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April 2019

15 April 2019 - What's new

April 2019
  • ‘I'm a great believer in turning up still. No forgiving yourself because you are tired. I try to get there before 10, not too early. On those magical writing days you forget you exist and you surface an hour later and you have 400 words you were not expecting to write. But turning up is certainly the first condition...' Ian McEwan, author of Machines Like Me, The Children Act, Atonement, Amsterdam, Enduring Love, The Child in Time and many other celebrated novels in the Guardian. Our Comment.
  • From our Endorsements page: ‘Absolutely first class job! Very professional. Thank you very much indeed. Wish I'd found you before, it would certainly have saved me a lot of unnecessary headaches. I'll now bin the rest of the editors I've so far dealt with, and hope to keep contact with you.' Steven Kocsis.
  • A new page which gives an editor's take on using pdfs, So what's wrong with PDFs? 'If you need your file to be edited, PDF is not the ideal format; in fact, it is practically the worst format you can choose. Why? Precisely because PDFs are designed not to be tampered with or changed. When you stop to think about it, editing is no more or less than a process of changing - and correcting - your file...'
  • My Say gives writers a chance to air their views about writing and the writer's life. So we have Natasha Mostert on typing 'The End', Mary Garden on writers' block, Timothy Hallinan on The Writing Session and Dominae Primus on WritersServices. Other contributions to the series.
  • Do you have something to say? Contributions should ideally be 200 to 400 words in length and of general interest. Please email them to us.
  • Our links: "There's just no other substitute for the amount of work and creativity that goes into a book," said Matt Thunell, v-p of original series at Netflix, The Netflix Literary Connection; why the genre retains its outsider status; 'It drives writers mad': why are authors still sniffy about sci-fi? | Books | The Guardian; does the hunger for new authors mean some publishers were no longer spending enough time building enduring relationships with their existing list? Authors told to write under pseudonyms to fuel debut obsession, claims Harris | The Bookseller; and fans of the show and novels are still wondering when George R.R. Martin will finally release the series' sixth book, Game of Thrones Books: Why Winds of Winter Isn't Coming Soon | Fortune.
  • Our new page Copy editing services covers our six services working on writers' manuscripts, a range which includes our top of the range Writer's Edit and English Language Editing. We have just introduced free samples and free short written assessments on most of these services, which are provided by our skilled professional editors. We are transparent about our rates and our high quality copy editing services are also very good value.
  • More links: from a writer with 'a very structured and disciplined writing routine', Cecelia Ahern on How She Writes a Novel a Year | Literary Hub; the traditional advice for aspiring novelists is to write about what you know, but what about Writing about what you don't know; I read somewhere that you need to write a million words before you know what you're doing, Five Writing Tips from Tana French; and helping you to choose who to go with, DIY: How to Self-Publish an E-book.
  • Here's a detailed article on how to prepare Your submission package - 'Given the difficulty of getting agents and publishers to take on your work, it's really important to make sure that you present it in the best possible way. Less is more, so don't send a full manuscript, as it's very unlikely to be read. Far better to tempt them with a submission package that will leave them wanting to see the rest of the manuscript...'
  • 'It's a feeling of happiness that knocks me clean out of adjectives. I think sometimes that the best reason for writing novels is to experience those four and a half hours after you write the final word.' Zadie Smith in our Writers' Quotes.

