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What's New in 2023



22 May 2023 - What's new

May 2023

8 May 2023 - What's new

May 2023
  • 'There isn't always a correlation between the greatest works of fiction and the biggest sellers. If that was the case, David Almond would be selling a million copies. Sometimes it's a happy coincidence that something you're working on seems to be doing well elsewhere. But I try not to join the dots, because the single most important thing is writing the book that you want. That's what I try and do, first and foremost... I'm obsessed with underdogs. The kids I was working with had been written off, and they had experienced horrific things that the vast majority of the population won't go through as long as they live. That is something that fundamentally really drives my writing...' Phil Earle, author of When the Sky Falls, While the Storm Rages, Demolition Dad and 16 other books for children, and 6 for older readers, in Bookbrunch.
  • This week we have the first in a new series, Ask the Editor 1: What genre is my book? 'I am asked this question surprisingly often. I say surprising because one might assume, most of the time, that the genre of a book is obvious. And, most of the time, it is relatively obvious; authors tend to aim their efforts at specific markets. But once in a while, you come across a book that defies simple classification. In this article, I will look briefly at the main genre categories in fiction, and then zoom in on the problem of books that cross genre boundaries or don't neatly fit the criteria of the publishing industry...'
  • If you're looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one of our three reports would suit you best? Which Report? includes our latest top-of-the range service, the Editor's Report Plus, introduced by popular demand to provide even more detail. This very substantial report takes the form of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and many writers have found that this detail helps them to get their book right.
  • Links from the tech world: a huge and growing headache for human authors, Amazon Is Being Flooded With Books Entirely Written by AI; will computers supplant audiobook readers? Unlikely, says Nicholas Jones, The art of the pause; after aggressively promoting its new lifestyle social media platform Lemon8 in the US, TikTok's parent ByteDance eyes a new chapter in book publishing | TechCrunch; and this week BookTok creators considered how many self-published authors are on the platform, The Bookseller - Books - Books on BookTok: how prevalent are self-published authors?
  • The 2023 Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition is open to unpublished, unagented children's writers based anywhere in the world. Entry fee £20. The prize is a publishing contract with Chicken House with an advance of £10,000, plus the offer of representation from literary agent Davinia Andrew-Lynch of Andlyn. This year also sees the introduction of the Lime Pictures New Storyteller Award, a bespoke prize sponsored by leading TV production company Lime Pictures, awarded to the submission which shows the greatest TV development potential. The winner will receive a £7,500 publishing contract plus an offer of representation. Lime Pictures will receive an exclusive first look at all shortlisted manuscripts
  • Authors often find it difficult to write their own synopsis for submission to agents and publishers, which is where our Synopsis-writing service can help. If you're preparing to self-publish and having difficulty with your blurb, our Blurb-writing service will make your book stand out.
  • 'I want to thank Chris and the team at Writers Services for their help and tolerance. My first submission of my rough draft came back with an extremely useful critique. I restructured, rewrote and resubmitted - and got excellent feedback which has helped me to revise the book by highlighting the weaknesses and the development needed... the help received so far is already paying dividends. I have just signed with an agent on the strength of the latest draft.' Patrick Cox in our Endorsements.
  • Links from writers: their union represents approximately 11,500 people who write the Hollywood shows and movies we watch in theaters and at home, WGA strike 2023: Hollywood's writers walked off the job. What happens now? - Vox; was it hard, writing your first real book? Stop Acting Like YA Writers Aren't Real Authors ‹ CrimeReads; so I thought I'd put the app to the test against my usual internet searches, Using ChatGPT for Book Research? Take Exceeding Care | Jane Friedman; and attempts to suppress works of literature tend to have the opposite effect, The big idea: what if censoring books only makes them more popular? | Books | The Guardian.
