How does a literary agency sell its authors? Bestselling agent Andrew Lownie says there are three elements to selling books to publishers: 1) an agency needs to have saleable books in the first place; 2) the proposals need to be the best they can be; and 3) one needs to know the right editors to approach and not give up too easily.
Writers with a trade-publishing deal get automatic access to professional editors and proofreaders, but self-publishers have to source their own. Some writers think it’s fine to scrimp on this, but the truth is that every book needs to be edited and proofread, says Lucy Ridout.
For authors and publishers, content is our bread and butter. But content no longer just mean the products we publish – it also means marketing. So how do we build an effective content strategy? This question was addressed at the 2015 London Book Fair Publishing for Digital Minds Conference.
Writers are the masters of procrastination – it’s far simpler to type a search term into Google than it is to write the first line of a novel. We all procrastinate – but you can overcome it with practical strategies. So stop putting off your dreams and reward your future self, says Bec Evans.
From unfriend to selfie, social media is clearly having an impact on language. The words that surround us every day influence the words we use. Since so much of the written language we see is now on screens, language now evolves partly through our interaction with technology.
If you’re writing romantic fiction, sooner or later you’re going to have to write a sex scene. How can you avoid cliché, embarrassment – and a ‘Bad Sex’ award? Write in your usual style, and stop worrying, says Mitzi Szereto.
What can you do to maximise your chances of having your submission read and being taken on by a literary agent? We asked bestselling agent Andrew Lownie of the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency to share his top 7 tips.
An effective book cover can make the difference between obscurity and bestseller. Sarah Juckes shows you how to create your own in five steps.
There are more choices than ever for self-publishing authors – but that means the burden of getting it right is also greater. Leila Dewji identifies the top 3 mistakes to avoid.
Choosing the right publisher is vital to the process of getting published, and with such a wide variety of markets and publishing options available, it’s critical that authors research those options. International speaker, author and thought leadership strategist Mindy Gibbins-Klein shares her top tips for making the right choice.
Social media has been key to Emily Benet’s success as a writer. Her first book, Shop Girl Diaries, started life as a blog; her second, The Temp, as a serialised novel posted online; and her latest, #PleaseRetweet, is a comedy about social media obsession. Social media is a wonderful tool for writers – but it has pitfalls too. The key is to use it, and not let it use you, as she reveals in her top pros and cons of social media for writers.
Looking to self-publish but tight on funds? Want to build a fanbase before you’ve even released a book? Or, perhaps you want to fund a special project like a graphic novel or audiobook? If that’s you, then crowdfunding might just be your new best friend. Indie bestseller and self-publishing expert Ben Galley shares his top tips in this handy Q&A.
Issue 7 of Publishing Talk Magazine has a self-publishing theme. Learn how to design your own book cover, self-publish successfully, market your books, get started on social media, develop a content strategy and much more.
Lauren Child speaks exclusively to Lucy Coats at the Bologna Book Fair about One Thing, her first Charlie and Lola book for five years – and why she hopes to do for numbers what she’s already done for language and literacy.
Lucy Coats, Contributing Editor to the Children’s Publishing issue of Publishing Talk Magazine, reports back from this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair with details of new and forthcoming titles – and catches up with Children’s Laureate and Publishing Talk cover girl Malorie Blackman.
Steven Lenton, illustrator of children’s bestseller Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam, and author/illustrator of Princess Daisy and the Dragon, shares with us his top seven secrets for success as a children’s book illustrator.
Some people enjoy writing for the sake of it, while others want to develop and improve. If you fall into the latter category then read this. A creative writing lecturer and published author with a new novel The Dark Light out in July 2015, Julia Bell is one of the UK’s foremost authorities on creative writing. Here, she shares with us the top ten pieces of advice she gives her students at the start of each year.
Danuta Kean looks at the fastest-selling paperback of all time – the publishing phenomenon that is Fifty Shades of Grey – and asks: “Why?”
As a writer, active member and chair of the London Writers’ Cafe – one of the largest writing groups in the UK – Lisa Goll knows a thing or two about how to get the most from participating in a writing community. Here she shares her top tips on finding the group that’s right for you, what to expect on joining and how to survive the writing velociraptors.
Would you write a novel for free? That was the request that landed in my in-box back in 2012. The email came from a content manager at Wattpad. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an online platform that lets you upload stories and read thousands of others for free. Their promo pack informed me of their ten million monthly readers. Imagine having that many people read your work? The request suddenly seemed a tiny bit appealing.
Whether you’re interested in writing drama or comedy, plays or sketches, BBC Radio 4 commissions hundreds of hours of original material every year – far more than BBC TV – and is always on the look out for new writing talent. BBC Radio 4 commissioner Caroline Raphael offers her top tips for aspiring radio writers.
Twitter: Huge distraction? Waste of time? Like shouting into an empty field? That’s what Saul Wordsworth used to think. But now his Twitter comedy character Alan Stoob has become a bestselling book, and may become a Hollywood movie. He reveals how he did it – and how you can create your own Twitter character.
This article first appeared in Publishing Talk Magazine issue 5. You can now download the…
Have you ever wanted to write about food? Award-winning food writer and journalist Andrew Webb…
In our first children’s publishing themed issue we’re delighted to have an exclusive interview with Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman. She speaks to our contributing editor Lucy Coats about her path to publication, top writing tips – and the need for greater diversity in children’s books. This issue also features Kit Berry, Kate Wilson, Hilary Delamere, Steven Lenton, Nicola Morgan, Tom Evans and Suzanne Collier.
There are more options than ever for authors to self-publish print books. But they really boil down to three business models: Commission-Based, Upfront-Fee or Subscription, says Sarah Juckes, who outlines the pros and cons of each. Which one is right for you?
One of the most common questions I’m asked is: “How do I get an agent?” Let me shatter an almost universally held belief straight away: not all writers find their agents via the slush pile. Many take another route altogether. If I could present you with a pie chart of ‘ways to find an agent’, the slush pile would be a small sliver of that cake.
Ben Galley is a young self-published author of the epic and gritty fantasy series The Emaneska Series. He has published four books to date, and doesn’t intend to stop any time soon. Zealous about inspiring other authors and writers, Ben also runs the popular advice site Shelf Help, and is the co-founder and director of ebook store Libiro. He became a successful full-time ‘authorpreneur’ at the age of 26 and within a few years of publishing his first book. Jon Reed asks him how he did it.
WordPress is the blogging software I always recommend. It is flexible, extendible, easy to use – and free. But there is more to it than writing a personal online journal. You can use it to build a website, promote your books – and build a community. Here are 10 ways to make the most of it.
While some publishers view digital as a dystopian nightmare, Alastair Horne considers six science fiction themes and how they illustrate a more positive future for the industry.