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5 September 2016 - What's new

5 September 2016
  • 'The number of emails WritersServices get from authors who have been trying to contact an agent through our agency listings suggests that, even in an age of self-publishing, many writers would still prefer to find an agent than to self-publish their own work. But what exactly does an agent do? An agent is primarily a sales person and their job is to represent their authors in the sale of rights in their books to publishers. They only make money when...' This week's News Review, The changing role of the agent 4.
  • The Caterpillar Story for Children Prize 2016 from the classy children's magazine is open to all with an entry fee of 12 euros. The 1st prize is €500 plus a 2-week stay at The Moth's Artists' Residence, 2nd prize €300, 3rd prize €200. Closing on 30 September.
  • Writing Biography & Autobiography is a serialisation from our Archives of the book by Brian D Osborne published by A & C BlackClick for A & C Black Publishers Publishers References listing. In the first excerpt, Managing the matters of truth and objectivity, the author says: 'Just as you need to remember that letters, reports, census forms, legal documents and so forth were not created simply for our convenience, so you also need to remember that what is written in them may not be true...'
  • 'There is an element of autobiography in all fiction in that pain or distress, or pleasure, is based on the author's own. But in my case that is as far as it goes. My fiction may, now and again, illuminate aspects of the human condition, but I do not consciously set out to do so, I am a storyteller.' William Trevor in our Writers' Quotes.
  • Our Success Stories series includes Darren Shan and Tina Seskis, of whom we said: 'an irresistible subject for a Success Story because she lives just up the road from WritersServices in north London and because her success as a writer is like a textbook illustration of how to do it'. We have other Success Stories on a wide range of authors.
  • 'One day an agent I know called me and said "Would you be interested in translating Gabriel Garcia Marquez?", and I said: "Are you kidding me?" It was to do his great book Love in the Time of Cholera. It took six or seven months to translate. I mean there's no union representing us, so I tend to work seven days a week...' Edith Grossman, well-known translator of works by Mario Vargas Llosa and Gabriel García Márquez, in the Observer, quoted in our Comment column.
  • Our links: Writers are often told to read, read, read in their genre, is this part of How to Distinguish Yourself Among Agents and Editors; Rupi Kaur's originally self-published Milk and Honey, How To Sell Nearly a Half-Million Copies of a Poetry Book; Whether you are writing your first novel or your fifth, writing a novel requires focus, planning, motivation and discipline, How to write a first novel: 10 Do's and Don'ts | Now Novel; and from a highly respected top editor, insights into the publishing world now past, Interview With a Gatekeeper: Nan Talese | Literary Hub.
  • Which Report? gives the details of the three reports we offer: the full Editor's Report, the basic Reader's Report and the most substantial Editor's Report Plus. There's also our specialist Children's reports, part of our Children's Editorial Services. If you want a professional editor's assessment of your work, here's the place to start.
  • More links: writers whose deals for much-anticipated books were terminated, Pay-back time for publishers: authors forced to return their advances | Books | The Guardian; how the mean storyteller becomes two people, The Editor Inside My Head is a Cruel and Demanding S.O.B. | Literary Hub; and the odd thing is that the current angst over the book's changing face mirrors a strikingly similar episode in history, BBC - Culture - The mysterious ancient origins of the book.
  • 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!'
  • The February Magazine is ready and featured some great links to stories of enduring interest.
  • 'Don't try to anticipate an ideal reader - or any reader. He/she might exist - but is reading someone else.' Joyce Carol Oates in our Writers' Quotes.