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14 November 2016 - What's new

14 November 2016
  • 'There's been a lot of discussion recently about how things have changed for writers over the last few years. In some ways it's a radically different picture, in others not so much so. When WritersServices was set up in 2001, there wasn't really a market of writers. Compared to the situation now, the web was in its infancy and it had not yet been realised what a brilliant way this would prove to be for writers to self-publish and then market their work.' This week's News Review: Is self-publishing replacing traditional publishing?
  • Finding an agent and Working with an agent - two practical checklists to help set up and maintain this vital relationship. 'Try to find an agency which is ‘hungry' for new clients. To keep their workload under control, an established independent agent might take on something like four new authors a year (this figure came from two agents I spoke to recently), but only to replace four departing clients. This may seem obvious, but whether or not an agent is actively looking to build their list of clients is probably the single most important factor affecting how closely they are looking at unsolicited submissions...'
  • "I think agents mediate and enhance and improve the publishing process. I regard my role as being independent, I will say to an author, 'No, no, the publisher is right in this case.' It is not my job to blindly support the author. I think you support them better by telling them what you regard as the truth..." Literary agent Ed Victor of the eponymous London agency, celebrating 40 years in business, provides our Comment in the Bookseller.
  • Our 19-part Inside Publishing series gives you an insider's take on the publishing world, covering everything from subsidiary rights to the world English language market, from advances and royalties to the writer/publisher financial relationship. 'There's no escaping the fact that publishers and authors are essentially in an adversarial position. Even in the very best and most supportive publisher/writer relationships there is the tension caused by the fact that authors would like to earn as much as possible from their writing and publishers to pay as little as they can get away with. Understanding this is part of working your way through the relationship so as to come out of it in the way that best suits you as the writer...'
  • Our links: a poem went crazy on social media, Why Poetry Is Viral in the Aftermath of Trump's Election - The Atlantic; being able to truly see if you've been successful in writing a compelling work requires objectivity and distance, Should You Hire a Professional Editor? | Jane Friedman; an email interview with a mysterious bestselling author a month before her identity was revealed, 'Be Silent, Recover My Strength, Start Again'; In Conversation with Elena Ferrante | Hazlitt; and publishers reinventing the traditional business, At Singapore's StoryDrive Asia: Proud Publishers, Digital Demands.
  • 'Hardly any authors can copy edit their own writing. It is notoriously difficult to spot the errors in your own work. So professional copy editing does make sense, either if you are trying to give your work its best chance when submitting it or, even more crucially, if you are planning to self-publish...' Getting your manuscript copy edited
  • More links: 'some of my favourite imagined futures include the world paralysed by a giant, perpetual traffic jam (Strange Travellers by Gene Wolfe) and...' Sci fi and literature: how well have writers predicted the future? Halfway through the second decade of this century, independent bookselling is again thriving, Bookselling in the 21st Century: There Will Always Be Bookstores | Literary Hub; and a poetry editor talks about his work, Interview with a Gatekeeper: Wave Books' Matthew Zapruder | Literary Hub.
  • 'Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand - but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied.' Zadie Smith in our Writers' Quotes.