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July 2011 - Writers Magazine

News Review

'There have been a series of events on the bookselling front which may mark a seismic shift. In the States, Borders have gone into liquidation after what seems like months - or even years - of teetering on the brink. And in the UK Amazon has swooped on its successful competitor, The Book Depository, buying out the competition. News Review reports.

'Do you want to find out how to publish your work as an ebook? This is something you may be thinking about, in view of the rapid growth in ebook sales.Many authors are suffering from a big contraction in their earnings. Midlist authors have found it increasingly difficult to get their books published by mainstream publishers and may be looking for the the chance to go it alone with ebook versions of their books.' News Review investigates.

'It looks as if the campaign against closing libraries in the UK has just scored a significant victory.Since the Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, has failed to intervene to assert the statutory right to a library service, campaigners all over the country have rallied to challenge the closures being put in place by local authorities.Up to 500 libraries in the UK are at risk as a result of theUK government’s current austerity drive.' News Review reports on the campaign.

'Rather to the amazement of the publishing world, J K Rowling, long a bye-word for her loyalty to her agent and publishers, has cut out her publisher Bloomsbury and set up a new site to sell ebook versions of her books direct to her readers... Even more surprisingly, Rowling has announced that she has left her agent of 16 years, Christopher Little, and moving to a new agency, The Blair Partnership, set up by Neil Blair, the lawyer who worked with her at the Christopher Little Agency.' News Review reports on the latest surprising news.


  • The novelists' task: 'To find an adequate narrative vehicle for the most difficult stuff at the core of me, in the hope that that might resonate with the reader who otherwise has been feeling alone with those deep, difficult feelings...' Jonathan Franzen in the Sunday Telegraph's Seven

  • 'Actually, there's hardly a mainstream genre (fiction, history, children's books, poetry) that's not undergoing significant change, attributable to the liberation of the new technology, from ebook to Kindle: poets developing apps, J K Rowling linking Harry Potter to cyberspace, would-be novelists launching their work as ebooks.' Robert McCrum in the Observer

  • 'When I'm writing a picture book, I automatically think "I don't need to say that" because the pictures will say it. Or better still, "I'll say this and the pictures will say that, which contradicts it.' Allan Ahlberg in the Guardian

  • 'I always say "Please edit me", because I don't want to write those big, flabby books where the writer's making loads of money and nobody wants to tell them that it's crap. You know who I'm talking about. You have to take your ego out of it and say, do I want people to be obsequious to me or do I want to write good books?' Denise Mina, author of The End of the Wasp Season, in the Independent on Sunday

  • 'Although it is hard for many of us to emotionally detach ourselves from the book as an incredible medium, what with all its historical contributions to humanity, we must admit that the concept of the book as the best delivery system for knowledge and information is, in fact, dead.' Julius Wiedemann of Taschen, in the Huffington Post.

Writers' Quote

'I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly.'
Edgar Rice Burroughs

Help for Writers


Our new service is for anyone who is having difficulty producing their cover of jacket copy and may be especially helpful for self-publishers. Let our skilled editor/writers do the job for you, so that you end up with a professional blurb.

John Jenkins' July column

John introduces Dr Bernard Lam's Guarding the Queen's English, which he can 'recommend to all writers and would be writers, particularly those bewildered by me and I, who and whom, it’s and its, that and which, who’s and whose.'

Set up your own blog

In order to be in the best position to promote yourself and your writing, it’s well worth setting up a blog. In case you find this idea a bit alien, here’s why you should take the trouble to do this.

A blog offers you the opportunity to start building an audience for your work and the chance to experiment with writing about yourself and with different kinds of writing. Many successful writers’ blogs start with a small readership of family and friends, but build a good audience over the years. Relax and just write what comes naturally, it makes sense for your blog to be more informal, more personal than a standard piece of non-fiction writing and more lively than a slice of autobiography, as there are no conventions that go with it.

Help get your book ready for publication with an editorial service

Marti Norberg, who has worked as a reporter and managing editor for several Colorado newspapers, advises on how to use an editorial service (such as WritersServices) to get your book ready.


Man reading


Great review of WritersServices

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

'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.

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

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.

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Our Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 17 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Typing to Rewriting. Check out this page to find links to the huge number of useful articles on this site, including Finding an Agent and Making Submissions.

Update to our links

Our 23 lists of recommended links have just been updated with many new links to sites of special interest to writers. these range from Writers Online Services to Picture libraries and from Software for writers to Writers Magazines & Sites.

John Jenkins' June column

John's latest column is entitled 'A new chapter for publishers' and deals with the vast changes sweeping through the publishing world as the ebook rapidly gains a large audience - to his regret.

Getting your manuscript copy edited

If you are looking for copy editing online, it is difficult to ensure that you are getting a professional copy editor who will do a good job on your manuscript.

WritersServices has now made its copy editing service unique, as it will offer as standard two versions of your script, one prepared using 'track changes' and one with all the changes accepted.

Writing Historical Fiction

Our revised article on Writing Historical Fiction brings this subject up to date.

Other articles cover Writing Crime Fiction Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Romance Writing Non-fiction and Writing Memoir and Autobiography.

Inside Publishing series

This extremely useful 19-part series has just been 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 covered 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., the Sales Department, the Production Department, Pricing and Distribution.

And the third week it was Book clubs and Direct selling.  The fourth covered Creative Commons and the fifth The Financial relationship between writers and publishers. This completes the update of the whole series.

Tips for Writers Our 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

WritersServices Self-publishing

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.