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Writers' News

Talking audiobooks

thebookseller.com – Wednesday December 20, 2017

Audio is the "heatseeker" within publishing, and the recent FutureBook Conference was a watershed moment in championing the category. But many issues also surfaced. Expensive recordings, different marketing from print and a new supply chain are just a few; the consequence is that there are as many publishers losing money from audio as there are profitably growing.

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Twitter Events Connect Agents and Writers

publishersweekly.com – Wednesday December 20, 2017

It’s a 21st-century twist on the traditional over-the-transom manuscripts: Twitter pitch events. While authors have been making initial connections online with agents for several years, since author Brenda Drake launched the Pitch Wars contest in 2012, Twitter events have exploded in popularity in the last year or two. Besides #PitMad, the Twitter offshoot of Pitch Wars, these days authors and agents can establish a connection via #DVPit (for diverse books), #PitDark (horror/mysteries), #PBPitch (picture books), #KidPit (children’s literature, from board books to YA), #SFFPit (Science Fiction and Fantasy), and other hashtags.

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Literary fiction under threat, ACE report concludes

thebookseller.com – Sunday December 17, 2017

Arts Council England has pledged to engage with more bookshops, fund more writers and lobby the government to provide tax relief to independent publishers following a report finding that “the general trend for literary fiction is a negative one”.

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Literary fiction writers can no longer live off their books as sales slump

inews.co.uk – Friday December 15, 2017

The idea of the penniless artist shivering and starving in gloomy cellar for years as they pen another great tome has become a reality for the writers of literary fiction, according to research by Arts Council England. The average author now earns less than minimum wage with an annual salary of just £11,000.

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Fan sends 80s Nobel prizewinning book to modern publishers to make an important point about the book industry

independent.co.uk – Wednesday December 13, 2017

A literary fan has conducted a damning experiment. 

Writer Serge Volle sent 50 pages of French author Claude Simon's 1962 novel The Palace, set during the Spanish civil war, to 19 French publishers under the guise of being fresh material. 

12 outright rejected the book, while seven never replied, despite the fact that Simon won the Nobel prize for literature in 1985, Volle told French public radio on Monday (via The Guardian). 

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Christmas sale - 25 per cent off the Writers' Handbook 2018

firstwriter.com – Tuesday December 12, 2017

For a limited time only, firstwriter.com is offering copies of the 2018 edition of its acclaimed Writers' Handbook in ebook format at a 25% discount.

Every year, the period between Christmas and New Year is the busiest ebook selling week of the year, as people with lovely new ereaders from Santa look for content to load onto them. This year, the online ebook retailer Smashwords is aiming to make this a little easier on everyone's strained post-Christmas bank accounts, by running an End of Year sale: and the firstwriter.com Writers' Handbook 2018 will be among the titles available at a discounted price.

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Easy listening

thebookseller.com – Friday December 8, 2017

Agents are on my mind. At last week’s AudioBook Revolution conference, a number of agents raised concerns about how publishers are demanding audio rights when they also buy print. The charge was led from the podium by Curtis Brown agent Alice Lutyens, backed from the floor by her colleague Cathryn Summerhayes, and informed by agent Ivan Mulcahy. It was a debate I had been told no-one wanted to have. Now it feels urgent.

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Hachette UK buys Jessica Kingsley Publishers

thebookseller.com – Friday December 1, 2017

Thirty years after it was founded, Jessica Kingsley Publishers (JKP) has been bought by Hachette UK for an undisclosed sum.

The indie publisher specialising in social and mental health sciences is set to become an imprint of John Murray Press under Nick Davies. Its founder Jessica Kingsley will work with the company on a consultancy basis until mid-2018 when she will retire.

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Authors accuse publisher of exploiting writers by banning literary agents

dailydot.com – Thursday November 23, 2017

Tyrant Books, a little-known New York indie publisher, has just ignited a firestorm of controversy on Twitter. Authors including Chuck Wendig, John Scalzi, and Neil Gaiman are speaking out against the publisher, all thanks to this tweet:

"Dear agents, please stop sending inquiries to Tyrant. We no longer consider agented writers. Writers w/agents: feel free to send, just know you have to drop your agent if we want to sign you. Thanks, 
Tyrant staff"

[Read the full article]

Small indie publishers report booming sales

theguardian.com – Monday November 20, 2017

Independent publishers have unleashed a boom in sales, according to new research. Latest figures from Inpress, which works with 60 of the smallest players in the books industry, revealed sales up 79% in the last year – a performance hailed by Inpress managing director Sophie O’Neill as phenomenal.

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