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Getting Ready To Pitch Your Book

September 15th, 2021

Whenever new writers consider writing a book, many think about the great novel which they hope will be turned into a blockbuster film.

However, for every novel published there are at least five non-fiction books. Statistically, there is more chance of getting a non-fiction book published than a novel. In the UK alone, over 140,000 new books are published every year, and in the USA this figure is double. Of the UK’s 140,000 books, approximately 25,000 are novels, which means the remaining 115,000 are non-fiction titles.

It’s often easier for a publisher to quantify the potential market for a non-fiction book. Publishing a novel is riskier. It’s an unknown quantity, because publishers have no idea how many people will buy the book. However, with a non-fiction book it’s possible to identify how many people might, potentially, be interested in the subject matter. Read the rest of this entry »




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What Do Writers Eat?

August 9th, 2021

First, thanks to Simon for last week’s post. I suspect that certain types of writing come into fashion because of what’s going on in the world at that particular time and ‘Cosy Crime’ seems an ideal genre when we’ve just been through what we have in the past 18 months! It’s not surprising people want gentle escapism rather than graphic blood and gore.

Last month I mentioned a documentary about Ernest Hemingway. There were six hour-long episodes and the interest never waned. These days it has become commonplace for readers to judge an author not just on his or her literary output but on their private lives. Were they ‘bad’ people – racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, homophobic? I’ve always disliked this way of looking at literature but I suspect Hemingway was all of those things and when I sat down to read a much-lauded collection of his short stories recently I decided that it wasn’t just the man behind the books that I found unacceptable but I didn’t even rate the writing. And as for his much-praised novel, The Old Man and the Sea, only Edna O’Brien had the temerity to say that it wasn’t one of his finest – and I suspect that was an understatement! Read the rest of this entry »




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Keeping Boredom At Bay

March 16th, 2020

First, thanks to Ruth for last week’s blog. I love the humorous way she writes and I think her suggestion of working with a friend is a really good one. Especially in these difficult times when our movements might become more restricted. It’s something that you can do from the comfort of your own home via your laptop or tablet.

And talking about movements being restricted, I  may not be in the 70+ range but I’m gearing up for having to curtail my activities a little. And for me, that means finding some great big, whopping books to read. At the moment I’m reading The Devil That Danced by Aminatta Forna. It’s a beautiful, lyrical book about her childhood in Sierra Leone, the murder of her father by the regime and the country as it has been recently with all its troubles and bloodshed. At 500-plus pages it’s a very satisfying read! I’ve read a couple of her novels, too – The Memory of Love and The Hired Man – and they don’t disappoint. Read the rest of this entry »




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The Novels That Shaped Our World

January 31st, 2020

The BBC has asked a selection of people to choose 100 English language novels that have had an impact on them. They say:

“Stories have the power to change us. We asked a panel of leading writers, curators and critics to choose 100 genre-busting novels that have had an impact on their lives, and this is the result. These English language novels, written over the last 300 years, range from children’s classics to popular page turners. Organised into themes, they reflect the ways books help shape and influence our thinking.”

You can see the list here. I find some of the choices rather odd, but reading preferences are a very personal thing and I’m sure no two people would agree completely. Last year, the Sunday Times printed a list (many of which I had already read) and I am still working my way through the stragglers. It’s been great as it’s introduced me to some wonderful writers that I might otherwise have overlooked. But there are still the odd one or two that I have downloaded to my library app and then deleted after only a few chapters. Read the rest of this entry »




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Annual Bloggers Bash!

May 31st, 2019

Thanks to Ann for last week’s contribution. When I’m trying to check facts I often find myself going off at a tangent and having to give myself a strict ‘talking to’ before getting back on track. But, as she says, it’s never all a waste of time. Some of those interesting discoveries might just trigger an idea for a new, and potentially lucrative, piece of writing.

I was speaking to one of our tutors, Esther Chilton, this week and she mentioned The Bloggers Bash  which will be held in London on Saturday 15th June. It’s a social event for bloggers, bringing together the blogging community and it’s now in its fifth year.

There will be opportunities to socialise and network; presentations on blogging and marketing your blog from guest speakers; a workshop on creating flat lay images for your website and social media and a panel debate. And talking of the panel debate, Esther will be one of the panel members. So if you live in the London area (or fancy a good day out) and you either  blog already, or are contemplating starting, then this could be just what you’re looking for. Read the rest of this entry »




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