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What's New in 2018

October 2018

29 October 2018 - What's new

October 2018
  • ‘I couldn't believe they'd built something that had come out of my brain on that scale. It was really mid-blowing - and humbling. I thought, there are hundreds of people who've done this from me just writing something in my bedroom...' From helping out on Netflix's The Crown, Mika Watkins has more recently been overseeing Origin, her own blockbuster YouTube series with a multimillion budget, launching on 14 November. Our Comment is from the Observer.
  • Our new page Copy editing services covers our six services working on writers' manuscripts, a range which includes our top of the range Writer's Edit and Translation editing. We have just introduced free samples and free short written assessments on most of these services, which are provided by our skilled professional editors. We are transparent about our rates and our high quality copy editing services are also very good value.
  • If You're a YA writer, you've got until 30 November to enter the Urban YA competition. It's open to any writer living in the UK, agented or without an agent, for a first YA novel. No entry fee. The prizes are £1,000 and possible publication by Everything with Words.
  • For anyone thinking about or embarked on self-publishing, our ten-part WritersServices Self-Publishing Guide by 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 www.joannephillips.co.uk is an essential starting-point, taking you through the process step-by-step. 'Indie authors access the same professional services as traditional publishing houses. They employ freelance editors, proofreaders and cover designers. They have their work professionally formatted for ebooks and typeset for print. They may use service providers to manage some or all of the publishing tasks, or they may go it alone...' Articles include Choose Your Self-publishing Route and Marketing and Promotion for Indie Authors: Online.
  • This week's links: sales of US adult fiction fell 16% between 2013 and 2017, What's the Matter with Fiction Sales? In an unusual move, the groundbreaking comics author has bequeathed his fantasy universe to a new generation of writers, Bigger dreams: how Neil Gaiman's Sandman universe is expanding | Books | The Guardian; "Writing was always my way to make sense of the world." From Self-Published to Mainstream: An Indie Success Story; and if you've got a great book idea, or maybe a completed manuscript, and are ready to get someone to represent it, DIY: How to Pitch an Agent.
  • Over the years there's been an explosion in sales and confidence affecting children's books. With our specialist children's services we can help you get your children's or YA book ready for publication or self-publishing. Do you want to know if it has real commercial potential? Or are you planning to self-publish? Get some expert editorial input on your work. Children's editorial services.
  • More links: from the self-publishing guru, a roundup to help however you're planning to publish your book, Marketing Advice Roundup: Best of the Last Year | Jane Friedman; from a veteran publisher, how is it that publishers rarely go broke? Richard Charkin: How Do We Measure Commercial Success in Books? Tim Gutteridge, a British translator based in Spain, has suggested that criticising a translation for plain errors is hardly a crime - language competence lies at the core of translation, does it not? Why Translation Deserves Scrutiny | by Tim Parks | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books; for conoisseurs of the truly odd, the shortlist for the 40th Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year, The Diagram Prize 2018 shortlist revealed | The Bookseller.
  • From a really dedicated writer: 'I never want to see anyone, and I never want to go anywhere or do anything. I just want to write.' P G Wodehouse in our Writers' Quotes.
  • If quotes are your thing we have a large collection in our Archive, More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.

