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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]

New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Thursday March 5, 2020

Publishes: Fiction;
Areas include: Fantasy; Horror; Sci-Fi;
Markets: Adult;
Preferred styles: Dark

A family-run hybrid publisher for independent authors, based in the UK. Publishes Science fiction, Cyberpunk, Fantasy fiction, Dark fantasy, Horror. See website for open submission calls.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing: Agnes Carlowicz

firstwriter.com – Thursday March 5, 2020

Her interests include both fiction and non-fiction, with a special passion for literature that amplifies underrepresented voices and subverts the status quo. Among others, she enjoys: intersectional feminism, millennial self-care, female-driven memoir, true-crime, and humorous pop culture.

[See the full listing]

London book fair cancelled over coronavirus fears, amid growing anger

theguardian.com – Wednesday March 4, 2020

One of the world’s biggest international literary events, the London book fair, has been cancelled over coronavirus fears, amid growing anger that the delay in calling it off was putting people’s health at risk and an unfair financial strain on publishers.

Organiser Reed Exhibitions announced on Wednesday that the escalation of the illness meant the fair, scheduled to run from 10 to 12 March, would be called off. Around 25,000 publishers, authors and agents from around the world had been due to attend the event, where deals for the hottest new books are struck.

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Abrams Artists Agency Rebrands as A3 Artists Agency

variety.com – Tuesday March 3, 2020

Abrams Artists Agency, a prominent talent and literary agency, has officially rebranded as A3 Artists Agency.

The name change, announced over the weekend at the company’s annual retreat, comes 18 months after Robert Attermann, Brian Cho, and Adam Bold acquired the agency,

“When we purchased the agency in 2018, we set out to be the premium brand we now are,” Bold said. “We said we’d have diversity, and we do. We’re not only promising to be something different; we are something different. We’ve hired top-tier agents from diverse backgrounds, we were the first agency to launch a digital studio, and we recently expanded internationally with an office in the UK.”

[Read the full article]

A twist in the tales: Ahead of World Book Day, publishers and authors reveal why children still prefer page-turners to pixels

sundaypost.com – Tuesday March 3, 2020

Despite children often being apparently glued to their screens, it seems they really love nothing more than a good read, with sales of kids’ books in the UK climbing 15.5% in a decade.

The industry, worth £290 million in 2010, netted £335m last year.

A decade ago, with the rise of ebooks, there was a fear that children’s books sales would plummet, but Publishing Scotland’s marketing manager, Vikki Reilly, says it has been one of the least affected sectors.

[Read the full article]

New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Tuesday March 3, 2020

Publishes: Fiction;
Areas include: Nature; Sociology;
Markets: Adult;
Preferred styles: Literary

Accepts novel and novella submissions with environmental and social themes. Send query with brief synopsis, first chapter, author’s name and contact info and a one-paragraph bio in third person via online form on website.

[See the full listing]

This Is What 300 Writers Say Made Them Successful

entrepreneur.com – Sunday March 1, 2020

Red Smith, a legendary sportswriter, was once asked if it was hard to write his daily column. “Why no,” he said. “You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.”

Any person who’s ever tried to string a bunch of words together and make them sound interesting can feel Smith’s pain. Writing is brutal — and writing for a living can feel like you’re Jack Nicholson in The Shining typing the same sentence over and over again.

And we all know how that turned out.

On my podcast, Write About Now, I interview writers of all types — novelists, journalists, screenwriters, showrunners, and business gurus — about how they stopped bleeding, started writing, and landed at the top of their profession. I launched the show two years ago and during that time I’ve done a deep dive into the techniques and tactics of over 300 successful scribes. After a while, I noticed some common themes start to rear their poetic heads. Call them writer hacks, but just not the type that draw blood. Here are six things successful writers do.

[Read the full article]

The Myth Of Inspiration As The Source Of Good Writing

studybreaks.com – Saturday February 29, 2020

You have an idea that comes to you in a burst of inspiration. Your mind is filled with the possibilities of where this thought will take you. You sit down with a hot cup of tea at dusk by your 19th century vintage typewriter as it rains outside — not too hard, of course, but just enough to complete the aesthetic. You poise your fingers over the keys, ready to type it out, write 12 or 13 pages of absolute genius, but your fingers stay suspended over the keys, unmoving. Seconds tick by. The ideas have stalled; your mind is buffering. It’s like that scene from “Spongebob” where all you’ve got after hours is a decorated, anticlimactic “The” at the top of the page. So, you call it a night and open up Netflix instead, feeling vaguely disappointed. Your tea has gotten cold.

Why does inspiration fizzle out like this? Why do ideas that seem amazing in the moment go kaput when a writer tries to put them to paper? Where does the mood go, where does the magic go?

[Read the full article]

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