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17 July 2023 - What's new

17 July 2023
  • ‘I not only know the beginning, middle and end of the book, but I know the beginning, middle and end of each chapter... I think it's important for my readers that there is a real sense of jeopardy for the characters. Sometimes when you read a particular genre, you get to know where things are going. But I feel it's really important that when readers meet the characters on the first page, they feel that "we can't take anything for granted here". Anything must feel possible, it's only when they get to the end of the book that they will know exactly where the story was going, and why...' Mike Gayle, author of 17 books, including his first novel My Legendary Girlfriend, Wish You Were Here and just-published All the Lonely People, in the Bookseller.
  • The latest new article in our Ask the Editor series is Ask the Editor 4: Why do I need you? 'Well yes, in the old days an editor was a necessary part of the writing process. But times change, right? Innovations in digital technology have produced handy editorial software that spots the errors in your writing and corrects or makes suggestions for amending them; online thesauruses offer you options for word and phrase choices to make your writing more exciting and impactful. So with all this new-fangled help just waiting online for your call, you don't need the intervention of an editor. Do you? Actually, it's not as simple as that. There is plenty of editing tech out there, and some of it may even be useful. But if you look elsewhere online, say at the reviews of self-published (and increasingly, commercially published) books, you will read a different story. A large proportion of reviews - and thus a large number of readers, presumably - express their dissatisfaction with the quality of the manuscripts...'
  • Other articles in the series deal with writing a synopsis, the submission letter and What genre is my book?
  • The 2023 Manchester Writing Competitions are open internationally to those aged 16 or over. The entry fee for both prizes is £18. These prestigious competitions, run by Manchester Metropolitan University, offer two £10,000 prizes: the Manchester Poetry Prize for best portfolio of poems and the Manchester Fiction Prize for best short story. Closing 1 September.
  • Are you ready to submit your synopsis and sample chapters to agents or publishers, but worried about whether you are presenting your work in the best possible way? It's dispiriting to receive rejections just because your submission package is not up to scratch. Our Submission Critique has helped many authors to improve their submission packages, helping them to get published.
  • Links from writers: 'I love to write thrillers about creeps and coercive controllers, and about letting the wrong person in', Lisa Jewell Raced Through Writing Her Latest Novel; the ghostwriter on the extraordinary phenomenon of Flowers in the Attic and its successors, Becoming V.C. Andrews; after publishing more than forty books in half a century, How Samuel R. Delany Reimagined Sci-Fi, Sex, and the City | The New Yorker; 'I think the crime genre specifically has got ever more crowded and competitive', Q&A: bestselling novelist Ruth Ware.
  • As well as our highly-regarded Copy editing service, which will help you prepare your manuscript for submission or self-publishing, we have Manuscript Polishing, which provides a higher-level polishing service, English Language Editing for those for whom English is not a native language, the Writer's edit, providing line-editing, and Proof-reading. The Cutting edit and Developmental editing are two new services. Get the right level of editorial support for your needs from our professional editors. Our low-cost services represent exceptionally good value. Contact us to discuss what you want.
  • From our Endorsements page: 'I cannot emphasise enough my gratitude to I more or less expected that they would treat me and my texts professionally - after all, this is what the site offers. What I haven't expected was the extra mile they were prepared to go on my behalf, their beautiful attention to both the letter and the spirit of what I had to say. My manuscript has now found an agent - a happy development in which they have definitely played a role. All I can say is that if I ever produce anything else, I will definitely be their client again.' Sveta, Windsor, UK.
  • Links to articles about AI, the subject of the moment: it was a indicative of how quick and simple (and tempting) it is to use AI to write a book, The Bookseller - Comment - Responsible AI in publishing; their books, which are copyrighted, were ‘used to train' ChatGPT, Authors file a lawsuit against OpenAI for unlawfully ‘ingesting' their books | Books | The Guardian; concerned creators suing tech developers over their much-hyped generative AI technology, Authors Join the Brewing Legal Battle Over AI; for better or worse, artificial intelligence is poised to shake up the publishing industry, Seven Ways AI Will Impact Authors And The Publishing Industry; and the results of a survey about artificial intelligence, Writers' Guild of Great Britain Publishes Report on AI.
  • Bob's Journal is a long-running column from writer Bob Ritchie described by fellow EastEnders script-writer Pippa McCarthy: 'Just discovered your web page... I've just spent the last hour crying with laughter with periodic yelps of 'been there!'... I'm going to make my entire family read your diary. Then perhaps they will understand my own bizarre behaviour every time I start a script... Anyway, will shut up now but just wanted to say you have cheered me up no end. It's brilliant.'
  • Our Children's Editorial Services help you to get your children's book ready for publication or self-publishing. Have you found it difficult to get expert editorial input on your work ? Do you want to know if it might find a publisher? Or are you planning to self-publish?
  • Links from publishing: the amalgamation of brilliant minds, innovative ideas, and, most importantly, emerging technologies have encouraged its huge growth, 4 Publishing Trends to Stay in & Beyond 2023 - Good e-Reader; interest seems to be back to pre-lockdown levels, The Bookseller - News - Frankfurt Book Fair agents and scouts centre sold out after 'record interest'; the latest on book-banning, Obama speaks out against ‘profoundly misguided' book bans in school libraries | Books | The Guardian; we know throughout our 50 years of research just how essential poetry is as a genre for children, The Bookseller - Features - CLPE reflects on changing children's poetry scene ahead of CLiPPA's 20th anniversary; and social media enters a new phase, The Influence of BookTok and Bookstagram on Book Publishing Merch.
  • How to market your writing services online is a useful article from Joanne PhillipsUK-based freelance writer and ghostwriter. She has had articles published in national writing magazines, and has ghostwritten books on subjects as diverse as hairdressing and keeping chickens. Visit her at about selling yourself as a writer. 'Recently someone commented to me that I seem to be doing a pretty good job of promoting my writing services on the internet. I was touched by the observation - we writers get so many rejections that a little praise is especially gratifying. And I began to wonder - what does it take to market yourself successfully as a jobbing writer today?...'
  • Do you want some help with your writing but don't know quite what you want? Are you a bit puzzled by the various services on offer, and not sure what to go for? Choosing a service helps you work out which is the right editorial service for you.
  • More writers' links: 'most of the recent books I've abandoned are around 350-400 pages', It's Not Me, It's You: An Argument for Shorter Middle Grade Books; how becoming an author has changed the way I approach my publishing day job, The Bookseller - Comment - Swapping sides; the best children's fiction "helps us refind things we may not even know we have lost", Why adults should read children's books - BBC Culture; and charity aims to give 10 million young people across the continent the books they need by 2030, Book Aid seeks £4m for African campaign.
  • Rotten Rejections - The Letters that Publishers Wish they'd never Sent by Andre Bernard is full of the absurd things publishers said when rejecting writers' work: on Carrie by Stephen King 'We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.' On Animal Farm by George Orwell ‘It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA'.
  • From our Writers' Quotes: 'Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.' Barbara Kingsolver