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November 2009 - Writers Magazine

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News Review



  • 'The troubled British book chain Borders went into administration last week. The chain, which had been the subject of a management buyout in July, proved unable to trade its way through the recession. It was already in the process of closing down its Book Etc stores when the end came.' News Review reports on further turmoil on the high street.

  • So what's the Google  Settlement all about? You may be thoroughly bored with  it, but this is a battle of the titans as Google and Amazon square up to each other and the Settlement  has a significant impact on authors’ rights.  News Review looks at what both sides have been claiming.

  • 'The New Google Settlement  looks like a reasonable resolution of a thorny set of problems. Bowing to pressure from foreign governments and the US Department of Justice, the revised Settlement presented to the district Court in New York shortly before midnight on Friday limits the scope of the scheme to works registered with the US Copyright OfficeThe US copyright office has information on its website about how to register and what advantages there are in doing so. www.copyright.gov/register/ and books published in the UK, Canada and Australia.' News Review reports.

  • News Review looks at 'the tragic saga of a bestselling author', the story of Stieg Larrson, who died suddenly just as he was becoming a megaseller His girlfriend of 30 years has been disinherited and it is just like an episode out of one of Larsson’s own books.

  • 'These are nervous times in the book world. Too much seems to be happening too fast and no-one is sure what it means or where we’re all going to end up.'   News Review looks at the the pace of change in e-books and internet selling.

Comment



  • 'The main thing the music business didn’t realise at first is that digitalisation isn’t about distributing the same content in another way.  It changes the way people consume content and what is consumed.' Danny Ryan, intellectual property specialist at LEGC, in the Bookseller

  • 'In his essay Politics and the English Language George Orwell set out a series of rules for writing that are worth repeating in full... I would add three more tips:  3. Write. As much as you can.  The more you do the better you'll get at it. Damian Whitworth in The Times

  • 'It's my belief that the relationship between writer and reader is a love relationship.  How do you make someone love you?  You present yourself at your best, your most alive, your fullest, your most considerate.  An author must be love-flushed: you must give them you most comfortable chair; you want to give the reader the seat nearest the fire, the best wine and food.  It's a sort of hospitality gesture.' Martin Amis in the Sunday Times

  • ‘I’ve always felt that I have tried to give women of a particular generation a voice.  I do think chick list has potentially been very powerful as it has looked at things like our awful relationship with our bodies, our relationship with food, with the beauty industry, our relationship with work – the fact that we’re still not equal…' Marian Keyes, author of The Brightest Star in the Sky, in the Bookseller

  • 'But, actually, I think the most significant thing about the Reader is not the issue of convenience, but its potential for transforming non-regular readers’ relationship with books... We know there is a problem with literacy rates in the UK.  If we are to solve it, we need to be more imaginative.  We need to accept that the tools are not what matters – voice, print, audio – but the narrative itself.  And acknowledge that, for some, a resistance to the physical book itself is a problem.’ Kate Mosse in the Bookseller


    Writers' Quote


    'Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.'
      William Wordsworth

    New Categories series


    Writing Historical Fiction


    So you want to write historical fiction?


    Well, your timing is good, because historical fiction is fashionable again after many years in the doldrums. In fact it’s so popular that it has virtually reinvented itself as a category.


    Our latest article in this series explores the market and approaches to writing historical fiction.


    Writing Romance


    Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy  


    Writing Crime Fiction


    Writing non-fiction


    The Bad Sex Award for 2009


    This year's competition has come up with some entertaining shortlised titles, including this excerpt from Philip Roth. 


    John Jenkins' November column


    Booker winner Mantel deserves the accolades


    John dismisses the Booker judges but applauds their choice: 'Many good – and many great – writers go through life without ever getting close to the Booker award. It’s nice to see one winning who thoroughly deserves it.'


    Magazine - Tree silhouette 


    British Library web archive


    We feel very honoured that the British Library has asked to archive www.writersservices.com in its web archive.


    The UK Web Archive is a corpus of websites selected by leading UK institutions for their historical, social and cultural significance in the UK. Also listed in this article on their archive are other international web archives.


