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What's New in 2018

July 2018

30 July 2018 - What's new

July 2018

16 July 2018 - What's new

July 2018
  • ‘You must dedicate yourself to keeping a journal. When I look into my own journals, what fascinates me most about what was going on in my life 30 years ago are the things that we would consider the most mundane. What was I reading, who was I talking to, what were the main subjects of conversation...' Ian McEwan, author of 22 books including The Child in Time, Amsterdam and Atonement in an interview in Signature provides this week's Comment.
  • The Gingko Prize for Ecopoetry closes on 15 August and is open to all with an entry fee. The first prize is £5,000, second prize £2,000 and third prize £1,000.
  • From our 19-part Inside Publishing series, Subsidiary Rights: 'My first job in publishing was in a subsidiary rights department. I'm ashamed to admit that I accepted the job without having much idea what subsidiary rights were. Many writers may feel just as vague about this part of publishing, so here's a quick breakdown...' and Vanity Publishing: 'It is natural for writers to be eager to get published but it pays to be wary of the vanity publishers who will take your money and give you very little in return...' Vanity publishing is quite distinct from Self-publishing, you need to be aware of the differences.
  • If you're planning to submit to agents, you'll want to get your submission package into good shape before getting started, to give your book its best chance.
  • Our links: an extraordinary increase in sales by 5% to £5.7bn, driven by a growth in export sales which now account for 60% of the total, British publishing breaks revenue records but textbook sales are hit | The Bookseller; but what about the authors, Book sales boom but authors report shrinking incomes | Books | The Guardian; disturbing new figures show that 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year, Reading books is on the decline; how to attract lots of visitors, gain tons of subscribers and even make some money on your services and products, How to Create Your Best Blogging Year - How to Blog a Book; and stories that tackle with elegant simplicity such complexities as uncertainty, loneliness, loss, and the cycle of life, E.B. White on How to Write for Children and the Writer's Responsibility to All Readers - Brain Pickings.
  • '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: how self-publishing poets controlled the look and feel of their books and were able to get their book into the hands of their followers faster than with traditional publishing, How to Self-Publish a Poetry Book - 10 Steps | Blurb Blog; twenty-eight million American adults read poetry this year, How young writers are leading a poetry comeback | PBS NewsHour; and how giant, corporate publishers with racketeering business practices and profit margins that exceed Apple's treat life-saving research, Academic publishing is broken. Here's how to redesign it.
  • 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 a brief guide to the essentials your self-publishing business needs - because it is a business, even if you only publish one book!'
  • From our Writers' Quotes: 'An essential element for good writing is a good ear: One must listen to the sound of one's own prose.' Barbara Tuchman

9 July 2018 - What's new

July 2018
  • ‘A bestseller might be read by hundreds of thousands of people, but Apple Tree Yard on TV reached 8 million people per episode - one of the few occasions when an author can become part of the national conversation. But writing a good book on its own is not enough - it needs to be a lucky book. Apple Tree Yard was a lucky book, lucky on several levels. Lucky in being published by Faber & Faber, who did the most amazing job even before the glamour of TV. Then it was lucky again as the rights were optioned by Kudos TV and lucky a third time when they sold the adaptation in a brilliant version by Amanda Coe to BBC1...' Louise Doughty, author of Apple Tree Yard, Black Water and six other novels provides our Comment in a speech at the UK Publishers Association Summer Reception in the Terrace Pavilion in the House of Commons, London.
  • Teenage poets have two more weeks to enter the world's best poetry competition for young people, the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2018, which is open to all 13-17 year-olds worldwide. There's no entry fee and the top 15 winners win mentoring and a life-changing residential writing course. This fabulous competition for young poets closes on 31 July.
  • Our 19 Factsheets from the legendary Michael Legat are full of tips for the new writer or anyone who is trying to get their book published. From Literary agents to Copyright, from Libel to Submissions, this series is full of essential background information.
  • The March Magazine links you to some interesting online articles: 8 Writing Tips from Jeff Vandermeer; When do you need an agent? A novelist reveals all; Complete Fiction: Why 'the short Story renaissance is a myth' and Will Self: 'The novel is absolutely doomed'and many past News Reviews and Comments.
  • Which service should I choose to help me get my work into good shape for submission or self-publishing? This is the question our page Which service? answers and it then goes on to give a quick rundown on our 20 editorial services for writers, which we think is the biggest and most comprehensive you can find on the internet.
  • Our links: an authoritative and thorough look at the subject, Author Income Surveys Are Misleading and Flawed-And Focus on the Wrong Message for Writers | Jane Friedman; it's gratifying to see that books work best for the movies, Films based on books take 44% more at the box office | The Bookseller; from the bestselling author of Gone Girl, Sharp Objects writer Gillian Flynn on why she wants to show recognisable women - BBC News; and a whole article on Vonnegut's 'transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing', On Semicolons and the Rules of Writing - The Millions.
  • Writing Biography & Autobiography is a serialisation from our Archives of the book by Brian D Osborne published by A & C BlackClick for A & C Black Publishers Publishers References listing. In the first excerpt, Managing the matters of truth and objectivity, the author says: 'Just as you need to remember that letters, reports, census forms, legal documents and so forth were not created simply for our convenience, so you also need to remember that what is written in them may not be true...'
  • More links: a useful but rather dull article on the latest trends in US publishing, Print Unit Sales Rose 2% in First Half of 2018; from an author with many difficulties whose novel has gone into four printings, The Changing Face of Romance Novels - The New York Times; Have you ever considered changing genre? I hadn't before last year when the decision was taken out of my hands, Changing Genres | Samantha Tonge; and how Rebel Girls became the most funded original book in the history of crowd-funding, Why is publishing suddenly obsessed with "rebel" women?
  • Are you writing for children? Our Children's Editorial Services can help you get your work ready for publication or self-publishing. Have you found it difficult to get expert editorial input on your work ? Do you want to know if it has real commercial potential? Or are you planning to self-publish? Three reports and copy editing are available from our highly-skilled children's editors, including essential advice on age groups and vocabulary.
  • 'Talented writing makes things happen in the reader's mind - vividly, forcefully - that good writing, which stops with clarity and logic, doesn't.' Samuel Delany in our Writers' Quotes.

