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6 November 2023 - What's new

6 November 2023
  • ‘There's a kind of uncertainty among young writers about what they're allowed to write about. Not only for political reasons but also for social and cultural reasons. And I worry about that because my view is that everybody can write about everything. If that's not true then the art of the novel ceases to exist. The question is whether they do it well or badly and to my mind that's the only question...' Salman Rushdie, author of 20 books, including Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses, the Ground Beneath Her Feet and Quichotte, in The Times.
  • The next part in our new series Ask the Editor is Researching for a Book: 'Writing a non-fiction book is a very different project to writing a novel; the motivation, purpose, style and approach are quite distinct. ‘Non-fiction', of course, covers a wide range of genres and formats; however, there are some principles that apply across the board. In this article I will explore some of the basic requirements in writing a non-fiction book. The reasons for writing a non-fiction book fall into four broad categories...'
  • This is the seventh article in the Ask the Editor series, which has been written in response to queries from writers.
  • WritersServices offers a wide range of editorial services to help you prepare your manuscript for submission to an agent or publisher, or for self-publication. Our team of expert editors has years of experience in helping and advising authors; we can help you bring your work to a professional level of excellence. All our editing services offer competitive rates and excellent value for money. If you are not sure which of our editing services you require, we can assess your manuscript, and recommend the service that is most appropriate to your needs. Copy editing services. Get in touch to let us know how we can help.
  • Our publishing and printing glossary is a useful reference tool.
  • Our first set of links focus on writers' craft: from the king of anthologisers, Maxim Jakubowski, Confessions of a Serial Anthology Editor ‹ CrimeReads; the hyper-realistic, blood and guts style of novels about hard-bitten detectives with drink problems, broken marriages and potty mouths is giving way to something different, Cosy, but still crime; what JR, Alexis, and Domingue Taught this Mystery Writer, Finding Inspiration for Mystery Fiction in Soap Operas ‹ CrimeReads; and Louis Ferrante recalls the meeting with George Weidenfeld that led to a seven-year writing project, I was a mafioso. Now I'm a mafia historian.
  • Open to writers resident in the UK or Ireland, the new Prototype Publishing Prize has no entry fee. The prizes are £3,000 plus publication by Prototype for the the best book-length project and £2,000 plus publication by Monitor Books for the best proposal for a short-form work. The Prize will be open and will close in January.
  • Worldbuilding 2: the basics of writing fantasy fiction is the second in our new five-part Worldbuilding series: 'Fantasy fiction is a niche market, but a very popular niche market. It is particularly popular among new writers, and I suspect this is a consequence of growing up on a diet of best-selling fantasy fiction over the last couple of decades. This article will look at the differences between writing fantasy fiction and other genres, and also the similarities. Then I will look at some of the issues involved in writing fantasy fiction.'
  • Other articles in the series cover character names in fantasy novels, geography and physical location, technology and culture.
  • Links from the publishing world: to protect the human creativity and knowledge that underpins safe and reliable AI, the UK's publishers, authors, agents, and ALCS join forces, Top UK Publishing Organizations on AI Protection; some 20 individuals have been accused of scamming authors by falsely claiming an affiliation with Amazon Publishing and Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon Sues Scammers Targeting Authors; the UK shadow chancellor's new book has come under scrutiny for lifting passages of text from other sources without acknowledgment, How common is plagiarism in the publishing industry? | Plagiarism | The Guardian; and private equity firm KKR emerged as the winning bidder after Penguin Random House's acquisition for S&S was blocked by the government in late 2022, now KKR Completes Purchase of Simon & Schuster.
  • This week's Endorsement comes from Sally Gibbins from Birmingham in the UK and is about her children's copy editing: 'I am delighted with the feedback and so pleased with all the great suggestions which were so much more than I expected. A really brilliant service.'
