Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

New Literary Agent Listing: Samantha Brace – Tuesday August 8, 2023

I’m looking for anything a bit dark and twisty. I’m desperate for psych-suspense and thrillers with a sinister twist. I also love a mysterious family drama – weave together a moody historical setting with a few dark family secrets and I’m hooked. I also like historical fiction, coming of age stories, and literary fiction, but I always prefer a mystery at the heart. No children’s, YA, fantasy, or sci-fi.

[See the full listing]

Writers' Handbook 2024 now available to buy – Tuesday August 8, 2023

The 2024 edition of’s annual directory for writers has just been released, and is now available to buy both as a paperbook and an ebook.

The directory is the perfect book for anyone searching for literary agents, book publishers, or magazines. It contains over 1,500 listings, including revised and updated listings from the 2023 edition, and 400 brand new entries.

[Read the full article]

Self-Publishing Update

By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach – Monday August 7, 2023

According to an April 2023 survey by the (UK) Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), income of self-published authors increased substantially in 2022 over 2021, coming in at a median amount of $12,749, a figure actually higher than those of authors at traditional publishers. The 2,200 respondents to the survey were from all major English-speaking countries (with more than half from the U.S.).

A quarter of those replying had released their first book in 2020, while 60 percent reported first publishing in 2015-2022. Over half said they’d published more than 10 books on their own, while 20 percent had published more than 30 titles. Romance, fantasy/sci fi/speculative, and crime/thriller/detective novels were by far the most prevalent genres in which self-publishers were active.

Author M. J. Rose may have started the drive to self-publish, or some of it, when in 1998, she self-published her erotic-suspense novel Lip Service about the world of phone sex, a novel that had been rejected by all the agents and publishers she’d queried. Online, she sold 2,500 books (which is quite a lot), and the novel was after that acquired by Pocket Books. Other authors jumped into the self-publishing arena, or tried, and later Rose said, “I couldn’t do it now.” She did it because then the field was ripe and not yet harvested. However, Rose did set a model for other authors to imitate; and following persistently, some authors flourished. Not all thrived, however, and though self-publishing became and stayed “a thing,” the niche not too long after seemed to have lost its luster.

But now, something appears to be going on. Authors are self-publishing again. Some are bringing out their backlists, and others are simply spending a little money and getting into the game. I talked to four self-publishing authors. See if you can identify with or be inspired by any of their paths.

[Read the full article]

New Publisher Listing: Guinness World Records – Monday August 7, 2023

Publishes books of amazing facts, figures, and feats of outstanding human endeavour.

[See the full listing]

New Magazine Listing: Oxford Review of Books – Monday August 7, 2023

Publishes reviews of films, books, TV shows (think culture in the broadest sense); interviews with politicians, actors, philosophers, historians, poets, classicists, and activists; essays that provide a new and fresh take on current affairs; and poetry and fiction. Submit 3-4 poems, or pitches for prose, by email. Pitches are accepted on a rolling basis for online, and during specific windows for print. See website for more details.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing: Aoife Inman – Monday August 7, 2023

I’m looking towards building a list of fiction and non-fiction writers, as well as a select number of poets who are working on projects across forms. In fiction I am interested in propulsive, character-driven stories with an emphasis on sharp, unsentimental writing and bold imagery. I’m drawn to novels set in small communities, and those that dissect the intensity of close family dynamics. I also enjoy work that experiments with form and language, particularly as a means of telling polyphonic stories. In non-fiction, my taste is broad. I am interested in narrative cultural histories that are led by a strong first-person voice, (particularly those that engage with queer spaces and perspectives), as well as essay collections, memoirs, cultural criticism, music and nature writing.

[See the full listing]

‘I can’t stress how much BookTok sells’: teen literary influencers swaying publishers – Sunday August 6, 2023

TikTok recommendations are driving sales and launching authors’ careers as the social media app continues to reshape the industry

The famous Waterstones in London’s Piccadilly is a modernist/art deco building. It started life as a menswear store and has the feel of that sort of traditional shop that is fast disappearing. But this bookshop, like many others, is enjoying a very modern sales boost from social media.

Groups of teenage girls regularly gather here to buy new books and meet new friends, both discovered on the social media app TikTok. Recommendations by influencers for authors and novels on BookTok – a community of users who are passionate about books and make videos recommending titles – can send sales into the stratosphere.

But while very much an online phenomenon, BookTok is having a material impact on the high street, with TikTok now pushing people to buy their books from bricks-and-mortar booksellers through a partnership with, which allows people to buy online and support independent bookshops at the same time.

[Read the full article]

How I quit my job to be a full-time writer – Sunday August 6, 2023

Earlier this year, analysis of Google search data around job types revealed that the number one dream job for New Zealanders is to be a writer. Writer Isa Pearl Ritchie is living this dream – this is the story of her journey to get there.

Just a few weeks ago, I updated my LinkedIn from “Principal Policy Advisor” to “Novelist”. For many, this is a dream, isn’t it? For years, I convinced myself that I didn’t genuinely aspire to be a full-time writer. Perhaps I was fearful of the idea. I was a university student for over a decade, and subsequently, I embarked on a career in policy — a pretty good choice for someone who enjoys writing.

I’ve been writing from the time I learned how to, which admittedly took me longer than most. I’ve been working on novels all my adult life. Early on, each book would take years, but more recently, I’ve learned how to write quickly which is a skillset I’ve found very useful.

My early novels were more on the literary side of “women’s fiction”. They were time-consuming because I had to get into the heads of all the characters, who changed with each book. However, my first love was fantasy. I grew up reading Goosebumps books and Tolkien, but certain influences (my brilliant grandmother was a huge influence on me, but couldn’t stand the supernatural, so I refrained) led me to less fantastical storytelling. It took me years to give myself permission to write more otherworldly books. In 2018, I got an idea for a lucid-dreaming fantasy book I needed to write, and from then on I’ve predominantly written speculative fiction.

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KKR in talks to buy publisher Simon & Schuster for more than $1.6bn – Friday August 4, 2023

KKR is in advanced talks to buy US book publisher Simon & Schuster from Paramount for more than $1.6bn, said people familiar with the matter, which would settle the fate of the storied company after years of uncertainty.

US regulators last year blocked a proposed merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster that would have created a mega-publisher in the books industry.

Paramount, which owns assets including the eponymous movie studio and television channels in addition to Simon & Schuster, has been shopping the publisher again as it looks to focus on the streaming video business.

[Read the full article]

New crime writing prize launched by A M Heath, Orion and Crime Monthly – Friday August 4, 2023

A M Heath literary agency, the Orion Publishing Group and Crime Monthly have teamed up to launch Criminal Lines 2023, a new £3,500 crime writing prize open to unagented, debut authors, born or resident in the UK and Ireland.

From psychological thrillers, cosy crime to serial killer thrillers, entrants are invited to submit the opening 5,000 words of a novel with “criminal intent”, plus a synopsis of no more than 1,000 words here.

Entries open on 3rd August 2023 and close on 7th December 2023. The winner will be selected by a panel of judges including A M Heath agents Euan Thorneycroft and Oli Munson, Crime Monthly assistant editor Lisa Howells, Orion Fiction editors Leodora Darlington and Sam Eades, and authors Vaseem Khan and Mari Hannah.

[Read the full article]

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