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Writers' News

Publisher drops author for using fake accounts to ‘review-bomb’ peers

theguardian.com – Thursday December 14, 2023

A writer has been dropped by her agent and publisher after she posted a slew of reviews from fake accounts on book-ranking site Goodreads.

Cait Corrain, whose book Crown of Starlight was due to be published in May next year, posted on X to apologise for her behaviour. “I boosted the rating of my book, bombed the ratings of several fellow debut authors, and left reviews that ranged from kind of mean to downright abusive,” she tweeted.

Corrain’s US publisher Del Rey, an imprint of Penguin Random House, stated on Monday that it was “aware of the ongoing discussion” about the author. Crown of Starlight “is no longer on our 2024 publishing schedule”, it said. Though it was initially unclear whether this meant that the book’s publication was being postponed or cancelled, both Del Rey and Corrain’s UK publisher Daphne Press later said that neither Crown of Starlight nor the second book in Corrain’s contract will be published by them.

[Read the full article]

Janson-Smith leaves Gleam to start new agency

thebookseller.com – Tuesday December 12, 2023

Agent Oscar Janson-Smith has left Gleam Futures to start his own agency. 

Janson-Smith joined the agency in December 2021 after three years as an agent at Kruger Cowne, and was promoted to senior agent in March this year. 

Over his two years at Gleam he sold 35 books, translated into 15 languages, with two titles becoming Sunday Times bestsellers. He also promoted new areas for Gleam such as fantasy, finance, craft, cookery and children’s. 

Janson-Smith said: “It’s been a busy few months, so this is a delayed announcement, but it’s one that I’m very happy to be making. After a wonderful couple of years with Gleam, I had quite a few offers on the table — but once I’d got this idea into my head, it was hard to get it out again.  

[Read the full article]

Granite Noir short story competition launched to ‘unearth’ and celebrate north-east talent

pressandjournal.co.uk – Tuesday December 12, 2023

A brand new writing competition in the spirit of Granite Noir has been launched to encourage budding north-east writers.

Have you ever fantasised about the murky world of crime or how best to carry out a murder? Hypothetically of course.

If the answer is yes, Granite Noir might have a new challenge to put your shady skills to the test.

The popular Scottish crime writing festival is returning in February with another year of impressive events but with a delightful twist.

For the first time, a short story writing competition has been launched.

Crime creatives from all over the north-east will have their chance to put their hand at creating a work of suspense and intrigue.

For Sharon Burgess, chief executive of Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA), she hopes this will be a chance to “unearth” – not bodies for all you murky-minded people – but rather talent.

[Read the full article]

Burnham-On-Sea Book Festival 2024 writing competitions are now open for entries

burnham-on-sea.com – Monday December 11, 2023

Burnham-On-Sea Book Festival’s 2024 writing and book-cover competitions are now open for entries.

The 2024 festival – which is set to return from May 17th-19th – is inviting local people to get involved with the new competitions.

Sponsored by Burnham’s best-selling crime author Damien Boyd, entries are now open and close on midnight March 4th, 2024.

Book festival treasurer Jonathan Pinnock says there has been a change this year to the competitions: “Damien has upped the prizes in the children’s categories, hoping to inspire more young people to write. We’ve also made the decision to offer £100 to the winner of the book cover competition.”

“There are competitions for short-story writers and poets in three age categories: 11 and under, 12 – 18, and 19+ (Adults); the book cover competition is open to all ages. There’s a maximum of three entries per author/illustrator in each category.”

[Read the full article]

Nosy Crow announces multi-year Unicorn Academy publishing deal

thebookseller.com – Saturday December 9, 2023

Nosy Crow has announced a multi-year deal for Unicorn Academy, covering a wide range of formats to be published in the next decade.

Kate Wilson, group c.e.o. of Nosy Crow, worked with Katie Woolley, Nosy Crow’s head of brands and licensing, to buy publishing rights for children’s books in all languages, excluding German, from Spin Master Entertainment. Nosy Crow’s first TV tie-in novelisation, Sophia’s Invitation, was published in October, in time for the global launch on Netflix on 2nd November.

