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18 March 2024 - What's new

18 March 2024

  • 'The creative process is open to all. I don't believe in some magical creative gift, the exclusive possession of a few, nor need it concern big or sophisticated ideas. On the contrary, creativity may depend upon the recognition that our own thoughts and ideas are as valid as anyone else's; something which we knew as children, and which we were taught to unlearn. Our confidence in our ability to create is thus often undermined in our early lives, when we tend to believe what we are told... A book that gets backed is one that sells a lot. As publishers get bigger and more powerful, they become more like supermarkets, and are much more interested in a lot of books by one person. It totally makes sense. But the problem is that our children are all different, so they're not all going to like the same kind of book...' Lauren Child, prolific children's author, former UK Children's Laureate, and the author of 12 Charlie and Lola books, 6 Clarence Bean books, 6 Ruby Redfort books, 6 Hubert Horatio books and 10 other children's books, in Bookbrunch.
  • Ask the Editor 10: Writing your blurb or cover copy is the new article in this series. 'It's not a pretty word, 'blurb'; it smacks of nonsense, or slightly less than entirely honest marketing. Which is unfortunate, because a blurb is a useful and necessary thing; without it, your book is at risk of being a blank text, what you might call a closed book. In this article, I will look at what makes a good blurb and how to go about writing one; and we will consider the difficulties for authors in writing such material...'
  • If you're looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one of our three reports would suit you best? Which Report? includes our latest top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found that this detail helps them to get their book right. Through our specialist children's editors we can offer reports on children's books.
  • Links to writers' stories: 'I theorize that we writers return to the same themes again and again, whether we try to or not', A Writer's Themes: Why and How Do They Keep Returning? ‹ CrimeReads; when people first meet authors, they always ask the same question - how did you get started in this business? Lisa Gardner: 10 Lessons I Learned in 30 Years of Writing Suspense ‹ CrimeReads; as BookTok goes, so goes publishing, ACOTAR: How Sarah J. Maas became romantasy's reigning queen - Vox; no one but her husband knew she'd started writing a novel, My First Thriller: Mary Kubica ‹ CrimeReads; the rise of the unreliable narrator in fiction has made a huge success of some bestsellers, Trust No One: Unreliable Narrators vs. Unreliable Secondary Characters ‹ CrimeReads; and on writing American characters realistically when English is your second language, Writing with a Mask: Language and Authenticity In Literature ‹ CrimeReads.
  • So you want to write fantasy or science fiction? You are in good company, as many of the writers who come to WritersServices are writing fantasy, with science fiction as a less popular choice. Science fiction was an important category during much of the twentieth century, with a growing cult audience, until it was overtaken by fantasy. It's often seen as more cerebral, a way of trying out new ideas of the future or other worlds. These days there's a relatively small demand for new science fiction writing, and you have to have a distinctive voice and something interesting to say to stand much chance of getting published. Writing science fiction and fantasy
  • Other titles in the Genre Writing series: Writing crime fiction, Writing romance, Writing non-fiction, Writing historical fiction and Writing memoir and autobiography.
  • How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth) asks writers who are not native English speakers with a manuscript which needs polishing or translating: 'If your English is good enough, what about translating your book yourself or writing in English, and then getting your work polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker?' This could be a cost-effective way of reaching the international English-speaking market.
  • Our English Language Editing Service is specially designed to help non-native speakers of English to find success in the international publishing market. With the rapid rise of English as a world language, an increasing number of authors who are not native English speakers, or who speak English as a second language, are writing in English. If English is not your native language, you may require extra help to take your work to a professional standard. Our specialist editors have years of experience working with authors writing in English as a second language. We can help you to bring your work to a native level of fluency, and a professional level of excellence.
  • From our Endorsements page: 'I'd like to thank you so much for the reports on my work... I'm going to read the reports over and over, take the time to think and plan, and you can be sure you'll receive the revision a year from now, maybe less. You offer an excellent service for a very fair cost, and I'm grateful to have found you.' Bill Neenan
  • Links relating to an apparently very lively London Book Fair: commerce is good for the international book business at the 2024 London Book Fair, London Book Fair 2024: Big Crowds and Tech Talk as the Fair Kicks Off; "I think it's been the most exciting London Book Fair at least since Covid, if not before that", London Book Fair 2024: Many Faces, Old and New; a thought-provoking panel discussion on audiobook developments, London Book Fair 2024: The State of Audiobooks, From AI to Ads; "We don't understand the consequences of AI with regards to copyright", London Book Fair 2024: Trust, Innovation, and the Freedom to Publish; with English as a shared language, there is a natural relationship between the American and British publishing industries, U.K. Publishing Spotlight: Building Bridges Between the U.K. and U.S. Book Businesses; and the view from this side of the Big Pond, U.K. Publishing Spotlight: Why the Publishers Association Sees the U.K. and U.S. as Friendly Rivals.
  • This week's competition is a new one - the Fern Academy Prize for essays is open to unpublished and unagented writers writing in English from around the world and there are no entry fees. The winner gets a prize of £3,000, publication with Tortoise Media, literary representation by RCW literary agent Laurence Laluyaux and other prizes. Closes 23 April.
  • Top Ten Tips for Nonfiction Writers from Julie Wheelwright, Programme Director, MA Creative Writing Nonfiction, City University, London: 'Story, story, story. Make sure that your story can sustain several chapters and tens of thousands of words. Keep asking yourself: Why would anyone want to read this story? Show rather than tell. With narrative nonfiction writing you should have plenty of opportunities to develop drama...'
  • From Tom Chalmers, formerly of IPR, two articles about rights for self-publishers, Self-publishing - the rights way and How to get your book in the hands of an international audience. 'It's a fact that most self-published authors understand the process that takes them from a written manuscript to a published book, but few realise the additional elements that make publishing a profitable business. Rights licensing is arguably the most vital element in this equation. Whether it's selling translation rights, audio rights or optioning the film rights, these all help balance the book's books...'
  • More links from the publishing world: if you read the recently unsealed materials from the federal antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, you'll see why the company wanted to keep them under wraps; Amazon's Big Secret - The Atlantic; some of their books had zero sales, Fake Books Are a Real Problem, but a Solution May Be Near; Nadim Sadek argues that effective advertising is now feasible for everyone, and for all kinds of titles, How new advertising models can release value in publishing; and a new US start-up offers enviable royalties - for those who can afford to sign up, The Bookseller - Comment - Is this the equity authors need?
  • Do you want to self-publish your work? WritersServices offers a suite of services which help writers get their work into shape before they self-publish. Get your manuscript ready for publication - Services for Self-publishers.
  • Are you struggling to get someone to look at your poetry? Our Poetry Critique service for up to 150 lines of poetry can help. Our Poetry Collection Editing, unique to WritersServices, edits your collection to prepare it for submission or self-publishing. Both can provide the professional editorial input you may feel you need.
  • 'I was trained by poetry where you can just write ambience and atmosphere. But in a novel, if there's not a story that people are interested in, with characters that they care about, they'll close the book.' Dan Magers in our Writers' Quotes.