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23 March 2015 - What's new

23 March 2015
  • Our update this week has a Granta magazine open submission, News Review on author brands and why they matter, and the inimitable Mike Shatzkin on Amazon, friend or foe?
  • Karen Joy Fowler in this week's Comment makes a totally fair point about the importance of enjoying your writing, and what makes some writers happy is writing a different kind of book each time. But is there any truth in the suggestion that writing similar books is the best way to build a successful writing career? The author as a brand is the subject of this week's News Review.
  • You have until 1 April for this week's Writing Opportunity. Granta magazine open submission is for all writers writing with unpublished fiction, non-fiction and poetry whose material is in English.
  • An Editor's Advice is a series of seven articles by one of our editors on really useful subjects for writers such as Dialogue, Manuscript presentation and Doing further drafts: 'I have just finished writing a report on a novel. I've pinpointed various areas of weakness and made various suggestions that the writer may or may not wish to follow. But the nub of the report is a recommendation that the writer produce a further draft of the novel rather than trying to submit it to a publisher now. I wonder sometimes how writers feel when they get my reports and see that recommendation...'
  • Working with an Agent - 'It can be hard work finding an agent to represent you. Make sure though that, when you set up the relationship, you do so in a professional manner Don't let your eagerness to find representation mean that things are left vague. You will be depending on the agent to process all your income from the books they sell, so you need to have a written record of your arrangement, preferably a contract...'
  • ‘I have many feelings about literary awards and they are all tangled together. In general, I like them. I am often pleased, but occasionally outraged, by a particular choice. It's a thoroughly pleasurable kind of outrage though, because the conversation is all about books and takes place among people to whom books matter. Of course, the whole enterprise of declaring one book better than all the others is instantly untenable. But I'm glad that people try. Glad and grateful...' Karen Jay Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, in the Independent on Sunday, quoted in our Comment column.
  • Do you have an old typescript or a hand-written manuscript which you can't work on? Or even audio recordings which need typing up? Our Manuscript typing service can do the job for you cheaply and efficiently, so you can get to work on your book..
  • Our links this week: from oNe of the very best internatational publishing commentators, Mike Shatzkin, Asking whether Amazon is friend or foe is a simple question that is complicated to answer - The Shatzkin Files The Shatzkin Files; from a writer who is always being asked if he writes on the train, BookBrunch - No work being done; announcements made by three publishing businesses show how companies which have been at the coalface of traditional publishing for some time are looking at remodelling themselves, How to rebuild a publishing business | The Bookseller.
  • More links: a publisher's view of online marketing, 5 Tips for Online Book Marketing Today; Hodder & Stoughton is relaunching the website for its science fiction, fantasy and horror community, Hodderscape relaunch and open submissions | The Bookseller; and is this a radically new ebook distribution platform, a new way of thinking? Total BooX: Ebooks for the Way the 21st-Century Reader Reads.
  • 'You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won't be able to take a break from being a writer.' Stephen Leigh in our Writers' Quotes.
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