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20 January 2014 - What's new

20 January 2014

'As well as being the season for book industry leaders to forecast what kind of year they think we're going to have, it's also been a time when editors are looking into crystal balls. They're not coming up with many answers and most trends seem to be a continuation of what's already happening...' News Review on So what do editors want?

WritersServices Self-publishing Guide 5 looks at Cover Design Know-how: Tips from a top designer on how to make your indie cover look professional and stand out from the crowd. 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  asked designer Chris Howard for the lowdown on cover know-how, startiing with 'What makes the perfect book cover?' and going on to 'What mistakes do self-publishing authors make when designing their own covers?'

Joanne Phillips has also written a useful article on The Business of Writing: 'Writing is undoubtedly a creative art. Whether we are working on the next Booker Prize winner or ghostwriting blog posts, writers need to be original, imaginative and inspired. But writing is also a business, with invoices to raise, accounts to be submitted and records to be kept. Writers, like artists, can find themselves floundering when it comes to the 'business end' of the job. Read on for our easy-to-follow guide to the business of writing...'

This week's links to topical stories: BookBrunch - Why I self-published my business book, Erotic Romance Book Sales Still Sizzle | Publishing Perspectives, The loss leader | FutureBook, which gives a historical perspective on what's happening in the book world now, BookBrunch - Creative Writing courses - about more than simply publication and Men Don't Read Fiction? BULL! - Writing on the Ether | Porter Anderson.

‘All writers have to be readers first. When I was eight I got encephalitis and was seriously ill; I spent a year-and-a-half in bed recuperating. I ended up reading what was on my bookshelf from one end to the other, and when I finished, I went back and read them all again: I must have read the Pippi Longstocking books, The Secret Garden and the Moomin books more than 30 times.' Maggie O'Farrell, author of Instructions for a Heatwave in the Independent on Sunday, in our Comment column.

Thi week's Writing Opportunity is the 2014 Cinnamon Poetry Pamphlet Prizes, which are open to all poets, published and beginners, with 4 prizes of £150 each, and are just one of the enhanced prizes offered by this publisher for writing of all kinds.

Michael Legat's Factsheets are a series of specially commissioned information-packed Factsheets for WritersServices, which cover the essentials for writers from a former publisher, novelist and author of 12 books on writing. For a quick update on First and Last Pages,  Literary Agents or Shall I be Famous? Shall I be Rich?, and much more, this is the place to look.

'A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone's knowledge of himself and the world around him.' Dylan Thomas in our Writers' Quotes.