This is a guest blog post from Lucy Beresford. Lucy is a writer, broadcaster and psychotherapist. She’s the Radio Shrink on BBC London 94.9 on Friday nights, the Agony Aunt for the women’s glossy Healthy and forms part of the press panel reviewing the newspapers on Sky News. Lucy’s latest novel Invisible Threads, set in New Delhi, is a tale of love and survival.
This question didn’t arise for me until recently. My first two books (fiction and non-fiction) and their translation rights (Brazilian and Chinese) were sold by agents and I was thrilled. I liked who I was working with, and they knew way more about the publishing industry than I ever could.
However, authors need to remember that publishing is a commercial enterprise. Agents and agencies earn money by negotiating decent advances for their authors. If your books are too niche or your manuscript can’t command a decent advance, an agent will find it hard to justify taking you on or keeping you on. That’s the brutal truth: they only get paid when you get paid.
Today (2 July) sees the launch of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2016, the latest instalment of the annual directory for writers, designers, illustrators and photographers. Published by Bloomsbury, the book contains 4,500 key industry listings, alongside information on copyright, finance, submitting a manuscript, e-publishing, self-publishing, agents, publishers, prizes and awards. New additions this year include articles on writing historical fiction, writing about food, travel writing, becoming a published poet and electronic publishing.
Rosalind Moody is Editorial Assistant at Colchester-based publishing company Aceville Publications. Here Stephanie Cox interviews Rosalind about her career so far, and the differences between working in book publishing and magazine publishing,
1. Please introduce yourself and describe your background and your career.
I’m a graduate from the University of Hull and since my second year of university, I’ve completed unpaid internships at Endeavour Press, Simon & Schuster UK, Hodder and Stoughton and Just Imagine, a specialist children’s bookseller in Chelmsford. Last Christmas I was offered a job as Editorial Assistant at Colchester-based publishing company Aceville Publications who own a lot of major craft magazines, as well as other well-known titles such as Great British Food, Your Fitness and Natural Health. Make it Today is a new title I’m helping to develop but actually I’ve just been transferred to a more established magazine called Homemaker. I’m really enjoying myself and I’m constantly learning!
Doyenne of all romance publishers Mills & Boon has teamed with WHSmith and Kobo for Romance Writing Life, a competition that aims to find new romance authors (have I used the word ‘romance’ enough yet? Romance romance romance). Interested authors should submit a synopsis of no more than 500 words of their unpublished or self-published novel, in any genre of romantic novel (supernatural, historical, comedy etc.), alongside a first chapter of no more than 5,000 words. The winner will receive a print and digital contract with Mills & Boon. Second and third prize will each receive a Kobo Glo HD on which they’ll be able to read the winner’s much better book.
BookMachine have teamed up with Quick Fictions to give 10 readers a free code to access stories from the app.
This is a guest post from Alison Jones. Alison is a business and executive coach, content consultant and publisher. After a 23-year career in trade and scholarly publishing working with major publishers such as Oxford University Press and Macmillan, during which she pioneered digital publishing, she set up Alison Jones Business Services and the Practical Inspiration Publishing imprint in 2014.
Sam Leith, literary editor of The Spectator, wrote a cracking piece in The Guardian last week entitled ‘The Crisis in Non-fiction Publishing’, his main point being that it’s no longer economically viable for mainstream publishers to publish high-quality non-fiction and instead we’re being swamped by a tide of formulaic, me-too titles with ‘a flavour of self-help or how-to’. He makes an interesting distinction between the books he’d like to see more of, which ‘make our understanding of the world deeper and more complex’, and those he sees dominating the market, which ‘can be summed up in a dinner party one-liner’.
This is a guest post from Monika Lee. Monika is a Senior Commissioning Editor at Open University Press, McGraw-Hill Education, executive coach and published author. You can follow her on Twitter @Lee_Monika
Have you ever wondered how long it takes before you can make a living from your blog? Charly Lester, who writes the 30datesblog.com, has done it just in two years. Incredible, given that the amount of online content doubles every 9 to 24 months. Keen to learn how to become a pro, last week I went to Charly’s Guardian Masterclass on ‘How to turn your blog into a brand’ to find out what it takes.
The Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF), an arm of the American Library Association (ALA), recently released the list of the most banned books in the US during 2014. It’s an annual report, but what’s surprising is that, year upon year, these lists increasingly contain YA and Children’s titles.
Roterbooks is a cloud-based editing platform based in Spain. Roterbooks have kindly sponsored the past two BookMachine Barcelona events. Here we find out a little bit more about the platform.
1. What is Røter? Where did the idea come from?
Røter is a cloud based editing platform. The team call it an ‘editorial hub’ as it allows you to edit your content and then export it into any format. At the moment Røter has three versions:
Winning awards won’t make you rich, and won’t help you sell books. But It will spruce up your CV, massage your ego immensely, impress your boss and on occasion you can even win a mighty fine prize.
The following are noteworthy prizes, awards and programmes available for publishing super-stars to apply for. There are plenty more for teams to win, but here are individual ones you can focus on for now.