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4 September 2017 - What's new

4 September 2017
  • Authors' services for writers have been in the news lately, with an article in Goodreader last week, Driving Down the Price of Publishing, showing how competitive the market has become. But what should writers be looking for when they shop around for copy editing or other editorial services? Authors' services and what you should be looking for.
  • You've only got till 18 September to enter the MslexiaStylish and lively site for quarterly UK literary magazine read by 12,000 'committed' women writers. Good range of quality writing, information and advice with news, reviews, competitions and interviews, all presented in a friendly fashion. Praised by Helen Dunmore as 'astute, invigorating and above all an excellent read.' Women's Novel Competition 2017. It's open to women of any nationality and age, and the entry fee is £25. It's for novels of at least 50,000 words written for adults (and young adults) in any genre by previously unpublished women novelists and you need to send 5,000 words of a completed novel. This well-respected competition has a First Prize of £5,000.
  • 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...'
  • ‘There are things about writing that can be taught. I would say there are fewer people who want to read seriously now, and more people who want to write. But if you can use writing to get people reading, that is exciting... In the last few years I have come to feel that maybe in 50 years there won't be novels, that people won't have the attention for it. Then you feel it's like the last trace of a culture, like the Lascaux paintings or something...' Claire Messud, author of The Emperor's Children and just-published The Burning Girl, provides our Comment from the Observer.
  • Finding an agent and Working with an agent - two practical checklists to help set up and maintain this vital relationship. 'Try to find an agency which is ‘hungry' for new clients. To keep their workload under control, an established independent agent might take on something like four new authors a year (this figure came from two agents), but only to replace four departing clients. This may seem obvious, but whether or not an agent is actively looking to build their list of clients is probably the single most important factor affecting how closely they are looking at unsolicited submissions...'
  • A robust view of the agent's role, from the late super-agent Ed Victor: 'I think agents mediate and enhance and improve the publishing process. I regard my role as being independent, I will say to an author, 'No, no, the publisher is right in this case.' It is not my job to blindly support the author. I think you support them better by telling them what you regard as the truth...'
  • Our links: can anyone wonder at the fabulous sales success of these books? Hogwarts as Never-Never Land: Stephen King on The Goblet of Fire | Literary Hub; every writer wishes they could write more, some writers who think 1,000 words a day is amazing, and others who think it's average, 7 Habits You Need to Adopt if You Want to Write More; will the novel continue to exist in the future when competing against new entertainment trends such as online streaming and television box sets? Authors question the novel's future in face of declining attention spans | The Bookseller; and, adding flame to the fire on ebook pricing, Amazon's Naggar tells publishers to slash e-book prices | The Bookseller.
  • Do you want some help with your writing but don't quite know what you want? Are you a bit puzzled by the various services on offer, and not sure what to go for? Choosing a service helps you work out which service is right for you.
  • More links: Amazon is coming to Australia, is it justified for the book trade to feel apprehensive? The arrival of Amazon and the future of Australian publishing | Pursuit by The University of Melbourne; you may want to carry out research for your writing - to supply some period colouring, or historical detail, or simply to prevent howlers like having Romans eat tomatoes, Want Tips on Conducting Research for Your Project? #amwriting; and from the founder and director of Digitalback Books, an online platform dedicated to African writers, 5 things inspiring Digitalback Books' Gersy Ifeanyi Ejimofo right now | The Bookseller.
  • 'If you here require a practical rule of me, I will present you with this: ‘Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally new writing, obey it-wholeheartedly - and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.' Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch in our Writers' Quotes.