2 July 2018 - What's new

July 2018
  • ‘Revision is absolutely necessary. If something is easily too good to alter, thank the gods, but don't expect it to happen again. Expect, rather, that you will need to improve upon the given, to continue the imperfect formation that your initial work has produced. Which is, after all, what making the poem is all about - to take the passion and, without cooling it, to put it into a form...' Mary Oliver, from Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse. This Pulitzer Prize-winning poet has also produced four books of poetry and Devotions, a definitive collection of her work. Our Comment.
  • The Winchester Poetry Prize 2018 is open to all poets worldwide aged 16 and over and entry fees are £5 for the first poem, £4 for subsequent poems. 1st Prize £1,000, 2nd Prize £500, 3rd Prize £250. Closing 31 July.
  • A Publisher's View is our four-part series from publisher Tom Chalmers on what publishers are looking for. What a publisher wants from submissions, Judging a book by its covering letter and synopsis, Making the submission and The changing face of publishing. 'While editors may well do some later tinkering, it shouldn't be sent in unless the writer feels it is a manuscript ready for publication, in terms of both grammar and content. Lines like ‘I know it needs some work', or ‘I think it's nearly there' show admirable humility but are an immediate put-off!...'
  • The February Magazine gives a round-up of News Reviews and Comments, as well as some useful links, including DIY: Essential Elements of an Author Website, A life in quotes: Ursula K Le Guin, Where are romance novels headed given the current state of women's issues? And there's Fifteen Poets on Revision.
  • Get some professional help. If you're self-publishing, you need good quality copy for the cover. Our Blurb-writing service can provide a professionally written piece of cover copy. Submitting to agents but finding it difficult to write your own synopsis? Commission a synopsis which will present your manuscript in the best possible light for submission.
  • Our links: an author and trade journalist's view of the row, Payments to authors: advances and discount clauses; The Society of AuthorsThe British authors’ organization, with a membership of over 7,000 writers. Membership is open to those who have had a book published, or who have an offer to publish (without subsidy by the author). Offers individual specialist advice and a range of publications to its members. Has also campaigned successfully on behalf of authors in general for improved terms and established a minimum terms agreement with many publishers. Recently campaigned to get the Public Lending Right fund increased from £5 million to £7 million for the year 2002/2003. Regularly uses input from members to produce comparative surveys of publishers’ royalty payment systems. has issued a sharply worded challenge to the UK's biggest publishers after the chief executive of the Publishers Association questioned new figures, Writers and publishers trade blows over plummeting author pay levels | Books | The Guardian; in the right hands, dialogue can move things along in a way that will leave you breathless,  Ask the Editor: Writing Dialogue; and perhaps the two most famous fantasy writers of the 20th century and an enthusiastic poet on Lord of the Rings, C. S. Lewis, W. H. Auden, & Edmund Wilson on The Lord of the Rings | Book Marks.
  • Our Services for Writers, just a list of the 20 services to help you get your work ready for publication. We've been offering editing services for writers from our office in London since 2001 and have the widest and best-value range on the web. Get your work ready for publication or submission with the help of our team of skilled professional editors.
  • More links: how Melbourne author Christian White's life changed almost overnight, Australian author goes from editing porn to publishing sensation; has a US domain name and offers users free PDF or Epub downloads of many bestselling authors' books, Authors' fury at website offering free book downloads | The Bookseller; the world's self-styled premier English-language literary prize assessed by Rober McCrum, The Man Booker at 50: flawed - but still the best way to judge our literature | Books | The Guardian; and winning the 2018 Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story "Fanta Blackcurrant", Kenyan writer Onjerika scoops £10,000 Caine Prize | The Bookseller.
  • Our Printing and Publishing Glossary is a useful reference to all those arcane publishing terms.
  • 'Inside every fat book is a thin book trying to get out' from Unknown comes from our Writers' Quotes.