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Writers' News

How to publish a book: Finding an agent

goodhousekeeping.com – Saturday March 14, 2020

Publishing a book can feel like a minefield. There are so many ways to go about it - from the traditional agent and publisher route, to entering writing competitions to self publishing.

Before my first book, Five Steps To Happy came out last year, I was pretty much clueless as to the process. I took a 3 month novel writing course with Curtis Brown Creative, which offered a valuable insight into how the industry works.

A couple of years (and a lot of rejections) later, I signed with literary agent Richard Pike, at C&W, Curtis Brown's sister agency. My novel was bought by Trapeze, an imprint of Orion - and my dream came true.

Going through the process first-hand, I've gained a lot of useful knowledge. Burning questions about where an agent fits in with publishing a book? Read on!

[Read the full article]

‘Harry Potter’ publisher’s stock climbs as Britain’s chancellor waves his magic wand

marketwatch.com – Thursday March 12, 2020

Shares of the “Harry Potter” publisher Bloomsbury Publishing rose almost 5% after British Chancellor Rishi Sunak scrapped a “reading tax” on e-books — as investors hoped the move would conjure up more sales.

Announcing the news in his first budget on Wednesday, Sunak said the 20% levy on digital publications, including books, newspapers, magazines and academic journals, will be scrapped from Dec. 1 in time for Christmas.

Sunak said a world-class education will help the next generation to thrive. “Nothing could be more fundamental to that than reading. And yet digital publications are subject to VAT. That can’t be right. So today I am abolishing the reading tax,” he said.

[Read the full article]

Agents Highlight Leading Christian Publishing Trends

publishersweekly.com – Wednesday March 11, 2020

The religion publishing category is as strong as ever, interviews with several with literary agents found. Among the favorable trends they pointed to are a growing interest by publishers in the beliefs and behaviors of younger generations as well as an increase in the types of self-help books being released.

According to Kathryn Helmers, managing partner at Creative Trust Literary Group, readers are keen to move beyond books based on traditional thinking about the Christian faith—proper beliefs, a Bible-based worldview, and didactic teachings. Instead, readers are looking for “an ethos that values experience over knowledge, authenticity over authority,” she says.

[Read the full article]

London Book Fair award winners revealed

thebookseller.com – Wednesday March 11, 2020

The winners of the London Book Fair Awards 2020 have been revealed with the LBF International Excellence Awards, CAMEOs and UK Book Blog Awards all taking place online with the prizes posted to winners after the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The winners of the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards, in association with the Publishers Association, have been announced, with Europe and Asia leading the way with five and four winners respectively.

Shortlisted in three categories, Karadi Tales (India) took home the Audiobook Publisher of the Year. The judges congratulated it on its “firm commercial focus on their future web-based strategy, and continued dedication to both educating and entertaining young people in India.” Maadi Public Library in Egypt was crowned Library of the Year, with judges praising the library’s “sheer energy, diversity and vibrancy”.

[Read the full article]

Educational publishing merger raises competition concerns

gov.uk – Wednesday March 11, 2020

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is concerned that the loss of competition brought about by the proposed merger could result in university textbooks costing more.

McGraw-Hill and Cengage are two leading publishers, producing textbooks and associated materials, for higher education students.

[Read the full article]

Why Woody Allen's publisher was wrong to drop his memoir

theguardian.com – Tuesday March 10, 2020

What a strange, through-the-looking-glass world we live in, when people who consider themselves to be liberals celebrate suppressing others’ words. A little background on the latest chapter in the saga that is Woody Allen and the Farrow family. It’s a lot less fun than Hannah and Her Sisters, although it does feature many of the same cast and crew members.

It was announced last week that Hachette was publishing Allen’s memoir. Reactions were as predictably swift as they were just plain predictable, with public opinion very much against Allen these days. The Farrow family was especially vocal in its condemnation: Ronan Farrow posted a statement to express his “disappointment” that Hachette, which published his book, Catch and Kill, hadn’t told him it was publishing his estranged father’s memoir. He expressed especial frustration that his sister Dylan “has never been contacted to respond to any denial or mischaracterisation of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Woody Allen”. Farrow describes this now infamous allegation of abuse as “credible”, but it has never actually resulted in any charges. Was Allen ever contacted to respond to Farrow’s statement in his book that his father “penetrated [Dylan] with a finger”? He has been as consistent with his denials as Dylan has been with her accusation.

[Read the full article]

Woody Allen’s memoirs: this is the behaviour of censors, not publishers

theguardian.com – Sunday March 8, 2020

When Hachette bought Woody Allen’s autobiography, they no doubt expected it to be controversial. And no doubt they expected it to be a commercial success.

He is, after all, one of the great American writers and directors. And the notoriety and outrage that have continued since his daughter Dylan Farrow accused him of sexual abuse bring additional interest regarding what he might have to say on the subject. Following the staff walkout on Friday, and critical statements from Dylan and Ronan Farrow, they have now dropped the book. Very swiftly, the book became too damaging to Hachette’s reputation to publish.

This is worrying for writers and for readers. The staff at Hachette who walked out last week clearly thought that they were doing the right thing morally – protesting against the publication of a book by a man who has been accused of abusing his own child. But, as has been repeated many times, Woody Allen was investigated on two occasions and has never been charged. While Dylan and Ronan accuse Woody Allen, he has not been found guilty. Nothing has been proven. There is in fact no acceptable reason for not publishing Woody Allen’s book.

[Read the full article]

Coronavirus in the UK: an unlikely ally for aspiring novelists

inews.co.uk – Sunday March 8, 2020

You don’t come to the Arts pages of a newspaper to read about coronavirus. This should be a World Health Organisation-free zone, the last place you expect to find updates on Government action plans. We do ballet here. I understand all that but, please, bear with me, because I think I have some good news. Or at least the glint of a silver lining.

Earlier this week, the London Book Fair was cancelled (don’t worry, that’s not the good bit) amid concerns that thousands of publishers and literary agents flying in from all over the world to shake hands and breathe on each other might not be very sensible right now.

[Read the full article]

Publishers report sales boom in novels about fictional epidemics

theguardian.com – Friday March 6, 2020

“What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well. It helps men to rise above themselves,” wrote Albert Camus in La Peste (The Plague), his 1947 novel about of how a deadly plague devastates a quarantined town.

More than 70 years later, the global threat of the coronavirus is sending today’s readers towards novels about epidemics in droves. Publishers around the world are reporting booming sales of books including La Peste, as well as Stephen King’s The Stand and Dean Koontz’s “frighteningly relevant” The Eyes of Darkness, which has become the subject of conspiracy theories online owing to its prescience.

The 1981 novel about a fictional virus called “Wuhan-400” – “China’s most important and dangerous new biological weapon in a decade” – leapt into third place in Amazon’s charts this week after a description of the illness was widely shared online. Ebook sales are up by an extraordinary 3,000% in just three weeks, according to the publisher Headline, which credited Koontz’s “extraordinary imagination and masterful storytelling”.

[Read the full article]

Revealed - Famous guests for Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate

harrogateadvertiser.co.uk – Thursday March 5, 2020

Crime writing royalty Martina Cole, Mark Billingham, Lisa Gardner, Kathy Reichs, Elly Griffiths, Mick Herron and Michael Connelly will be appearing as part of the killer line-up curated by this year’s Festival Programming Chair and Rebus author, Ian Rankin OBE.

From July 23-26, Harrogate’s Old Swan Hotel – the legendary scene of Agatha Christie’s mysterious disappearance in 1926 – will welcome more than 100 world famous authors for a celebration of the crime genre like no other.

[Read the full article]

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