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Writers' News

What the Amazon acquisition of Westland says about our publishing industry

business-standard.com – Sunday November 6, 2016

Excitement of this kind is quite rare in the publishing industry. The last came a few years ago when Random House took over Penguin. And now this Amazon buyout of Westland has given the industry an interesting conversation beginner. Amazon had signaled their intent in February this year when they acquired minority stake in Westland from Tata-Trent. It was known at that time itself that Amazon was not in this deal for a minority stake. Those who read the deal closely knew that at some point in time, Amazon would take over the company. That it would happen so soon (within six months of the initial acquisition) no one really anticipated.

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Penguin Random House Rules the Children's Book Market

publishersweekly.com – Saturday November 5, 2016

It comes as no surprise that Penguin Random House—the country’s largest trade publisher—is also the biggest children’s book publisher. But the size of the gap between PRH and second-place HarperCollins might raise a few eyebrows.

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Digital sales down 19%, but print strong for trade publishers in first half

thebookseller.com – Thursday November 3, 2016

Trade publishers’ digital revenues have fallen by 19% in the first six months of the year, but print sales are holding strong, new figures from the Publishers Association (PA) have revealed.

Sales data provided to the PA by UK publishing houses across trade, education and academic sectors show that print sales increased by 1% in the first six months of the year (January-June 2016) to £898m in comparison to the same period a year earlier, driven in particular by a 6% growth of trade books.

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New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Thursday November 3, 2016

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; 
Markets: Adult

Crowdfunding publisher. Submit manuscripts via form on website.

[See the full listing]

New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Wednesday November 2, 2016

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; 
Areas include: Cookery; Crafts; Design; Fantasy; Historical; Lifestyle; Mystery; Nature; Science; Sport; 
Markets: Adult; Youth; 
Preferred styles: Literary

Publishes nonfiction and young adult fiction. Send query by email, stating "YA" or "NONFICTION" in the subject line, and "AGENTED" if being submitted by a literary agent. For fiction, include 1-2 page query with synopsis and bio. Fiction should be 60-90,000 words with a protagonist aged 15-18. For nonfiction, send one-page synopsis with writing sample and details of any media exposure. See website for full guidelines.

[See the full listing]

How Do You Capture the 1980s in Writing? Six Novelists Discuss Re-creating the Decade

vulture.com – Friday October 28, 2016

Writers never make things easy on themselves, and nostalgia is no exception. While the phenomenon has a rich literary tradition that sifts down like a dreamy haze through the novels of Marcel Proust, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Virginia Woolf, it’s no mean feat to convincingly render a lost time and place on the page. In film and music, the signifiers of another era are seen and heard, viscerally apparent, with no need for explicit discussion or exposition. Authors, meanwhile, are often stuck describing the particulars.

So how do writers transport us backward through time, especially to a recent decade such as the ever-popular 1980s, without weighing down their stories? We asked six novelists:

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How a husband-and-wife publishing team won the Man Booker prize twice in a row

inews.co.uk – Friday October 28, 2016

The 18 publishers which turned down The Sellout must have felt a little sheepish at the 2016 Man Booker Prize ceremony. Paul Beatty’s satire was the second consecutive winner of the world’s leading literary award for Oneworld, a small independent founded by a husband-and-wife team, which has found huge success discovering novels shunned by the large publishing houses.

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Gillon Aitken dies

thebookseller.com – Friday October 28, 2016

Literary agent Gillon Aitken of Aitken Alexander Associates has died.

Aitken died peacefully this morning (28th October) after a period of ill health.

Clare Alexander said: "A towering figure in so many of our lives, publishing has lost a great agent from a brilliant generation. He was a wise counsel, a true intellectual and an irreplaceable friend."

She added: "I am sure he would wish to be remembered in the words of some of the many authors who valued his guidance deeply and who came to love him so much."

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Is Writing For Free Ever OK? There's A Fine Line Between Exposure And Exploitation

bustle.com – Thursday October 27, 2016

Writing is a tough gig. There's just no way around that. Whether you want to write in print for a magazine, or for your favorite website, there's a lot of time and work to be done before you get there. One of the biggest controversies in the writing community is the idea of writing for free. It sounds simple enough to tell someone, 'Never write for free,' but the reality is more complicated than that. In a perfect world we could maybe tell writers never to write for free, but in the real world, we have to make sacrifices from time to time.

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Trade shock and sadness at death of Carole Blake

thebookseller.com – Thursday October 27, 2016

Literary agency Blake Friedmann has announced the sudden death of agency co-founder Carole Blake.

The agency said yesterday (26th): "It is with huge sadness that we must share the news that our beloved mentor, colleague and friend Carole Blake died last night. The loss of such an incredible woman so soon is not something any of us feel prepared for, but we are grateful that she lived so fully to the last, and that she died swiftly and painlessly, on being readmitted to hospital last night, with Julian [Friedmann] by her side."

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