  • The fifth part in the series An Editor's advice deals with Points of view - who's telling this story? 'Not so long ago, I read what ought to have been a really exciting novel filled with drama, action, treachery and romance. Or it would have been but for one thing. I saw none of this drama, I only heard about it later. Why was that? It was because the author had decided to use a first-person viewpoint character and, unfortunately ‘I' was nowhere near any of the action. In fact, ‘I' was in a bunker halfway up a mountainside, having rather a dull time of it all while mayhem broke out elsewhere. As the reader, I had to stick with ‘I' and likewise, I had a pretty boring time...'
  • Do you want some help with your writing but don't know quite what you want? Are you a bit puzzled by the various services on offer, and not sure what to go for? Chris HolifieldManaging director of WritersServices; spent working life in publishing,employed by everything from global corporations to start-ups; track record includes: editorial director of Sphere Books, publishing director of The Bodley Head, publishing director for start-up of upmarket book club, The Softback Preview, editorial director of Britain’s biggest book club group, BCA, and, most recently, deputy MD and publisher of Cassell & Co. She is also currently the Director of the Poetry Book Society; During all of this time aware of problems faced by writers, as publishing changed from idiosyncratic cottage industry, 'occupation for gentlemen', into corporate business of today. Writers encountered increasing difficulty in getting books edited or published. Authors create the books which are the raw material for the whole business. She believes it is time to bring them back to centre stage. can help you work out which service is right for you. Choosing a service
  • Some links about reading and audiobooks: it feels like we live in an era of constant distraction, but the truth is more complex, The big idea: are our short attention spans really getting shorter? | Society books | The Guardian; and the prospect of reading a book filled me with anxiety and shame. But an ADHD diagnosis changed everything, Swapping books for audiobooks has reignited my love of literature | Verity Babbs | The Guardian.
  • How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth) asks writers who are not native English speakers with a manuscript which needs polishing or translating: "If your English is good enough, what about translating your book yourself or writing in English, and then getting your work polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker?" This could be a cost-effective way of reaching the international English-speaking market.
  • Our English Language Editing Service is specially designed to help non-native speakers of English to find success in the international publishing market. With the rapid rise of English as a world language, an increasing number of authors who are not native English speakers, or who speak English as a second language, are writing in English. If English is not your native language, you may require extra help to take your work to a professional standard. Our specialist editors have years of experience working with authors writing in English as a second language. We can help you to bring your work to a native level of fluency, and a professional level of excellence.
  • We all know that computers can do everything far better than mere humans, right? Those who argue the point are usually labelled as luddites or technophobes. In this computer age we are (understandably) turning more and more tasks over to computers... So where does this leave the humble index? Do we even need an index, some ask? In the days of full-text searching (the method by which a computer searches text for specific words, similar to a search engine such as Google), why do we need the human touch at all? Very few works of non-fiction can do without an index of some description. From the simple cookery book to the mammoth legal tome, each book has a reader, and each reader will at some point want to look something up in the book. The Ins and Outs of Indexing
  • Our final set of links is to writers' stories: whilst earning enough to pay the bills is a perfectly valid colloquialism for "an amount of money that emotionally balances the time and effort I've put in," why not aim for a life-changing amount of money? Earn Six Figures as a Writer With This One Weird Trick | Jane Friedman; two decades after Christopher Paolini self-published his debut book, Eragon, which launched The Inheritance Cycle, A New Fantasy and a 20th Anniversary for Christopher Paolini; celebrity memoir can still break all records, Britney Spears's 'The Woman in Me' Sells More Than 1 Million Copies; and 'My journey to publication was a rough one with tons of rejections (70+) along the way', Q&A: author Lola Akinmade Åkerström.
  • Writers' stories - they're just a bit of fun, but in a rare moment of inspiration we wrote some fictionalised stories of how the services could turn out, to give you a better idea of how they might work for you. Joe's fantasy novel benefited from some professional editing, when he signed up for an Editor's Report Plus. Tony needed Copy editing to get his manuscript into shape for publication or self-publishing.
  • In our Writers' Quotes, Margaret Atwood: 'Your job is to make your novel the best of its kind that it can be.'
  • If quotes are your thing we have a very large collection in our Archive, More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.