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August 2012 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • In an article in a recent Bookseller, Caroline Horn wrote cheeringly about the continued health of the children's books sector. At a time when publishing for adults is well down and there are many changes which make it difficult to see far ahead, the children's publishing sector remains robust.
  • The recent news that Amazon's Kindle sales of ebooks have surpassed sales of print books led many commentators to assume that ebook sales are now outstripping print book sales. But, even in the States, where the growth in ebook sales has been extraordinarily fast, print books still outsell ebooks to a large extent, in fact they currently only constitute about 25% of total sales
  • It's alarming to read in Publishers' Weekly that unit sales of print fiction backlist titles in the US fell 30% in the period ended 22 July compared to the same period last year, whilst non-fiction was 13% down. American publishers have suffered badly from the demise of Borders and this hasn't been offset by a switch to online backlist sales, as you might have expected.Read more
  • Maeve Binchy, who died this week at the age of 72, was one of those rare authors who is loved by everyone. Her warm, readable novels showed her great story-telling talent, but it was her wonderful personality which marked her out from many other successful authors.


  • Looking back on the past three years, you can see just how much has changed in publishing, and how much remains the same. Some of the topics that made headlines years ago - ebooks, ereaders, territoriality, rights - are still top of the agenda; but several new buzzwords and concepts have also emerged: transmedia, gamification, social media marketing, and book discovery are just a few of them.' Edward Nawotka, editor-in-chief, Publishing Perspectives
  • 'I was surprised at the success of Chocolat. I was told that sort of book wouldn't sell as it was too old-fashioned and stuck between literary and commercial fiction, but the public voted with their wallets. (It sold more than a million copies.) Joanne Haris, author of Peaches for Monsieur le Cure in the Independent on Sunday. 
  • The huge differential in costs between self publishers and the corporates is tremendously beneficial to self publishers. It is also tremendously beneficial to Amazon and the self published should perhaps reflect that there seems to me no evidence whatsoever that Amazon cares about authors or books in any way at all. Agent Orange in the Bookseller's Futurebook.
  • 'So what's it like being a writer today? At grass roots level I don't think it has changed at all from thousands of years ago. Good writers tell gripping stories; they always have done and always will do - it is the delivery method that has changed, but then it always has.' Peter James in the Bookseller

Writers' Quote

'Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don't see any.'

Orson Scott Card

Links to this week's top stories

Our new feature links to interesting blogs or articles posted online, which will help keep you up to date with what's going on in the book world:

Victory for music and film industries as Google begins piracy crackdown

 A Right Fit - Navigating the World of Literary Agents and immersing yourself in the literary community 

 Girl underwater

Writing Memoir and Autobiography

Writing Historical Fiction

Writing Romance

Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy

Writing Crime Fiction

Writing non-fiction

Our book review section

Choosing a Service

Are you having difficulty deciding which service might be right for you?  This useful 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.  


New words added to Oxford Dictionaries reflect changes in society

Oxford Dictionaries Online, Oxford University Press's free dictionary and language reference service, has just added its new quarterly words, which present a fascinating picture of our changing language.

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. There's a new Writers' Blogs listing which needs populating, so please send your suggestions in.

Help for Writers

Use this page as a springboard to over 2,000 pages on the site. 


Our new service is for anyone who is having difficulty producing their cover or 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.

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.

Our Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 18 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, Your Submission Package and Making Submissions.