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Are small publishers doing all the hard work for the big ones?

theguardian.com – Thursday December 8, 2016

Paul McVeigh and Kirsty Logan are authors you may have heard of. Both of their debuts were published by Salt, an independent publisher. Paul McVeigh’s The Good Son was shortlisted for a bunch of awards, and won the Polari first book prize this year. Kirsty Logan’s The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales won three awards — including the Polari in 2015— and Logan had her next book published with Harvill Secker, a division of Penguin Random House. The same trajectory is likely for Paul McVeigh. It’s a familiar story.

Independent publishers have existed since the 19th century; it wasn’t until the 20th and the 21st that we saw the industry dominated by a few corporations. “The Big Four” publishers – Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, Hachette and HarperCollins – have grown big by buying up small publishers. Hogarth, for example, was founded by Leonard and Virginia Woolf in 1917; now it is an imprint at the Crown Publishing Group, which is in turn a part of Penguin Random House – which itself used to be Penguin and Random House before their merger in 2013. Phew.

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How I Got Here

mastheadonline.com – Wednesday December 7, 2016

It’s hard really to know where to start, so I guess I’ll start at the beginning. Twenty years ago I was a failed photocopier salesperson who stumbled into the world of publishing strictly by chance. By any stretch of the imagination, I am not supposed to be here. The fact that I am even writing something about magazines for a website is pure fluke.

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Is making a living just from writing books a literary fiction?

irishtimes.com – Monday December 5, 2016

Rumour has it that there are only 12 writers in Ireland who can make a living from their books alone.

Of course, the figure changes with on the telling – dropping to seven, or rising to 20, perhaps even 30 – and while trying to guess the names of those on this privileged list makes for a good game, I’ve yet to uncover the research on which this supposed statistic is based.

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‘Writing a good sex scene is a skill you hone over and over again’

independent.ie – Thursday December 1, 2016

Is there anything worse than a bad sex scene in a book? (Apart, maybe, from a bad sex scene in real life.) There you are, mentally immersed in this fictional universe, lost in an invented world, and suddenly… a clumsy, clunky, cringy sex scene blunders into view, waving its unmentionables about, and breaks the magic.

Badly written sex scenes are jarring. They’re jolting. They just feel wrong, even more so if the book you’re reading is otherwise well-crafted.

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How Reality TV Inspires My Writing

huffingtonpost.com – Wednesday November 30, 2016

Last year, I officially became a cord cutter and canceled my cable subscription. I had enough of spending $100/month wasting time watching mindless television. At first, it was great. I started reading more, going out more and finding new hobbies, but soon enough, I was craving the entertainment of television again.

When I went home to visit my parents, I gorged on Bravo and E! reality TV shows. I could watch an entire season of ‘Real Housewives’ without getting bored for a second; at the end, I actually felt let down that I had to wait months for the next season to come out. And then, I felt guilty for loving this ‘trashy television’ that most of my friends and family - and most of society - considers ‘garbage.’ I realized, though, that it doesn’t only provide entertainment; it also teaches me aspects of storytelling that I try to incorporate into my own writing.

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How To Find A Writing Group, Because Every Aspiring Author Needs A Support Group

bustle.com – Saturday November 26, 2016

When you're a writer, work can feel lonely, even secluded sometimes, because most of what you do is alone at your desk — but it doesn't have to be that way. Whether you're an aspiring author, an experienced writer, or a participant in this year's National Novel Writing Month, there are plenty of different ways to find a writing group that can help you create your very best work.

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How to Write and Publish a Novel: 5 Crossroads You’ll Face

geek.com – Sunday November 20, 2016

Guest writer A.M. Justice brings us her top tips in becoming a successfulpublisher author like her. Her recent work A Wizard’s Forge has been getting fantastic reviews. Here’s what the sci-fi/fantasy maven has to share with us on getting your writing out into the world.

It’s 2 am. You’ve just wrapped up an RPG session, and you think, “that campaign would make an epic novel!” You invested hours into developing your characters’ backstory, quirks, and flaws. Their goals are clear and so are their obstacles, and lots of antagonists lurk in the shadows, ready to pounce. This is going to be a killer story.

Swigging your favorite late-night beverage, you flip open the laptop and stare at a white screen and a blinking cursor. Now, what?

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Writing for Money: Tips for Planning Your Next Article Pitch

sitepoint.com – Saturday November 19, 2016

If you have expertise with web technologies, there’s good money to be made writing for online publications like SitePoint.

Don’t worry if you feel you’re not a great writer. The most important thing is your knowledge and enthusiasm for your subject.

As an editor for SitePoint, I’ve compiled a list of the most important things to consider when planning and pitching your article idea.

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Ruth Padel: ‘Writing needs connection to the outside world: a lot of it seems to get done when you’re simply living’

theguardian.com – Saturday November 19, 2016

All days are different; what’s the same is that I spend hardly any time in my study. It’s tiny. I love its turquoise walls and the window looking at flats across the road, but there are piles of paper on the floor and waves of guilt from unanswered letters and I’m rarely there except to use the printer. I write at the kitchen table, on a sofa, in a traffic jam, or in bed, looking out at the garden. Writing needs connection to the outside world and a lot of it seems to get done when you’re simply living. Research is just a grand name for things you’d do anyway because you need to know. My new book is dedicated to the wonderful, desperately needed Focus Homeless Outreach team in Camden, north London, where I live. I went round Camden’s homeless hostels, and haunted St Pancras Old church, one of the first sites of Christianity in England.

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How Publishers Can Build on Self-Publishing’s Victories

digitalbookworld.com – Thursday November 17, 2016

In recent articles, I have pointed with optimism to the green-shoots of recovery for the book industry after a bruising and challenging seven years.

Print sales are on the way up, or at least finally not falling, depending on whom you speak to. Consumer ebook sales are dropping, but likely to be stabilizing against their huge initial growth, and non-consumer ebook sales are on the rise. The threat of the super-markets are no longer as strong as they look increasingly elsewhere. We have finally accepted digitization, and it is now a core part of most publishers’ businesses. The often acrimonious divide between self- and traditional publishing has quietened, as they sit, with caution, alongside each other. And with Amazon—though still challenging—we understand the pros and cons and are learning to work with or around them.

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