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What's New in 2019

November 2019

25 November 2019 - What's new

November 2019
  • Do genre writers receive adequate respect from the literary establishment? ‘Everything's upside down. They assume that to do something that appeals to a huge audience is somehow easier than to do something that appeals to a tiny audience. Because we do a book a year people think you just crank a handle and out it comes. All my peers are smart, intelligent, well-informed, interested in the world; everybody puts in a huge amount of effort. It's not easy to do. This peculiar assumption that it is needs to be laid to rest. As Henry James said, "Easy reading is hard writing."' Lee Child, author of 36 novels, including the highly successful Jack Reacher series and ranging from Blue Moon to Killing Floor, in The Times magazine. Our Comment.
  • From 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!'
  • Wicked Young Writers 2020 is open to 5-25 year-old writers in the UK. There's no entry fee. Each winner gets four tickets to see the London production of WICKED at the Apollo Victoria Theatre + meet cast members after the show along with an exclusive backstage tour and £50 worth of books/eBooks tokens to spend. Closing 2 March.
  • For anyone thinking about or embarked on self-publishing, our ten-part WritersServices Self-Publishing Guide - also by Joanne Phillips - 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.
  • Our links: after 20 years of writing, my first novel finally entered the world in August of 2019, Lessons: The Less-Traveled Road to Getting a Book Published - The Millions; "All money made by the band goes back to the band", Advice for Women with Book Advances; in Australia indigenous literature has been one of the top-performing categories for local booksellers in 2019, Indigenous books going global as local, international sellers notice spike; and - how things have changed - until the 2010s, if you were reading, it generally meant you weren't doing it online, What Tweets and Emojis Did to the Novel - The New York Times.
  • Last year we launched the Writer's edit, a top-level new service for writers who want line-editing as well as copy editing. Does your manuscript need high-level input from an editor to help you get it into the best possible shape for submission or self-publishing? This may be the service for you, offering the kind of editing which publishers' senior editors used to do in-house on their authors' manuscripts and which is now hard to find. Our other copy editing services.
  • More links: Lady Oracle is both the title of a Margaret Atwood novel (1976, very funny) and the author's unofficial epithet, Margaret Atwood on the Relevance of The Handmaid's Tale; his first title was Unreliable Memoirs - it was an immediate bestseller and went on to sell over a million copies, Clive James dies at 80; a last poetry book will come next year | The Bookseller; a story of copyright and licensing infringement that sheds light on the exploitative nature of one of Egypt's most respected publishers, Naguib Mahfouz's Daughter Fights to Preserve Her Father's Legacy | Literary Hub; and my writing has always been a part of me, much like my disability, but for a long time I kept the two things stubbornly separate, A Writer's Wheels.
  • For quotes fans we have superb collections in More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.
  • And this week, in our Writers' Quotes, from British poet Karen McCarthy Woolf: 'Poetry is a communicative art and also one that has the capacity to disrupt through its relationship with grammar, music and form.'

18 November 2019 - What's new

November 2019

11 November 2019 - What's new

November 2019

4 November 2019 - What's new

November 2019
  • ‘When the last autumn of Dickens's life was over, he continued to work through his final winter and into spring. This is how all of us writers give away the days and years and decades of our lives in exchange for stacks of paper with scratches and squiggles on them. And when Death calls, how many of us would trade all those pages, all that squandered lifetime-worth of painfully achieved scratches and squiggles, for just one more day, one more fully lived and experienced day?... ' Dan Simmons, author of 37 horror, science fiction, fantasy and historical novels and collections of short stories, including Drood, Hyperion and The Terror. Our Comment.
  • From our nineteen-part Inside Publishing series, you can read up on Advances and royalties: 'Publishers usually offer to pay authors advances against royalties. How do you work out how much money you might earn from your book? You need to understand for yourself how advances and royalties work and what they mean for you...'
  • From the same series, Copy editing and proof-reading explains the difference between the two: 'Proof-reading is a separate activity from copy editing and should always be done afterwards as part of a final check that the text is in good order. Traditionally, proof-reading was done at galley stage, when the text was set up in type but not yet made into pages...'
  • The Bookbrunch Selfies Awards 2020 is for self-published titles published since January 2018, and entries will be accepted from authors based in the UK who are predominantly or only self-published. There is an entrance fee of £25+VAT per title, and all those submitting work will receive six-month subscriptions to BookBrunch. The winners will get £1,000 in each category and other prizes.
  • WritersServices can provide a range of services working on your manuscript, to help you get it ready for submission or self-publishing. We are UK-based, offer exceptional value and our skilled professional editors have been working on writers' manuscripts for 17 years. We have just introduced free samples and free assessments on most of these services, please see the individual service page. Copy editing services.
  • Our links: Jane Friedman argues that the secret to selling a book is understanding its readers and how to deliver on their expectations, No Clear Readership, No Clear Sales; what's behind our heightened connection with children's books? Why the books we read as children are the ones that shape our psyche | Books | The Guardian; book publishing has changed dramatically over the last twenty years, Intellectual Property: The Big Picture for Authors | Jane Friedman; and how do you tackle writers block? I don't believe in writer's block, Bernardine Evaristo on the Illusion of Writer's Block | Literary Hub.
  • Why your book contract needs vetting - 'You are a first-time author without an agent and you receive a contract to publish your book - just how do you evaluate it? Is it fair or biased against the author by prevailing industry standards? Is your publisher looking out for your interests as well as his own - or wording the clauses in a way only advantageous to the company? Would you, for example, know which rights to grant - for how long and on what terms...' Our contracts expert on why contract vetting is essential if you don't have an agent.
  • More links: should only writers from marginalized backgrounds tell stories about people who share their cultural histories? Who Gave You the Right to Tell That Story? What interests me most is that I think the different eco-systems within publishing are settling down somewhat, Questions for: John Bond; lost or found languages, Conlangers invent languages for science, pleasure-and the occasional hoax; his prison memoir I Will Never See the World Again, was longlisted for the £50,000 Baillie Gifford prize in September, Jailed Turkish author Ahmet Altan freed after three years | Books | The Guardian.
  • 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.
  • 'It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.' P D James in our Writers' Quotes.