Thursday, 13 December 2012

Amazon to open European publishing wing

Amazon has said that it is to open a European publishing wing headquartered in Luxembourg, focused on English-language titles aimed at the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

The division will be headed by Vicky Griffith, publisher of Amazon's West Coast Group, who will relocate from Seattle in the New Year and begin building a team of editors and marketers.

In a letter sent to agents by Jeff Belle, vice president, Amazon Publishing, Belle said Amazon was "determined to invent ways to help authors reach more readers", adding "As our CEO likes to say, 'It's still day one.' That is especially true of Amazon Publishing. We have much work to do, and many challenges ahead of us, and we remain relentlessly focused on providing the best possible publishing experience for your authors."

Jeff Belle, vice president, Amazon Publishing,  also announced a slight reorganisation of its US publishing business folllowing Griffith's move, with Larry Kirshbaum, publisher of the East Coast Group, expanding his brief to include Amazon's Seattle adult imprints, as well as Amazon Children's Publishing. Daphne Durham will step into the role of editor-in-chief across all of our adult imprints, reporting to Kirshbaum.

Read full story Amazon to begin European publishing push from 2013: .

Monday, 10 December 2012

A P Watt Literary Agency confirms its sale to United Agents

A P Watt chairman Caradoc King and joint managing director Derek Johns will join UA LLP as partners together with their colleagues Natasha Fairweather, Linda Shaughnessy and Jon Elek. Fairweather will be joint head of the overall literary department with UA's Robert Kirby, and Linda Shaughnessy will be joint head of the foreign rights department with Jessica Craig. The combined literary department will comprise 31 agents, associates and assistants. A P Watt will retain its distinct identity, becoming known as A P Watt at United Agents.

King said: "Publishing is undergoing profound changes, and it is vital for authors to have the strongest possible representation in all aspects of their careers." From Monday, A P Watt's telephone number will change to 020 3214 0800.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Promotions at Palgrave Macmillan

Palgrave Macmillan has made two changes to its senior management as the company is “poised to enter a period of transformational growth”.

The academic publisher has appointed Dominic Knight executive director, as chairman of Palgrave Macmillan and executive director of business programmes for the Macmillan group. Sam Burridge, currently executive director of Palgrave Macmillan, has been promoted to managing director of Palgrave Macmillan Scholarly with effect from 1st November.

Knight became managing director of Palgrave Macmillan at its inception in 2000. Burridge joined Macmillan in 1995 and has held several senior roles across sales, business development and executive publishing.

 Promotions at Palgrave Macmillan:

Friday, 30 November 2012

Lauren Hadden to edit We Love This Book

Lauren Hadden is the new editor for The Bookseller’s sister consumer books magazine We Love This Book. 

Hadden started her career as a children’s section manager at Eason’s and had the role of culture and books editor on Ireland’s Image magazine. She has also worked for Transworld Ireland and the Lisa Richard’s Agency in Dublin.

Launched in July 2011, Hadden joined the title on 14th November and can be contacted on

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

What’s in a name? Choosing names for your characters

Crime writer Pauline Rowson discusses choosing names for characters.

Getting the right name for characters in a novel can be a tricky business. Sometimes they come to me completely out of the blue, as I am creating a character, other times I will struggle to find the name that best suits that particular character and until I do the personality refuses to come fully alive.

I have always had this thing about people looking like their names.  When I’m introduced to someone I will think yes, you are a Jacqueline or a Malcolm. Other times I will think, oh no, you’re definitely a Karen or a Wayne. And so it is with the characters I am creating. The name has to fit. If it’s not right then the character isn’t right. The name also needs to fit with the age and nationality although you can have exceptions.

Readers often ask me where I get my characters names from.  When seeking inspiration for first names I turn to my little book of baby’s names or I will look up web sites of baby’s names.  I also keep an ear out for any unusual or interesting names when meeting people and will jot these down.

Read  the full article here: What’s in a name? A great deal claims crime author Pauline Rowson

Monday, 26 November 2012

New Literary Agency Dedicated to Children and YA Fiction

Former commissioning editor of Piccadilly Press Anne Clark has left to start her own literary agency dedicated to children’s and Young Adult authors. Clark has previously been the editorial director at Hodder Children’s Books and helped to launch theF careers of teen authors such as Caroline Green and Laura Summers.

Clark can be contacted on or through her website

Friday, 9 November 2012

Entries now accepted for CWA Debut Dagger Award 2013

The Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) has announced the Debut Dagger competition for 2013.

 The Debut Dagger is open to entries until 2 February 2013, and is for authors who have not previously had a commercial novel published. Shortlisted entries will be announced at CrimeFest in Bristol in May 2013, and the winner will be announced at the CWA Awards in July. To enter, you need to submit the first 3000 words of a novel and a synopsis of a further 500-1000 word. It costs £25.

The winner will receive a £700 prize. All the shortlisted authors in 2013 will be given a free Manuscript Assessment from the CWA. Crime fiction experts at the CWA will critique the book providing detailed feedback.

