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May 2010 - Writers Magazine

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News Review



  • '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.

  • 'The Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation have launched an interesting new charitable venture, designed both to get children reading and to encourage them to become charitable givers. When a child reads a book online, they are able to donate another book to be sent to a reading charity and can choose from four options as to where their this book is sent. The site is free, so the child reads a book, as well as giving one. News Review reports.

  • 'The case of Robin Price, a Devon-based literary agent who has just appeared in court charged with stealing over half a million pounds from a number of clients, is a salutary one for unpublished authors. Over a period of several years, Price had bamboozled sums as large as £293,603 out of hopeful authors... ' News Review looks at fraudulent agents and why you should beware of vanity publishers.

  • 'Every so often a completely unknown writer hits the headlines after years of trying to break through and the dream come true provides fresh hope for many others. Recently it was the turn of Australian Rebecca James, whose new book Beautiful Malice was sold to Allen & Unwin, making her literally cry with joy. The timing couldn’t have been more propitious, as she and her partner had just closed down their struggling kitchen design business. This was just the beginning though. A week later Faber acquired the UK rights, then the German auction went through the roof. News Review reports.

  • 'Unable to make it across the Atlantic to deliver a speech in London because of the ash, Mike Shatzkin asked someone else to deliver his speech and it can be found on his blog. And uncomfortable it certainly is this time. In a sobering analysis of the next 20 years, he says there is one inexorable truth: ‘The price consumers will be willing to pay for content is going to go down because of the laws of supply and demand.’ News Review investigates

Comment



  • '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

  • 'My job is to entertain. There is a contract between the reader and the writer. The readers give me their hard-earned cash and I have to entertain them... It's my role to come up with the goods. I work in an entertainment industry. I tell stories, people read them and enjoy the stories, so I get paid, and get to write more stories...'  Jasper Fforde, author of Shades of Gray, in the Independent on Sunday

  • 'This analogy between music and books is something that keeps popping up. Many people are saying that digital file sharing "killed" the music industry and that if the book industry isn’t careful, the same thing will happen to publishing. But the book industry is not the music industry... Books...  are already their own device with no need for any sort of player.'

  • 'The sudden rush of Kindles, tablets and readers strikes me as strangely illogical. Reading is supposed to be in danger, in decline. And yet somehow these devices are going to make it more attractive... Call me old-fashioned or just call me old. But you can keep your e-book ancillaries. Stories are enough for me.'Anthony Horowitz, author of The Power of the Necropolis in the Bookseller.

  • 'Writing fiction is inevitably much more personal. Not necessarily autobiographical, but much closer to your way of seeing the world, and much more demanding. I find it much harder... It’s a personal form of expression as opposed to a screenplay where I think you’re second-guessing the director or the producer or the audience.’  David Nicholls, author of One Day and many TV scripts, in the Bookseller

Writers' Quote


'All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don't get plumber's block, and doctors don't get doctor's block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expects sympathy for it?'
Philip Pullman


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.


 Magazine - Owl white 


John Jenkins' April column



John ruminates on what writers can learn from the great Anthony Trollope and concludes:



His success is an inspiration to those who feel they have failed early in life and fear failure more than failure itself...  he would set himself a target of 5,000 words a day – or 28,000 words a week – and keep to it.


2009 Diagram Prize winner


The winner of the wonderfully barmy Diagram Prize for 2009 has just been announced.  And here's where you can find the shortlist.


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.


 

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 


Real Time Web for Old Time Books: the Benefit of Social Media for Publishers and Authors


Fauzia Burke explores the online activities you can do in real time -- from status updates on Facebook, to microblogging on Twitter to uploading photos and videos on other social media sites. If you want to explore how social networking can help you market your book, her article provides a starting-point.


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.