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May 2012 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • 'Shock horror announcement - That’s not putting too strongly the chorus of disapproval which greeted the surprise announcement from James Daunt of Waterstones that he had agreed an alliance with Amazon which would see Waterstones selling Kindles in their shops and providing wi-fi acess so that customers can browse the shop’s stock and then order ebooks on their Kindles.' News Review on the story of the week.

  • 'As if there wasn’t enough change going on in the publishing world at the moment, the British government has decided to take a hand in academic publishing, having just concluded that a new model would work better. For years publishers have undertaken this kind of scholarly publishing which is financed by book and journal sales, yet now government minister David Willetts is suggesting that open access is the way forward.' News Review on academic publishing.

  • 'J K Rowling’s Pottermore site seems to have succeeded all expectations. The ebook store has sold £3m ($4.83) worth of Harry Potter ebooks in its first month. Sales appear to have been driven by pent-up demand and sales values are high because many fans are buying the complete ebook bundle, which is priced at £38.64 ($62.25)...' News Review reports.

  • 'An article in a recent edition of the Bookseller focused on the London agency Conville and Walsh, a relative newcomer to the agency business but a successful one. How is the world of agenting being affected by the changes in the book world, and what impact does this have on writers? News Review reports on agenting in a changing world.


  • 'The sprawling fan fiction groups of the internet cover everything from films to TV shows to pop stars, and the strongest tend to cluster around imaginative teenage fiction such as Harry Potter and the Twilight series. It's from these groups that Fifty Shades of Grey has emerged... James Bridle in the Observer

  • 'I wouldn't use the word "fun" to describe the process (of writing). It's like someone has said "OK, you have to scrub St Paul's Cathedral. Now here's your toothbrush."... George R R Martin, author of Dance with Dragons 2: After the Feast and many other bestsellers, in The Times.

  • ‘Although it may sound surprising, neither Amazon nor Apple are 2.0 oriented companies. And this is their weakest point. Both were born at the end of the analog era and although their corporate cultures may be highly innovative, their strategic focus is still very traditional. Both have created totally restricted ecosystems that only permit limited co-operation with other companies.' Javier Celaya in Publishing Perspectives.

  • 'I want to make sure that a reader could figure out every twist in the book from what went before. I try really hard to give those clues and suggestions double or triple meanings and steer (the reader) in a different direction. But the opportunity, if one chose to figure out what was going to happen, should be there...' Jeffrey Deaver, author of XO and 29 other thrillers, in the Bookseller

  • ‘This has been a tumultuous year for the book business, a time of profound change in the way books are distributed and read. It is no exaggeration to say that the widespread acceptance of digital devices and a simultaneous contraction of shelf-space in stores qualify as a historic shift...' Peter Osnos, founder and editor at large of PublicAffairs Books in The Atlantic

Writers' Quote

'There are three reasons for becoming a writer. The first is that you need the money; the second, that you have something to say that you think the world should know; and the third is that you can't think what to do with the long winter evenings.'

Quentin Crisp

Links to recent 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:

US agent Rosemary Stimola and the Changing World of Children’s Books

Apple: U.S. e-book lawsuit 'fundamentally flawed'

Mollet attacks 'grotesque' tactics of copyright opponents

Links to stories of last week

How a book is born

It doesn’t matter what e-books cost to make

Serious Non-fiction in the Digital Age

 Magazine - Man reading

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.

Previous magazines:



Magazine index


Writing Memoir and Autobiography

Writing Historical Fiction

Writing Romance

Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy

Writing Crime Fiction

Writing non-fiction

Our book review section

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.

The 2011 Diagram Prize

The winner has just been announced of this year's Diagram Prize.  Ranging from Mr Andoh's Pennine Diary: Memoirs of a Japanese Chicken Sexer in 1935 Hebden Bridge to Estonian Sock Patterns All Around the World, this is a vintage year.


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.

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.