    T S Eliot Prize shortlist



    John Jenkins' October column 


    Choosing a Service


     Are you having difficulty deciding which service might be right for you?  This useful new article by Chris HolifieldManaging director of WritersServices; spent working life in publishing,employed by everything from global corporations to start-ups; track record includes: editorial director of Sphere Books, publishing director of The Bodley Head, publishing director for start-up of upmarket book club, The Softback Preview, editorial director of Britain’s biggest book club group, BCA, and, most recently, deputy MD and publisher of Cassell & Co. She is also currently the Director of the Poetry Book Society; During all of this time aware of problems faced by writers, as publishing changed from idiosyncratic cottage industry, 'occupation for gentlemen', into corporate business of today. Writers encountered increasing difficulty in getting books edited or published. Authors create the books which are the raw material for the whole business. She believes it is time to bring them back to centre stage. offers advice on what to go for, depending on what stage you are at with your writing.


    Help for Writers


    Check out this page to find links to the huge number of useful articles on this site, including Finding an Agent and Making Submissions.


    Tips for Writers Our new series for writers:


    Improving your writing, Learning on the job, New technology and the Internet, Self-publishing - is it for you?, Promoting your writing (and yourself), Other kinds of writing, Keep up to date and Submission to publishers and agents


    Our book review section  



     


    My Say 9


    Zoe Jenny, who was born in Switzerland but is shortly publishing her first book written in English:


    'Now that I am writing in English I have to start all over again, earning my credentials in a new market. I am essentially back to square one. But maybe that is the most exciting place to be.'


    My Say 7: Timothy Hallinan on the Writing Session.


    My Say 8: Jae Watson on the magic formula which enables writers to 'cross that fine, elusive line dividing unpublished and published writers'.


    Latest changes in the book trade 4:


    In the fourth part of this series, Chris HolifieldManaging director of WritersServices; spent working life in publishing,employed by everything from global corporations to start-ups; track record includes: editorial director of Sphere Books, publishing director of The Bodley Head, publishing director for start-up of upmarket book club, The Softback Preview, editorial director of Britain’s biggest book club group, BCA, and, most recently, deputy MD and publisher of Cassell & Co. She is also currently the Director of the Poetry Book Society; During all of this time aware of problems faced by writers, as publishing changed from idiosyncratic cottage industry, 'occupation for gentlemen', into corporate business of today. Writers encountered increasing difficulty in getting books edited or published. Authors create the books which are the raw material for the whole business. She believes it is time to bring them back to centre stage. gives an update on developments relating to Self-publishing and discusses how the possibility of publishing your own book is transforming authors' routes to publication.


    First article: Bookselling
    Second article: Publishing
    Third article: Print on Demand and the Long Tail


    I'll Take a Community With That Book, Please!


    Fauzia Burke is founder of a an Internet marketing firm specializing in creating online awareness for books and authors.  Her article shows how successful niche publishers are reaching communities of readers on the web.


    Review of The Creative Writing Handbook


    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 this useful new book and concludes that: 'It is true the handbook asks for a lot from the reader in terms of participation and active thought, but for those writers who are extremely serious about improving their work, it provides a valuable course in how to think about the art and craft of writing.'


    The Ins and Outs of Indexing


    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 www.joannephillips.co.uk' article on Indexing looks at why non-fiction books need them, why it's a specialist job and why computers can't achieve the same result as a skilled indexer.


    Our new Indexing service


    A professional index is essential for any work of non-fiction. Readers expect to find a useful, well-presented index at the back of a book, and can get very frustrated if the index doesn’t quickly lead them to the information they seek.



    • Are you an author planning to compile your own index?

    • Have you been asked by your publisher to provide an index for your book?

    • Are you self-publishing your work? If so, don’t let your readers down by offering them a sub-standard index.

    A professional index will set your work apart from other self-published books. Indexing need not be expensive – and an effective index is the key to a good non-fiction book.


    Don't give up the day job


    It’s a common enough fantasy for writers: maybe now I can leave that dreary job and devote myself whole-heartedly to writing... Perhaps you’ve even been indulging in it as you lay on the beach this summer, or more likely spent your precious holiday working on your latest novel.


    Our Editorial Services for writers


    Check out the 17 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Rewriting.


    Our book review section