The series is adapted from books originated and published by Nosy Crow, written by Julie Sykes and Linda Chapman and published in North America by Penguin Random House.

[Read the full article]

6 Non-Obvious Book Publishing Trends From 2023

inc.com – Saturday December 9, 2023

Across hundreds of nonfiction books published this past year, several big themes emerged. Here are six of the most significant -- and why they will matter in 2024.

One of the upsides of having hundreds of books sent to you for an awards program is that you have a chance to look at everything that was published over the past year in an aggregate form.

As we considered titles for the Inc. Non-Obvious Book Awards this year, there were some macro themes that stood out across multiple books that offer a window into the collective zeitgeist of the past year.

For the past several years, spotlighting these trends has been a part of our annual recap of books. Last year, some of our themes from the year included #emergefromcovid, #talktoanimals, and #underappreciatedwomen. In previous years, themes included #kindness, #overload, #endbias, and #corruptwinners. Each one encompassed multiple books from multiple publishers.

This year, we spotlighted six themes and included an overview of each one -- and the books included in them -- as part of our shortlist announcement show. Here they are, in no particular order:

[Read the full article]

Leeke joins the Madeleine Milburn Agency

thebookseller.com – Wednesday December 6, 2023

Jessica Leeke is joining the Madeleine Milburn Literary, Film & TV Agency as literary agent. 

She will start on 8th January, specialising in upmarket and book club fiction with global appeal.  

Leeke began her career in advertising in New York before spending more than 15 years as an editor at Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster and most recently Penguin Michael Joseph, where she was fiction publisher.  

Shortlisted for the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize, she has acquired and edited authors who have become bestsellers and been shortlisted for prizes such as the Booker, Costa, Desmond Elliott, and Irish Book Award as well as securing picks for Richard & Judy, Radio 2 and the US TV book club.

[Read the full article]

Leaver launches Gemini Books Group

thebookseller.com – Monday December 4, 2023

Marcus Leaver, formerly president of Sterling Publishing, c.e.o. of The Quarto Group and co-founder of the Welbeck Publishing Group, has formed Gemini Books Group, with the acquisitions of Imagine That!, Palazzo Editions, Ad Lib Publishers, Mardle Books and Pimpernel Press. 

The announcement said Gemini “will build a publishing business focused on the UK and North American markets through the acquisition of established companies and by incubating start-up businesses in scalable areas of the market”. Gemini’s focus will be on non-fiction gift books and children’s books. 

Jon Rippon, currently managing director of Palazzo and Ad Lib/Mardle, will transition to a new role as group finance director of Gemini. 

[Read the full article]

Woke books bought by publishers for hundreds of thousands FLOP after disastrous sales

gbnews.com – Sunday December 3, 2023

Woke books which received huge advances have flopped commercially following dire sales, industry experts claim.

Insiders suggest "ideological fanatics" who allow politics to dominate professional decisions have seen profits plummet.

Among the books which have suffered huge losses includes a memoir by actor Elliot Page about his journey transitioning.

"Pageboy" was bought for a $3million advance but has sold just 68,000 copies.

[Read the full article]

Sports Illustrated accused of publishing articles written by AI

theguardian.com – Thursday November 30, 2023

The US sports publication Sports Illustrated is embroiled in scandal after it has been accused of running articles written by artificial intelligence.

An investigative report published by the science and technology news publication Futurism found Sports Illustrated published articles written by fake authors. These fake authors also had headshots and biographies generated by artificial intelligence, Futurism’s investigation found.

For instance, one profile page of purported author “Sora Tanaka” claims she is a product reviewer. The page said: “Sora has always been a fitness guru, and loves to try different foods and drinks. Ms Tanaka is thrilled to bring her fitness and nutritional expertise to the Product Reviews Team, and promises to bring you nothing but the best of the best.”

But it turns out, Sora Tanaka is not a real person.

[Read the full article]

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