8 April 2019 - What's new

April 2019
  • 'Whatever happened to me in my life, happened to me as a writer of plays. I'd fall in love, or fall in lust. And at the height of my passion, I would think, 'So this is how it feels,' and I would tie it up in pretty words. I watched my life as if it were happening to someone else...' Neil Gaiman, author of Adventures in the Screen Trade, American Gods, Neverwhere, The Sandman: Book of Dreams and 41 other books. Our Comment.
  • We've just relaunched our English Language Editing service, formerly Translation editing. This is a polishing service for writers writing in English who are not native English speakers. If you've written your work in English but it is not your native language, or you've translated your work into English, you might need to make sure it's good enough to publish, or send to a publisher. Our service will make sure the English is perfect.
  • How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth). 'If your English is good enough, what about writing it in English or translating your book into English yourself, and then getting your translation polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker? The result should be a publishable manuscript at a relatively low cost, ready for you to publish or submit to publishers. This genuinely opens up a whole range of possibilities to authors who want to get their book out in English but can't afford the considerable cost of employing a translator.
  • The fiction part of The Booklife Prize 2019 is open to authors from all over the world with unpublished or self-published novels in 5 categories. Entry fee $99. The Grand Prize is $5,000 and 5 category finalists will win a social media marketing package from BookBaby worth $1,000. All submissons get a free critique.
  • How to market your writing services online is a useful article from Joanne PhillipsUK-based freelance writer and ghostwriter. She has had articles published in national writing magazines, and has ghostwritten books on subjects as diverse as hairdressing and keeping chickens. Visit her at www.joannephillips.co.uk about selling yourself as a writer. 'Recently someone commented to me that I seem to be doing a pretty good job of promoting my writing services on the internet. I was touched by the observation - we writers get so many rejections that a little praise is especially gratifying. And I began to wonder - what does it take to market yourself successfully as a jobbing writer today?...'
  • Our links: finishing a book is a monumental accomplishment, and for some authors, deciding to self-publish is not simple, Self-Publish Like a Pro: Setting Goals for Your Book and Career; "Online piracy of books, music, and other expressions of the human spirit needs to be properly understood: it's an offence against moral justice," Philip Pullman leads call for UK government action on ebook piracy | Books | The Guardian; all the good advice in the world doesn't matter if the writer isn't ready, and I wish someone would have said to me, "It's okay you're not ready now. You'll get there in your own time." When You're Just Not Ready for Rejection | Jane Friedman; and the Atlantic assured us that "far from ‘going extinct,' as it was once predicted, poems are viral, vital-and invincible," What Happens When Verse Goes Viral?
  • Authors often find it difficult to write their own synopsis for submission to publishers, which is where our Synopsis-writing service can help. If you're preparing to self-publish and having difficulty with your blurb, our Blurb-writing service from a professional copy-writer will make your book stand out.
  • More links: the subtext of the event was clear: it was not just a celebration of romance novels, but a celebration of diversity, Fifty shades of white: the long fight against racism in romance novels | Books | The Guardian; how to tackle poor literacy, Reaching one community at a time; the nature of legally binding agreements is the same, 3 Types of Contracts Every Writer Should Understand | Jane Friedman; and bringing authors to a worldwide audience, Publishers Form Partnership to Promote African Children's Book Authors.
  • From our Writers' Quotes 'I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly.' from Edgar Rice Burroughs.

1 April 2019 - What's new

April 2019
  • New on the site and written exclusively for WritersServices - Trident Media Group Literary Agent Mark Gottlieb explains how literary agencies work. It's no surprise that they do a lot more than you think and that they bring a lot of expertise in a range of different areas to bear on behalf of their authors. How Literary Agents Work.
  • Working with an agent explains how to get the best out of the relationship with your agent: 'It can be hard work finding an agent to represent you. Make sure though that, when you set up the relationship, you do so in a professional manner Don't let your eagerness to find representation mean that things are left vague. You will be depending on the agent to process all your income from the books they sell, so you need to have a written record of your arrangement, preferably a contract...'
  • 'It may be exaggerating to say that all completely successful short stories, especially fantastic stories, are products of neurosis, nightmares or hallucination neutralized through objectification and translated to a medium outside the neurotic terrain...' Our Comment is from Julio Cortázar, Argentinian author of Hopscotch, A Manual for Manuel and 4 other novels, as well as 11 short story collections.
  • If you are trying to get your work into shape for publication, or for self-publishing, there's plenty of advice on the WritersServices website which you may find useful. Advice for Writers provides a summary.
  • Writers' stories - they're just a bit of fun, but in a rare moment of inspiration we wrote some fictionalised stories of how the services could turn out to give you a better idea of how they might work for you. Joe's fantasy novel benefited from some professional editing, when he signed up for an Editor's Report Plus. Tony needed Copy editing to get his manuscript into shape for publication or self-publishing.
  • Our links: Nora Roberts is one of the world's most popular authors. She's written more than 200 novels, tackled topics from romance to murder and sold more than 500m books around the world. And now she's really, really angry, Plagiarism, ‘book-stuffing', clickfarms ... the rotten side of self-publishing | Books | The Guardian; I think we all can agree that mysteries are hard to write, Soap Operas Taught Me How To Write Crime Fiction | CrimeReads; sharing this publicly, even as the author of a book about our emotional relationship with money, was initially petrifying, I was paid £12,500 to write my book. Here's why I'm revealing that | Alex Holder | Books | The Guardian; and (a slightly dull piece but with some useful figures and an upbeat message), A Profitable Year for Trade Publishers.
  • As well as our highly-regarded Copy editing service, which will help you prepare your manuscript for submission or self-publishing, we have Manuscript Polishing, which provides a higher-level polishing service, Translation editing for those for whom English is not a native language, our new Writer's edit, providing line-editing, and Proof-reading. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs. Our low-cost services represent exceptionally good value. Contact us to discuss what you want.
  • More links: with our offices in the city, we couldn't resist this affectionate piece, 5 Reasons a Writer Should Move to London | Literary Hub; when the claim is that 55% of YA is bought by adults, Do Teens Get Pushed Out of YA Books When It's Called A Genre? For a children's favourite, the 25th book, 25 years, 100th story, Francesca Simon on 25 years of Horrid Henry | The Bookseller; and eight years as a corporate lawyer and then True Romance: An Indie Success Story.
  • Why has your manuscript been rejected? It is demoralising to get your manuscript rejected by publishers or agents. To put it into perspective, you may find it helpful to go through some of the reasons why this happens and to see what we suggest you can do about it. Avoid rejection.
  • 'You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.' Octavia E Butler in our Writers' Quotes.