literary agent

To have or not to have a literary agent: an author’s perspective

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.

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Writers & Artists launches 2016 yearbook with #istartedhere

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.

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Mills & Boon teams with WHSmith and Kobo for competition

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 Interested authors should submit a synopsis of no more than 500 words of their unpublished or self-published novel, in any genre of romantic novel (supernatural, historical, comedy etc.), alongside a first chapter of no more than 5,000 words.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.

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Roterbooks

Spanish start-up Interview: Roterbooks

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:

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Quick-Fiction-logo-300x300

10 codes for QUICK FICTIONS [GIVEAWAY]

BookMachine have teamed up with Quick Fictions to give 10 readers a free code to access stories from the app.

QUICK FICTIONS is a new evolution in digital storytelling, presenting over 150 thought-provoking stories from some of the most exciting authors around. It grew put of the desire to explore the question of how to write – inventively, thoughtfully, memorably – in the age of the short attention span. All of its readers are invited to submit quick fictions of their own.

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book industry award

Want to win a book industry award?

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.

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Nominees unveiled for 2015 Warwick Prize for Writing

The longlist has been revealed for the 2015 Warwick Prize for Writing, presented every two years by the University of Warwick to writing in English of any genre, form or nationality. Nominations come from staff, students and alumni of the university and of Australia’s Monash University (and, for the first time this year, publishers’ own submissions), with each able to nominate one piece of work on that year’s chosen theme. For 2015, said theme is instinct. The winner receives £25,000 and the chance of a short placement at the University of Warwick.

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Samantha Missingham

Working in Publishing and Marketing: Samantha Missingham interview

Samantha Missingham is Head of Audience Development at Harper Collins Publishers. Here Stephanie Cox interviews Sam about her career so far, the impact of social media on publishing, and the various roles she has held.

1. Can you give my readers a brief overview of your career so far?

Sure. I’ve spent the vast amount of my career working in magazine publishing. I started at a very small company that published financial technology titles. I learned a huge amount working in a small business with a very entrepreneurial boss. He taught me a few simple but important things – everyone in the company should be able to answer the phone & give a decent answer to any question about the business, also, pretty much every call coming into a business is a sales opportunity – if you understand everything that you sell.

I then worked at Centaur on many of their B2B magazines, including Marketing Week, Creative Review and New Media Age. I launched their community site MAD.co.uk (for marketing, advertising & design professionals). This is where I learned about building audiences/communities and the various ways you can get people to pay for content. And yes I was MAD Marketing Manager for a while 😉

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German watershed for digital erotica

In a move that defies every NSFW comic stereotype, the German Publishers & Booksellers Association has been told by the country’s Youth Protection Authority that all digital publications aimed at an adult audience can now only be sold between the hours of 10pm and 6am, effectively instating a watershed comparable to the transmission of adult material on British television after 9pm. When submitting ebooks to digital stores, publishers will now be met with a metadata entry field asking them to specify if the book should be classified as being specifically for adults. If so, the title will only be visible on digital retail sites between the designated hours.

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Jim Crace wins International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

This year’s International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award has been presented to Harvest by English author Jim Crace. Sponsored solely by the city of Dublin, the prize is the world’s largest presented to a single work of fiction, valued at €100,000. It is open to authors of any nationality and novels written in any language so long as an English translation is made available in the same calendar year as its original publication, and is post-dated by two years from date of publication (so all of this year’s nominees were published no later than 2013). Nominations come from public libraries around the world.

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