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November 2012 - Writers Magazine

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News Review

  • A report on ebook statistics and trends to be launched at the Publishers Launch Conference which precedes the Frankfurt Book Fairnext week suggests that some of the wilder predictions about ebook adoption have been off the mark. US ebook growth has declined considerably from September 2011, when it had been doubling each year, and it is now expected to grow at the lower rate of about one-third in 2012.
  • It almost seems as if the only thing which has happened this last week is that J K Rowling has published her first adult novel. There's been no escaping the coverage gleaned by the media from a generally unreachable author.
  • There's little doubt that winning a literary prize can give a big boost to your career as a writer. Unfortunately though many of the prizes which attract the most attention and are most financially attractive to the winner are only open to writers who have been published by a publisher, ie not self-published. Usually the books have to be entered by the publisher, not the author.
  • The Booker shortlist is unusually interesting this year because of the presence of books by comparative newcomers, including two authors who have struggled to find a publisher at all and are now published by small presses.

Comment

  • 'I went to classes at the college one evening a week. For the rest of the week I did my homework. I wrote stories, plays, poems, and read voraciously. We emailed our homework to our tutors and classmates, who gave invaluable feedback. I became obsessed. My flat is falling to pieces, the windows filthy, my clothes shabby, my friends have forgotten who I am, and my relationship with my partner, the writer Andrew Lycett, has disintegrated to the occasional grunt. And there is nothing in our fridge. Susan Greenhill, photographer extraordinaire and now writer and contributor to MIR9, in Bookbrunch.
    'I'm probably not a natural novelist, but I want to become one. I loved working on A Gate at the Stairs.I know it's not perfect, but that's what novels are allowed to be - imperfect. I know it speeds up at the end like a Toyota - it has a little floor-mat problem at the end. Lorrie Moore, author of A Gate at the Stairs, in the Observer
  • 'Never will a writer be read more closely than by his or her translator. The best translators seem to have an extra ear, indeed, have to have an extra ear, for the literary dimensions and possibilities of their own language. Translation can draw the poet out of someone who may not have realised the poet in himself. The response to poetry is in us all but it takes an extra talent to turn response to invention, to hear and speak echo in a fresh voice. George Szirtes, author of The Burning of the Books and Other Poems, and many other poetry collections, in The Times.
  • 'What moves you is usually what is going to move a reader - a reader who is interested in your work of course. I'm not a market research king, what I have to do is look to myself and write something that moves me and that I believe in. Cecelia Ahern, author of PS I Love You and four other novels, in the Bookseller

Writers' Quote

'The existence of good bad literature - the fact that one can be amused or excited or even moved by a book that one's intellect simply refuses to take seriously - is a reminder that art is not the same thing as cerebration.'
George Orwell

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:

Are publishers making a killing on ebooks?

Magazine - Owl white

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.

New words added to Oxford Dictionaries reflect changes in society

Oxford Dictionaries Online, Oxford University Press's free dictionary and language reference service, has just added its new quarterly words, which present a fascinating picture of our changing language.

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 in your suggestions.

Help for Writers

Use this page as a springboard to over 3,000 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, Your Submission Package and Making Submissions.