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7 September 2020 - What's new

7 September 2020
  • ‘The majority of my books are set in north London, and it began to seem like an omission or a lie that when I open my door I'm in a multiracial neighbourhood, yet I haven't written about that. Should my books stay white for the rest of my life? I don't think so. That's all I can say, I wanted the book to represent my city... You write yourself out the further you go. The women thing started like that. I came to believe that women had more problems than white men, and white men's problems are mostly internal. That's certainly the case with High Fidelity and About a Boy. I tried to do the best I could with them, but there is something inert about that... Nick Hornby, author of 21 books, including 7 novels, amongst them Just Like You, published next week, About a Boy, Fever Pitch and High Fidelity, in the Sunday Times' Culture.
  • For anyone thinking about or embarked on self-publishing, our ten-part WritersServices Self-Publishing Guide by 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 is an essential starting-point, taking you through the process step-by-step. 'Self-publishing has changed so much over the past few years it's hard to believe it was once looked down upon by the publishing industry as the last resort of the vain and desperate. At the time of writing many self-publishing authors are identifying with the term ‘indie author', which acknowledges that to professionally publish today, you don't actually have to do everything yourself!' Articles include Formatting your book for Kindle and Marketing and Promotion for Indie Authors: Online.
  • If on the other hand you're planning to submit to agents, you'll want to get your submission package into good shape before getting started, to give your book its best chance.
  • Seven writing competitions are still open, though some are closing soon.
  • This week's links are a varied bunch: there is no risk greater for a writer than emotional risk - which is why writing one's memoir is ultimately the riskiest of all, The Risky Writing Life; a comprehensive process in which, according to the definitive book on the subject, a trained checker works through your book? Why Nonfiction Book Fact Checking Should Be an Industry Standard; the big beasts of the ,publishing world are circling, eying up their prey, Bertelsmann, HarperCollins Show Interest in S&S; the acclaimed crime writer acknowledging that the fact that some people are perceived to have value attached to them and others aren't is really important, Denise Mina: 'I couldn't read until I was about nine' | Books | The Guardian; and 'An unhappy childhood is a writer's gold mine, Writing a path to redemption.
  • Our article on How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth) asks writers with a manuscript which needs translating or has been written in English by a non-native speaker: 'if your English is good enough, what about translating your book yourself, or writing in English, and then getting your translation 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.
  • English Language Editing is our polishing service for writers who have translated their work into English or written it in English when it is not their native language. If you need to make sure it's good enough to publish, or send to a publisher, this service is for you. Acknowledging the growth of world English, English Language Editing is designed for the many non-native English speakers throughout the world who want to publish their work in English.
  • More links: here's a breakthrough first novel, a high-school thriller which tackles institutionalised racism, Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé: the 21-year-old British student with a million-dollar book deal; this year, my detective Vera Stanhope turns 21, Stories have always been healing, so I'm funding bibliotherapists | Ann Cleeves | Books | The Guardian; 'a novel tells you far more about a writer than an essay, a poem, or even an autobiography', Martin Amis Gets Matter of Fact; and children's authors who also work in the children's publishing world, Children's Writers Who Wear Multiple Hats.
  • Are you having difficulty producing a really good blurb to self-publish your book? Or do you need a synopsis to submit it to publishers? Our services can help.
  • From our Writers' Quotes: 'Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.' Gloria Steinem