  • WritersServices offers a comprehensive range of editorial services for authors writing for the children's book market. All our services are carried out to the highest professional standard and offer competitive rates and excellent value for money. Writing for children is not an easy option. It requires sound writing skills, originality, a clear understanding of the target audience and a good grasp of the market. Our expert editors are specialists in writing for children, and they will help you make your work the best it can be. Children's Editorial Services.
  • How Literary Agents Work - an article written exclusively for Writersservices by literary agent Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media in New York: 'I have often heard that authors are interested in how literary agents work. It is very simple: a literary agent exists to provide services to authors...' A short but clear summary of what agents do.
  • Working with an agent: 'Don't ever take on an agent you don't like or don't trust, however desperate you may feel. You have to be able to work with them in what should be an extremely important relationship for you as a writer. You must also feel confident that they are competent, enthusiastic about your work and can be trusted, both in terms of the advice they offer and in relation to handling your money...'
  • Links from publishing: a round-up from the London book fair, taking in the essentials of what the publishing landscape will look like for the next 12 months, Meals and deals: five biggest trends from London book fair 2023 | London book fair | The Guardian; publishers are not hiring enough people - or quickly enough, The Bookseller - Comment - Publishing's hiring problem: the agent's view; haven't we always been stretched? The Bookseller - Comment - Publishing's hiring problem: the editor's view; book prices have not kept pace with inflation and earnings, RRPs are rising but books have never been cheaper; and a new study of trends in children's reading, The Bookseller - News - Children reading more but enjoyment and comprehension on the decline, research suggests.
  • Have you ever wondered why you don't win any of those competitions? What can you do to improve your chances? Our tipsheet on Entering Competitions.
  • Writing Biography & Autobiography is a serialisation from our Archives of the book by Brian D Osborne published by A & C BlackClick for A & C Black Publishers Publishers References listing. In the first excerpt, 'Managing the matters of truth and objectivity', the author says: 'Just as you need to remember that letters, reports, census forms, legal documents and so forth were not created simply for our convenience, so you also need to remember that what is written in them may not be true...'
  • Our 5th Tips for Writers focuses on How to promote your book (and yourself): 'These days social media offer a huge opportunity to publicise your book. Facebook and Twitter have been good places to publicise your work for some years, but it's increasingly important to think about BookTok, TikTok and Instragram as well. Even if social media don't come naturally to you, it's really worth giving them a go...'
  • Links to writers' stories: all told, he completed 34 books, 31 of them either Inspector Banks novels or related short story collections, Peter Robinson, Remembered ‹ CrimeReads; how her boookshop marketing manager has leveraged the platform to promote the bookstore - and what a microcelebrity Patchett herself has become on the app, Ann Patchett: Author, Bookstore Owner, and BookTok Influencer; it's not just hard to get published, but also hard staying published, Q&A: author Jo Thomas; and bringing her own long-running series to an end and reflecting on how other authors have done it, Elly Griffiths on Knowing When to Say Goodbye ‹ CrimeReads.
  • Our 22 Services for Writers is just a list of our writers' editorial services, which we think is the most comprehensive in the world.
  • If you need to clear copyright for your book, Clearing Copyright shows you how to do this: 'Copyright provides a framework for trading in intellectual property. In practice it protects the author's position and ensures that the publisher is able to take on the risk of publication in the knowledge that the publisher's rights are protected. In effect authors, (the originators of intellectual property) sub-license their rights through their book contracts to different parties in individual territories and in specific forms...'
  • 'If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.' Charles Darwin in our Writers' Quotes.
  • If you enjoy keeping up with What's New, you can sign up for our newsletter to be emailed to you every two weeks.

