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25 August 2014 - What's new

25 August 2014
  • This week: why your book contract needs vetting, News Review on open submissions, writing opportunity The Big Idea and the link to an article on whether TV writers as such exist any more.
  • 'It looks as if open submissions are here to stay. Publishers, having for many years tried to stem the tide of unsolicited submissions, are now openly soliciting them within a time-limited and often genre- specific framework. Some publishers have always worked this way. Harlequin Mills and Boon has been an example, encouraging unsolicited manuscripts in specific sub-genres of romance and going to some pains to encourage authors to send in what they were looking for to add to each of their lists. But most publishers have made it clear that they will not accept unsolicited submissions...' Our News Review this week is entitled Open submissions give writers a chance
  • If you're a UK resident of 13 or over, you've got until 2nd September to enter this week's Writing Opportunity, The Big Idea, for a chance to win £1,000 plus the opportunity to see your idea come to life, with one overall winner offered the prize of a publishing contract and the promise of their idea being nurtured, developed and written by a well-known author.
  • 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.
  • For an overview of our nineteen services, which range from Editor's Report to Copy editing, from Submission Critique to Blurb-writing, try Which service?
  • In response to one commentator, Melanie A, who said the "publishing business is corrupt, sick and almost dead", Child stated: "When you say the publishing business is corrupt, sick, and almost dead, you're completely wrong. Yes, it's cautious and careful, as a result of the recession you mention, and the changing entertainment environment you note, and contracts are certainly stricter, but it's vibrant, optimistic, profitable, energetic, full of very smart people, most of them young, most of them women, and I find it a very pleasant place to work (but then, I came from television.) Lee Child, author of 19 Jack Reacher novels, including Personal, after appearing on UK's Newsnight TV programme, quoted in our Comment column.
  • Our Tips for writers series is a succinct but useful 8-part series which starts with Improve your writing and ends with Submission to agents and publishers.
  • Our links this week: no-one really writes for TV any more, Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society - A TV writer? What's that?; the real lowdown on book tours, Dumps and Death Threats, Hecklers and Vindication: True Tales from Today's DIY Book Tour - The Daily Beast; crowd-funding arrives in the book world, Publishers Turn to the Crowd to Find the Next Best Seller -; how to use publishing's secret weapon, What is Your Book Community? | Publishing Perspectives; and what price film adaptations of novels, The Hunger Games vs. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo | Publishing Perspectives.
  • 'Confronted by an absolutely infuriating review it is sometimes helpful for the victim to do a little personal research on the critic. Is there any truth to the rumor that he had no formal education beyond the age of eleven? In any event, is he able to construct a simple English sentence? Do his participles dangle? When moved to lyricism does he write "I had a fun time"? Jean Kerr in our Writers' Quotes.