Click here to find out more about the Debut Dagger.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Headline Publishers Promote Staff

Headline has promoted two editorial staff members, with Vicki Mellor moving up to become deputy publishing director.

Mellor will take on a brief to expand Headline's publishing in the crime and thriller area. She is currently the editor for authors including Karen Rose, Lisa Gardner and Andy McDermott. Mellor will continue to report to publishing director Imogen Taylor.

Headline is also promoting Frankie Gray to the role of commissioning editor, crossover fiction, with effect from 5th November. Gray will acquire and edit Headline's YA and crossover fiction, and will report to director of publishing Marion Donaldson.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Self-publishing sees massive growth

The self publishing sector has grown 287% in the last five years, with more than 200,000 titles published last year in the US.

Self-publishing is becoming "mainstream", with new figures revealing the number of do-it-yourself books published in the US has exploded, tripling in the last five years to reach almost quarter of a million titles in 2011.

New analysis from Bowkerwhich issues ISBNs for books published in the US – shows that writers are jumping into self-publishing at an unprecedented rate. The number of self-published books in America grew by 287% to 235,625 books between 2006 and 2011.

Self-published ebooks make up 37% of that total, with 87,201 released in 2011, and are the fastest-growing sector, up 129% since 2010, with print growing 33% in the same period.

The UK was not part of the new analysis, though some books published in the UK will also have been assigned an ISBN in the US.

Read more: Self-publishing sees massive growth:

Monday, 29 October 2012

Penguin/Random House merger confirmed

Pearson and Bertelsmann have confirmed that Penguin and Random House are to combine into a new consumer publishing organisation, Penguin Random House, with the merger expected to complete in the second half of 2013.

Bertelsmann will own 53% of the new venture and Pearson 47%; Bertelsmann gets five directors on the new board and Pearson four. Current Penguin chairman and chief executive John Makinson will be chairman of Penguin Random House with Random House chief executive Markus Dohle in the chief executive role for the new company.

However the joint venture will exclude Bertelsmann's trade publishing business in Germany and Pearson will retain rights to use the Penguin brand in education markets worldwide.

In a statement, the publishers said: "The combination brings together two of the world's leading English language publishers, with highly complementary skills and strengths. Random House is the leading English language publisher in the US and the UK, while Penguin is the world's most famous publishing brand and has a strong presence in fast-growing developing markets. Both companies have a long history of publishing excellence, and both have been pioneers in the dramatic industry transformation towards digital publishing and bookselling... In reviewing the long-term trends and considerable change affecting the consumer publishing industry, Pearson and Bertelsmann both concluded that the publishing and commercial success of Penguin and Random House can best be sustained and enhanced through a partnership with another major international publishing house."

Read more: 

Penguin/Random House merger confirmed:

Join CyberCrime Experts and Crime Authors at CSI Portsmouth

At this year's CSI Portsmouth, the third year of this popular event, there is a great line up of crime experts and authors.  You can read all about the crime experts and crime authors taking part at CSI Portsmouth

Joining me on the afternoon panel is crime writer Ann Cleeves, the author of the Vera series of crime novels which have been adapted into the popular ITV series starring Brenda Blethyn and David Leon, broadcast in the UK, and sold worldwide. An adaptation of Red Bones, one of her Shetland mysteries, is currently in preparation for television. Her books have been translated into twenty languages.

My marine based mystery crime novels are set at the opposite end of the UK. The Solent mysteries are set around Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. They feature the flawed and rugged DI Andy Horton. There are currently eight in the series with the ninth, Undercurrent, being published in January 2013. They are published in the UK and the USA where they have been highly acclaimed and have been translated intoseveral languages and are soon to be published in China. I am also theauthor of two stand alone thrillers, one of which, In Cold Daylight was voted the third most popular novel for World Book Day 2008.

On the crime expert side we have Adrian Fretter from Hampshire Police Hi Tech Unit, Professor Bran Nicol an expert on Stalking and Internet Stalking and Dr Mark Button an expert on Fraud.

It promises to be a very lively panel debate looking at cyber crime, fraud and stalking, and the audience will have the chance to put their questions to the crime authors and crime experts.

During the day the Fingerprint Bureau will be present, you can also visit the bookshop provided by The Hayling Island Bookshop,talk to the authors and experts, and visit the Scene of Crime providedby students on the Forensic Science Course at South Downs College.

Tickets cost £10 for the day with £3 redeemable against a book bought on the day.

Call the Box Office on 023 9268 8037 Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

Join CyberCrime Experts and Crime Authors at CSI Portsmouth:

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Watch the short trailer about CSI Portsmouth 2012 0001

If you're a lover of crime fiction, CSI programmes or true crime then CSI Portsmouth (UK)an annual event where crime fiction meets crime fact could be just for you.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Penguin and Random House in merger talks

A successful deal would create world's largest book publisher out of two of the 'big six' companies that dominate the industry.

The owners of Penguin and Random House are in talks about merging their publishing arms to create the world's biggest books publisher.

