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October 2010 - Writers Magazine

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News Review



  • 'The recent Children’s Bookseller Conference in London focused on a part of the publishing industry in relatively good health. Children’s book sales have suffered less than adult books as a result of the recession and they are only down 2% in the UK against an overall figure of 4%. To be fair, this is partly because the sales of the Stephenie Meyer titles (which are categorised as young adult) have bumped them up, but there is still a greater sense of confidence in the children’s sector...' News Review reports

  • 'The winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize has been a compete surprise to everyone, including the author. Howard Jacobson had never even been shortlisted before, and his book The Finkler Question was the bookies’ least favourite title on the shortlist. It’s very nice to see this important prize going to an author who has paid his dues, with 16 titles which are reckoned only to have sold 90,000 copies in all. News Review investigates

  • 'The 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. seems to have engendered a mood of optimism, in spite of the uneasy world economy and the particular preoccupations which are making book publishers feel as if the ground is shifting under their feet. The numbers were up, with 7,533 exhibitors, an increase of 3%, and 522 agents registered in the Literary Agents Centre, 4% up on last year. This shouldn’t be exaggerated as a factor, but some publishers who didn’t make it to London because of the volcanic ash seem to have felt that a trip to Frankfurt was a necessity, although most of them would have been going to the German book fair anyway.' News Review on the big book fair.

  • 'It’s been a gift for the media. ’A comedy of errors for author of The Corrections.’ (The Times) ‘Jonathan Franzen's 'book of the century' pulped over error.’ (the Guardian) ‘ Franzen’s new novel recalled to be pulped.’ (Evening Standard). So what really happened to Jonathan Franzen’s highly-anticipated new novel, Freedom, and why did the UK edition have scores of errors, which were so serious that the publisher has reprinted the corrected version and asked buyers to return their copies to be pulped?' News Review has the story.

Comment



  • 'I can think of no end of talented authors who are today poorly or even negligently represented. Is it fair to deny them the possibility of better representation simply because the more atherosclerotic parts of our industry consider competition to be ungentlemanly? The lifeblood of business is competition. Other industries thrive on it: we can too.Peter Cox of Redhammer Management

    Specialises in works with international potential.

    Unpublished authors must be professional in their approach and have major international potential, ideally book, film and/or TV.

    Submissions via agents website

    Children's clients include Donna Ballman, Peggy Brusseau, Gary Bushell, Brian Clegg, Maria (MG) Harris, Lucy Johnson, Amanda Lees, Michelle Paver, Kellie Santin, David Yelland.

    and Litopia, in the Bookseller.

  • 'I believed right from the start it would work powerfully on stage because it's the story of one man, with a very strong central narrative drive, questioning what it means to be human, I don't know a more dramatic question than that. Also, for me, it says that no matter what happens, there is always the possibility of redemption. I hope the play will make you cry, but make you come out wanting to live... Unknown playwright Rachel Wagstaff on dramatising Sebastian Faulks' First World War novel Birdsong.

  • ‘Recently, Newsweek ran an article about the brave new world of self-publishing. Its title asked the question "Who Needs a Publisher?" Well, the short answer is, I do. The bigger answer is: we all do. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad that self-publishing has evolved from stigma to respectability. I love that worthy authors who might be overlooked by the major houses can now be read. It's great that writers with a special niche, an established following or an entrepreneurial bent can make more money self-publishing than they would in royalties. But I'm also concerned about the future of books and the larger issue of assuring the flow of reliable information. Philip Goldberg in the Huffington Post.

Writers' Quote 


'Unless a writer is extremely old when he dies, in which case he has probably become a neglected institution, his death must always be seen as untimely. This is because a real writer is always shifting and changing and searching. The world has many labels for him, of which the most treacherous is the label of Success.'


James Baldwin

John Jenkins' October column


John's column recounts how he won the heart of his prospective mother-in-law through a volume of Bryon's poems and provides a glowing review of a travel book which takes you in the footsteps of the poet.


Screenplay assessment fictionalised story


'Sarah had always been fascinated by the cinema. As a little girl going to see a film was her favourite treat and she was also interested in how movies got to be made. Her own favourites were the films with really good stories, like Titantic and Avatar, but she also liked the ones which were based on books, like Lord of the Rings and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo...'


Our fictionalised stories of how our services have helped writers give you some idea of what they can do.


Magazine - Rails 


Reaching new poetry audiences


The Poetry Book SocietySpecialist book club founded by T S Eliot in 1953, which aims to offer the best new poetry published in the UK and Ireland. Members buy at 25% discount. The PBS has a handsome new website at  www.poetrybooks.co.uk has just announced the launch of two major new websites, www.poetrybookshoponline.com and www.poetrybooks.co.uk, which will provide a substantial way for poetry readers to find out about poetry and to buy poetry books and CDs. It’s becoming ever harder to find a decent selection of poetry in bookshops, so these new sites offer a good way of finding out about the latest new poetry - and much more - and buying it.


Great review of WritersServices


We're complimented by Stuart Aken's review of our site in his blog for 27 July:


'It is the Resources pages that really make this site stand out from the crowd. Here you’ll find reviews of books and software, listings of agents, self-publishing facts, educational matters, health and safety advice, and there’s a new feature, reviewing writing magazines. You’ll see there is a great deal of information on this site. It’s well presented and easily navigated, which is as well, considering the number of pages. It’s a site I browse often and I think you’ll benefit from a good look at this one.' Read more.


The English language publishing world


In the face of a changing situation as English becomes ever more established as the international language, 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. has revised this article in the Inside Publishing series, which consists of 19 articles which take you inside the publishing world.


Writing Memoir and Autobiography
Writing Historical Fiction
Writing Romance
Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy
Writing Crime Fiction
Writing non-fiction

Inside Publishing series


This extremely useful 19-part series is in the midst of being revised to take account of changes in the publishing world. The introduction, How the publishing business works, Advances and royalties, The Relationship between agents and publishers, Subsidiary rights, The English-speaking publishing world and The Marketing department have all just been brought up-to-date.


This second week we're on to The Frankfurt Book Fair, the Sales Department, the Production Department, Pricing and Distribution.


And the third week it's Books clubs and Direct selling.


John Jenkins' September column



John tells the inspiring story of Joe Delaney, whose agent suggested he should switch to writing for children, which he did with the Wardstone Chronicle series.


The first book, The Spook’s Apprentice, spent seven weeks in the bestseller’s charts, was translated into 12 languages and landed a film deal with Warner Brothers.


Agents' listings


Our 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.


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



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.


The Writing Workshop Notebook by Alan Ziegler


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. concluded that: 'This is an unconventional book about writing, inspirational as much as it is practical, and focusing on an aspect of the writing process that isn’t much discussed. It would, I think, prove a valuable addition to the writing bookshelf if you are at all interested in the workshopping process and what it involves.'


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.


Our book review section 


Our Editorial Services for writers 


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