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Category: Fiction

Weekend Networking

Weekend Networking

One good way of developing your writing business in a fun way, is learning from others, and there are two upcoming events that I’m involved with: one as a committee member, and one as a tutor. NAWGFest 2019 – 30th August – 1st September – University of Warwick The National Association of Writers’ Groups annual gathering takes place at the University of Warwick, between 30th August and 1st September. Our gala dinner night guest speakers are Nicci Gerard and Sean French, better…

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So Near, Yet …

So Near, Yet …

It was an opportunity I had to take. Here was an editor keen on my novel. But a few others in the acquisitions meeting had reservations, so a contract wasn’t quite in the offing just yet. A few tweaks, though, could make all the difference.

Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

I help administer a short story competition on behalf of a writers’ group I go, and last week I had to send a copy of an anthology to one of last year’s successful entrants. I didn’t have their postal address, so I went back through our emails to find the entrant’s original submission, and then got in touch to ask for a postal address. I was horrified when Gmail returned my search results. There was the email with the competition…

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Success Is Built On Habits

Success Is Built On Habits

As writers, it’s important that we come up with fresh new ideas on a regular basis. However, we’re wasting our time if we don’t do anything with them. Much better to have a habit of developing ideas and then either writing them up (if it’s fiction) or pitching them (if they’re non-fiction).

Tandem Teamwork

Tandem Teamwork

Inside the May 2019 issue of Writing Magazine is my Business of Writing piece about Writing Tandem. We know that writing partnerships can work well in some writing formats, such as comedy (particularly sitcoms), films and even theatre work. But what about books?

2019 London Book Fair

2019 London Book Fair

This year’s London Book Fair takes place between 12th and 14th March at Olympia. Like many of these events, if you’ve never been before it’s worth making some preparations to ensure you get the most from your visit. Time will fly!

Business Means Respect

Business Means Respect

Twice last week, I came across posts in two different private social media groups where people in the writing business had experienced rudeness from novice writers submitting work. Now, I’m not going to share any specific details, because they are private groups. But there’s no excuse for rudeness at any time, and it made me realise how some novice writers still don’t understand that writing is a business. It’s all about professional, business relationships, and for those relationships to function successfully there needs…

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Do We Really Need MS Word?

Do We Really Need MS Word?

When it comes to the business of writing, one of the most important tools is the software we use to collect our words and thoughts and put them into some sort of order. For years, this has been Microsoft Word, and its .doc and .docx file types are the industry standard when it comes to submitting to publishers. So I was interested to read this post on the Guardian’s website, about how Word is losing its shine, even in large…

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Virtually Touring

Virtually Touring

Write book. Publish Book. Go on book tour in nightwear. Simon Whaley explores the modern way to promote books. Gone are the days when publishers organised country-wide book tours for every author, dropping them into every major town and city bookstore to promote their latest offering. Many authors are probably thankful for this, for such events were frequently gruelling and exhausting. Today, a good book tour still requires energy and effort on an author’s part, but the modern virtual book…

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Collaborative Marketing

Collaborative Marketing

Two’s company, three’s a crowd … but six can be a good marketing strategy, says Simon Whaley.   It doesn’t matter whether we’re traditionally published or self-published, when it comes to marketing most of us are pretty much on our own. It’s a little ironic that traditional publishers usually allocate the biggest marketing budgets to those already- famous authors who have cost them significant sums of money in advance payments, which those said publishers then need to recoup: hence the bigger…

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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.