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June 2010 - Writers Magazine

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News Review



  • 'An article in a recent edition of the Bookseller has highlighted the ongoing pressure on acquisitions in publishing houses, which has now become acute. Helen Garnons-Williams, Bloomsbury fiction editorial director said: "Our entire business is based on confidence, whether among the publishers or the agents, and pretty much everyone is wobbling because no one knows what will sell." Auctions have often faltered because the recession is causing a massive loss of confidence and publishers are becoming increasingly risk-averse.' News Review has the story.

  • 'A major recent study led by Nevada University has showed that regular access to books in the home had a direct effect on children’s long-term educational achievement. Involving 70,000 people in 27 countries, it showed that the effect of having 500 books in the home was to increase by three years the length of time that these children subsequently spent in education.' News Review reports.

  • 'The excitement surrounding the arrival of the i-Pad in countries outside the US has caught the attention of the media, reinforcing the idea that a mass audience is waiting to buy one and start using it to read e-books. The arrival of the Kindle aroused similar expectations and many articles presaging the end of the printed book... ‘Reading the Future’, the Bookseller’s third annual survey into what readers and book-buyers are thinking, contradicts this view and shows that the publishing world is much more focused on e-books than book-buyers are.

  • 'Stieg Larsson notwithstanding, what are the chances of a translated author selling well in the big English-speaking markets of the US and the UK? The received wisdom has always been that translations into English are tough going financially, with it proving virtually impossible to make the figures work without an English-language publisher on both sides of the Atlantic to pay for the costs of translation.' News Review looks at writers in translation in the headlines.

Comment



  • 'I've always loved short stories. The process is probably less anxious than writing a novel. There's something about the intensity of a short story that I love... You can reinvent them all the time (whereas) with the novel there's the huge weight of tradition. There's something about modern life that suits the short story. It's a bit snipped up and jagged and raw and I think stories are like that...'  Michele Roberts, author of Mud, in the Bookseller.

  • 'Books are not dead. They may appear besieged, ever more so as fragile retailers hunker down to re-examine their own business models. There may be fewer new titles published over the next several years...  but I am confident that the book business will evolve, as it has done for hundreds of years, and will occupy a considerable position as a ongoing and valued medium.' Laurence Orbach, CEO of Quarto, in the Bookseller

  • 'I do try and remember what it was like writing books in the void, back when I had to worry about whether they were even going to see print. That was not a good place. I am very grateful not to be there. I feel I not only narrowly escaped obscurity but also having to give up writing novels altogether, which would have broken my heart. It is easy to be blase about having a bigger audience. I don't take it for granted.' Lionel Shriver, whose new book is So Much For That, in the Sunday Telegraph's Seven.

  • 'I know it's somewhat of an unpopular opinion, but I think it's unrealistic to expect that you can support yourself solely as a writer in this economy... In the end, the better you make the book, the better the chances that you'll get a healthy advance, and the harder you work with your publisher to promote the book by publishing stories or nonfiction essays to raise your profile, by blogging and keeping your website active, by thinking outside of the box in terms of marketing and publicity, the better your book will do. But at the end of the day it's the quality of the work that matters the most.' US agent Julie Barer on mediabistro

Writers' Quote


'Almost anyone can be an author; the business is to collect money and fame from this state of being.'
A A Milne

John Jenkins' June column


John looks at the recent decision by Rupert Murdoch to take the Times Online private.  But will this work, or are we all just too used to getting things for free online?


Magazine - St Michel 


Writing Memoir and Autobiography


If you want to write a memoir you’re in good company – lots of writers want to try their hand at this category. In the latest in our new Categories 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. looks at how to set about writing your memoir and how to publish it.


Other articles in the series:
Writing Historical Fiction
Writing Romance
Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy
Writing Crime Fiction
Writing non-fiction


John Jenkins' May column


John looks at how to kickstart writing a biography or family history, now a very popular thing to write and something you can easily set out to do. His May column shows how to get yourself started with websites, books and magazines.


Choosing a Service


Are you having difficulty deciding which service might be right for you?  This useful new article by Chris Holifield offers advice on what to go for, depending on what stage you are at with your writing.

Review of The Arvon Book of Life Writing by Sally Cline and Carole Angier


Our reviewer, 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., said: 'Many people want to write about someone’s life, perhaps their own, and there are courses to suit every level of interest, from university masters degrees to local college qualifications.'  and concluded that it was: 'a brisk and helpful guide on how to set about writing a life story... It is a sensible account of life writing from experienced practitioners of what is both art and craft, and I recommend it!'


London Book Fair 2010: Masterclass - Organising author events


Amanda Pollard, illustrator of An Illustrated History of 1066, attends a London Book Fair Masterclass to find out what part authors can play in organising their own bookshop events.


New agents' listings


Our brand-new, up-to-date agents' listings have been compiled from agents' own websites and other information they publish about what they're looking for. You can use them to research which agents to submit to.


The listings cover UK and US agents, with separate listings for children's agents in the UK, and international agents from all over the world.



Latest changes in the book trade 7:


In the seventh 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. looks at the subject of Creative Commons and how these special licenses might transform authors' capacity to the license use of their books for all sorts of purposes.


First article: Bookselling


Second article: Publishing


Third article: Print on Demand and the Long Tail



Fourth article: Self-publishing - career suicide or 'really great'



Fifth article: Writers' Routes to their audiences


Sixth article: Copyright



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 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


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.