A merger would bring together two of the world's "big six" publishers to create a new powerhouse that would publish 25% of all books sold in the UK.

A Pearson spokesman confirmed the merger talks were active, but said the companies "have not reached agreement, and there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction".

Analysts have long predicted a further round of consolidation in the book trade, which is dominated by HarperCollins, Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Penguin. The industry has changed rapidly in recent years following the introduction of ebook readers and mass-market selling via supermarkets.

Read more:  Penguin and Random House in merger talks:

Quercus Publishing appoint Executive Director, Group Sales & Marketing

Quercus Publishing, the independent publisher in the digital, trade, contract, paperback and children's sectors, has appointed Jane Harris as Executive Director, Group Sales & Marketing.

She will take up the role in January.

Ms Harris has been Sales and Trade Marketing Director of Walker Books for the past six years, and was previously UK Group Sales Director for HarperCollins Publishers.

Story provided by

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

First Self-Publishing Summit planned for November in UK

Literary agents, publishing professionals and authors will make up a judging panel for the first Self-Publishing Summit, which will lead to an independent author winning a "traditional publishing deal" with New Generation Publishing.

The summit will take place on Saturday 24th November in King’s College London and will invite self-publishers to give elevator pitches for their books to a panel of judges made up of industry professionals such as Tibor Jones literary agency director Sophie Lambert, Legend Press managing director Tom Chalmers and sales and marketing director of the History Press Tim Davies.

The book which "best captures the imaginations" of the panel will be published and promoted by New Generation Publishing for free, according to Summit organisers Authoright and New Generation Publishing.
A spokesperson for the summit said: "The summit aims to demystify the publishing industry and champion self publishing as a welcome innovation for both authors and publishing professionals. It is a unique opportunity to bring together authors, self publishers, traditional publishers, literary agents, editors and book marketing companies under one roof."

Tickets are £45.For more information visit:

Monday, 22 October 2012

Headline Publishing Changes Announced

Headline Publishing Group's Martin Fletcher will leave his role as publisher at large in early November this year, in order to concentrate on freelance editing, writing and consultancy.

Fletcher has worked at Headline since 2001, having worked in publishing for close to 30 years, including seven years at Simon & Schuster, and four years as senior editor at Picador before that. He will continue to handle several projects for Headline in a freelance capacity, and intends to also work for other publishers, and expand his book review work.

At Headline, Fletcher has been responsible for authors and projects including Jo Brand's autobiographies, and fiction from authors including Harry Thompson, David Gibbins, Robert Ryan and Quintin Jardine.
Read more: Headline's Fletcher to go freelance:

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Women's Prize For Fiction Announces Funding, Partnerships And Judges For 2013

For 2013, the Women's Prize For Fiction will be privately funded while headline sponsorship negotiations for 2014 and beyond are concluded. Funding has been provided in the form of gifts from companies and individual donors. Supporters include: Bilbary, Bob & Co, Richard & Elena Bridges, Cherie Blair, Christopher Foyle, Jill Green, Martha Lane Fox, Lansons Communications, Joanna Trollope, Sue Woodford-Hollick and others who wish to remain anonymous.

Read more: - Book Trade News - Women's Prize For Fiction Announces Funding, Partnerships And Judges For 2013

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Amazon e-lending scheme to launch in the UK

Amazon is to launch its controversial Kindle Owners' Lending Library in the UK from the end of October, offering Kindle-owning Amazon Prime customers access to more than 200,000 e-books for free.

The Lending Library allows Kindle users to download and read for free one title per month, but initially proved controversial in the US where Amazon launched the offer around e-books without seeking publishers' permission.

It was not immediately clear if traditional publishers in the UK had the choice to opt in or out. In the US, where the service launched a year ago, Amazon included books without separate publisher or author agreements, paying the wholesale price each time a book was 'borrowed'. In the US, despite the launch furore, it now has 180,000 e-books in the offer.

The announcements come on the eve of the launch of Barnes & Noble's Nook devices in stores and the roll-out of its UK website. Amazon said the Lending Library would also be launched in France and Germany, though did not specify a date.

Read more Amazon brings controversial e-lending scheme to UK:

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Julian Assange Blamed For Canongate's Losses

Canongate, the Edinburgh-based publisher, has blamed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's "failure to deliver" the book he was contracted to produce for plunging into operating loss.

Accounts, which have just become available from Companies House, reveal Canongate tumbled to an operating loss of £368,467 in 2011, from a profit of £1.08 million at this level in 2010. Canongate acknowledged this was its worst performance "in many years". - Book Trade News - Julian Assange Blamed For Canongate's Losses

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Waterstones mocks ebooks with 'good bookshop' push

Waterstones will return to publishing original content in book form in November and a new free magazine to coincide with its 'good bookshop' brand campaign. - Book Trade News - Waterstones mocks ebooks with 'good bookshop' push

Monday, 8 October 2012

Fiction meets fact at CSI Portsmouth day - Portsmouth News

Portsmouth News

Fiction meets fact at CSI Portsmouth day
Portsmouth News
International best-selling crime author Pauline Rowson, whose Detective Inspector Andy Horton novels are set in the Solent area, will be joined by fellow authors Stephen Booth, Ann Cleeves and Matt Hilton. Stephen Booth created Det Con Ben Cooper and ...

