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Writers' News

How to build worlds in sci-fi and speculative fiction: A beginner’s class with Sally Gales

theguardian.com – Friday July 2, 2021

When you read a fantasy or sci-fi novel, you might have wondered what lends itself to the authenticity of the story. Is it the intricately detailed setting that is not merely a backdrop to the characters’ action, but is itself a central character? Could it be the ensemble of characters with unique backstories that add weight to the plot?

As an aspiring writer of sci-fi and speculative fiction, one of the most valuable skills you can sharpen is your ability to craft worlds that are believable, authentic and weighty. Far from being a simple landscape, your world needs to envelope character and reader alike, to help and hinder their journey to the triumphant - or bitter - end.

[Read the full article]

Children’s Book Imprint Heartdrum Focuses On Contemporary Native Stories

forbes.com – Monday June 28, 2021

HarperCollins Children’s Books and HarperTeen Native-focused imprint Heartdrum launched in January 2021 to “offer a wide range of innovative, unexpected, and heartfelt stories by Native creators, informed and inspired by lived experience, with an emphasis on the present and future of Indian Country and on the strength of young Native heroes.” Children’s book author Cynthia Leitich Smith is the imprint’s author-curator, and editor of one of Heartdrum’s first titles, Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids, released in February, as well as author of Sisters of the Neversea, released in June, both aimed at ages eight through twelve. Heartdrum has published nine titles to date, including repackagings of three of Smith’s novels: Rain Is Not My Indian Name, Jingle Dancer, and Indian Song.

[Read the full article]

Bergstrom unveils publishing consultancy and agency

thebookseller.com – Monday June 28, 2021

Abigail Bergstrom has launched a publishing consultancy and literary agency, Bergstrom Studio, “to break down the barrier between aspiring writers and the industry”.

Bergstrom Studio is a "360° publishing consultancy" which aims to help “emerging writers find their voice, turning good ideas into published books and writers into published authors", Bergstrom said. The announcement comes three months after she left Gleam Titles following five years with the company.

Her new venture will offer a range of services to help authors and build their brands. “The studio will offer an exciting range of bespoke editorial services and creative consultations, to help writers develop a commercially viable idea, finish their novel or realise a non-fiction proposal,” Bergstrom said. “The packages on offer also include IP development offerings for content formats – such as digital bookclubs, podcasts, newsletters – Bergstrom Studio will work with authors directly to help them cultivate an author brand and reach their readers.”  

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What this wordy writer learned by keeping it short

eu.azcentral.com – Sunday June 27, 2021

When I took this assignment three years ago, moving my column to the top of Page A2 and writing six times a week instead of once, my editors told me I could write about anything I wanted. Just do it in 326 words.

Heck, it practically takes me 326 words to say hello.

My predecessor, Clay Thompson, had done it. When Clay was my editor in my early years at the paper, he'd chide me to "Write tight, and make it sing."

I never took to it. The license plate on my car says, LNGSTRY.

[Read the full article]

Writers’ conference will be held via Zoom

times-standard.com – Saturday June 26, 2021

The Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference will hold its 32nd conference online via Zoom from Aug. 5 to 7.

This year’s conference faculty includes keynote speaker Wendy C. Ortiz, workshop leaders Lillian Li, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Saretta Morgan, Chris Dennis, Alex Sanchez, Suzanne Rivecca, Krys Malcolm Belc and Sam Krowchenko, and literary agents Elise Capron and Tricia Skinner, along with other special guests, writers and publishing experts. View the complete schedule by visiting http://mcwc.org.

[Read the full article]

Audio royalties come under scrutiny as sales of audiobooks continue to soar

thebookseller.com – Saturday June 26, 2021

Debate is raging in the publishing industry over whether authors are benefiting fairly from the audio and e-book boom, with concerns over the “Spotification” of books, as sales soared even further in lockdown. 

Agents are urging for a greater share of royalties for authors beyond the standard 25% from these formats, while publishers argue writers do receive their fair share.    

According to the Publishers Association’s recent Publishing in 2020 report, audio downloads have soared by a third to a value of £133m (+37%), while consumer digital sales rose by almost a quarter to £418m (24%), of which £267m is domestic (+29%), across invoiced sales. Over the past five years, audio downloads have risen by 241% overall.   

However, almost every agent who spoke to The Bookseller revealed concern for how authors are getting the “thin slice of the digital pie”. Caroline Michel, c.e.o. of PFD, believes the situation is too rigid. “Publishers very quickly made [e-books and audio] part of the volume rights to a book, but have stuck religiously to 25% of net receipts as a royalty. You get movement on backlist books... but when it comes to frontlist titles, it is pretty set. I know that publishers for certain authors—you know, the huge sellers—can get some movement, but for most authors it is set and publishers seem to treat it as a nice add-on rather than actually a pretty established format.     

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing: And Magazine

firstwriter.com – Wednesday June 23, 2021

Send your best work poems, article, essay, paper, artwork in MS word file and images in jpeg format by email.

All the accepted accepted works will be published with ISBN No. and will available in major bookstores worldwide.

[See the full listing]

New Publisher Listing: Toad Hall Editions

firstwriter.com – Tuesday June 22, 2021

Small press publisher that also provides self-publishing services.

[See the full listing]

Imprints: Quarto and Bonnier UK’s New Lines

lunch.publishersmarketplace.com – Monday June 21, 2021

As previewed previously, Quarto will launch a new children’s imprint, Happy Yak, led by associate publisher Rhiannon Findlay. First titles will debut this summer, and the list will include board books, picture books, and more for children up to seven.

[Read the full article]

Five Tips To Selling Hundreds Of EBook Copies This Summer

forbes.com – Friday June 18, 2021

Ebooks have taken the e-commerce world by storm. Unlike physical books, they come with less pomp and circumstance, meaning ebooks can cover anything from the art of bird-watching, to cookbooks, to the latest business workbook. Many entrepreneurs are considering ebooks for one major reason: they require very little cost and time, and can churn out big bucks on the backend - making them a powerful return on investment. Plus, ebooks can help to build out an entrepreneur’s personal brand and credibility. 

[Read the full article]

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