Archive for the ‘publishing industry’ Category
Publishers’ relationships with readers and authors is changing; becoming closer and more interactive. What does this mean for authors? This is a presentation from the Kate Nash Literary Agency Day which took place on 15th June 2013 in London. How Publishing Sees Readers
Today’s publishing model is tomorrow’s chip paper. Publishing is changing fast, so where are we now? This is a presentation from the Kate Nash Literary Agency Day which took place on 15th June 2013 in London. Publishing Today
2011 brings the second Writers Workshop Festival of Writing in York, 25-27th March, and among the fabulous writers, publishers and agents who will be speaking and leading workshops and courses are Ashley Pharoah, David Nobbs, Nicola Morgan, Kate Williams, Tom Harper, Phillippa Pride (Stephen King’s UK editor), Carole Blake and Patrick Janson-Smith. I’ve been delighted to be involved again assisting with the programming and planning. At the Festival itself I will be running a mini-course, along with the fabulous and funny Jane Lovering, on Characterisation which, I think, makes the critical difference between ok stories and great stories. The mini-course takes place on Friday 25th March.
Looking at next year’s diary, this isn’t the only teaching I’ll be doing in early 2011. In January I’m running a workshop for A-Level students who now have creative writing included in their A-Level English syllabus. Curtis Brown aren’t the only lit agency running writing courses – in April I’m leading a course over an entire weekend covering all the basic elements of novel writing: plotting, characterisation, pacing, suspense, dialogue, conflict, description. The dates are 15-17th April and full details are here.
During the summer I should be at Winchester Writers Conference. In the autumn two more weekends: an autumn writing retreat and a NaNoWriMo weekend.
Add to this the London Book Fair (April), the Romantic Novelists Association conference (July), the Frankfurt Book Fair (October) and the Festival of Romance (October) and no doubt a number of day events and book trade conferences, and that’s the year events-wise.
Exhausted just thinking about it.
Was even quieter than I expected, given that I was expecting it to be quiet what with the volcanic ash. Only about one in fifteen tables in the International Rights Centre actually had any people at them, while downstairs it was about as quiet as it was last year towards the end of the day on the last day before the last folks go home. Relaxed is a good word to describe the general atmosphere although I had a stressful start to this morning having been hit on the head by a suitcase falling off the top of my wardrobe, and at exactly the moment I was trying to decide what to wear. “Has it cured the baby brain?” one publisher asked me. In jest. (I hope).
This is all relevent because with the relaxed-ness there’s been time for small talk. International meetings have been a write off but the silver lining is that I’ve had some informal chats with people I probably wouldn’t have had time to otherwise.
Last weekend 450 writers, agents and publishers came together for the Writers’ Workshop Festival of Writing in York, a brand new event especially designed to break down the barriers between writers and the publishing industry.
A week before the London Book Fair, any dreamy preconceptions held by aspiring authors that writing was an easy pathway to a champagne lifestyle were swiftly dashed by industry representatives who confirmed how difficult it was to get published and then stay published. The marketplace was tough; advances were under pressure and a first book deal was no guarantee of lifelong career as an author. Simon Trewin lamented how few of the authors he’d worked with during his 17 years as a literary agent were still actively publishing.
Nevertheless, attending writers were impressed how passionate the industry were about books and writing. “As passionate, if not more passionate, than me,” commented one writer. “You have to want it enough,” author Katie Fforde said, opening the Festival. “I want to be size 10, but I obviously don’t want that enough.” In his closing address author RJ Ellory confirmed that real writers were driven by passion first, and money last. “It is just too hard otherwise to get novels written, edited and do all the promotion if you’re not passionate about it.”
Simon Trewin confessed to sixty-hour weeks and hiding in the kitchen of a holiday home with his Blackberry while publisher Barry Cunningham confessed to starting his publishing career dressed up as the Puffin Club puffin.
Agents, publishers and authors fielded over 600 one-to-one appointments with aspiring writers during the weekend, leaving writers impressed with how approachable and helpful the industry professionals were. “Pure gold,” said one writer. “I came away able to look at my whole novel through a different window.”
Shelley Harris won the Authonomy Live competition judged by Clive Malcher from Harper Collins, Helen Corner from Cornerstones Literary Consultancy and author Toby Frost. Author Adèle Geras won Literary Death Match by popular vote with a powerful excerpt but promptly donated her prize to unpublished runner-up Mary Flood, “As that’s why we’re here, isn’t it? To encourage new talent.”
Had a super day yesterday as guest of honour at Get Writing 2010, Verulam Writers’ Circle annual conference at the University of Hertfordshire, now in its fourth year and a brilliant achievement from Jenny Barden and team. My new office assistant came too – his first writers’ conference!
It was a packed day for delegates (one delegate’s experience) but I do think that events like these, done well, are invaluable especially for aspiring authors. I couldn’t stay all day but did enjoy the talks by agents John Jarrold and Anna Power, and publishers Simon Taylor (Transworld) and Marlene Johnson (Hachette Children’s) who outlined the publishing landscape as well as giving this piece of advice to aspiring authors:
Don’t compare yourself to authors who were successful 20 or 30 years ago, that’s history and publishers aren’t looking for that. Rather, have a view where you might fit into the market compared to authors who have done well in the last six or seven years.
Next stop: York.
As a writer you know the thrill when something that was once just a figment of imagination becomes real? April 9 – 11 in York, something terribly exciting is happening. It is the Festival of Writing, which will be the UK’s best creative writing event.
The chief idea behind the Festival is to give writers insight into how publishing works so they are better informed and better able to get published, and the opportunity to meet and mingle with literary editors and agents face to face.
I will be there giving a talk and one-to-ones but I’m also keen to meet writers in the bar. If you are coming, please do come and say hello.
The full programme, which is fantastic, is on the Festival website: www.festivalofwriting.com
A good writer does not mince words and so my summary for the Kate Nash Literary Agency’s first year stands. Launching any new business in a recession is difficult but publishing is going through its own particular stormy weather and evolving. In 2009 we said goodbye to Borders UK, we should have said hello to the Amazon Kindle and we got our knickers in a twist about the Google Book Settlement.
I remain concerned about erosions of authors’ rights and underwhelmed by a rosy future belonging only to the ebook. However, I am more optimistic for 2010 as a whole, and will continue to report the journey.