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What's New in 2023

November 2023

20 November 2023 - What's new

November 2023
  • ‘My success, I believe, stems from a combination of factors. Firstly, the freedom of self-publishing allowed me to explore and cater to my niche without being constrained by traditional publishing expectations. This direct connexion to readers, without intermediaries, provided invaluable feedback, enabling me to refine and better my work. Secondly, being proactive in leveraging social media and other marketing tools has enabled me to build a strong reader community. Authenticity and a strong personal connection with my audience have been key...' L J Ross, author of 29 books, including 20 books in the J C Ryan series, 4 in the Dr Alex Gregory series and 4 in the Summer Suspense series, in an article entitled 'The Freedom of Self-publishing' in the Bookseller.
  • In the eighth article in our Ask the Editor series the editor writes: 'Assessing a manuscript for editing is a skill all of its own. Individual editors may have different routines for assessing a text but we are all aiming for the same goal; a realistic grasp of the work that's required to bring a book up to a professional finish. In this article, I'll explain how I go about assessing editing jobs, and why... The condition of the manuscript tends to influence an editor's assessment and, more to the point, it influences estimates of fees. If I know I have to spend a lot of time and effort fixing basic errors, that time will be reflected in the price. On the other hand, if I'm looking at a clean text, I know I can move on to a more advanced reading. I feel like I'm dealing with a more professional writer...'
  • If you've come to the site looking for a report on your manuscript, how do you work out which one would suit you best? Which Report? includes our 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 this detail helps them to get their book right.
  • Our first set of links are from the publishing world: on AI, the issue of the day, Self-Publishing Writers and Publishers Weigh In On the Use of A.I. | Observer; how listening to an audiobook compares with reading a physical book on the platform, The Bookseller - Books - Books on BookTok: the rise of audio? Amid historic disruption in the publishing industry, big questions are - rightfully - being asked, What's the Future of Books? The book-tracking platform is coming under fire for its decision to eliminate several categories, Goodreads Awards Category Removal Sparks Outcry.
  • The Selfies Book Awards UK 2024 have just opened. Authors who have self-published adult fiction, children's fiction or adult non-fiction in the UK between January and December 2023 are eligible. The entry fee is £35 per title to include a six-month subscription to Bookbrunch and there is a £750 cash prize for each category plus other prizes. Closing on 7 January 2024.
  • 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. The Cutting edit is just one of our eight copy editing services.
  • The last part of our series An Editor's Advice deals with Manuscript Presentation: typefaces, layouts, page numbers, putting your material into one document and spell-checkers. 'So far, in these columns, I've been talking about the nuts and bolts of writing, and about the ways in which people come unstuck in terms of content. This time, I want to talk about the ways writers can make life easier for editors and readers like me. Considering the reams of advice that exist about how to lay out a manuscript I find it truly staggering that many writers still seem to have no clue about how to do it...'
  • Links relating to writers' issues: writers consider the threats and thrilling possibilities of artificial intelligence, ‘It is a beast that needs to be tamed': leading novelists on how AI could rewrite the future | Books | The Guardian; five important insights from the first cohort of Orion's debut writers' academy, The Bookseller - Comment - How to help debut writers fly; "If I'm not just supporting myself by writing, to those who don't know the reality of it, it seems like it's a failure in some way." Why It's Never Been Harder to Make a Living as a Writer; and a concern for all writers, NEA Finds Worrying Drop in Reading Participation.
  • From our Endorsements page: ‘WritersServices editors are not just excellent professionals, they are persons of letters involved in helping the writers who are trying to enter in the world of British books... I am impressed. I am grateful. I'm delighted. Thank you so much.' Daniela Stanciulescu, Paris.
  • An essential read for children's authors is Suzy Jenvey's special series for WritersServices, the four-part Essential Guide to Writing for Children. The first article looks at the all-important question of age groups and what you should be aware of in writing for each one. The second part is Before You Write: What is My Story Going to be? The third part deals with Starting to Write and the fourth part is about Submitting Your Work to Agents and Editors. This series by a hugely experienced children's editorial director and agent helps you get started on your own story or develop what you're already working on.
  • Our Children's Editorial Services offer three levels of report and copy editing from specialist children's editors. Use their expertise to help get your work ready for publication in this tricky but potentially huge market.
  • Links on writers' craft: my friend insisted anyone can train themselves to discern fast speech, How to Read (and Retain) Research Material in Less than Half of Your Usual Time | Jane Friedman; it may just be a perfect antidote to these charged times, Why Historical Fiction Is Going Mainstream; what is it about true crime that keeps me coming back to the well again and again? Showing the Human in the Inhumane: Why Lindsay Hunter Loves True Crime ‹ Literary Hub; and a wonderful resource for British poets, providing details of small presses and poetry magazines you can submit your work to, Where to Submit Your Poetry in 2023-2024 • Poetry School.
  • If you are submitting your work to an agent or directly to a publishing house, check through our guidelines to give it its best chance. Making submissions
  • 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.
  • Rotten Rejections provides a note of the things publishers wish they'd never said: on Animal Farm by George Orwell ‘It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA' and Carrie by Stephen King 'We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.'
  • Our final set of links are to writers' stories: how one bestselling author rode the literary roller coaster through rejections and into a career, My First Thriller: Joseph Finder ‹ CrimeReads; my name has always felt, somehow, apart from me, M.C. Benner Dixon on Creating Persuasive Metaphors ‹ Literary Hub; Ashleigh Nugent on his transition from criminal with one GCSE to BA Hons, acclaimed writer and mentor, It all starts with your story; and three titles selling a million copies between them, Nielsen Bestseller Award winner: Mark Billingham.
  • Have you managed to find a publisher for your work and are you now enjoying the thrill of knowing that your book will soon be published? If you're wondering what happens next, here is a helpful outline of the processes involved. Preparing for publication
  • 'Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the Internet.' Wise words from Anon in our Writers' Quotes.

