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31 July 2023 - What's new

31 July 2023
  • 'The statistics show us that it's now the world's most popular genre, and not just in print, but if you turn on the TV or streaming services, it's crime shows that seem to be the most popular. Although crime fiction was always popular, it's reached new heights in the last few years. It is very democratised around the world. Before it was purely a Western thing, but now if you turn on Netflix India there's a whole range of crime shows that were previously unheard of in India - it was all Bollywood and soap operas, but now crime thrillers are doing really well in these kinds of countries. Korea is another big market for crime fiction. It has become a global enterprise....' Vaseem Khan, Crime Writers Association chair and author of the Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series and the Malabar House books in Bookbrunch.
  • 'President Woodrow Wilson once declared (heavens knows why) that the hyphen was "the most un-American thing in the world". Observant readers will have noticed that he couldn't have said this (and no one could have written a report of his words) without a hyphen; thus perhaps proving that the President was blithely unaware of grammatical irony. I was surprised that any non-nerd figure should express such animus towards a grammatical detail but, it appears, he was not alone. Hyphens, like apostrophes, are tricky little diacritical marks... But they certainly have their uses, even if it's only to show off your double-barrelled surname. In this article I will look at hyphen usage and how it may be changing; for the better or worse is a matter of opinion... The Pedant: how to make your editor happy 6: What's all the fuss over hyphens? is this week's new article.
  • Other articles in The Pedant series cover accents and dialects, dialogue tags, the use of bold, italic and capital letters, formats and fonts and the trouble with 'as'.
  • 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. Through our specialist children's editors we can offer reports on children's books.
  • Links to writers' stories: as long as there have been celebrity memoirs, there have been ghostwriters, ‘Does it really matter who wrote it?: the rise of ghostwritten celebrity fiction | Books | The Guardian; a book title has power to pique interest, crack open a gateway to readers, allowing the work to take it from there, Anita Gail Jones on Crafting Fiction From Family Heirlooms ‹ Literary Hub; events on Fire Island began to take a stranger turn, ‘Things started getting weird': why my novel caused a storm in my small town | Fiction | The Guardian; I never thought I'd be able to write a novel because it just seemed impossible to build the scaffolding for a whole book length work, For Ruth Madievsky, Voice Is Everything - The Millions; and writing about growing up in the old Foyles bookshop, The joy of self publishing.
  • 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.
  • From Tom Chalmers, formerly of IPR, two articles about rights for self-publishers, Self-publishing - the rights way and How to get your book in the hands of an international audience. 'It's a fact that most self-published authors understand the process that takes them from a written manuscript to a published book, but few realise the additional elements that make publishing a profitable business. Rights licensing is arguably the most vital element in this equation. Whether it's selling translation rights, audio rights or optioning the film rights, these all help balance the book's books...' These articles also explain subidiary rights, which are important for any author.
  • WritersServices editor Kay GaleWritersServices editor who has worked for many years as a freelance editor for number of publishers. on The Slush pile: 'When I started working in publishing over thirty years ago it was part of my job to check through the pile of unsolicited manuscripts that arrived on a daily basis, and like every other enthusiastic young editorial assistant, I dreamed of finding the next bestseller in the ‘slush pile'. I was soon disillusioned...'
  • Links from the publishing world: last year, all of literature's big prizes went to small publishers, The indie publishing mavericks shaking up the UK books world | Publishing | The Guardian; the great American editor who died last month at the age of ninety-two, Jonathan Galassi Remembers His Friend, the Great Robert Gottlieb ‹ Literary Hub; and in 2009, two bookshops a week were closing in the UK and the days of physical books seemed numbered, My big Birmingham bookshop crawl: why booksellers are suddenly thriving | Books | The Guardian.
  • From our Endorsements page: ‘This report is so incredibly helpful, both for improving Gone to the Sky and my future work. Absolutely worth its weight in gold.' Ada Fox, Virginia, US.
  • 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. Do get in touch if you have any questions.
  • So what's wrong with PDFs? 'Well, nothing, if you use them in the way they are intended. PDFs (Portable Download Files) are designed to carry finished documents and forms. The idea is that the file does not deform or glitch when you download it... More to the point, you can't really tamper with the original content or format of the file. And there's the rub. If you need your file to be edited, PDF is not the ideal format; in fact, it is practically the worst format you can choose. Why? Precisely because PDFs are designed not to be tampered with or changed. When you stop to think about it, editing is no more or less than a process of changing - and correcting - your file.'
  • Links on writers' craft: writers, magazines, readers, other creators all existed before Twitter and will exist again, but to make an extremely obvious statement: The world is different now, What Do We Want From the Bookish Internet? |; how to refresh a long-running series without alienating the readers who love it just the way it is, Giving a Detective Series New Life ‹ CrimeReads; "Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw your name," she wrote, describing herself as "a fan of my newsletter", How My Newsletter Helped Me Land an Agent and a Big Five Book Deal | Jane Friedman; and since your first title sold 10,000 copies in its debut month, you've been able to quit your day job, but there's still The Difference Between a Successful and a Bestselling Author.
  • Get your poetry assessed before submitting it or entering it for competitions with our Poetry Critique service. If you're planning to submit a collection to publishers or to self-publish, our unique Poetry Collection Editing service can help to get your work to a publishable standard.
  • Advice for writers - if you want to delve into the wealth of information on our huge site, here's the page which will help you find what you're looking for.
  • More links on AI and social media: the power wielded by the collective reader communities of BookTok is catching the eye of TikTok itself, and they want some of it, TikTok's New Publishing House Feels Familiar And Not in a Good Way | The Mary Sue; thousands of writers have signed a letter asking artificial intelligence companies like OpenAI and Meta to stop using their work without permission or compensation, Nora Roberts, Margaret Atwood sign Authors Guild letter to fight AI : NPR; and the British view, The Bookseller - News - Thousands of authors including Atwood, Egan and Picoult sign AI open letter.
  • Some advice on preparing manuscripts: 'It's important to present your manuscript properly, as it's very off-putting if you submit something which looks a mess. So, whether you're thinking about submission, or not yet at that stage, bear in mind the following guidelines...'
  • From the late, great Isaac Asimov: 'If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.' Writers' Quotes
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