Guardian Feature

Guardian Feature

A brief post this week, just to point you to an article that was recently published in The Guardian, written by Alison Flood, about the anger from Woman’s Weekly’s writers at the exploitative new contract. You can read Alison’s piece here. We were hoping for a better, more detailed response from TI Media. Their response that they will continue to credit writers does not answer the question about why they need copyright, and their response to waiving moral rights enables…

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Fitting In

Fitting In

“If you want to be successful in this business, don’t be different. Be like someone else.” That’s how Phil Rickman, author of the popular novels, opened his talk at the Church Stretton Arts Festival last week. And it’s a perfect reminder of how publishers (particularly those publishing fiction) want more of the same. Ideally, they want more bestsellers. (Don’t we all?) “Publishers want something … they don’t really want something different. They want something that is guaranteed to sell.”  

Snowballing

Snowballing

The snowball is gathering momentum. It was slow to start off with because when you’re not big name writers, it’s difficult to make yourself heard. It’s been an uphill struggle. But now the direction is sloping gently downhill, enabling the snowball to gather pace and potential clout. Much of this has been thanks to the tweets of Joanne Harris. When @BigFatLion tweeted a link to my open letter to the leadership team at TI Media she also brought it to…

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Davids and Goliath

Davids and Goliath

Back in Womag-land, there’s been no feedback from TI Media (that I’m aware of) regarding their change of contracts to All Rights, and their cutting of payments by a third. Although, some writers have received some interesting emails. Woman’s Weekly has emailed a couple writers who’ve had stories that just failed to make the grade in the past (so were rejected, but encouraged to rewrite and resubmit them) enquiring whether they’ve had a chance to rewrite those stories yet.

Stronger … Together

Stronger … Together

At the end of June I posted about the recent changes being made at Woman’s Weekly concerning their latest contract, which demanded All Rights from their fiction writers. Now, I’m not a prolific short story writer, but I have been published in Woman’s Weekly’s Fiction Special, and therefore this is a market in which I have an interest. And although I have other writing priorities at the moment, writing short stories for the women’s magazine market is something I plan…

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Don’t Be A (Disqualified) Dork!

Don’t Be A (Disqualified) Dork!

The annual short story competition run by one of the writers’ circles I go to has just closed, and once again I’m staggered by the number of entrants who failed to read the rules. I just don’t understand it. I deal with the administration of some of the entries before they are passed on to the judges, and part of that admin work involves checking that entrants have met all of the competition’s rules. The two most commonly broken rules…

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Selling Out, Or Surviving?

Selling Out, Or Surviving?

It was a moment of dichotomy. I’d just been offered a job. An employed job. It was my first job interview for twenty years and they offered me the position. (Clearly, they were desperate!) I was going back into the world of employment, albeit on a part-time basis. But the euphoria was tempered with guilt. After all this time working as a full-time self-employed writer, was I selling out on the dream? Would this make me less of a writer?…

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Not All Right(s) in Womagland

Not All Right(s) in Womagland

Writers in Womagland (those who write short stories or serials for the women’s magazine market) have been venting their anger and frustration on social media recently. Woman’s Weekly magazine has changed its contract terms and payment rates. Those who have received an acceptance email in the last week or so have been told that the magazine is now seeking All Rights (including copyright) in their short stories and the payments are being reduced.

Commissioning Conundrum

Commissioning Conundrum

When is a commission not a commission? Well, it all depends upon when in the writing process you make the sale. Patsy Collins of the Womagwriters blog asked me to write a guest post about the latest confusion concerning some of the fiction markets using the word commission when accepting (or rejecting) a story, and I thought I’d also publish it on my own Business of Writing blog here. Firstly, here’s the get-out clause: I’m not a solicitor, therefore this…

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The 0.01% Copyright Conundrum

The 0.01% Copyright Conundrum

Pretty much every book on writing urges writers NOT to sign away their copyright in a project. And I would agree that, in 99.99% of cases, that is definitely the right step to take. However, there are times when doing the unthinkable can work out useful.

The (Foreign) Cheque Is In The Post

The (Foreign) Cheque Is In The Post

I’ve just received a payment that I’ve been chasing since June 2017 (for a piece originally written in 2016). What made this slightly more challenging was that the publication was based overseas. Here in the UK we have the Late Payments Act that allows us to charge interest on overdue payments. And if the worst comes to the worst we always have the small claims court to fall back on. But when it comes to foreign customers, things are a…

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Media Kits

Media Kits

JK Rowling has one. Lee Child has one. You should have one too. Simon Whaley explains what to put in your Media Kit.   Eric James is a children’s author, word tickler and champion asparagus thrower. He’s sold over 2.5 million books in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia. How do I know all of this? Because he’s put all this information, and more, in his Media Kit on his website (www.ericjames.co.uk). When it comes to the business of writing,…

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There’s Only One You

There’s Only One You

When it comes to the business of writing, it’s not necessarily our ideas that are important but the way we interpret them. As individuals, we are unique. We’ve all had different upbringings and influences upon our lives. We’ve all had different experiences. Even when we’re at the same event, our experience will influence how we interpret that event. That’s what makes us writers. Our interpretation.

POP Implications

POP Implications

Getting published is one thing, but getting paid can be an entirely different matter. Historically, many magazines have paid for items on publication. So if you write an article for the August issue of a magazine (back in March, and submit it in April) you will be paid for it in August. Some magazines pay 30 days after publication, which could mean payment may not arrive until September. There’s a growing trend for newspapers to do this, which is causing…

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RU GDPR OK?

RU GDPR OK?

The recent Cambridge Analatica and Facebook controversy has highlighted the importance of knowing exactly to whom we’re giving our precious data, and then what they can do with it. Next month, new European legislation, known as GDPR, comes into force, designed to give individuals more power over what companies can and can’t do with our data. However, these new regulations don’t apply just to large multi-national companies like facebook. They also apply to us – the self-employed or budding writer.