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July 2013 - Writers Magazine

News Review

  • 'Ebook sales growth in the UK seems to be flattening this year. A recent Bowker study showed that digital is taking a much greater proportion of the fiction market than of narrative non-fiction, as in the US...'
  • 'The revelation that Robert Galbraith was really J K Rowling and the huge subsequent demand for The Cuckoo's Calling have dominated the headlines this week. It's an ideal silly season story, complete with a villain in the shape of the lawyer who, for some extraordinary reason, confided the truth to his wife's best friend, who promptly tweeted it to Sunday Times journalist India Knight...'
  • 'The big story this week is the devastating news for Apple that it has lost its case. A federal judge in New York has ruled that Apple did collude with five big publishers to fix ebook prices...'
  • This was an unprecedentedly eventful week in publishing, which saw the completion of the Penguin Random House merger, but with some surprises, and the completely unexpected departure of Victoria Barnsley, CEO of HarperCollins UK.
  • A recent Publishing Perspectives story throws light on the burgeoning market for writers' work in China. The founder, Luo Li, has recently left the country's largest online literature site Quidian, charged with stealing copyrights that belonged to Quidian's parent company, Shanda Literature.


  • 'On the internet everyone is writing. There is a great flowering of writing. Going in to Knopf (his US publisher) today is not like going into a publisher 50 years ago. That world is changing... 'You're lucky if a book stays in print for 30 or 40 years. James Salter, author of All That Is is, in the Observer, quoted in our Comment column.
  • 'When my first novel was published, people said: "Why are you still here?" (working in a London bookshop). How much money do they think authors earn? If you're lucky, you'll get enough to help you survive while you're writing your next book...' Evie Wyld, author of After the Fire, A Still Small Voice and All the Birds, Singing in the Independent on Sunday
  • 'I've spent 30 years loving being a novelist. It's bullshit to say that I think television has superseded the novel. It's just not what I think. Of course it's exciting to do something on this scale in a medium I've never worked in; and, yes, I've talked about TV dramas being comparable to novels, in that you have the length for complex storylines and characters. But I would never say they have replaced novels. There's room for both.' Salman Rushdie in The Times
  • ‘Whether you're an author, agent, publisher or retailer, depending on your view it's either a terrifying or exhilarating time. The only certainty is that it's all changing... The publishing world has gone mad. But throughout it all, one thing will survive - the inspiration of stories, the power of words. It's what unites all of us at this party. Victoria Barnsley, CEO, at the HarperCollins UK summer party which turned into her leaving party, as reported in Bookbrunch.

Writers' Quote

‘To write good SF must push further and harder, reach deeper into your own mind until you break through into the strange and terrible country wherein live your own dreams.'

Gardner Dozois

Links to this month'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:

Here's how Amazon self-destructs -

The Head of FSG Reflects on Hothouse -- Vulture

Two Experiments Running: Agent-Publishing in London | Publishing Perspectives

'I turned down 'Robert Galbraith'': Editor admits rejecting JK Rowling's secret novel - News - Books - The Independent

Agent-Assisted Publishing: An Interrupted Debate | Publishing Perspectives

What the Writers' Guild Can Do For You

Folio Academy Highlights Literary Gems of the Past | Publishing Perspectives

E-Book Ruling Gives Amazon an Advantage -

Book Publishing's Big Gamble -

An innocent story with dramatic implications - The Shatzkin Files.

Genre Fiction and Digital Publishing: A Marriage Made in Heaven | Publishing Perspectives

Google Wins Appeal, Authors Guild Loses Class Action Status

Want Kids to Succeed at School? Stock Your Home with Books | Publishing Perspectives

e-books and profitability- What we've always said and publishers have always denied | AARdvark

US writer uses self-publishing to get past industry 'racism' | Books |


Girl underwater

Our series about writing in different genres

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 Editorial Services for writers

Check out the 19 different editorial services we offer, from Reports to Copy editing, Manuscript 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.


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

Press coverage for the site

This week we've sent out a press release and had some good coverage for the site, including this piece in Bookbrunch.

Colour printing now available for Print on demand

Our WritersServices Self-Publishing printer Lightning Source has just announced that it can now handle colour printing in the UK as well as the US. This exciting breakthrough means that we're now able to offer colour printing for a very good price, with all the benefits of print on demand - a huge advantage for any self-publisher who is thinking of producing a colour book, whether it's a children's book, a cookery book, a high-quality art book or any other book where colour is essential.

Talking to publishers 2

Maria Maloney of Our Street BooksAn Imprint Of John Hunt Publishing. For children of all ages, deliver a potent mix of fantastic, rip-roaring adventure and fantasy stories to excite the imagination; spiritual fiction to help the mind and the heart grow; humorous stories to make the funny bone grow; historical tales to evolve interest; and all manner of subjects that stretch imagination, grab attention, inform, inspire and keep the pages turning. Our subjects include Non-fiction and Fiction, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Religious, Spiritual, Historical, Adventure, Social Issues, Humour, Folk Tales and more. on Writing for and about children in Talking to Publishers 3: 'Speak directly to the children on their own level and not at them or down to them. It is helpful if you have an educational background or write from experience. Ensure you aim the style of language at the appropriate age group. Sophisticated language won't suit the very young for instance. We often get picture books for children 3-6 with language more suited to teenagers.'

Talking to Publishers 2

Suzanne Ruthven interviews her colleague Autumn Barlow, publisher for the new John Hunt PublishingExplore the "Our Imprints" section to learn more about our uniquely qualified publishers and their supporting teams. imprint for historical fiction, Top Hat BooksAn Imprint Of John Hunt Publishing. Historical fiction that lives. We publish fiction that captures the contrasts, the achievements, the optimism and the radicalism of ordinary and extraordinary times across the world.: 'As I see it, "historical" isn't actually a genre itself. Within historical fiction there are literary works, thrillers, romances, action-adventure, and of course Alternate Histories and historical fantasy..,'

Book review

Our new review of Writing: A User's Manual  - A practical guide to the craft of planning, starting and finishing a novel by David Hewson concludes that:'The great strength of Hewson's guide lies in the detailed focus on the actual process of putting together a novel, the decisions that need to be made, the best way to approach the task and so on.'

Talking to Publishers 1

Suzanne Ruthven kicks off our new series with an article about their books for writers: 'It would be a great mistake to think that writers' how-to books were only written for beginners - there are times when even more experienced writers also need a bit of helpful advice, especially if thinking about changing direction, or exploring a completely different genre...'

Writing Opportunities

This month's writing opportunities are the Hot Key Young Writers Prize 2013 (closing on 22 July), Costa Short Story Award 2013, The H W Fisher Biography Prize and the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award.

New PhD editing service

Our new PhD editing service is just launched. Are you working to prepare your PhD for submission? Professional editing can help you improve the presentation of your work and iron out any grammar or spelling errors.

Update to our links

Our 23 lists of recommended links have hundreds of 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 4,000 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.