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15 December 2014 - What's new

15 December 2014
  • There's been quite a lot of talk about ghostwriting this last week. It's been sparked off by the revelation that Zoella Sugg, Britain's biggest female vlogger, had a ghostwriter working on her first novel, Girl Online. What adds urgency and focus to this story is that Zoella's book shot to prominence, selling 78,109 copies in the first week, and thus outselling the first week record of any other author, including bestselling writers such as Dan Brown, J K Rowling and others. Penguin knew they were on to a sure thing when they signed up Zoella's book. She currently has 1.9m Facebook fans, 2.55 Twitter followers, and no less than 3.49m Instagram disciples for her blog, which is devoured by teenage girls. News Review
  • In our archive we have a series of six articles on writing in different categories, including SF and Fantasy, Crime, Romance, for Children, Historical fiction, Memoir and Non-fiction, providing some background on how to approach different genres.
  • ‘I didn't follow the sf rules and conventions unless I felt like it; essentially I went on writing what I wanted to write, and they could call it what they liked. To publish genre fiction of course branded me as a sub-literary writer in the eyes of the literary establishment, critics, award-givers, etc., but the great potentialities of the field itself, the open-mindedness of its editors and critics, the intelligence of its readers, compensated for that. Genre fiction was looked at as a ghetto, but I wonder now if realist fiction, sealing itself off in the glum suburbs of a dysfunctional society, denying the uses of imagination, was the ghetto...' Ursula Le Guin, author of The Left Hand of Darkness and Lavinia in Salon, quoted in our Comment column.
  • Our 19 editorial services will help you get your book published or prepare it for publication. Which service? provides a guide to the individual services, which range from reports to copy editing, submission critiques to blurb and synopsis writing.
  • Our links this week: Are Wattpad already too far ahead? Amazon goes head to head with Wattpad in battle for fanfic writers | Books | The Guardian; a useful article for indie authors, Should You Hire a Professional Book Publicist? - Publishing Perspectives; a cheering report from bricks and mortar bookselling, James Daunt: the man who saved Waterstones - ES Magazine - Life & Style - London Evening Standard; and, tying in with our News Review story, How Much Can You Fake in Publishing?
  • 'I like to live in a nice house. I like to play to a big audience. A lot of people enjoy the stories. I don't think that's anything to get all pumped up about, and I don't think it's anything to get depressed about.' James Patterson in our Writers' Quotes.