Read More Fiction meets fact at CSI Portsmouth day - Portsmouth News:

Friday, 28 September 2012

Crime Writers' Association offers manuscript reading service

The Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) is offering a new manuscript reading service for aspiring writers.
Hopeful novelists can now submit part or all of their unpublished novels to the CWA, where it will be read by a member and returned with a detailed critique. The CWA, which is made up of writers who have published crime or thriller novels, is charging different prices for the Manuscript Assessment Service depending on the amount that is submitted.

For “level A” submissions, writers can submit 3,000 words, plus a 1,000-word synopsis. For a cost of £100 paid in advance, writers can expect a two-page critique within three weeks. The CWA is also offering a “level B” service, which allows writers to submit 100,000-word manuscripts alongside a synopsis, with a longer critique returned in five weeks. This will cost £350.

Read more.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Meet top crime authors and experts at CSI Portsmouth

Tickets are now on sale for CSI Portsmouth 2012 taking place on Saturday 3 November at John Pounds Centre, Portsmouth England, the third year of this popular event where crime fiction meets crime fact.

At this year’s CSI Portsmouth international crime authors Stephen Booth, Ann CleevesMatt Hilton and Pauline Rowson join Crime Scene Manager Co-ordinator Carolyn Lovell from Hampshire Police; DC Terry Fitzjohn Crime Scene Fire Investigations Officer, Hampshire Police; Andy Earl Hampshire Fire and Rescue Arson Task Force; Adrian Fretter Hampshire Police Hi Tech Crime Unit; Professor Bran Nicol, University of Surrey, an expert on stalking culture including Internet Stalking and  Dr Mark Button, University of Portsmouth, Director of the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies to debate crime fiction versus crime fact in two lively panel debates.

Come for the morning or afternoon or make a day of it.

Click here for the programme and more details on the guests featured at CSI Portsmouth 2012.

Saturday 3 November 2012
John Pounds Centre, Queen Street, Portsmouth, England
10am – 4.30pm

Tickets cost £6.00 for the morning or afternoon or £10 for the day with £3.00 redeemable against the purchase of a book bought at the event.

Call the Box Office on 023 9268 8037. Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

CSI Portsmouth is part of Portsmouth Bookfest a festival of popular literature organised by The Hayling Island Bookshop and Portsmouth City Council and runs from October 22 to 3 November. Its aim is to promote reading for pleasure and enthusiasm for literature in the city of Portsmouth.

CSI Portsmouth is sponsored by:

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Kobo announces partnership with Booksellers Association of UK

Kobo, a leader in eReading with over 10 million registered users worldwide, today announced a partnership with the Booksellers Association of the UK & Ireland to offer its 3000 member stores, 1000 of which are independents, the ability to bring Kobo's world class eReading platform to their consumers. Kobo continues to build on its strategy of working with booksellers around the world now serving over 14,000 booksellers in 12 countries.

This partnership announcement comes on the heels of the successful launch of Kobo's new family of eReaders and recent partnership with the American Booksellers Association (ABA). Combined with its existing relationship with WH Smith and its network of 1,100 stores and 100 Kobo Shops across the UK, this new partnership further strengthens Kobo's foothold within the UK market and with booksellers around the world. Kobo eReaders are also available at Asda, Dixons, Currys, John Lewis, Staples, Argos and other leading retailers in the UK.

"We are very excited to work with independent bookstores across the UK and Ireland to bring eReading to more booklovers," said Todd Humphrey, Executive Vice President Business Development, Kobo. "With this partnership, independents will be able to offer a world class eReading solution to their loyal customers and have a voice in the digital transformation."

"We are delighted that Kobo has decided to expand its services in the UK. The BA wants e-book platforms to provide our members with easy, competitive, proven eBook retailing solutions," said Tim Godfray, Chief Executive, Booksellers Association of the UK & Ireland, "also, for the customers of our bookshops to have access to a broad and diverse inventory of eBooks. Kobo ticks these boxes and gives our members increased choice of supplier. Today's readers want a first-class shopping experience, both in-store and online, and Kobo has the infrastructure to help independent booksellers to meet the ever-changing needs of shoppers in a dynamic marketplace."

Booksellers will be able to offer a complete eReading experience for their customers, including new eReaders - Kobo Mini, Kobo Touch, Kobo Glo and new Android tablet, Kobo Arc – a full line of accessories, and eBooks from Kobo's eBook catalog of over 3 million eBooks. Kobo's program for booksellers includes knowledgeable training, in-store merchandising, marketing, sales, and logistics solutions to help booksellers be successful. The Association's members will also be able to sell eBooks directly to their customers online.