22 October 2018 - What's new

October 2018
  • ‘Whenever I talk to kids about writing and tell them it's the rewriting I enjoy most, they groan. I guess if you're in school, rewriting means copying your papers over. But to me, rewriting is the most exciting part of the process. When I'm rewriting, I feel most creative. I've got all the pieces to the puzzle and now I get to put them together. I go through four or five drafts of each book...' Judy Blume, author of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Wifey, Forever and 29 other books. Our Comment.
  • Are you thinking of submitting your book to an agent? Try our Finding an Agent page or Your Submission package. Our Submission critique service may also help, as it's essential to get your package into the best possible shape before you start submitting.
  • My Say gives writers a chance to air their views about writing and the writer's life. So we have Lynda Finn about the isolation of New Zealand writers and their problems with getting published, British author Eliza Graham, author of Playing with the Moon, on her route to publication and Zoe Jenny, who is Swiss, on writing in English and why it was liberating. Send us your contributions, ideally 200 to 400 words in length and of general interest. Please email them to us.
  • Our links: the enterprise of writing a book has to feel like walking into a cathedral, Writing Tips from Barbara Kingsolver; Indie publishing has gone through the roof, but what does this mean for you? Indie Author Beware; before becoming a writer in my 70s, I had several overlapping careers, now it's non-fiction writer, Writing books - my third career; and a Booker winner which was not expected to be a good seller, but now the total number of copies of Milkman in print is 180,000! Booker winner Milkman defies 'challenging' reputation to become bestseller | Books | The Guardian.
  • Do you want some help with your writing but don't quite know what you want - or even if you need any help? Are you a bit puzzled by the various services on offer, and not sure what to go for? Choosing a service can help you work out which service is right for you.
  • Advice for Writers is a really useful page which takes you into our archive and helps you explore our 6,500 pages of information for writers.
  • More links: sobering reading but an essential update, Brexit - what might change, what won't? The social media network's easy-to-use and relatively inexpensive advertising platform can be a useful resource for self-published authors, DIY: Twitter Ads for Indie Authors; offering the village of Mphako a collection of brand new, carefully selected books for the library, including many children's books, Bringing books where there were none; and reading great fiction is the first and most important thing I tell my students about writing, 5 Story Collections That Will Make You a Better Writer, Picked by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah.
  • If you need to get your material typed up, but can't face doing the job yourself, Typing manuscripts is a service for writers who have an old or handwritten manuscript or audio tapes, which need typing before they can proceed with reworking, submission or publication.
  • 'One of my standard - and fairly true - responses to the question as to how story ideas come to me is that story ideas only come to me for short stories. With longer fiction, it is a character (or characters) coming to visit, and I am then obliged to collaborate with him/her/it/them in creating the story.' Roger Zelazny in our Writers' Quotes.

15 October 2018 - What's new

October 2018
  • 'So, true story... I was asked once during a Q&A session whether I would use a ghostwriter to write my own memoir. Ha ha ha, everyone in the room laughed. Funny question. ‘But really... would you?' my questioner insisted. I thought for a moment and then came up with a surprising answer: ‘Yes!' And the reason is that if I wanted to make it a damn good read, I would need another person's perspective on my life story...' Kay Weitz, ghostwriter of 10 published memoirs with an 11th due out in 2018. Our Comment
  • From our Archive, Writing for Children: Rule Number One - Read More than You Write by Sarah Taylor-Fergusson: 'Author opinion falls into two camps on this one, with some writers maintaining that reading fiction while writing is a very bad thing. To this I might say that if you have been working for years as a published author, and you have that degree of sophistication, dexterity and confidence, then maybe sometimes yes. But for the majority of us who are not at that level...'
  • You've only got 10 days to enter the UK Poetry Society's highly prestigious National Poetry Competition! It's open to any poet from across the world aged 17 or over at the time of entering and entry fees are £7 for your first poem, and £4 per poem thereafter. Members of The Poetry SocietyLively and well-presented UK site supporting poetry with 4,000 members internationally and some thoughtful content. www.poetrysociety.org.uk can enter a second poem for free. The First Prize is £5,000 with 9 other cash prizes.
  • Other live Writing Opportunities.
  • As well as our highly-regarded Copy editing service, which will help you prepare your manuscript for submission or self-publishing, we have Manuscript Polishing, which provides a higher-level polishing service, Translation editing for those for whom English is not their native language and our new Writer's edit, providing line-editing. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs at a sensible price. Contact us to discuss what you want and take advantage of our free samples - and written assessments on most of these services.
  • Our links: a report back from this year's Book Fair, Frankfurter Buchmesse 2018 Records a Mild Increase in Attendance; a page of links to articles about the Frankfurt Book FairWorld's largest trade fair for books; held annually mid-October at Frankfurt Trade Fair, Germany; First three days exclusively for trade visitors; general public can attend last two. in Publishers WeeklyInternational news website of book publishing and bookselling including business news, reviews, bestseller lists, commentaries http://www.publishersweekly.com/, International Publishing, Book Fairs and Trade Shows, Translation, Foreign Rights, International Bestsellers; some fascinating insights into writers' approaches to their writing, How I write: Man Booker shortlist authors reveal their inspirations | Books | The Guardian; and when you're marketing what feels like your 100th thriller - as an author or for a publishing house - you might feel like you've run out of things to say, How to Write Better Marketing Copy.
  • Are you struggling to get someone to look at your poetry? Our Poetry Critique service for 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 need.
  • More links: a publisher asks: is it fair to blame editors for their authors' big, baggy novels? Booker judges shouldn't blame editors for overlong novels | Books | The Guardian; a link to the video of the author's wonderful acceptance speech for the Penn Pinter Prize, which looks at the question: 'Are you an African writer?', and is entitled 'Shut up and write', Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - PEN Pinter Prize 2018 - YouTube; and, if an indie author wants to best market herself, she's going to need to crack on and start with an author website, DIY: Building an Author Website.
  • 'The most damning revelation you can make about yourself is that you do not know what is interesting and what is not.' Kurt Vonnegut in our Writers' Quotes.

