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June 2012 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • 'The Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon seems unstoppable. The paperback and ebook editions have sold in excess of 2.75m copies, breaking all previous records, in the UK alone and the ebook is reckoned to have sold 4m copies worldwide. US sales are over 10m...' News Review reports.
  • 'Last week’s BookExpo AmericaBookExpo America, commonly referred to within the book publishing industry as BEA. The largest annual book trade fair in the United States in New York City seemed to show a resurgence amongst independent booksellers, until recently in steep decline. The American Booksellers Association reported that the number of member bookstores has increased from 1,512 to 1,567, and booksellers seem to have been voicing a new confidence about their role. Book buyer attendance was up 5% on last year.' News Review on news from the fair.
  • Last week’s Bookbrunch carried an interesting report on the recent Reader Organisation Conference. Jane Davis set up the first Get into Reading group in 2002, for young single mothers at a library in Birkenhead, Wirral, so creating a model that allows people of all reading abilities to come together to enjoy great literature, and to use that literature as a launch-pad for personal discussion...' News Review on a very worthwhile organisation.
  • 'It’s been a big week for the Orange Prize for Fiction. First there was the announcement that Orange will no longer be sponsoring it after this year’s Prize.  This was certainly a big surprise, as it’s generally been regarded as one of the most successful  of all sponsorships and there had been no indication, in public at least, that anything had changed. It has been the longest-running arts sponsorship in the UK...' News Review on this week's big story.


  • ‘While no author's chosen subject matter should be dictated by a ruthless appraisal of what might sell books, it's always nice when a topic springs to mind that, on closer consideration, chimes with one's perception of the public mood. Payback Time focuses on a group of friends taking revenge on a bank they blame for their friend's suicide... Geraint Anderson, author of Payback Time, published 21 June, in Bookbrunch
  • ‘The Booker made me a lot of money. I didn't realise that all over the world, people will read a book just because it won the Booker prize. Not something I would do myself... But then one goes into some quite other, private region to produce a book. I think the Booker can drive people quite mad. That's why it's good to be detached from it...' Alan Hollinghurst, author of The Stranger's Child in the Guardian
  • 'After a few years of enjoying and thinking about electronic books, paper still has a very specific place in my world - in fact, it has regained some ground. The depthless grey of my Kindle screen and the gloss brightness of the iPad or iPhone are fine and good, but they are not the hearth-and-home experience... Nick Harkaway in the Bookseller

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

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:

Indies continue to decline on high street

Going to the Very Edge of the Known Writing Universe

Why the Waterstones/Amazon Deal is “Like Vichy France”

What Can Trade Publishers Learn from Fanfiction?

Links to stories of last week

Good Books Are Worth the Wait - Tim Schaffner in Publishing Perspectives asks why writers are in so much of a hurry.

Value of Self-Publishing is the “Blind Spot in the Market” - The Bowker figures show 124,700 self-published titles in the total of 211,269 titles published in the US in 2011. 

Magazine - Perfect Balance

Previous magazines:



Magazine index


Writing Memoir and Autobiography

Writing Historical Fiction

Writing Romance

Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy

Writing Crime Fiction

Writing non-fiction

We Watch the web for writers

Our huge section on technology and the web, and how writers can make use of them, takes you from beginner-level articles to advanced technology.

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.

Success story - Stephen Leather

Stephen Leather has had an interesting path to success. A thriller writer who has been writing for long enough to have produced 25 titles, he has diversified over his writing career, with three series characters and books in slightly different genres. But it is how he has used self-published ebooks to build his audience which is particularly interesting.

A Library in Your Living Room

Oxford University Press have just announced that public libraries in England, Wales and Scotland will be able to provide library users with access to a myriad of fantastic reference works and language collections. Anyone with membership to these libraries will be able to use their library card to get instant free access in the library or at home.

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 and Making Submissions.