Monday, 24 September 2012

How to be effective in marketing your book

Coming from a marketing background (now a published crime author) I endorse what is said in the article below. The key to good marketing is persistence, patience and passion, which incidentally is also the key to becoming published. The other point I would add is that to be effective in marketing, including book marketing, you need to communicate the correct message (and you need to define what this message is) and communicate it consistently across all platforms.

Below is an extract from an interesting article written by  Penny C. Sansevieri  8 Ways to Get Reviews That Aren't Fake On Huffington Post

 "Here is perhaps a different set of ideas (and maybe a few you've heard before) about getting exposure and (if you're lucky) getting reviews:
  1. Stay engaged: I see a lot of folks who aren't engaged in the process or their reader. I'm not talking about running through your to-do list of marketing activities. I'm talking about staying engaged with your reader. Talking to them via your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, whatever. Your reader is your end user, you want reviews to get to them, but in the absence of reviews, guess what? Your outreach to your reader will have a far greater impact on your market and your sales. 
  2. Know the rules: The rules of the game are important. Part of what's so discouraging to bloggers (and eats away at their time) is that authors don't often take the time to know who to pitch. That's what makes paid reviews so tempting (among other things); you can send in a check, and then you get reviews. Real, honest, and thorough reviews take time, but keep this in mind: When this shakes out and presumably "consumer" reviews don't have the credibility they once did, where do you think authors will start to go? To the long-time, credible reviewers -- where it all started. So, get to know them now. They have a following, and people who read them know they can't be bought.
  3. Start early: As with anything in marketing, start early. I'm going to run through some networking tips in another section but for now, start thinking in terms of early, early, early. How soon should you start? Six months at a minimum. 

Read more of the rest of Penny's tips

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Book wholesaler Gardners reveals its colour e-reader

Gardners Books unveiled its 6” colour e-book device GoTab at its annual trade on 16th September ahead of The Booksellers Association conference.

The device - 6” GoTab™ GBT6 - will be available in October for a suggested price of £59, and features a Hive Reader, allowing users to download e-books direct from the Hive website.

The e-book device will be available for independent booksellers to retail as part of Gardners' Hive network. Bob Jackson, commercial director at Gardners Books, said: "We see this as a huge opportunity for independent booksellers to compete with online multi-national retailers and embrace ‘going digital’ by selling e-books whilst retaining their loyal customer base."

The touchscreen Wi-Fi device uses Android 4, and offers access to 400,000 apps via the Google Play store.
Gardners reveals its colour e-reader:

Monday, 17 September 2012

We Love This Book editor moves to Sphere

Ed Wood, editor of We Love This Book, is to join Sphere as senior editor for men's commercial fiction. Wood will take up his new post in October, reporting to associate publisher Catherine Burke.

Also joining Sphere and reporting to Burke is Lucy Icke, moving from the Piatkus imprint to become commissioning editor for general fiction.

Bookseller Group m.d. Nigel Roby said: "I asked Ed to take our original idea for We Love This Book and bring it to life. He did better than that. He turned it into the UK’s brightest and best books magazine. He leaves with our very best wishes and thanks."

We Love This Book editor moves to Sphere:

Friday, 14 September 2012

Hachette Book Group chairman David Young to return to the UK

Hachette Book Group chairman and c.e.o. David Young will return to the UK to head up Orion next year, with current Orion c.e.o. Peter Roche to retire.  Roche, who is also Hachette UK deputy c.e.o., is retiring in June 2013 after a 40 year publishing career. Young will succeed him at both posts.

Young is leaving Hachette Book Group USA on 31st March 2013, stepping down as its c.e.o. However, he will continue to hold the post of chairman for the US arm.
Read More: Young to succeed at Orion as Roche retires:

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Author Pauline Rowson's Ten Rules For Writing

Pauline Rowson is the author of the contemporary crime novels featuring the flawed and rugged DI Andy Horton. Her first crime novel to feature DI Horton, Tide of Death, was published in 2006 and hailed by Amazon as the 'Best of British Crime Fiction.' Following this in swift succession, were two thrillers, In Cold Daylight, which was voted by the public as their third best read in an online poll for World Book Day 2008 and In for the Kill.  DI Horton made his second appearance in Deadly Waters and the eighth in the Horton series Death Lies Beneath was published in July. Her ninth DI Horton, Undercurrent, is to be published in 2013 and she is currently writing the next in the series.

Her crime novels have an International readership and have been translated into several languages. They have received critical acclaim in the UK and the USA where they are also published.

The Guardian Newspaper ran an article once asking writers for their ten rules for writing, so I thought I would pen mine. Here are the first three, read the rest on my official website.

1.. Always have a pencil and paper with you, in every handbag, shopping bag, pocket, and of course beside your bed. You never know when that wonderful idea might strike. A Dictaphone might also be useful.  Gone
are the days when you got funny looks for talking into a machine or even talking to yourself walking down the road. Everybody’s at it now.

2. Travel by public transport as often as you can.  If you’ve got a bus pass so much the better, you can stay on it all day for free and save on heating bills at home.  You see and meet some great characters for novels.

