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30 May 2016 - What's new

30 May 2016
  • Two recent announcements show how the Internet has made it possible to make vast amounts of information available online, cost-effectively in one case and for public benefit in the other - and to benefit from reaching a worldwide audience. This week's News Review.
  • Our Health Hazards series looks at all the particular dangers faced by writers, from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to Looking after your eyes and advises on how to position your desk and chair. Essential reading for anyone who spends a lot of time at a desk with a keyboard.
  • ‘For me, that's what gave me my first break, so I wanted to encourage that. Many authors and illustrators find that leap of getting their first book published almost the hardest. I was thirty by the time I had my first book published. I wasn't an overnight success: How To Train Your Dragon was not by any means my first book...' Cressida Cowell, author of How To Train Your Dragon in Bookbrunch provides our Comment.
  • Don't give up the day job. 'Self-publishing offers a route to readers but don't forget that a financial outlay is involved and the return is also likely to be small, unless you are very successful. But there's another reason why you shouldn't give up the day job. Writing works well as a part or spare time activity and there's something to be said for the benefits of staying in touch with the workplace and with other people...'
  • Our links: is the physical book doomed or is there in fact a print resurgence? A Nice Chat About Those UK Publishers Association Numbers; I wake up at night, my mind racing at a frantic pace, the ideas flooding me with a tidal wave of creativity. Afraid that I will forget something, I race downstairs to jot some notes so that I will remember everything in the morning. Are Writers Certifiably Crazy? | Ellis Shuman; in 2013, the Romance Writers of America estimated that sales of romantic novels accounted for 13% of adult fiction consumed that year, outselling science-fiction, mystery and literary novels, Erotic and romantic fiction: Book-publishing's naughty secret | The Economist; and a serious case of book-buying addiction, The Wonderful and Terrible Habit of Buying Too Many Books.
  • Authors often find it difficult to write their own synopsis for submission to 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 might be what you need. There are eighteen other services if this isn't what you're looking for.
  • More links: proposals for a writer to not have any rights in their work 15 to 25 years after it's first published, Be under no illusion: Malcolm Turnbull wants to destroy Australian literature | Richard Flanagan | Opinion | The Guardian; a wonderful sample from the British Library's new Discovering Literaure 20th Century, 'It needs more public-spirited pigs': TS Eliot's rejection of Orwell's Animal Farm | Books | The Guardian; and 11 poet-publishers interviewed for Literary Hub, asking them what it takes to run a small publisher, Candid Comments on What it Takes to Run a Small Press.
  • Rotten Rejections - Most of these are taken from Andre Bernard's wonderful little book Rotten Rejections: The Letters that Publishers Wish They'd Never Sent. This extraordinary collection of rejection letters sent by publishers to writers - many delivered to now famous authors of classic books - will make you laugh and provide comfort in the face of your own struggles to get published. Do send your own rejections.
  • 'One hasn't become a writer until one has distilled writing into a habit, and that habit has been forced into an obsession. Writing has to be an obsession. It has to be something as organic, physiological and psychological as speaking or sleeping or eating.' Niyi Osundare in our Writers' Quotes.