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10 April 2017 - What's new

10 April 2017
  • 'Two new initiatives from Amazon are worth checking out, one which may help get your books out there and one which seems largely to benefit Amazon's drive to grow its Amazon Prime business. Plus there's also an author outlining how you can get your own ebooks out to an international audience...' News Review
  • You've got until 21 May to enter the Virago/The Pool New Crime Writer award, open to women writers resident in the UK who have not had a book published or self-published. There's no entry fee and the prize is a publishing contract with Virago including a £7,500 advance.
  • From our 19 part Inside Publishing series, The Relationship between Publishers and Agents: 'Why do publishers need agents? Actually they don't need them, although they have come to rely on them. In many ways publishers would prefer to deal direct with unagented authors. It's authors who need agents. Writers need someone to sell their work and then to look after their relationship with their publishers...'
  • Print on demand is a now widely-used printing technology which delivers, literally, print on demand. It has the power to change the way books are published radically, and even publishers are using it on a very much greater scale. Some writers are still not yet familiar with its possibilities. Print on demand.
  • 'I actually say I write books about adults or about young people. I think it's an important distinction. But in the young people's books I've never tried to use simpler language, simpler stories or simpler themes. I've written the book I would normally write, but with a young person at the centre of it. Most writers for young people these days aren't thinking about children as being little kids. They're tackling serious subjects, writing about issues that are really faced by young people today, and that's what they want to read....' John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Heart's Invisible Furies, in the Observer provides this week's Comment.
  • Getting your poetry published: 'Don't even try to approach publishers until you have a collection-length amount of material to offer. Your chances will be much better even then if you can point to publication of your poems in magazines. Don't waste any time trying to get a literary agent to represent you. Only the best-known poets have literary representation, because there is just so little money in it that agents don't bother. If you can muster any kind of contact or referral, it is a way of getting your work noticed, but it is still a long, hard road to publication... You may feel that it is better to go the self-publishing route...'
  • Our links: I read your piece in the Guardian last weekend - about being a "failed novelist" - with a mounting sense of disbelief, Do two unpublished books make you a failed author? No, you're a quitter | Books | The Guardian; a long but fascinating interview with Canada's most famous writer, Margaret Atwood, the Prophet of Dystopia - The New Yorker; it is actually self-published indie authors that are taking over the book market, The Inequality of Indie Authors - The State Times; and forget plot or characters. Don't worry about voice or structure. If you believe the internet, there's nothing more important in fiction than worldbuilding, Against Worldbuilding - Electric Literature.
  • Do you want some help with your writing but don't quite know what you want? Are you a bit puzzled by the various services on offer, and not sure what to go for? Choosing a service can help you work out which service is right for you.
  • More links: while writing her first memoir, The Liar's Club, Mary Karr was so exhausted she napped every day like a cross-country trucker, What Happens to Your Memories When You Write a Memoir -- Science of Us; an annual summing-up from a veteran of the Fair, Bologna Report 2017 By Mary Hoffman; there was the usual flurry of excitement about various titles announced at the London Book Fair last month. But what has been the fate of titles that were similarly hyped at previous fairs? Whatever Happened To The Last Big Things; once your voice is real and audible, people's attitude to your writing will change, Finding Your Voice As A Writer | Writing Advice | BookBaby Blog.
  • For some lighter reading over what may be the holiday weekend for you - Rotten Rejections: The Letters that Publishers Wish They'd Never Sent. - Most of these are taken from Andre Bernard's wonderful little book Rotten Rejections: The Letters that Publishers Wish They'd Never Sent. This extraordinary collection of rejection letters sent by publishers to writers - many delivered to now famous authors of classic books - will make you laugh and provide comfort in the face of your own struggles to get published. Do send your own rejections.
  • 'There ain't nothing more to write about and I'm rotten glad of it, because if I'd knowed what a trouble it was to make a book, I wouldn't a tackled it.' Mark Twain in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn provides a great addition to our Writers Quotes.