 3. Earwig other people's conversations in cafes, bars, buses, trains. Hoover up their stories and anecdotes only don’t to it too overtly because you’ll either get arrested or punched in the face.

Read the rest of the Pauline Rowson's Ten Rules For Writing:

Monday, 10 September 2012

Autumn workshop for crime authors researching police procedure

Following the success of the Spring Crime Fiction – 'Making it Real' weekend workshop, the Autumn workshop is now open for booking. It will run from 17th to 18th November 2012 (inclusive) at the Premier Inn, Glasshoughton, Castleford, West Yorkshire.

The venue is located adjacent to one of the country’s top tourist attractions – Xscape and Junction 32 Factory Outlet

The cost of the weekend is £160.  Lunch and refreshments each day are included in the price.
Secure your place on the workshop by paying a £50 deposit a.s.a.p.

A number of double rooms are available at the hotel at a promotional rate of £58 for Friday and £63 for Saturday night.

The exact content of the course will be tailored to meet the needs of the delegates but in any case, it will not be too dissimilar from the first workshop run this March – details at –

To see what the last delegates thought of the Spring workshop check out their comments here!

Friday, 7 September 2012

John Lewis to sell Barnes and Noble Nook in the UK

John Lewis has been named as the first retailer to sell Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader in the UK.

B&N said the retailer, with 37 stores in the UK, will sell B&N’s e-ink nook devices, the Nook Simple Touch and the Simple Touch with Glowlight, in its stores and on its website. A date was not given for when the devices would go on sale in John Lewis, apart from in “autumn”.

B&N announced last Monday (20th August) it would begin to sell Nook devices in the UK through from mid-October.

Last week, The Bookseller reported that John Lewis was one of the retailers most likely to partner with B&N, along with Foyles, Carphone Warehouse and Tesco. Analysts predicted this autumn could mark a digital step change for the industry.

Read more John Lewis to sell Nook:

Thursday, 6 September 2012

New Manuscript Service launched by the CWA for budding crime writersa

The Crime Writers' Association (CWA) has launched a new Manuscript Assessment Service for aspiring crime fiction writers, to help them polish their writing, and prepare their manuscript for submission to agents and publishers.

To join the CWA, a writer must have successfully published a crime or thriller novel.

Under the Manuscript Assessment Service work will be read by one of the CWA's experienced members, who will provide a detailed feedback.

Manuscripts up to 3,000 words, plus a synopsis up to 1,000 words cost £100 and manuscripts up to 100,000 words,  and a synopsis cost £350.

For full details click here.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Literary Agents Little and Curtis Brown Join Forces

Christopher Little Literary Agency LLP is joining forces with Curtis Brown.  Little will continue to act as an independent agent in his own agency, Curtis Brown will now be responsible for administering the related contracts and selling translations rights for the clients of Christopher Little.

Little said: “I am delighted with this arrangement as it allows both me and my team the flexibility to expand the creative arm of my agency. We have a lot of new work in progress and announcements will be forthcoming.”

Jonathan Lloyd, chairman of Curtis Brown, said: “I am thrilled to be working with Christopher and his colleagues and the clients of his agency. I believe this could be a very interesting model for the future with benefits to both parties.”

He added: “Christopher maintains his independence and hands-on involvement but the support of our group will not only reinforce the future long-term protection for his authors but add the benefits associated with a larger company.”

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Start-up packages e-books for the bookshelf

UK start-up This Written World is offering e-book collections packaged in a way similar to the traditional printed book, which can sit on bookshop shelves.

The Boxette Collection includes a book-sized gift box, a custom USB card containing e-book collections in both ePub and Kindle formats, an interactive menu for easy copying and loading and an illustrated booklet. The first release in this series is the Charles Dickens 200th Anniversary Collection (£19.99), available now.

The publisher said the package was intended primarily as a gift product and allows bookshops to display and promote e-books directly, as well as enabling publishers to repackage backlists in a similar way to DVD box sets.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

New Literary Agency seeks submissions from authors in crime and thriller genre

Phoenix Literary UK (Phoenix Lit) set up by Rhian Davies is a new agency specialising in crime and thriller fiction for the international market.  With an international business background and following three years as a judge for the CWA’s John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, owner, Rhian Davies has decided to make her passion her business.

She says, 'Phoenix Lit does not subscribe to the theory that the traditional publishing industry is taking its last breaths following the creation of the ereader and the ebook.  Being new, Phoenix Lit aims to be flexible in the changing market in order to take full advantage of opportunities.'

The agency is looking for high-end quality commercial fiction within the crime and thriller genre.  Historical novels within the genre will only be considered if they cover the period 1910 to 1980.

They are particularly interested in finding:
  • excellent new female authors
  • psychological thrillers and suspense novels.
Please see  guidance on submissions and what we are looking for.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Wiley's travel brand Frommer's sold to Google

 Google has bought the travel brand Frommer's from John Wiley & Son, in a move that sees the internet company bolster its content businesses. Google already owns the restaurant guide Zagat, and recently integrated its reviews into its Google + Local service.

