Skip to Content

29 January 2024 - What's new

29 January 2024
  • 'As for a tip, the one I always recommend is to set yourself a daily word count quota - mine is 1,000 words - and hit it every day you're writing. You can always write more, of course. But extra words don't count against tomorrow's quota; you have to hit it afresh every day. For example, just this morning I wrote 1,500 words, which is great. But tomorrow I'll write at least another 1,000. While it sounds simple and obvious, it takes discipline to put this into practice day after day, month after month, year after year. But if you do the results can be extraordinary...' Anthony Johnston, author of The Dogsitter Detective series, Atomic Blonde (a graphic novel), The Explosion Code and three other thrillers, and The Organised Writer in Bookbrunch.
  • 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, English Language Editing for those for whom English is not a native language, the Writer's edit, providing line-editing, and Proof-reading. The Cutting Edit and Developmental editing are two new services. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs from our professional editors. Our low-cost services represent exceptionally good value. Contact us to discuss what you want.
  • Our new series by a seasoned editor, The Pedant: how to make your editor happy, covers a range of subject-matter if you want to improve your writing and avoid common errors. The series covers Accents and dialects, Dialogue tags, The use of bold, italics and capital letters, Spoilt for choice: formats and fonts, The trouble with ‘as' and What's all the fuss over hyphens?
  • Links on writers' craft: how to build a relationship that not only leads to book sales but creates fans that stay with you for the long-term, Avoid Random Acts of Content | Jane Friedman; these days it really is possible to get published as there are multiple routes to seeing your book in the shops, How to get your book published, according to a top UK agent - The Big Issue; and you're going to succeed with non-fiction by doing podcast interviews, To Get on Podcasts, Create a Media Kit | Jane Friedman.
  • From our Endorsements page: 'I cannot thank you enough!! Your editor has worked her magic and I am delighted with the results!! Please thank her for me, I really appreciate what she has done!' Wendy White.
  • 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 service, unique to WritersServices, edits your collection to prepare it for submission or self-publishing. Both can provide the professional editorial input you need.
  • Poets are naturally keen to see their work in print but it's actually quite hard to get a first collection taken on by a publisher and self-publishing may make a lot of sense. Getting your poetry published.
  • Links about social media and online services: Spotify said: "It's early days, but we're incredibly excited about what we're seeing since launching Audiobooks in Premium in the UK, Australia and the US three months ago, The Bookseller - News - Spotify pays 'tens of millions' to audiobooks publishers with Britney Spears' memoir the most listened to; in Britain, Japanese novels in English translation are experiencing a boom in popularity among a new generation, with word-of-mouth on social media driving book sales, TikTok and YouTube fuel a Japanese literature boom in Britain - The Japan Times.
  • The Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2024 for a children's poem closes on 31 March. It is open to all poets across the world over the age of 16, as long as the poem is original and previously unpublished. Entry fee €15 per poem. The First Prize is €1,000 and a week-long stay at The Circle of Misse in France, Second Prize €500 and Third Prize €250.
  • Other Competitions which are still open.
  • If you aren't sure which service you want, Choosing a service gives you a chance to browse through what is available.
  • The My Say series gives writers a chance to write about their writing lives, so we have: My Say 7: Timothy Hallinan on the Writing Session, My Say 11 by Natasha Mostert, There are few things as satisfying as typing THE END to a manuscript and My Say 12 by Richard Hall: "Write about what you know" - does this adage always make sense? 'For those planning a contemporary novel it may be sound advice to write about what you know. But what about writers of historical novels? They cannot have personal knowledge of anything before the recent past. So for historical fiction should we take the adage to mean ‘know' in the sense of having academic knowledge of the subject, from reading and other research?...' Contributions should ideally be 300 to 500 words in length and of general interest. Please email them to us.
  • Links to writers' stories: The Mediterranean Caper was the debut novel by my father Clive Cussler, and introduced the indomitable character of Dirk Pitt, 50 Years of High Seas Adventures with Dirk Pitt ‹ CrimeReads; as it does for many, my obsession with Agatha Christie started young. I was ten or so when I picked up my first Christie, fresh off a self-prescribed course of Greek mythology, Agatha Christie's Final Mystery ‹ CrimeReads; and a murder mystery needs a detective, of course, and for Guinevere 'Gwinny' Tuffel I drew inspiration from the many amazing women, particularly older women, I've known in my life, Q&A: author Antony Johnston. (Also in this week's Comment.)
  • Are you ready to submit your synopsis and sample chapters to agents or publishers, but worried about whether you are presenting your work in the best possible way? It's dispiriting to receive rejections just because your submission package is not up to scratch. Our Submission Critique has helped many authors to improve their submission packages, helping them to get published.
  • How to prepare your prelim pages. There is a set order for the pages at the beginning of a book (known in the business as 'prelims') and you will need to send them to the designer with the rest of the manuscript for them to work on if you are self-publishing. Here we provide detailed instructions for preparing your prelim pages, according to standard publishing practice.
  • Our final set of links are from the publishing and reading world: for many parents and educators, reading aloud doesn't feel natural at all, The Bookseller - Comment - Crisis of confidence; an unabashed celebration of the bestseller, The Bookseller - Editor's Letter - Moneyball; and how publishers dealt with long Covid, The Bookseller - News - Michael Rosen and Suzie Dooré reveal Long Covid impact while publishers are praised for support.
  • 'If you are submitting your work to an agent or directly to a publishing house, check through our guidelines to give it its best chance...' Making submissions.
  • 'It can be hard work finding an agent to represent you. Make sure though that, when you set up the relationship, you do so in a professional manner Don't let your eagerness to find representation mean that things are left vague. You will be depending on the agent to process all your income from the books they sell, so you need to have a written record of your arrangement, preferably a contract...' Working with an agent
  • 'The importance of developing a daily writing habit cannot be overstated. Even if you can only spare twenty minutes daily, consistent writing is the key to honing your skills, overcoming writer's block, and unlocking your creative potential.' Keidi Keating in our Writers' Quotes