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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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Poetry, Articles and Novels – Something for Everyone!

July 2nd, 2019

First, thanks to Amanda for last week’s post. I’ve never been a fan of ‘up-lit’ (I enjoy a bit of doom and gloom in my reading matter), but I recently read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and I’m a convert!

As you know, we’re currently running our annual Poetry Competition. Unfortunately, it’s only for adults, but the 2019 Betjeman Poetry Prize is open to young people aged 10 to 13. So, if you’re a teacher, or feel that your child’s class might be interested then please spread the word. It’s free to enter, but the prizes are great. This year’s theme is ‘place’ and entries can be any length and in any style. The winner will receive £500 and the English department at their school will get £5000. Two runners up will each get £200 and the top three poets all get four Eurostar tickets to Paris, Brussels or Lille. I know it’s nearing the end of term, but with prizes like that it’s definitely worth thinking about . The closing date is the same as ours – 31st July. Read the rest of this entry »




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Err Necessities

March 15th, 2019

Because I write about writing mistakes, many writers assume I’m either a mistake shamer or deeply ‘anti-mistake’.

But I’m not. I’m ‘pro-mistake’. Go ahead and make them! Write the mistakes out of yourself. Err and learn. There is no mistake so bad that you can never recover from it. You can always redeem yourself. Don’t be afraid.

I’m by no means infallible. Even after two decades in the business, I too make mistakes. Probably more than I imagine. Read the rest of this entry »




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The Independent Route To A Book Deal

September 21st, 2018

It is almost twenty years since I enrolled with the Writers Bureau in 1999. Prior to that I hadn’t considered writing as a career option but the Writer’s Bureau gave me a great start. It taught me many valuable skills and gave me the confidence to pursue a writing career. During the course I found that novels were my preferred type of writing as well as my forte but it wasn’t until many years later that I eventually published.

My writing career began with magazine articles, mostly on parenting and places of interest. I then decided to set up a writing services business offering copywriting and proofreading services, and I utilised the skills gained on the course. In particular, the module on writing for trade magazines helped me with producing content for company websites. Read the rest of this entry »




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Finding The Right Publisher For Your Work

June 15th, 2018

First, thanks once again to Elyse for another interesting post. It’s full of useful advice and shows just how important it is to look objectively at what’s on offer when a publisher shows an interest in your work. I know it’s a wonderful feeling when someone says they want to take your book and publish it, but don’t jump in before you’ve gone through everything with a fine toothcomb.

You need to know whether they are going to publish your book as a print run, as print on demand or as an e-book  –  or whether there will be a combination of these.

How long will the contract last and if they decide to stop producing your book, will you be free to take back ownership and find a new publisher or do it yourself? Read the rest of this entry »




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