Neither John Wiley nor Google has indicated what the latter paid for the travel assets. Wiley said in March that it planned to explore opportunities to sell the print and digital publishing assets that no longer fitted into its longer-term business strategy, including its travel, culinary, general interest, nautical, pets, crafts, Webster’s New World, and CliffsNotes divisions.

Wiley said: “Proceeds from this sale, and others that may arise from the sale of other consumer assets, will be redeployed to support growth opportunities in Professional/Trade, Scientific, Technical, Medical, and Scholarly; and Global Education businesses.”

Read more: Google buys Wiley travel brand Frommer's:

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Barnes & Noble to launch Nook e-reader in UK in the autumn

Barnes & Noble is to take on Amazon in the European digital book market by launching its Nook e-reader in the UK this autumn. The move marks Barnes & Noble's first expansion outside the United States, and follows a $605m (£385m) cash injection by Microsoft in April as the software company acted to capitalise on the digital publishing boom.

A shop front will open in mid-October, selling e-readers and a catalogue of digital books, magazines, newspapers, films and computer games. The company says it will soon announce partnerships with "leading UK retailers" to sell both devices and content from its range of 2.5m digital titles.

The Nook, launched in October 2009, has been popular in the US and helped Barnes & Noble eat into Amazon's ebook market share. Thanks to the popularity of its Kindle reader, Amazon at one point claimed to generate 90% of sales in the US, but that has fallen to 60% as Apple's iTunes store and the Nook make inroads.

Read more: Barnes & Noble to launch Nook e-reader in UK:

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Moves afoot at UK Book Chain Waterstones

Waterstones has made further changes to its head office personnel, with Neil Best taking up the newly-created role of head of business development in order to “identify and research new business propositions.”

Waterstones managing director James Daunt announced last week that Best would take up the new post with immediate effect, with his former job - head of retail operations  - being dissolved.

Daunt also announced that Erwyn Rentzenbrink would take on extra responsibilities as head of shop operations.  “This role will ensure that the business creates clear and consistent standards across all shops and supports the field teams in prioritising, directing and delivering appropriate, individually tailored solutions,” Daunt said.

Earlier this month it was announced that operations director Steve Clark had left with immediate effect, with Daunt taking over his role.

 Head office reshuffle at Waterstones:

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Crime Fiction Academy - part of the Center for Fiction in the city – is enrolling students for its Fall 2012

New York’s Crime Fiction Academy - part of the Center for Fiction in the city – is enrolling students for its Fall 2012 semester and there are still some places left on the course. Over 14 weeks, would-be crime authors will attend writing workshops, monthly masterclasses with top authors, reading seminars and special lectures and discussions.

An impressive roster of authors has been rounded up for this Autumn’s proceedings. Topics include the perfect kill, writing about trails of evidence, and creating heinous villains and believable heroes.

Classes begin 18 September and the fee for the course is $2800. For more details visit the website.

Friday, 10 August 2012

The threat to authors

The threat to authors:

Nicola Solomon speaks out on libraries and PLR (The Spectator, 24 July):

Authors are getting cross. Generally a polite bunch, authors are alarmed at the ongoing, serious threats to libraries (which they continue to campaign against) and also the knock-on effect for the lowest-earning authors.

read more

Waterstones changes store guidance on events

Waterstones changes store guidance on events: Waterstones has issued new advice to its bookstores on running author events, after concern that...

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

What is the scariest moment in writing a novel?

 There are many stages in writing a novel and I’m not talking about its construction but the moods associated with it. These range from optimism and excitement to tension and frustration. Then there is relief and pleasure and finally the scariest moment of all.

Read more: What is the scariest moment in writing a novel?:

Monday, 6 August 2012

Social media isn't the magic bullet for self-epublished authors

Social media isn't the magic bullet for self-epublished authors:

In the third in a series of essays on digital media and publishing, Ewan Morrison, who will appear at the Edinburgh World Writers' Conference, claims that as the project to monetise social media falters the self-epublishing industry's defects will be laid bare.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Book Design, typesetting and e book services - Ben Ottridge

If you're looking for someone to provide book services from full typeset insides and readying covers for print, to advice on eBooks and how to get ahead in an increasingly digital world, Ben Ottridge comes highly recommended. He has worked on typesetting many of my books and producing my e books for my publisher.

He has spent the last four years working with an award-winning independent publisher in the UK, providing digital and design services, and has experience and the know-how to provide an excellent end product.

His services include:


From business to crime fiction, from small gift books to guidebooks, from travel literature to dictionaries. In addition he has also created a number of catalogues, as well as DVD inlays and many other print items.

Cover Design

From print ready PDF s and full cover designs from scratch.


Having spent the last four years working predominantly with eBooks, Ben has a full and thorough understanding of all the current eBook formats and how best to convert and distribute them.

He won an award for his digital work with my previous company (IPG E-Publishing Award 2009), so any questions or advice on eBooks he can help as pointing you in the right direction for conversion and distribution services.

