London Calling!

London Calling!

The London Book Fair is the trade show for publishers, agents and booksellers. Now in its 47th year, anyone in the book business anywhere around the world finds themselves heading for London in April. During the three-day event at London’s Olympia, held this year between 10th and 12th April, over 25,000 people connected with the publishing industry will pass through its doors. The question is: should you be going? Is there a business-case for writers making the trip?

Know Your CLAEU From Your ERA Or LCI

Know Your CLAEU From Your ERA Or LCI

Last week I posted a copy of my article from Writing Magazine about how to interpret and understand your ALCS statement. Payments are due soon – 21st March – which means that over the coming weeks, if you’ve registered eligible published work with the ALCS and are due a payment, you’ll receive an email notifying you that your statement is ready to download.

Understanding Your ALCS Statement

Understanding Your ALCS Statement

  I love this time of year. March is when we get our free money from the ALCS. Free money? Oh, yes! However, from the many comments I’ve seen on social media, not everyone understands their ALCS statement. Many simply look at how much they’re getting and then file it ready for their tax return. But having a clearer understanding of what you’re receiving the money for may help ensure you claim everything to which you’re entitled. What is ALCS?…

Read More Read More

500 Words

500 Words

The results of the Flash 500 short story competition have just been announced, and I’ve been waiting to see who’s won … not because I entered, but because I was the judge. When you judge a competition you judge it blind, which means you have no idea who wrote each entry. You judge the entry, and assess its impact upon you as a reader, out of the batch you’ve been sent to adjudicate. So it’s always with excitement that I…

Read More Read More

Blackcurrant Jelly

Blackcurrant Jelly

The latest issue of The People’s Friend magazine carries a short story I’ve written, called Blackcurrant Jelly. It’s about a father wondering how his young daughter will cope on her first day back at school, after spending several months off school recovering from meningitis. In particular, he’s worried how she’ll cope now she’s lost all of her fingers and thumbs, through the illness.

PLR

PLR

This year, 22,108 writers are receiving a PLR payment next month. I’m one of them. I always find PLR statements fascinating documents because, although it’s just a snapshot from a handful of libraries across the UK, they reveal interesting information about which of your books were most popular.

Writing Can Seriously Damage Your Health

Writing Can Seriously Damage Your Health

Writing Can Seriously Damage Your Health Yes. Writing can seriously damage your health. And it doesn’t take long. Hunched up over a keyboard all day, or staring at a computer screen for hours on end (without blinking) can have some devastating consequences. And then there’s the diet. The constant grazing (usually chocolate) and the copious amounts of tea, coffee or wine. No wonder Jane Wenham-Jones spoke of Writer’s Bottom in her book

Book Journals

Book Journals

There’s a technique for book writers (both fiction and non-fiction) called book journalling. David Hewson calls it a book diary in his . The idea is simple: any thoughts relating to your book are entered into one journal for that book. That could be a physical notebook, or it could be a file on your computer. (I create a file in my Research folder in Scrivener.)

Real Writers Ship

Real Writers Ship

One of the most common resolutions writers make is: to write more. Actually, if you’re seeking publication, a better resolution would be: to submit more, or  to ship more. It’s easy to seek perfection. (Attaining it is another matter.) However, that search for perfection meets the resolution of doing more writing. But does it actually achieve anything?

The Professional Costs of Publishing

The Professional Costs of Publishing

 If you’re toying with the idea of self-publishing a book, then I would encourage you to read Andrew Franklin’s blog post on the Society of Author’s website. Andrew Franklin is the joint founder of Profile Books. Therefore, he understands the costs involved when it comes to publishing a book. In his blog post (which was also an article in the Society of Author’s Journal published back in the autumn) he candidly talks money. A lot of money. Particularly when you…

Read More Read More

Contractual Concerns

Contractual Concerns

 Social media was buzzing with more contract queries last week, after one magazine began issuing fiction writers with a new contract.  I haven’t seen the entire contract because I am not one of those writers on their preferred supplier list, but many of the queries were around a clause that appeared to request the transfer of all intellectual property rights. Clearly, without seeing the whole contract, it would be inappropriate for me to give advice. And, anyway, I’m not a…

Read More Read More

Talking The Talk

Talking The Talk

 Last Saturday, archaeologist and historian (and author and TV presenter) Dr Alex Langlands, came to my home town and spoke about his new book . It’s his own view about what craft means, and how the word has come to represent what it does today. And he also asks the question, does it still mean what it originally meant when the word was first used in Old English? 

Scrivener 3

Scrivener 3

Many of you will know that I’m a fan of the Scrivener software. I use it for all of my writing (articles, short stories, novels, non-fiction books and even for recording my pitches). Last week saw the launch of the updated version (for Apple Macs). Scrivener 3 is an amazing piece of software, although regular users will spot many changes. Some of the tool options have changed locations. To help with this, Gwen Hernandez, author of , has produced a…

Read More Read More

Don’t Be Afraid of Moving On

Don’t Be Afraid of Moving On

Last week I read a blog post from Frances Garrood (http://francesgarrood.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/farewell-womags_15.html) about her decision to stop writing short stories. It was a short, interesting piece about how she’d arrived at this decision. And it struck me that, when it comes to the business of writing, sometimes you need to accept that it’s time to move on. There are many reasons why a writer stops writing in a particular genre or for a specific market. Frances wrote about how she used…

Read More Read More

Vlad the Self-Published

Vlad the Self-Published

Last week’s post (What To Do With My Business After I’m Dead) looked at a book that fellow Writing Magazine columnist Tarja Moles has published. This week, another fellow Writing Magazine columnist, Lorraine Mace, explains why she’s bitten the bullet and self-published her children’ novel, even though it was something she swore she’d never do. “ was the first book I wrote,” Lorraine explains, “and so it has always had a special place in my heart. In 2007 I was…

Read More Read More