author Solutions Inc by Pearson this week for $116m marks the first significant investment by an established publisher in a self-publishing service. Author Solutions was formed in 2007 from the merging of iUniverse, AuthorHouse and other related self-publishing services. Perhaps surprisingly in view of the booming self-publishing market, the company had been put up for sale earlier this year.
  • For the first time ever, the prestigious CILIP Carnegie and Greenaway medals were recently awarded to the same book, A Monster Calls. This book has had an extraordinary history which is capped by this double win. The author, Patrick Ness, had taken on the idea of the book from the very talented Siobahn Dowd, who died in 2008 from cancer after herself winning the Carnegie and writing a number of bestsellers.
  • New figures suggest that self-publishing output has played a significant part in the first growth in US title output in four years. Bowker figures project that print book output increased by 6% last year over the previous year, to an astonishing 328,259 titles, but if the self-publishing contribution is removed the market was flat.

 Comment

  • 'If your main concern is looking over your shoulder for which writer might be a bigger hit than you, then you're not really concentrating on your core activity. It's not a race and it's not a contest. It's not the Olympics.‘The Booker made me a lot of money. I didn't realise that all over the world, people will read a book just because it won the Booker prize. Not something I would do myself... But then one goes into some quite other, private region to produce a book. I think the Booker can drive people quite mad. That's why it's good to be detached from it...' Alan Hollinghurst, author of The Stranger's Child in the Guardian
  • 'I like this age (68). Everything still works. I play squash twice a week. And I feel at peace with myself for the first time, in particular with my decision to be a writer. Richard Ford in the Observer
  • I don’t like to talk about threats; I like to talk about opportunities, which is a big difference. I think everyone spending time talking about threats is wasting a lot of time and a lot of goodwill. The publishing industry is undergoing epochal changes because of the digital technology, but the digital technology is also affording the publishing world many opportunities that are unprecedented. Alberto Vitale, former CEO of Random House Inc, in Publishing Perspectives

Writers' Quote

'Poetry is the identity of all other knowledge, the blossom and fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language.' Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Links to this week's top 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:

Bookseller groups disappointed by US Department of Justice settlement

The General Secretary of the Society of Authors in the UK on the threats to authors

The Search is on for the Greatest American novelist

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Writing Memoir and Autobiography

Writing Historical Fiction

Writing Romance

Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy

Writing Crime Fiction

Writing non-fiction

Our book review section

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.

Success story - Stephen Leather

Stephen Leather has had an interesting path to success. A thriller writer who has been writing for long enough to have produced 25 titles, he has diversified over his writing career, with three series characters and books in slightly different genres. But it is how he has used self-published ebooks to build his audience which is particularly interesting.

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. 

Blurb-writing

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.