6 November 2023 - What's new

November 2023
  • ‘There's a kind of uncertainty among young writers about what they're allowed to write about. Not only for political reasons but also for social and cultural reasons. And I worry about that because my view is that everybody can write about everything. If that's not true then the art of the novel ceases to exist. The question is whether they do it well or badly and to my mind that's the only question...' Salman Rushdie, author of 20 books, including Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses, the Ground Beneath Her Feet and Quichotte, in The Times.
  • The next part in our new series Ask the Editor is Researching for a Book: 'Writing a non-fiction book is a very different project to writing a novel; the motivation, purpose, style and approach are quite distinct. ‘Non-fiction', of course, covers a wide range of genres and formats; however, there are some principles that apply across the board. In this article I will explore some of the basic requirements in writing a non-fiction book. The reasons for writing a non-fiction book fall into four broad categories...'
  • This is the seventh article in the Ask the Editor series, which has been written in response to queries from writers.
  • WritersServices offers a wide range of editorial services to help you prepare your manuscript for submission to an agent or publisher, or for self-publication. Our team of expert editors has years of experience in helping and advising authors; we can help you bring your work to a professional level of excellence. All our editing services offer competitive rates and excellent value for money. If you are not sure which of our editing services you require, we can assess your manuscript, and recommend the service that is most appropriate to your needs. Copy editing services. Get in touch to let us know how we can help.
  • Our publishing and printing glossary is a useful reference tool.
  • Our first set of links focus on writers' craft: from the king of anthologisers, Maxim Jakubowski, Confessions of a Serial Anthology Editor ‹ CrimeReads; the hyper-realistic, blood and guts style of novels about hard-bitten detectives with drink problems, broken marriages and potty mouths is giving way to something different, Cosy, but still crime; what JR, Alexis, and Domingue Taught this Mystery Writer, Finding Inspiration for Mystery Fiction in Soap Operas ‹ CrimeReads; and Louis Ferrante recalls the meeting with George Weidenfeld that led to a seven-year writing project, I was a mafioso. Now I'm a mafia historian.
  • Open to writers resident in the UK or Ireland, the new Prototype Publishing Prize has no entry fee. The prizes are £3,000 plus publication by Prototype for the the best book-length project and £2,000 plus publication by Monitor Books for the best proposal for a short-form work. The Prize will be open and will close in January.
  • Worldbuilding 2: the basics of writing fantasy fiction is the second in our new five-part Worldbuilding series: 'Fantasy fiction is a niche market, but a very popular niche market. It is particularly popular among new writers, and I suspect this is a consequence of growing up on a diet of best-selling fantasy fiction over the last couple of decades. This article will look at the differences between writing fantasy fiction and other genres, and also the similarities. Then I will look at some of the issues involved in writing fantasy fiction.'
  • Other articles in the series cover character names in fantasy novels, geography and physical location, technology and culture.
  • Links from the publishing world: to protect the human creativity and knowledge that underpins safe and reliable AI, the UK's publishers, authors, agents, and ALCS join forces, Top UK Publishing Organizations on AI Protection; some 20 individuals have been accused of scamming authors by falsely claiming an affiliation with Amazon Publishing and Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon Sues Scammers Targeting Authors; the UK shadow chancellor's new book has come under scrutiny for lifting passages of text from other sources without acknowledgment, How common is plagiarism in the publishing industry? | Plagiarism | The Guardian; and private equity firm KKR emerged as the winning bidder after Penguin Random House's acquisition for S&S was blocked by the government in late 2022, now KKR Completes Purchase of Simon & Schuster.
  • This week's Endorsement comes from Sally Gibbins from Birmingham in the UK and is about her children's copy editing: 'I am delighted with the feedback and so pleased with all the great suggestions which were so much more than I expected. A really brilliant service.'
  • The fifth part in the series An Editor's advice deals with Points of view - who's telling this story? 'Not so long ago, I read what ought to have been a really exciting novel filled with drama, action, treachery and romance. Or it would have been but for one thing. I saw none of this drama, I only heard about it later. Why was that? It was because the author had decided to use a first-person viewpoint character and, unfortunately ‘I' was nowhere near any of the action. In fact, ‘I' was in a bunker halfway up a mountainside, having rather a dull time of it all while mayhem broke out elsewhere. As the reader, I had to stick with ‘I' and likewise, I had a pretty boring time...'
