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The Global Golden Age for Independent Publishers Has Begun

digitalbookworld.com – Wednesday August 10, 2016

A number of years ago, I predicted the publishing and bookselling industries would follow a boutique model, with the large and small and little in between. Note: this also applies to other industries, in most part due to the digital age and today’s customer.

Book sales would be split between higher priced print books, for which the margin would be found, and low price digital books, which would provide the mass quantities. Bookstores would be split between the large chains with the budgets and economies of scale, and a wide range of independent bookstores that successfully built and became indispensable to their communities. Likewise, publishers would consist of the huge conglomerates with the advertising and bargaining power, and a vibrant independent publishing sector in touch and adaptive to the book buying community.

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Top 10 books writers should read

theguardian.com – Wednesday August 10, 2016

Writing a novel from scratch, which is to say without training, was such an unexpected odyssey that I was prompted to recall the discoveries in my new book, Release the Bats – as much to remind myself where the power lay as to pass the keys on to others trying their luck. I didn’t read a lot before writing a novel, but I realise now that certain books helped set me up. Writing fiction means writing vibrant human characters, and luck is with us in terms of research, as we haven’t essentially changed since we came down from the trees. So the best grounding for a fiction writer must be one that explores human nature with gloves off. There’s nothing like literature from ancient Rome bemoaning consumer culture to show that nothing is new, or literature from Habsburg Italy telling how to hire nuns for sex from the mothers superior of convents to put Fifty Shades in perspective. Which is to say that if we haven’t figured ourselves out by now, there’s still time: we’re not going anywhere.

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How To Quit Your Job And Write A Novel

instyle.co.uk – Wednesday August 10, 2016

Think that writing and publishing a novel is hard? Guess what: it’s ten times harder. The editor who bought The Regulars read roughly 400 submissions, via agents, the year she bought my book. She could buy a total of seven. A year. Most writers don’t sell their first novel. They sell their third or fourth. You have to submit a polished draft in order to get published, not a patchy first draft and certainly not a proposal. It. Is. Hard.

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Writers On Writing

huffingtonpost.com – Saturday July 30, 2016

There is no secret to success except hard work and getting something indefinable which we call ‘the breaks.’ In order for a writer to succeed, I suggest three things - read and write - and wait. - Countee Cullen

Knowledge is one of the most excellent purifiers of our mind and intellect. Books are one among many sources of knowledge. By means of the book, we can dwell and live through the mind of another person. It is one of the process of advancing ourselves to the full potential. There is nothing more valuable in life than learning. Learning awakens us, it guides and inspires us. Slowly and steadily, books have led little man to become giant men and redeemers of the society.

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Poetic justice: the rise of brilliant women writing in dark times

theguardian.com – Thursday July 28, 2016

Hera Lindsay Bird has attracted the biggest hoo-ha with a poetry book I can recall,” wrote one reviewer of the New Zealand-born poet, whose recently released debut collection has become a cult bestseller in her home country. And rightly so: Bird’s frank, outrageous writing – see, for example “Keats is Dead so Fuck Me From Behind” – is in turns bleakly hilarious and peppered with pitch-perfect similes (“the days burn off like leopard print”; “Love like Windows 95”). It has made me, like many others, more excited about poetry than I have been in a long time.

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10 Self-Publishing Trends to Watch

publishersweekly.com – Saturday July 23, 2016

The future of publishing is fraught with opportunity and peril. Here are 10 trends shaping your future as a writer and/or publisher.

The rise of e-books: Ten years ago, e-books accounted for less than 1% of the trade book market. Today, e-books account for about 25% of dollar sales and 40%–50% of units. Although the rate of growth has slowed for e-books, the affordability and accessibility of digital will continue to erode print readership.

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How to Write a Thriller

wsj.com – Friday July 22, 2016

The works of Megan Abbott, Blake Crouch and James Patterson diverge in style and form, but they’re all about creating a thrill. The three authors, who all have new books out this summer, answered questions about the mechanics of storytelling, the genre’s best works and finding success for a round-table conversation. Here, an edited compilation of their responses from separate interviews.

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5 Writing Tips: Donald Ray Pollock

publishersweekly.com – Friday July 22, 2016

Donald Ray Pollock's The Heavenly Table is one of the most delightfully twisted novels of the year, a terror ride through an early 20th century hillbilly hellscape that puts the family of a swindled, good-hearted farmer on a collision course with three brothers on a crime spree. Pollock, whose previous novel, The Devil All the Time, was named one of the 10 best books of 2011, shares five writing tips.

When I decided to learn how to write, I didn’t know any writers, or anything about how to get started. I was forty-five and had worked at the same paper mill in a small town in southern Ohio for twenty-seven years at that point. However, thanks to a program the mill had that helped with tuition for employees who wanted to go to college part-time, I did have a degree in English. Plus, I loved to read. I determined to devote at least five years to writing, and worked at it almost every day. By the time I turned fifty, I had published five or six stories in small literary magazines. Granted, this doesn’t seem like much, but over time, I slowly discovered that it was what I wanted to do; and that’s always a good thing, actually, the very best thing, knowing exactly what you want to do with your life, no matter how hard or frustrating it might be, and writing is, more often than not, pretty damn hard and pretty damn frustrating. Still, I wasted a lot of time in the beginning, and with that in mind, here, mainly for the benefit of beginners, are the major things I’ve learned about writing:

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Who wants to be liked? The joy of writing outrageous, amoral women

inews.co.uk – Tuesday July 19, 2016

I’ve always been drawn to dark, unpredictable, unknowable characters. I love performing baddies as much as watching them and I had a macabre sense of play as a child. I was a committed tomboy always playing “man on the run”, or “boy being kidnapped”, rather than making daisy-chains or throwing tea parties. I have never been interested in playing Juliet, though I can appreciate the brilliance and beauty of the role from the stalls, my instinct as an actress is always to undercut and be irreverent. Something a role like that really does not require.

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Mallory Ortberg on Texts from Jane Eyre: 'Writing was the simplest part of the process'

theguardian.com – Tuesday July 19, 2016

Texts from Jane Eyre was the first book I ever wrote, or even tried to write, and when I found my agent, I rather assumed my part in the process was done. She had approached me about the project, so I assumed an editor would approach her in turn, and I would continue to attract publishing attention like a sea anemone attracts shrimp. This turned out not to be the case: it took over a year, and quite active shopping, to sell the book proposal, rather than seeing it snapped up straight away.

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