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3 July 2023 - What's new

3 July 2023
  • ‘After finishing the 1st draft of a novel, I have the characters, dialogue, scenes, and a plotline. I used to think this meant I knew where the story was going, and what the book was about. I have learned over the years, this ain't so. As I work through its 2nd draft, characters start to nudge each other. The story itself takes its first soft and shallow breath, and one could imagine he hears a little bit of a heartbeat. Passions deepen, and emotional threads start to weave through what had earlier just been little more than a sequence of events...' Edward Fahey, author of The Morning After, The Gardens of Ailana and The Soul Hides in Shadows.
  • The third new article in our Ask the Editor series is about Writing a synopsis. 'The synopsis is a strange document; it is at once the dullest, and perhaps the most important, part of the submission package. It reduces your book, your creative project, to a few lines of plain, unadorned narration; yet it allows a publisher to see the book as a whole, to get a feel for the narrative arc and the development of the plot. In this article, I will examine the synopsis, and consider some of the problems in writing it...'
  • From Tom Chalmers, formerly of IPR, two articles about rights for self-publishers, Self-publishing - the rights way and How to get your book in the hands of an international audience. 'It's a fact that most self-published authors understand the process that takes them from a written manuscript to a published book, but few realise the additional elements that make publishing a profitable business. Rights licensing is arguably the most vital element in this equation. Whether it's selling translation rights, audio rights or optioning the film rights, these all help balance the book's books...'
  • If you're intending to stick to traditional publishing, Inside Publishing on Subsidiary Rights will explain what they are: 'When an author signs a contract with a publishing house, they generally grant the publisher 'volume rights' within certain territories. This gives the publisher the right to publish the book in certain formats. The royalties relating to hardback, paperback and sometimes trade paperback (a larger paperback format) editions will be spelt out. There will be clauses in the contract covering all the other rights. These are the 'subsidiary' rights granted to publishers and can also be referred to as sub-leases.'
  • Links on the craft of writing and what you can earn from it: earnings up 50% in a year as income for self-published writers outstrips traditional publishing models, according to research, Income booms for self published authors; the most important element you need to develop for your story is a theme! How to Write a Theme for your Story - The Art of Narrative; a solid story, compelling characters, and strong writing are a great start, What Makes a Novel Stand Out on Submission? | Jane Friedman; I only allow my journalism brain and my fiction brain to communicate as little as possible, Clémence Michallon On the Ethics of Writing Violence and the Banality of Serial Killers ‹ CrimeReads; and 'I simply couldn't think of what else to write...' Writer's Block? Maybe You're Writing in the Wrong Format | Jane Friedman.
  • UK small publisher The Emma Press has an open submissions window from 1-8 August. Non-agented submissions in English from anywhere in the world are accepted. Poetry, fiction and non-fiction pamphlets can be submitted, as well as children's fiction and children's poetry. There's no entry fee. The prizes are small advances and publication by The Emma Press.
  • 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 22 editorial services for writers, which we think is the biggest and most comprehensive you can find on the internet.
  • Why has my manuscript been rejected? It is demoralising to get your manuscript rejected by publishers or agents. Here are some of the reasons why this happens and suggestions of what you can do about it. Avoiding rejection.
  • Links from the publishing world: although this is mainly about newspaper editors, it gets to the heart of the problem, The importance of editors in the age of (highly unreliable) AI | What's New in Publishing | Digital Publishing News; how the book industry can work together to be more sustainable, A Book Wide Web? The latest on the banning of books from the celebrated American author, ALA 2023: Judy Blume Offers a Rousing Defense of the Freedom to Read; and social media is encouraging a new generation of readers to pick up and read books in English in Europe, The Bookseller - News - Publishers hail 'excellent growth' of English language exports to Europe thanks to BookTok; and I ask my peers in real life what they're reading, because young people love sharing their discoveries, The Bookseller - Comment - Beyond the BookTok loop.
  • 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. This is because most poetry lists are pretty small. Poetry is not in general given much space in bookshops and it is difficult to achieve any sales for first collections. Self-publishing offers a good approach and the live poetry scene is much livelier than it used to be. Getting your poetry published
  • An enthusiastic new addition to our Endorsements page is from a newsletter subscriber: 'Hi, I'm on your email list and just wanted to say thanks for the great emails you put out. I've entered one or two competitions as a result of seeing them on your email and, although I haven't won yet I have come close! But the information you give out is brilliant - so I just wanted to say thanks. Your efforts are appreciated.' Alison Chaplin, Manchester.
  • 'So you want to be a crime writer? This is probably a good choice. Crime writing has long been popular with readers across the English-speaking world but it had a real resurgence a few years ago. Although publishers have reined back from the subsequent tendency towards over-production, there is still a solid market for good crime writing and many bestselling writers, such as Richard Osman, write in this category. As well as being a long term publishing staple in the main English-speaking markets, the US and UK, crime novels are much in demand in translation, especially in Europe...' Writing crime fiction in our Genre writing series.
  • More links from writers: was this because of 'a new ideology of identity authorship'? Richard North Patterson's Trial was rejected by the big publishing houses. Why? Who'd go to the Cayman Islands and attend a literary event of mine? On the Pitfalls of Book Promotion in the Internet Age ‹ Literary Hub; and 'A good historical novel is just like any novel', Q&A: debut novelist Lucy Barker.
  • If you've come to the site looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one would suit you best? Which Report? includes our top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found this detail helps them to get their book right. Through our specialist children's editors we can offer reports on children's books.
  • 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. The web as a research tool
  • ‘Writing fiction is fun. Writing non-fiction is life-changing.' Adrienne Posey in our Writers' Quotes.