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16 March 2015 - What's new

16 March 2015
  • 'There's been a buzz this week around the question of authors getting paid to appear at festivals. In the UK they largely don't get paid, as they are seen as promoting their books and selling them as well. In fact many festivals get off lightly and even get the publishers to pay the authors' travel costs and accommodation. But do the book sales and publicity justify the work done by authors?...' Should writers be paid for festival appearances? is this week's News Review.
  • 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' The Business of Writing for Self-publishing authors offers terrific advice for all writers: 'Self-publishing authors - also known as ‘indie' authors or author-publishers - have had a steep learning curve these past few years. Getting to grips with the various sales channels available to them, producing top quality ebooks and paperbacks, and finding a place in mainstream outlets have left many writers struggling to keep up with the paperwork. What follows is brief guide to the essentials your self-publishing business needs - because it is a business, even if you only publish one book!'
  • ‘Speaking as a writer of genre fiction, there are few sentences that cause more irritation than "these books transcend genre", but if it has any meaning at all, it is this: because of that obvious interconnectedness between the world we inhabit and the world Pratchett invented, the Discworld novels found a readership that stretches well beyond people who would consider themselves fans of fantasy fiction. I always read - and sometimes reread - Pratchett on book tours. They are the perfect antidote to being alone and far from home... Val McDermid on Terry Pratchett in our Comment column.
  • Why your book contract needs vetting - 'You are a first-time author without an agent and you receive a contract to publish your book - just how do you evaluate it? Is it fair or biased against the author by prevailing industry standards? Is your publisher looking out for your interests as well as his own - or wording the clauses in a way only advantageous to the company? Would you, for example, know which rights to grant - for how long and on what terms..' Our contracts expert on why contract vetting is essential if you don't have an agent.
  • This week's links: Can we declare a moratorium on essays about the death of writing? The death of writing? Not again - LA Times; does Ishiguro despise genre writers? (sounds unlikely), » The Last Holdouts of the Genre Wars: on Kazuo Ishiguro, Ursula K. Le Guin, and the Misuse of Labels; and some amazing figures on the proportion of self-publishers who are women, Self-publishing lets women break book industry's glass ceiling, survey finds | Books | The Guardian.
  • And there's more: Who is most important, your agent or your publisher? Authors 'more committed to agent than publisher' | The Bookseller; how publishing has changed radically over the last few years, BookBrunch - Beware of pity; and the third year of The Brunel University African Poetry Prize, a major new poetry prize of £3000 aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa, SHORTLISTED POETS 2015 | The Brunel University African Poetry Prize.
  • Which service should I choose to help me get my work into good shape for submission or self-publishing? Writers coming to WritersServices for help with getting their work into shape for submission or self-publishing often have difficulty with working out which service they should go for. The services have been designed to suit a wide range of requirements, so whatever you want we've probably got it covered.
  • ‘What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?' Anthony Trollope in our Writers' Quotes.