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15 February 2016 - What's new

15 February 2016
  • 'A survey carried out by Booktrust in association with the Open University has found that children of 0-8 prefer reading print books, rather than ebooks. An astounding 76% showed a preference for print books for reading for pleasure and 69% prefer print books for educational reading too...' News Review
  • ‘Novelists are often asked which of their characters is them, as if imagination has no part to play. Most of us will answer that characters develop out of the need of the story itself. So my Cassie and her murderous actions are necessary in The Taxidermist's Daughter for the plot to work. She's not me, any more than is Freddie in The Winter Ghosts or Alais in Labyrinth...' Our Comment this week is from Kate Mosse, author of The Taxidermist's Daughter and Labyrinth, in the Sunday Times.
  • An Editor's Advice is a series of seven articles by one of our editors on really useful subjects for writers such as Dialogue, Manuscript presentation and Doing further drafts: 'I have just finished writing a report on a novel. I've pinpointed various areas of weakness and made various suggestions that the writer may or may not wish to follow. But the nub of the report is a recommendation that the writer produce a further draft of the novel rather than trying to submit it to a publisher now. I wonder sometimes how writers feel when they get my reports and see that recommendation...'
  • Our links: rather alarming figures about how the attention of readers decays while they are progressing through an ebook, Start Strong or Lose Your Readers | Digital Book World; the diamond anniversary of Avon Books, History and Historicals: At 75, Avon Romances the Readers - Publishing Perspectives; so are self-published books doing much better than everyone thinks, or is it an illusion, Digital Arachnid: What Does Author Earnings Say to the Industry? - Publishing Perspectives; and an interview with a bestselling author of fiction whose real love is poetry, BookBrunch - Of grief and desire: Louis de Bernières on love poetry.
  • 'Hardly any authors can copy edit their own writing. It is notoriously difficult to spot the errors in your own work. So professional copy editing does make sense, either if you are trying to give your work its best chance when submitting it or, even more crucially, if you are planning to self-publish...' Getting your manuscript copy edited
  • More links: paid reviews - is the books business a kind of temple based on our regard for literature, or just everyday commerce, Inviting Your Criticism of Criticism: The Paid Reviews Debate - Publishing Perspectives; a fascinating article about a new submission vehicle; Startup of the week: Publishizer | The Bookseller; and a dour picture of the difficulties authors are facing Down Under, Falling book prices could force authors to abandon their keyboards.
  • ‘Twenty years as a teacher, ten years in educational research and five years of directing an educational charity, and in all that time, I hadn't published any fiction or poetry at all. I'd always had a feeling that if life ever did allow me a clear run at creative writing, I might just be able to do something with it...' Bruce Harris's Writing Short Fiction: A Personal Journey is about how he worked his way towards setting up the fantastic website Writing Short Fiction. Under new management now, it's well worth visiting if you're interested in short story writing.
  • 'Perhaps it would be better not to be a writer, but if you must, then write. If all feels hopeless, if that famous 'inspiration' will not come, write. If you are a genius, you'll make your own rules, but if not - and the odds are against it - go to your desk no matter what your mood, face the icy challenge of the paper - write.' J B Priestley in our Writers' Quotes.