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Writers' News

New Literary Agent Listing: Zoe Ross

firstwriter.com – Monday November 23, 2020

Works with a list of writers ranging from exciting new voices in literary fiction and narrative non-fiction, to award-winning food writers and academics. With a background in modern languages and psychoanalysis, she has a particular taste for stylish prose, sly humour and complex characterisation in fiction, and for challenging ideas and questions of identity across all genres.

[See the full listing]

Does Twitter pitching work?

thebookseller.com – Sunday November 22, 2020

As this week’s FutureBook20 conference has shown, this is a year where change is at the top of the agenda for the publishing industry. And when it comes to changing the sort of books that get published and the sort of authors whose voices are heard, broadening the acquisition process is crucial.

Approaching literary agencies and publishers can feel intimidating to new writers, especially those who feel they don’t traditionally ‘belong’ in the trade. One way publishers, agencies and individual agents and editors have been trying to broaden the net and make the process feel more approachable is through social media.

But does it work? 

US-based pitching project #PitchMad, and Curtis Brown’s UK equivalent, #PitchCB, are two of the highest-profile examples. Richard Pike, who was one of the Curtis Brown agents supervising the hashtag, explains the rationale behind the initiative.

[Read the full article]

2021 edition of Writers' Handbook now available to buy

firstwriter.com – Saturday November 21, 2020

The 2021 edition of firstwriter.com’s bestselling directory for writers is out now, and represents the biggest overhaul of the book to date!

The number of listings of literary agents, publishers, and magazines has increased dramatically – from just over 1,300 in the last edition to over 3,000 in the new one. In fact, there are so many new listings that we've increased the page size by 70% to accommodate them. The new page size makes the book even easier to use as a physical object: while thicker books with smaller pages refuse to stay open on the page you want, the 2021 edition of The Writers' Handbook is much happier to lay open at the page you leave it on.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Robert Kirby

firstwriter.com – Friday November 20, 2020

I have an interest in science, psychology, cultural history and environmental issues. I enjoy gripping adventure fiction, speculative fiction and emotionally driven commercial fiction. Submissions should be sent to my assistant by via email, with a synopsis and first three chapters. Please do not send submissions via the post.

[See the full listing]

'NYT' Says HC, PRH Top Contenders to Buy S&S

publishersweekly.com – Wednesday November 18, 2020

In New York Times story this morning, the paper reported that the country’s two largest trade book publishers are the leading candidates to buy the country’s third largest trade publisher. HarperCollins and Penguin Random House are favored, and were cited as such after private equity firms reportedly dropped out of the bidding.

Several international publishers had been thought to be looking at S&S as well, with France's Vivendi believed to still have interest.

[Read the full article]

New Literary Agent Listing: Sarah Levitt

firstwriter.com – Wednesday November 18, 2020

Most interested in narrative nonfiction in the areas of popular science, big ideas, history, humor, pop culture, memoir, and reportage, in addition to voice-driven literary fiction with a bold plot and fresh, imaginative characters. She’s excited by strong female and underrepresented voices, the strange and speculative, and projects that ignite cultural conversation.

[See the full listing]

Paranormal and romance- a shared magic by Tracey Shearer, author of Raven

femalefirst.co.uk – Tuesday November 17, 2020

Two years ago, when my literary agent had to suddenly retire to take care of her ailing hubby, I prepared to pitch to new agents at a local writers’ conference. Before I could join the pitch session, an agent buddy pulled me aside and told me not to tell anyone my book was a Paranormal Romance. Call it anything else, but not that.

We stood in a quiet hallway at the conference while I tried to process what she’d just shared. Then she leaned in close and whispered, “Tracey, Paranormal Romance is dead.”

I couldn’t hold back my disbelief, mouth dropping open, eyes blinking, seeing nothing. Paranormal Romance dead? How could that be when I see bookshelves, both physical and virtual, filled with books in this genre? Readers are hungry for these stories.

The agent went on to share that the Big 5 publishers weren’t actively acquiring Paranormal Romance. They had too much already on their author roster. So agents were steering clear of anything with even a whiff of Paranormal Romance. It would be a hard “no.”

I believed my friend, I truly did. But in my heart, I knew that nothing would ever kill this genre.

[Read the full article]

New Magazine Listing: The Scribbler

firstwriter.com – Tuesday November 17, 2020

Each issue contains reviews of much-loved and less well-known fiction for women and children, and a short story.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing: Jodie Hodges

firstwriter.com – Tuesday November 17, 2020

"I enjoy strong, original storytelling and a unique voice. I have a passion for funny writing for 7-12s and also a penchant for the realisms of teenage life - be that gritty or hilarious - in writing for that age group. That said, I also love classic, epic adventure stories and a sprinkling of the fantastic."

"Additionally, I'm always searching for children's book illustrators or writer/illustrators with a contemporary, quirky style. A kind word of advice, though, please ensure your portfolio is ready for children's books. Make sure you're showing the best of yourself by showcasing the sort of illustration found in children's picture books in the UK."

Submit by email to the agent's assistant.

[See the full listing]

UK book sales down 11% for first half

booksandpublishing.com.au – Monday November 16, 2020

In the UK, stats from the Publishers Association (PA) show that total book sales across the industry fell 11% in the first six months of the year, reports the Bookseller.

According to the PA, the total invoiced value of sales from UK publishers in all formats (including exports) was £1.5 billion (A$2.72b), down from £1.7 billion (A$3.1b) in the first half of 2019. Total sales for the UK market alone were down 6% to £837 million (A$1.51b), while exports fell 17% to £653 million (A$1.18b).

A big increase in fiction titles (up 13%), and a surge in sales of ebooks (up 26%) and audiobooks (up 47%), were outweighed by a 17% drop in print books, led by steep falls in the educational and professional sector.

[Read the full article]

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