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October 2006 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • A Creative Commons license has worked well for the Friday Project on Tom Reynolds’ Blood, Sweat and Tea. The  free download has led to 20,000 downloads but sales of nearly 30,000 copies.

  • 'If Sobol manages to get the 50,000 entries that they reckon will constitute the cut-off, the competition will earn $4,250,000, a very good return for setting up a small website, doing a bit of judging and awarding a $100,000 prize.'

  • News Review looks at last week's Frankfurt Book FairWorld's largest trade fair for books; held annually mid-October at Frankfurt Trade Fair, Germany; First three days exclusively for trade visitors; general public can attend last two., the biggest annual gathering of publishers in the world.

  • As a teenager growing up in Brazil in the late seventies, Orlando Paes Filho dreamt up the idea of Angus, now coming to fruition as a seven-volume epic tale spanning twelve centuries of human history. News Review investigates.

  • News Review on Oxfam's new bookshop: 'For many people, donating unwanted books to an international charity which will use them to raise money is a good way of dealing with the stacks of books they are never going to read again. Supporting Oxfam makes them feel good too.'


  • 'Women need the grown-up fairy stories of romantic fiction in order to make the random cruelty of everyday life more bearable.' Daisy Goodwin in the Sunday Times, talking about  her TV series, Reader, I Married Him.

  • Even experienced publishers sometimes throw caution to the winds after being caught up in the excitement of a bidding war conducted via frenzied conversations in a crowded hall.' Anne Louise Fisher, London literary scout

  • 'The more critically successful a writer becomes, the more need there is for a strong editor.  To think otherwise risks artistic suicide.' Alan Garner, author of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen in The Times

  • 'Publishers need to make their sites more welcoming and rewarding to those tiny percentages of readers who do visit.'  Peter Collingridge in the Bookseller

Writers' Quote

  • 'Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.'
     The Bible: Ecclesiastes

The view from a publisher's desk

This is the second in a series of articles by Tom Chalmers, MD of Legend Press, giving a publisher's view of the submission process and what a publisher is looking for.

This month: Judging a book by its submission package:
'a poor covering letter or synopsis will have the reader already mentally halfway to the rejection pile, no matter how good the actual submission.'

Some compliments from those who have used the site

‘I love visiting your web site each week for updates - there is just so much fantastic information there.’
  Megan from Australia

Magazine - Colourful globe

Review of the Art of Punctuation

Maureen Kincaid SpellerMaureen Kincaid Speller a reviewer, writer, editor and former librarian, is our book reviewer and also works for WritersServices as a freelance editor. reviews Noah Lukeman's interesting book:

'He invites writers to look at the way in which they construct sentences, and to do so with minute attention... Lukeman has an extremely keen and sensitive eye for sentence structure and a neat way of explaining things.'

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.

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.

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 Coaching.

Bob's Journal goes into its 6th volume

Bob on not reading books you're bored by and what's fashionable in writing:

'So, a few suggestions for today’s fashion-conscious novelist: going up, bipolarity, going down, autism; going up, cricket, going down, football; going up, grandmothers who do, going down...'

This week


Our new competition spirits you into the the world of poetry.  Enter now and win a copy of the brand-new Poetry Writers' Yearbook.

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: Column

John Jenkins on the how the successes of authors like Marisha Pressl and Michael Cox show that reading writers' books is not the only way; Google; a farewell to May Hogarth; and spy thrillers:

'There is no doubt that a good instruction book can short circuit your improvement as a writer. But really you teach yourself.'

New agency listings

New on the site - the bang up-to-date 2007 Writers' and Artists' Yearbook worldwide agency listings. Check out the UK and Ireland, US and international agencies lists

Writers' and Artists' Yearbook 2007

This is the 100th edition of this extremely useful book, which the Society of Authors calls 'A must for established and aspiring writers.'

Ian Rankin's Foreword

Shows how the bestselling crime writer used the book to help him find a publisher:

'Getting into print requires nerve, stamina, luck, stubbornness and talent. Even established authors can feel as though they’re climbing a mountain. Think of the Writers and Artists’ Yearbook as your sherpa.'


We have revamped our WritersPrintShop website with lots more information. If you're thinking about self-publishing, this is the place to find out what's involved. If you're ready to go ahead, our high quality service is second to none and there's an economy version for those who want to tackle some of the work themselves. You can estimate the cost for yourself.

See also Making submissions for how to approach publishers and agents.

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.