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January 2013 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • 'At last there's some hard information on ebook sales in the UK and an interesting indication of future trends in the US. The Bookseller has managed to put together some ebook sales figures which show that ebook sales in the UK are currently worth around £250m.
    There has been a huge impact from the 20p ebook offers from Sony and Amazon and real signs that they may be cannibalising book sales...'
  • 'For some time the market for writing has been in demonstrable good health in the UK, with a large audience buying a great number of books. From the rise of Waterstones in the 1980s, through the mass-market explosion of the 90s, and more recently the arrival of writing for the web and the ebook with the new self-publishing model, UK readers have been a substantial, various audience with an appetite for books and reading...'
  • 'The winner of the 2012 T S Eliot Prize for Poetry has just been announced today. It's been won by Sharon Olds for Stag's Leap out of a ten-strong shortlist comprising collections from Simon Armitage, newcomer Sean Borodale, Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales, Julia Copus, Paul Farley, Kathleen Jamie, Jacob Polley, Deryn Rees-Jones and two distinguished American women poets, Jorie Graham and Sharon Olds...'
  • 'As we enter this New Year, it's a good time to reflect on the work of one of our key book charities, Book Aid International. WritersServices is a long-term supporter of this organisation, which has done so much to bring books to third world countries, especially in Africa...'


  • 'I'd like to say - if it seems relevant - that I'm a woman writer, but as long as I'm allowed to explain for me, that still means being subversive, heretical, and exploring difference.' She is uncomfortable with gender-based writing 'As though men write one kind of writing and women write another, which is nonsense...' Michele Roberts, author of Ignorance
  • 'There is an idea that the birth of the self-published writer implies the death of the agent and publisher (sometimes one and the same person, nowadays). It's not uncommon to hear it said that editors in big corporations are so pressured by the bottom line and bean-counting suits that they no longer take risks: only the editor/owner of a little independent press can afford to take a chance on a new writer or support him/her through the long-term business of establishing a reputation and growing sales... Iain Finlayson, author of Blood Month in Bookbrunch
  • 'Bloomsbury, Headline, Little, Brown, Macmillan, HarperCollins haven't abandoned literary fiction. Let's face it, Hilary Mantel was published by Fourth Estate, part of HarperCollins, and quite a few winners were published from large houses - Ian McEwan, Alan Hollinghurst, Julian Barnes, Howard Jacobson. It's very tough for publishers to publish literary fiction now... Danuta Kean, books editor of MsLexia Magazine, in Bookbrunch

Writers' Quote

'Writing a novel is not merely going on a shopping expedition across the border to an unreal land: it is hours and years spent in the factories, the streets, the cathedrals of the imagination.'

Janet Frame

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:

Lance Armstrong Sued for Peddling 'Fiction' as Memoir.

girl in chair

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.


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.

Our new Poetry Critique service

Are you ready to show your poetry to magazines and publishers, but worried about rejection from the people you most admire? Do you feel you need some help editing your poetry to really make it shine?

Our new service provides a line-by-line critique on up to 150 lines of poetry from our expert editor, plus advice on marketing your poems.

Driven to Distraction: Writers and Social Media

Jonathan Franzen famously wrote that, 'it's doubtful that anyone with an internet connection is writing good fiction', and many writers are open about blocking sites that harm their productivity. But with eight out of ten people in Britain now having access to the internet, and social media sites growing at an alarming rate, social media can be an effective and useful tool for writers to promote themselves.

This article highlights ways in which writers can utilise the two main social media sites, and reach out to an ever growing creative online community without it getting in the way of the writing itself.

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 in your suggestions.

Help for Writers

Use this page as a springboard to over 3,000 pages on the site.

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.