8 October 2018 - What's new

October 2018

1 October 2018 - What's new

October 2018
  • ‘One of the great joys of being an editor is sharing your enthusiasm with colleagues and seeing others really get behind a project, so I suppose that's a strength - feeling that I'm able to gather a team around a book so that it might be published in the best possible way. Editors are readers first and foremost, and when I love a book my first instinct is always to approach its acquisition and publication with that readerly passion. But of course that's not always enough. I've had to really reign that in sometimes and remind myself to always consider the market...' Sophie Jonathan, Pan MacmillanOne of largest fiction and non-fiction book publishers in UK; includes imprints of Pan, Picador and Macmillan Children’s Books/Picador senior commissioning editor, interviewed by Porter Anderson in Publishing Perspectives. Our Comment.
  • Here's an unusual writing competition, the Futurebook Story Competition, which is open to international writers of 18 or over. There's no entry fee but you need to be able to create a fresh and exciting vision of the future of the book. Prizes are: reading your story at the Futurebook conference, publication on the Pigeonhole app and a full set of novels from this year's Arthur C. Clarke shortlist. Closing 30 October.
  • Other live Opportunities.
  • Do you want some help with your writing but don't quite know what you want? Are you a bit puzzled by the various services on offer, and not sure what to go for? This article will show you how to work out which is the right editorial service for you. Choosing a service. Alternatively, email us and we'll do our best to help.
  • Our links: however long it takes you to get the initial version down, there is always more work to be done, Reasons to Rewrite | Samantha Tonge; Orwell advised cutting as many words as possible, Woolf found energy in verbs, and Baldwin aimed for ‘a sentence as clean as a bone', How to write the perfect sentence | Books | The Guardian; unusual author marketing, but did it work? Pre-Publication Marketing: A Van Tour to Bookstores | Jane Friedman; and are bookstores engaging with their communities by stocking self-published titles by local writers? The Indie Author - Indie Bookseller Relationship Warms Up.
  • Bob's Journal is a long-running column from writer Bob Ritchie described by fellow EastEnders script-writer Pippa McCarthy: 'Just discovered your web page... I've just spent the last hour crying with laughter with periodic yelps of 'been there!'... I'm going to make my entire family read your diary. Then perhaps they will understand own bizarre behaviour every time I start a script... Anyway, will shut up now but just wanted to say you have cheered me up no end. It's brilliant.'
  • 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: we missed this earlier in the year, but it's good to know that short story anthologies are enjoying a boom in sales, rising by almost 50% in value, to reach their highest level in seven years, Sales of short story collections surge | The Bookseller; staring at the black computer screen, blinking occasionally-staring and blinking, staring and blinking, until the cursor starts to blink back and you have to go to bed for a while, Is It Real? 25 Famous Writers on Writer's Block | Literary Hub; fantastic new study about how children connect with poetry, Poetry 'more popular with children on free school meals', finds NLT | The Bookseller; and with nearly 2 million followers across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, this poet/novelist has sold over a million copies of her books, A Modern Poet: PW Talks with Lang Leav.
  • Do you need advice on how to deal with your publishing contract? Writers who are not represented by an agent may feel that they need professional advice on their publisher's contracts, which many authors find mystifying. Our Contract vetting service will give you an authoritative overview of your contract from a publishing contracts expert
  • 'It is my contention that a really great novel is made with a knife and not a pen. A novelist must have the intestinal fortitude to cut out even the most brilliant passage so long as it doesn't advance the story.' Frank Yerby in our Writers' Quotes.