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The Brontës, the Shelleys, Kingsley and Martin Amis: new research suggests literary relatives share similar writing styles

theconversation.com – Thursday November 25, 2021

From Jane Austen to James Patterson, every author has their own way of writing. And that writing is often discussed in terms of “style”. Essentially, style refers to “how” something is written – it is more concerned with form than content. So when, for example, someone remarks that they “enjoyed the story” but “didn’t like how it was written”, they are commenting on the style.

If you want to see an example of different styles in action, just compare something like The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien to Ulysses by James Joyce. The Hobbit is written for a general audience, it’s a good old-fashioned story told through clear, accessible language. Ulysses is a more difficult read, full of obscure terms, complex phrasing, and cryptic references to other materials.

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The long and short-form of it: podcasts that will teach you how to write

theguardian.com – Tuesday November 23, 2021

Whether you are plotting, drafting, staring at a blank page, or keen to get tips from the pros … if you want to be an author, there’s a podcast for that

New Yorker Fiction

In this monthly podcast, a celebrated writer selects a short story from the New Yorker’s archive to read and discuss with the magazine’s fiction editor, Deborah Treisman. The pleasure here lies as much in the pairings of authors with material as it does the stories themselves: Margaret Atwood reading Alice Munro, or Andrew Sean Greer reading Dorothy Parker, or Tessa Hadley reading John Updike. There is much to be learned about the craft and discipline of short fiction writing from the subsequent discussions, too. A recurring point: fewer words is always better. Also, check out The New Yorker: The Writer’s Voice, where writers read their own stories.

Longform

Approaching its 10th anniversary [...]

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How to turn your November draft into a polished manuscript

pe.com – Thursday November 18, 2021

November is a month electric with writing energy. There is NaNoWriMo, of course. This column has encouraged writers to ‘win’— that is, to write 50,000 words in 30 days. But it’s also Memoir Writing Month, National NonFiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo), November Poem-a-Day Chapbook Challenge, and National Blog Posting Month. So whatever it is you’re writing, you’re probably getting close to your self-defined finish line.

If you complete any of the above challenges, congratulations. Those are accomplishments to be sure. What they are not is finished products.

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Self-Publishing or Traditional Publishing: Which Is Best for You?

entrepreneur.com – Sunday November 14, 2021

For many people, publishing a book is a lifelong dream or career aspiration. Regardless of any inspiration or intention, it’s key for an author to treat publishing a book like a business venture. Like any business venture, one can start it by raising external capital or one can use their own funds. We will dive into the pros and cons of the two main avenues of publishing a book.

There are two primary avenues: self-publishing and traditional publishing. Although they may lead to the same outcome of having a book for sale, self-publishing and traditional publishing are vastly different. The former is when an author assumes complete control over the publishing process and how the book is released to the market. In the latter scenario, a publishing house buys the rights to an author’s work and oversees its release.

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Ghostwriters Come out of the Shadows

publishersweekly.com – Sunday November 14, 2021

When Penguin Random House announced in July that it would be publishing a memoir by Prince Harry, there was one name that was, conspicuously and appropriately, left off the press release. The man channeling the Duke of Sussex’s voice for the book, J.R. Moehringer, was nowhere to be found among the details the publisher released. But those in the industry know that Moehringer, one of the highest-profile ghostwriters working, will be an essential component in the royal’s book—even if his name never appears on the final product.

Ghostwriting, or “collaborating” as it’s now called, is nothing new. For as long as celebrities have been writing books, others have quietly helped them do it. It’s highly specialized work that requires a blend of skills; industry sources say the best collaborators are equal parts editor, reporter, writer, mimic, and shrink. And in today’s industry, where publishers are more and more reliant on nonfiction projects by authors with significant platforms, good collaborators are in higher demand than ever. It’s also the kind of work, very handsomely paid at the high end, which is appealing to a growing population: writers, journalists, and editors.

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Big Issue’s John Bird: Writing a novel? Don’t follow my advice, I’ve been in literary agony for 20 years

inews.co.uk – Friday November 12, 2021

On a single night 20 years ago, I gave up smoking, drinking and sex and started to write a book. I was living in a large, multi-occupational house with thin walls, and you could do nothing without everyone hearing you. The book was to be a novel about my birthdate – 30 January – which had made periodic appearances of note in history, tying them together in my screaming, screwing, crying house.

Like 30 January 1606, when the first of the Gunpowder plotters were hung, drawn and quartered; 30 January 1649, the execution of Charles I; 30 January 1661, the digging up and hanging of the dead body of Oliver Cromwell; and 30 January 1969, when The Beatles made their last public appearance together, on the roof of their office in the West End of London. Dozens of these 30th of Januarys would each have a chapter. I started one version, abandoned it, started another, then abandoned that. However hard I struggled to complete it, I found myself revising it, rewriting it or starting again. A million words piled up, to no avail. And now, 20 years on, I am about to finish another version that looks nothing at all like the original.

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Self-Publishing and Marketing Your Book to Spark Sales

patch.com – Friday November 12, 2021

Authors who self-publish their books do so for many reasons; for some, it's about maintaining creative control, while others prefer to bypass literary agents and traditional publishers. When you publish independently and hope to sell copies of your book, the responsibility for marketing falls on your shoulders. While it's an added responsibility to take on, there are things you can do that can help spark sales and attract the attention of potentially interested readers. Discoverability is a crucial concept in book promotion and one you need to keep in mind. It means helping target readers find out about your book.

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Woke Twitter is ruining literature

spectatorworld.com – Thursday November 11, 2021

When Democratic strategists look back on how woke theology cost them key races in 2021 — never mind the coming flood of the midterms — they will discover the #MSWL. Hidden away on Twitter, it’s one of the actual headwaters of all things blindly woke, the way the mighty Mississippi begins as a shallow stream. It’s part of the reason we have drag queens reading to our kids in public libraries and Virginia doesn’t have Terry McAuliffe as governor.

#MSWL is a hashtag meaning “manuscript wish list.” For anyone interested in publishing fiction, the road to a book deal is complex. Publishers aren’t interested in reading manuscripts sent directly to them because most are truly horrible. They will only consider reading those submitted by literary agents on behalf of authors. These gatekeepers are forced to root through mountains of garbage to find something they can sell to a publisher and thus claim a commission. They are scavengers of a kind.

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7 Habits That Will Boost Your Writing Productivity

makeuseof.com – Wednesday November 10, 2021

Maybe you're a freelance writer, spending your time writing how-to articles for online publications. Or, maybe you're a novelist, burning the midnight oil to create the next New York Times Bestseller.

No matter what type of writer you are, there's one struggle all writers have in common: staying productive. After all, writer's block, looming deadlines, and distractions can easily take your mind off the task at hand.

Luckily, there are plenty of steps you can take to improve your productivity right now. And who knows, they might just improve your writing too.

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Author Bernardine Evaristo on her award wins, activism, and what inspires her writing

womanandhome.com – Sunday November 7, 2021

Bernardine Evaristo is a British author and academic. In 2019, she became the first black woman to win the Booker Prize for her eighth book, Girl, Woman, Other. She is a professor of creative writing at Brunel University London and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her new book, Manifesto on Never Giving Up, is an intimate and inspirational memoir about her journey as a writer. She was Chair of the 2021 Women's Prize for Fiction. Bernardine lives in London with her husband. 

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