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August 2006 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • 'It had become a bestseller thanks to direct, personal communication with potential readers that has been made possible by the Internet.'  News Review looks at Anthony Thornton's account of how he promoted his bestselling book online.

  • ‘The language does belong to everybody, but the way things are going, there will be just a small elite that’s been trained how to use it effectively. That can’t be right. We’ll be back in the Middle Ages.’ Truss tackles the comma in her new children's book, Why Commas Really Do Make a Difference.

  • 'As affluence has increased readers’ ability to buy the books they want to read, the libraries’ ageing stock has relegated them to a lower level of use for readers, many of whom will only use a library if they have to.'  News Review reports on the continuing decline in the libraries

  • 'After the dotcom boom and bust it was easy for the book trade to think it could go back to business as usual. It has taken six years for the huge potential of the Internet to become apparent to everyone – and to smash that thinking to pieces.' News Review looks at poor sales from the chains.


  • 'If you're going to get scared, you can't become a publisher... we have to be as businesslike as larger publishers - it's just as important for independents to make money.' Andrew Franklin, MD of Profile Books, in The Bookseller

  • 'I think that the best books are often written within the pressures of daily life.  What is happening is that creative writing courses are promulgating the idea that you have to be a professional writer, but that is not true and it is increasingly hard to be…' Heather Holden Brown in MslexiaStylish and lively site for quarterly UK literary magazine read by 12,000 'committed' women writers. Good range of quality writing, information and advice with news, reviews, competitions and interviews, all presented in a friendly fashion. Praised by Helen Dunmore as 'astute, invigorating and above all an excellent read.'

  • 'The facts are brutal: unless you produce the kind of assured bestsellers that will encourage your publishers to pay for chain-store promotions, you have no guaranteed sales... if an author wants his to find its readers, he has to go out there and grab them.' Will Self in the Sunday Telegraph's Seven

  • 'A novel has an energy of its own.  In that sense, it is like riding a horse.  It talks back to you.  It isn't always transient. Sometimes, you wrestle with it.' Jane Smiley, author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Novel in the Observer.

Writers' Quote

'All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery.  Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness.  One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.'

George Orwell in England, Your England

Our Editorial Services for writers

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Writing Handbooks

Is there a book in you?

New this week is an excerpt from  from Alison Baverstock's new title, Is there a book in you?:

'For many the desire to write is very strong.  Yet how do you know whether there is a book in you?  The author explores the topics of creativity, motivation , what to write about, the key attributes that all writers must possess to succeed, what you must know about the publishing industry and much more.'

Magazine - Fuji

Bob's Journal goes into its 6th volume

Bob finds his own writing being affected by his holiday reading, as he lazes on a Sicilian beach:

'Unfortunately, halfway through the second paragraph, in the annoying manner of works over which I pretend I have creative control, plot veers off in entirely unexpected direction... With great effort of will, force myself to concentrate on plot and character. Can always delete the abstract nouns later.'

This week

Writers'  Forum Column

John Jenkins on the wonderful Saturday Evening Post, the tendency of prize-winners such as Zadie Smith and Colm Toibin to borrow plots, the proliferation of markets for poets, and the improvements in the booming self-publishing world:

'Day by day self-publishing improves. The books are frequently indistinguishable from mainline publishers and the quality of the writing, particularly when authors have had their work professionally edited, has reached new standards...'

The Editor's View

The Editor's View, written by the Editor of Writers' ForumBritish writers' magazine which is highly recommended for all writers. It features wide range of news and articles which help writers to improve their work and get published: magazine.

Review of ScriptWriter magazine

'So if you’re serious about writing scripts and want a thoughtful magazine which will help you achieve your goal - whilst providing food for thought and some wide-ranging and interesting articles - this magazine could be the one for you.'

Our latest survey results

We investigated your book-buying habits, and found that the author's name is still the most important factor influencing book purchase.

Working with an agent

It can be hard work finding an agent to represent you. Make sure though that, when you set up the relationship, you do so in a professional manner. Our new page shows you how to get the most out of this key relationship.

See also Finding an agent for how to go about getting someone to represent you.

Selling adaptations of books to the film industry

A report from the London Book Fair on how to make the most out of selling film rights and writing the script.

Your submission package

Our new page shows you how to put your package together and what you should send.  Essential reading to make sure you give your work its best chance.

You might also like to consider using our Submission Critique service.