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9 May 2016 - What's new

9 May 2016
  • ‘I have never thought of myself as a good writer. Anyone who wants reassurance of that should read one of my first drafts. But I'm one of the world's great rewriters. I find that three or four readings are required to comb out the cliches, line up pronouns with their antecedents, and insure agreement in number between subject and verbs...' James A Michener provides this week's Comment
  • The biggest international fair of the first half of the year starts on Thursday 12th May. BookExpo AmericaBookExpo America, commonly referred to within the book publishing industry as BEA. The largest annual book trade fair in the United States is in Chicago this year and continues to be the very substantial domestic fair for the biggest book market in the world. This year there will be more focus on self-publishers, so it's worth exploring what it has to offer if you're interested in reaching the American market through publishing your own book... News Review on book fairs and translations.
  • For anyone thinking about or embarked on self-publishing, our ten-part WritersServices Self-Publishing Guide by Joanne PhillipsUK-based freelance writer and ghostwriter. She has had articles published in national writing magazines, and has ghostwritten books on subjects as diverse as hairdressing and keeping chickens. Visit her at is an essential starting-point, taking you through the process step-by-step. 'Self-publishing has changed so much over the past few years it's hard to believe it was once looked down upon by the publishing industry as the last resort of the vain and desperate. At the time of writing many self-publishing authors are identifying with the term ‘indie author', which acknowledges that to professionally publish today, you don't actually have to do everything yourself!...'
  • A new Writing Opportunity is the First Novel Prize 2016. Entry is open to all previously unpublished novelists with an entry fee of £25. The First Prize is £1,000, Second Prize £250 and Third Prize £100. Get your skates on though, it closes on 31 May.
  • Our links: a well-argued and rather anxiety-inducing article on Amazon's ambitions, What the Heck is Amazon up to Now? | The Scholarly Kitchen; the quote which has shocked the publishing world, "We would have paid her the same money if she weighed 500 pounds and was really hard to look at." Publishing, Weight, and Writers Who Are "Hard To Look At" - The Toast; Publisher Kate Medina shut her door. "I said, ‘I'm not doing anything else. I'm not talking to anybody. I'm just reading this book,'" Debut novels: Why new authors are making millions |; and whether you are writing a children's book or a novel or nonfiction or a personal experience magazine article, your word choice is critical, Writers On The Move: A Critical Skill for Every Writer.
  • Have you ever wondered why you don't win any of those competitions? Our tips on Entering Competitions, which will help you improve your chances.
  • 'Hardly any authors can copy edit their own writing. It is notoriously difficult to spot the errors in your own work. So professional copy editing does make sense, either if you are trying to give your work its best chance when submitting it or, even more crucially, if you are planning to self-publish...' Getting your manuscript copy edited covers our good value, high quality services Copy editing, Manuscript polishing and Translation editing, as well as Proof-reading.
  • More links: I've read thousands of books in my lifetime, so you'd think I'd be fantastic at trivia, know the Jeopardy questions, always win arguments, and bore the patience out of my friends, Why Read What We Can't Remember? What makes a successful bookshop? Interview with a Bookstore: Melbourne's Readings, the best bookshop in the world | Books | The Guardian; and independent publishers and what they contribute, BookBrunch - IPG members' survey: 10 things we have learned.
  • 'Short stories can be rather stark and bare unless you put in the right details. Details make stories human, and the more human a story can be, the better.' V S Pritchett in our Writers' Quotes.