24 April 2023 - What's new

April 2023

10 April 2023 - What's new

April 2023
  • 'Stories stay with us: tales of bravery visit us when fear peeps round the corner, comedies sprinkle us in smiles on a train ride to work. Characters become our friends and our confidantes, and worlds explored through the imagination, incredibly, share space with our memories. A story shared transports reader and listeners alike on a joint adventure never to be forgotten. When we open a book there's no telling where it may take us... Joseph Coelho, UK Children's Laureate and author of Werewolf Club Rules, the Luna Loves series Overheard in a Tower Block and How To Write Poems, in Bookbrunch.
  • Our unique new service is The Cutting Edit. So you have finished your book, but it is too long; how do you go about reducing the word count without losing important parts of your work? We're here to help. Our experienced editors will work with you to reduce the word count of your book while preserving the main narrative elements and your individual style. This service is available for both fiction and non-fiction, and it's a dual service - as we reduce the word count of your manuscript we also copy edit it as part of the job.
  • This new service sits alongside our existing range of Copy editing services.
  • The 2023 Page Turner Awards are open to all writers over 18. Entry fees. The £35,000 prize fund is spread over the Writing, Young Writer, Screenplay and Book Awards and the Writing Mentorship. Closing on 31 May.
  • The Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize is closing on 16 April, so there's still time to enter if you're fast.
  • Tips for Writers offers easy access to information for writers. Tips for Writers 3 covers New Technology and the Internet: 'Sites such as WritersServices offer a vast amount of free information which can help you develop your writing and get published. Our 9,000+ pages can be accessed through the homepage or through Advice for Writers, which gives a breakdown of what is on the site. Look for other useful sites on the web.'
  • Links from publishing and social media: there's a sea change in book publishing that has seen women surge ahead of men in almost every part of the industry in recent years, Women now dominate the book business. Why there and not other creative industries? : Planet Money : NPR; writers are the lifeblood of the publishing industry. Agents and publishers, who work with them every day, should understand and respect them, Writers Can Handle the Truth from Editors; this week, as #booktok hit over 121 billion views on TikTok, The Bookseller - Books - Books on BookTok: real-world impact; and from talking rabbits to schoolboy wizards, the greatest sellers of the last half-century have never been predictable, From Richard Charkin's 'My Back Pages': 'Accidental Successes'.
  • From our Endorsements page: 'I've used two services with this company: The Editor's Plus Report and the Writer's Edit. I am completely satisfied with the service I received and said service has led to the completion and publication of my first novel: Lightforce. I would recommend any of these services to any aspiring author.' Jason Handleman, author of Lightforce (Everything Changes Book 1)
  • 'So you want to be a crime writer? This is probably a good choice. Crime writing has long been popular with readers across the English-speaking world but it had a real resurgence a few years ago. Although publishers have reined back from the subsequent tendency towards over-production, there is still a solid market for good crime writing and many bestselling writers, such as Richard Osman, write in this category. As well as being a long term publishing staple in the main English-speaking markets, the US and UK, crime novels are much in demand in translation, especially in Europe...' Writing Crime Fiction in our Genre writing series.
  • 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 can help you get your submission package into the best possible shape, giving you a professional view of your submission material and clear suggestions for any improvements.
  • Is your synopsis proving tricky? Our Synopsis-writing service can help.
  • Links on writers' craft: more on the rapid and troubling progress of AI, On AI and the Intrinsic Value of Writing - The Millions; so often, a writer has spent years of their life working on a novel that runs to 300+ pages before they seek out qualified feedback, 3 Critical Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Draft (or Revise!) a Novel | Jane Friedman; the decisions historical novelists have to make to create a compelling narrative overlap with memoir more than you'd think, What Memoirists Can Learn from Historical Novelists | Jane Friedman; "I undertake a significant amount of research - then I let it go and just write my story from the heart." Jacqueline Winspear Considers the Art of Historical Fiction ‹ CrimeReads; the increasingly tricky role of translators, Spokesperson, Intellectual, and... More? On the New and Shifting Role of the Translator ‹ Literary Hub.
  • 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, The Business of Writing for Self-publishing authors offers terrific advice for all writers: 'Self-publishing authors - also known as ‘indie' authors or author-publishers - have had a steep learning curve these past few years. Getting to grips with the various sales channels available to them, producing top quality ebooks and paperbacks, and finding a place in mainstream outlets have left many writers struggling to keep up with the paperwork. What follows is a brief guide to the essentials your self-publishing business needs - because it is a business, even if you only publish one book!'
  • Choosing a service gives a rundown on all our services, in case you're not sure what you want.
  • Are you hoping to submit your book to publishers? Will you plan to do this through an agent? Finding an agent shows you how to go about this: 'Many writers see being taken on by an agent as the first step in getting taken on by a publisher, because it is so difficult to get publishers to pay attention to unagented writers...'
  • Our final set of links are to writers' own stories: there were stretches when I made so little money writing or editing that I couldn't blame my parents for assuming they were hobbies, The Costs of Becoming a Writer - Does It Pay to Be a Writer? From one of the most widely banned authors in American history, Judy Blume on Roald Dahl Censorship, Book Bans and Best Queer Books - Variety; two successful authors, ‘We want to read about people falling in love': Curtis Sittenfeld and Marian Keyes on the romcom revival | Books | The Guardian; I am drawn to the first half of the Twentieth Century because it is connected to my own time through my parents, grandparents and their stories, Rhys Bowen on Historical Fiction and Memorable Heroines ‹ CrimeReads; and my amateur pursuit of literary titans, When Literary Legends Meet ‹ CrimeReads.
  • From our Writers' Quotes: 'You reach deep down and bring up what feels absolutely authentic to you as you move along with the book, but you don't know everything about it. You can't.' Anne Rice

27 March 2023 - What's new

March 2023

13 March 2023 - What's new

March 2023


27 February 2023 - What's new

February 2023

13 February 2023 - What's new

February 2023

30 January 2023 - What's new

January 2023

16 January 2023 - What's new

January 2023

2 January 2023 - What's new

January 2023