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.
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.
'NYT' Says HC, PRH Top Contenders to Buy S&S
publishersweekly.com – Wednesday November 18, 2020
In a 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pandemic drives ebook and audiobook sales by UK publishers to all-time high
theguardian.com – Saturday November 14, 2020
Sales of digital books by British publishers are set to hit an all-time high this year as the public turns to reading to escape pandemic cabin fever.
However, the ebook and audiobook boom comes at a high cost for the industry, with global sales of printed books by UK publishers plunging by 55m in the first six months of the year as high streets and schools closed during the first coronavirus lockdown.
The pandemic has revived the fortunes of the consumer ebook. The format once touted as the future of reading has suffered six straight years of sales declines since peaking in 2014 but this year has been different, with sales home and abroad up 17% to £144m in the first half. UK publishers can now expect consumer ebooks to enjoy their best year since 2015, when sales were just under £300m.
New Agent Listing: Chelsey Heller
firstwriter.com – Friday November 13, 2020
Seeking nonfiction across all categories, especially self-help, memoir, narrative nonfiction, pop culture, history, big ideas, popular science, and cookbooks. She is particularly drawn to fresh narratives, whether in the form of history explored through a new lens, an innovative concept that stokes self-improvement, or an electric voice in memoir.
Get the free newsletter | Submit a news item or article | Get Writers' News for your website