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Writers' News

5 Writing Tips I Wish I'd Known Before I Wrote My First Novel

bustle.com – Monday November 7, 2016

So you’re writing a book. This is great news! YAY for you! Doesn’t it sound fun? And it is! Well, it is when it’s not sucking the life out of your soul. That's why I'm here with some writing tips and tricks — or life lessons I learned about writing during my career that I (sometimes) apply to my own work.

I’m working on my 18th novel right now — my first, Fools Rush In, came out in 2006, and my latest, On Second Thought, comes out in January 2017. In some respects, it’s gotten easier; in others, it’s gotten much harder. But each time I type “The End,” I cheer, dance around the office with my dogs, then open to another document and jot down some notes. That document is called “Before You Start Another Book” and contains notes to myself about how I screwed up and wasted time in my last manuscript, and how I’ll never ever do it again (or I will, but not for lack of knowledge). I'm sharing these tips with you, so hopefully you don't repeat the same mistakes.

Below are my top five, and jeesh, it would save so much time if I listened to myself.

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Want to Succeed at Self-Publishing? Harness Your Passion: Tips from an Indie Author

publishersweekly.com – Monday November 7, 2016

Janice Petrie’s life has always fueled her writing. Her experience as an outreach specialist for the New England Aquarium helped inform her picture books, while growing up near -- and once staying the night in -- a haunted, lakeside cottage gave her non-fiction a unique perspective. When she decided to try self-publishing, she wanted to “produce well-written books that readers would find entertaining and interesting.” Perfection to a Fault, an indie true crime tale of a gruesome 1916 murder of a wife by her husband, received a positive review from Publishers Weekly, with our reviewer calling it “crisp” and “quick-moving,” and praising Petrie for “expertly put[ting] details into historical context.”

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What the Amazon acquisition of Westland says about our publishing industry

business-standard.com – Sunday November 6, 2016

Excitement of this kind is quite rare in the publishing industry. The last came a few years ago when Random House took over Penguin. And now this Amazon buyout of Westland has given the industry an interesting conversation beginner. Amazon had signaled their intent in February this year when they acquired minority stake in Westland from Tata-Trent. It was known at that time itself that Amazon was not in this deal for a minority stake. Those who read the deal closely knew that at some point in time, Amazon would take over the company. That it would happen so soon (within six months of the initial acquisition) no one really anticipated.

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Penguin Random House Rules the Children's Book Market

publishersweekly.com – Saturday November 5, 2016

It comes as no surprise that Penguin Random House—the country’s largest trade publisher—is also the biggest children’s book publisher. But the size of the gap between PRH and second-place HarperCollins might raise a few eyebrows.

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Digital sales down 19%, but print strong for trade publishers in first half

thebookseller.com – Thursday November 3, 2016

Trade publishers’ digital revenues have fallen by 19% in the first six months of the year, but print sales are holding strong, new figures from the Publishers Association (PA) have revealed.

Sales data provided to the PA by UK publishing houses across trade, education and academic sectors show that print sales increased by 1% in the first six months of the year (January-June 2016) to £898m in comparison to the same period a year earlier, driven in particular by a 6% growth of trade books.

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New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Thursday November 3, 2016

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; 
Markets: Adult

Crowdfunding publisher. Submit manuscripts via form on website.

[See the full listing]

New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Wednesday November 2, 2016

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; 
Areas include: Cookery; Crafts; Design; Fantasy; Historical; Lifestyle; Mystery; Nature; Science; Sport; 
Markets: Adult; Youth; 
Preferred styles: Literary

Publishes nonfiction and young adult fiction. Send query by email, stating "YA" or "NONFICTION" in the subject line, and "AGENTED" if being submitted by a literary agent. For fiction, include 1-2 page query with synopsis and bio. Fiction should be 60-90,000 words with a protagonist aged 15-18. For nonfiction, send one-page synopsis with writing sample and details of any media exposure. See website for full guidelines.

[See the full listing]

How to choose between ‘that’ and ‘which’ in your writing

poynter.org – Monday October 31, 2016

The rules of grammar can seem complicated and rigid, but they will help you keep your writing clear and tell a story effectively. When the language is muddled, readers may get confused and quit reading.

Here are guidelines for choosing between that and which in a sentence.

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National Novel Writing Month 2016: 10 Tips For NaNoWriMo Writers

ibtimes.com – Monday October 31, 2016

As the Ernest Hemmingway quote goes, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” The quote illuminates a truth for writers everywhere: Writing a novel is much easier said than done.

That fact is one of the reasons why the founder of National Novel Writing Month, which begins Tuesday, launched the NaNoWriMo community in 1999. That led to the month of November being known as NaNoWriMo, which encourages writers to bear down and get serious about writing their next novel.

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How Do You Capture the 1980s in Writing? Six Novelists Discuss Re-creating the Decade

vulture.com – Friday October 28, 2016

Writers never make things easy on themselves, and nostalgia is no exception. While the phenomenon has a rich literary tradition that sifts down like a dreamy haze through the novels of Marcel Proust, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Virginia Woolf, it’s no mean feat to convincingly render a lost time and place on the page. In film and music, the signifiers of another era are seen and heard, viscerally apparent, with no need for explicit discussion or exposition. Authors, meanwhile, are often stuck describing the particulars.

So how do writers transport us backward through time, especially to a recent decade such as the ever-popular 1980s, without weighing down their stories? We asked six novelists:

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