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March 2005 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • 'The greatest explosion of communications since the invention of printing...  What's more, this explosion is being conducted in global English… Robert McCrum.  News Review looks at the surge in the number of titles published.
  • News Review reports from the US: two-thirds of people going into Borders stores do so with no specific purchase in mind; 80% are ‘regularly seeking help to frame their buying decision’ and an astounding half the purchases made in their stores are on behalf of someone else.
  • Expanding the Market has revealed some disturbing facts about British book-buyers. In spite of the fact that 130,000 books are published every year, a third of adults do not buy books at all and a quarter don’t feel welcome in bookshops. See News Review.
  • The Penguin Group worldwide suffered a 41 per cent fall in profits in 2004 but, surprisingly, this is more due to declining US mass market sales than to the UK's warehouse problems. News Review investigates.


  • 'Nowadays you would no more think of going into a bookstore and old-fashionedly browsing than taking a tin-opener into the local supermarket and sampling the baked beans.'     John Sutherland in the Guardian
  • 'Assessing a book's financial potential is crucial. Yet, if we are not careful, publishing will become completely over-run by sales and marketing departments, and we may as well start sending our projects direct to them... ' Simon Trewin of PFD
  • 'It was making me laugh and cry and stay up all night. I was writing for no other reason but for the fact I was enjoying it so much...  I realised there was a possibility that people other than me, my mother and sister could enjoy my work. Cecelia Ahern, author of PS I Love You in Writers' Forum
  • ''The falling cost of self-publishing means that authors whose work has been turned down by literary agents or publishers are now able to prove that their books will sell.' Danuta Kean in the Sunday Telegraph

Writers' Quotes

‘All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.'
F Scott Fitzgerald

How Not to Write a Novel; Confessions of a Midlist Author

Our twelfth and last excerpt from David Armstrong's entertaining book:

This month the author looks at waiting for a response from publishers:

'The thing about trying to get published is that it really is - for most of us - a very time-consuming business...  All this takes tons of time, is absolutely debilitating and wrecks any shred of confidence in your work that you might still have.'

How to get published

A report from the Masterclasses at the London Book Fair

'You have to work out a way of finding an audience for your book...  If you don't know where it's going to go in a bookshop, it's going to be a problem... The message is that whatever you're writing... you have to be aware of what is going on in the book trade.' Jonny Geller

Synopsis-writing service

Are you struggling to get your submission package right?  Our new service is introduced by public demand.  Now you can commission our editor to  produce a synopsis for your manuscript which will enable you to make a professional submission of your project to an agent or publisher.

Magazine - Rails

Our Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 15 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Contract vetting. Our latest new service is Synopsis-writing.

Bob's Journal goes into its 4th volume

Bob on rewriting, writing a wedding speech - and getting paid for writing:

'It’s the best sort of day for a writer. Sure even Stephen King likes receiving his royalty statements. Yes, writing can be fun, but it’s a lot more fun if you get paid for it.'

From fellow EastEnders script-writer Pippa McCarthy:

  'Just discovered your web page... I've just spent the last hour crying with laughter with periodic yelps of 'been there!'...  I'm going to make my entire family read your diary. Then perhaps will understand own bizarre behaviour every time I start a script...

 Anyway, will shut up now but just wanted to say you have cheered me up no end. It's brilliant.'

Inside Publishing series

Inside Publishing turns its attention to what has long been regarded as the Cinderella of the publishing world. Children’s publishing has enjoyed a remarkable rate of growth and is now seen by many as one of the most exciting areas to work in.

My Say

Mary Garden shares her experiences with writer's block and how Stephen King and her anger helped her to overcome it.

Our latest new survey - see below

Writers' Forum Column

In his second letter on the subject, John Jenkins rates The Da Vinci Code for its opening, plot and theme, action and pace, characters and entertainment value.

The Editor's View, written by the Editor of Writers' Forum magazine.

New links

A major review of our recommended links has just added 20 new ones, including a new listing for book group links.

Our Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 13 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Contract vetting.


Our design, print and distribution service for self-publishers.  The latest addition to the service is our WritersPrintShop online bookshop, which will sell your book for you on the Internet as soon as it's published.