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20 February 2017 - What's new

20 February 2017
  • 'Coming from the tech arena is a fairly hostile view of traditional publishing, which assumes that it is dead and will shortly be totally replaced by indie publishing. But is this really what is happening at present? It doesn't seem so clear-cut...' News Review on the debate about 'The black hole of modern publishing practices'.
  • Our Comment on the same subject is from Mark Dawson, author of 24 books, including The Cleaner, his latest John Milton title, and the Isabella Rose series: ‘You have to be the writer and get the words down, then you've got to know to take off your writer's hat and put on your business hat. And this is why self-publishing is not for everybody... If you sign up to my mailing list, you get the first two books in the Milton series free - you need to shoot them a pill to get them to sign up... You want to take someone from being a customer to being a reader, then a fan and in the end you consider them friends...'
  • If you're aiming at traditional publishing, Finding an agent and Working with an agent are two practical checklists to help set up and maintain this vital relationship. 'Try to find an agency which is ‘hungry' for new clients. To keep their workload under control, an established independent agent might take on something like four new authors a year (this figure came from two agents I spoke to recently), but only to replace four departing clients. This may seem obvious, but whether or not an agent is actively looking to build their list of clients is probably the single most important factor affecting how closely they are looking at unsolicited submissions...'
  • Our January Magazine is ready, providing a  summary of new material from last month to dip into. There are some great links: Authors Licensing and Copying Society 5 Ways to Make More Money from your Books in 2017, What being an editor taught me about writing and The State of Flash Fiction.
  • Our Manuscript Polishing service is for anyone who wants additional editorial help to prepare their work for publication. Does your manuscript need polishing to get it into shape for submission or self-publishing? Our editors can polish it whilst copy editing it, and make sure it's ready for publication.
  • Our links: a literary agent reflects on the changes in the agency world, Transparency, targeting, Twitter: what it means to be a literary agent now | The Bookseller; judge Andrew Holgate reflects on different ways of judging prizes, The beauty of blind reading - The Sunday Times Short Story Awards; interesting reflections on new opportunities and making novels into games, How, and why, I'm turning The Kraken Wakes into a game | The Bookseller; and there are not many literary genres as loved and loathed as romance fiction. For all its millions of female readers for hundreds of years, it has been dismissed as sentimental, sappy and trashy, as well as mad, bad and dangerous to read, Trashy, sexist, downright dangerous? In defence of romantic fiction | Books | The Guardian.
  • The Web as a Research tool - there are some sensational research resources for writers on the web. The search engines and other directories have made these accessible. But it helps to understand a little about how they work.
  • More links: when we first got Google's virtual reality headset at my house, called the Google Daydream, I can't say I was too excited, Turning the Virtual Page: Virtual Reality and Traditional Publishing - Publishing Trends; the terrible story of a much-loved YA author who was killed for her fortune, Helen Bailey murder: Ian Stewart jailed for at least 34 years for killing author | UK news | The Guardian and Five Pieces of Good Advice for M.F.A. Students.
  • Writing - 'It's the most satisfying occupation man has discovered yet, because you never can quite do it as well as you want to, so there's always something to wake up tomorrow morning to do.' William Faulkner in our Writers' Quotes.