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Writers' News

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]

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.

[Read the full article]

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]

How Literary Agents Negotiate The Best Contract Terms For Their Authors

forbes.com – Tuesday March 3, 2020

While book deals that garner headlines are often the six- and seven-figure ones, literary agents do more for their authors than negotiate advances. There are many contract clauses agents advocate for that help authors in situations such as when an imprint or publisher shuts down or when royalties are overdue, along with providing general writing career guidance and advice.

To help authors figure out how to navigate these terms, I interviewed Linda Camacho, literary agent at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency, Saritza Hernandez, VP/Sr. Literary Agent at the Corvisiero Literary Agency, and Latoya Smith, editor, literary agent and consultant at LCS Literary Services. I asked them about the most important contract terms they negotiate on behalf of their authors, publishing red flags, and how authors can be proactive about protecting their interests when working with agents or on their own.

[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]

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