  • 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? Chris HolifieldManaging director of WritersServices; spent working life in publishing,employed by everything from global corporations to start-ups; track record includes: editorial director of Sphere Books, publishing director of The Bodley Head, publishing director for start-up of upmarket book club, The Softback Preview, editorial director of Britain’s biggest book club group, BCA, and, most recently, deputy MD and publisher of Cassell & Co. She is also currently the Director of the Poetry Book Society; During all of this time aware of problems faced by writers, as publishing changed from idiosyncratic cottage industry, 'occupation for gentlemen', into corporate business of today. Writers encountered increasing difficulty in getting books edited or published. Authors create the books which are the raw material for the whole business. She believes it is time to bring them back to centre stage. can help you work out which service is right for you. Choosing a service
  • Some links about reading and audiobooks: it feels like we live in an era of constant distraction, but the truth is more complex, The big idea: are our short attention spans really getting shorter? | Society books | The Guardian; and the prospect of reading a book filled me with anxiety and shame. But an ADHD diagnosis changed everything, Swapping books for audiobooks has reignited my love of literature | Verity Babbs | The Guardian.
  • How to get your book translated into English (without it costing the earth) asks writers who are not native English speakers with a manuscript which needs polishing or translating: "If your English is good enough, what about translating your book yourself or writing in English, and then getting your work polished and copy edited by a professional editor who is a native English speaker?" This could be a cost-effective way of reaching the international English-speaking market.
  • Our English Language Editing Service is specially designed to help non-native speakers of English to find success in the international publishing market. With the rapid rise of English as a world language, an increasing number of authors who are not native English speakers, or who speak English as a second language, are writing in English. If English is not your native language, you may require extra help to take your work to a professional standard. Our specialist editors have years of experience working with authors writing in English as a second language. We can help you to bring your work to a native level of fluency, and a professional level of excellence.
  • We all know that computers can do everything far better than mere humans, right? Those who argue the point are usually labelled as luddites or technophobes. In this computer age we are (understandably) turning more and more tasks over to computers... So where does this leave the humble index? Do we even need an index, some ask? In the days of full-text searching (the method by which a computer searches text for specific words, similar to a search engine such as Google), why do we need the human touch at all? Very few works of non-fiction can do without an index of some description. From the simple cookery book to the mammoth legal tome, each book has a reader, and each reader will at some point want to look something up in the book. The Ins and Outs of Indexing
  • Our final set of links is to writers' stories: whilst earning enough to pay the bills is a perfectly valid colloquialism for "an amount of money that emotionally balances the time and effort I've put in," why not aim for a life-changing amount of money? Earn Six Figures as a Writer With This One Weird Trick | Jane Friedman; two decades after Christopher Paolini self-published his debut book, Eragon, which launched The Inheritance Cycle, A New Fantasy and a 20th Anniversary for Christopher Paolini; celebrity memoir can still break all records, Britney Spears's 'The Woman in Me' Sells More Than 1 Million Copies; and 'My journey to publication was a rough one with tons of rejections (70+) along the way', Q&A: author Lola Akinmade Åkerström.
  • Writers' stories - they're just a bit of fun, but in a rare moment of inspiration we wrote some fictionalised stories of how the services could turn out, to give you a better idea of how they might work for you. Joe's fantasy novel benefited from some professional editing, when he signed up for an Editor's Report Plus. Tony needed Copy editing to get his manuscript into shape for publication or self-publishing.
  • In our Writers' Quotes, Margaret Atwood: 'Your job is to make your novel the best of its kind that it can be.'
  • If quotes are your thing we have a very large collection in our Archive, More Writers' Quotes and Even More Quotes.