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Comment from the book world in December 2023

December 2023

'Self-publishing put the odds back in my favour'

18 December 2023

‘I looked at it as a numbers thing. There were hundreds, if not thousands of authors, submitting to the same agents every week. And although I was getting feedback that was positive, for me that didn't make logical sense because the odds were not in my favour...

Self-publishing put the odds back in my favour because it put it back in my control...

I've gone as far as I can go. I've got three series of police procedurals that are doing very well, but when you're an indie and you're advertising largely in the digital world, you're closing off an awful lot of other avenues where readers are. Now I just have to focus on the writing, which is - let's face it - the fun part.'

J M Dalgliesh, author and self-publisher of 22 police procedurals from The Misty Isle, Dark Yorkshire and Hidden Norfolk series, who has sold over 2m books and has now been taken on by a traditional publisher, in the Observer.



Books for teenagers

4 December 2023

'When I started writing in about 1990, publishers were very keen on the teenage market. They knew kids were spending money on music and that there were films for kids that age, but books somehow weren't quite happening. The fuss when Junk came out was because it really was a book for teenagers. If you're 14 or 15 or 16, of course you're thinking about sex and drugs and rock'n'roll, but there was a gap in what kids wanted to read and what was being produced for them; it was all right to pinch stuff surreptitiously from the adult world, but no adult was allowed to present it to you. That gap was one of the things Junk helped bridge. Before then, a book for teenagers would be more suitable for someone aged about 11. There's much more honesty now - books are tackling difficult issues in a realistic way.'

Melvin Burgess, author of YA classic Junk, Hunger and 12 other YA novels and a just-published adult novel, Loki.