There are details of all his services on Ben Ottridge Website and a Portfolio of his previous work.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Costa launches new award for unpublished short story

Costa has launched a new award for a single, previously unpublished short story, with the winner to receive £3,500.

The Costa Short Story Award will run in association with the Costa Book Awards but will be judged independently of the main five-category system, with a separate judging panel to select a shortlist of six entries, unveiled in November. The six shortlisted stories will then be open to an online public vote, with the winner to be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on 29th January 2013. Two runners-up will each receive £750.

The judges for the inaugural year of the award are Richard Beard, director of the National Academy of Writing; Woman & Home books editor and novelist, Fanny Blake; writer Victoria Hislop; actor, writer and musician Gary Kemp, and William Morris Endeavor agent Simon Trewin. All entries will be judged without the identity of the author being available to the judges.

Entries must be no more than 4,000 words, and written in English by an author aged 18 or over. The author's primary residence over the past three years must have been the UK or Ireland.

Entry opens on Monday 16th July and closes at 4 p.m. on 7th September, via
Costa UK marketing director Kevin Hydes said: “What’s really exciting about our new short story award is that it’s open to absolutely everyone. For the first time, we’re able to extend the reach of the book awards in ways we never have before.

"You don’t need a publisher or an agent to enter this competition, just an idea and writing talent and we’re encouraging anyone who has ever considered writing creatively, and those who write already, professionally or otherwise, to enter.”

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Curtis Brown and Foyles team up for author 'Discovery Day'

Aspiring authors are being given the chance to pitch their novels to a panel of agents at a new day event from Curtis Brown and Foyles this September.

The literary agency is teaming up with the Charing Cross Road bookshop to offer writers the opportunity to have their first page read by an agent and receive free feedback.

Hopeful novelists can sign up for one-to-one sessions with a panel of agents at a "Discovery Day" on 22nd September, where there will also be a general writers’ surgery, followed by a discussion on book publishing between Curtis Brown’s joint c.e.o. Jonny Geller, Michael Joseph publisher Sam Humphreys and author Hari Kunzru.
The news comes as Curtis Brown Creative, the agency’s creative writing school, announced a first deal for one of their graduates. Agent Karolina Sutton sold debut novel, Barbarians by Tim Glencross to Mark Richards at Fourth Estate after a "hotly-contested" auction.

The 32-year-old lawyer’s book, which will be published in 2014, tells the story of a well-connected family negotiating the end of the New Labour years.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Author Solutions bought by Pearson and

Pearson has acquired self-publishing company Author Solutions Inc for $116m (£74m) in cash, with Penguin c.e.o. John Makinson saying "self-publishing has moved into the mainstream of our industry".

Formed in 2007, ASI generated approximately $100m of revenues in 2011, according to a Pearson statement, growing at an average annual rate of 12% over the past three years, with its revenues stemming primarily from services to authors. The company has worked with 150,000 authors to publish, market and distribute 190,000 books, with approximately 1,600 staff located mainly in Bloomington, Indiana and Cebu City, the Philippines.

In a statement, Penguin said the acquisition gives it "a leading position in this fast-growing segment of the publishing industry and brings significant opportunity for the two companies to collaborate".

The statement said ASI's strengths lie in "online marketing, consumer analytics, professional services and user-generated content", with Penguin contributing "design, editorial and sales skills, and its strong international presence", as ASI looks to expand outside the US.

Read more Pearson buys Author Solutions, will integrate with Penguin.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Self published authors to get help selling translation rights

The Alliance of Independent Authors has enlisted the help of agency A M Heath to represent writers looking for their work to be translated.

Rights director Jennifer Custer is to represent writers who have books suitable for international markets.

Orna Ross, the founder of the AIA, said, "It is almost impossible for an indie author to handle their own translation rights but now all our members' books will be read and assessed for international rights potential."

Custer said: "There's no question that we're on the brink of major changes in our industry. As the self-publishing revolution has hit the industry and is gaining momentum, I think there is a real opportunity to engage with authors who have gone the non-traditional route."

A M Heath to represent independent authors:

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Best selling crime authors booked for CSI Portsmouth 2012

Five internationally acclaimed best selling crime authors are booked to appear at this year’s CSI Portsmouth in November as part of Portsmouth BookFest.

Taking part in the third CSI Portsmouth event are top crime authors Stephen Booth, Ann Cleeves, Roger Ellory, Matt Hilton and Pauline Rowson who will join experts from Hampshire Police and Portsmouth University to discuss crime fiction and fact in a lively panel debate at John Pounds Community Centre, Portsmouth on Saturday 3 November.

Stephen Booth is an award winning UK crime writer, the creator of DC Ben Cooper and DS Diane Fry, who have appeared in twelve novels set in the Peak District.  He has been twice winner of a Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel. The Cooper & Fry series is published all around the world, and has been translated into fifteen languages. The latest Cooper & Fry novel, Dead and Buried, was published in June 2012.

Ann Cleeves is the author of the Vera series of crime novels which have been adapted into the popular ITV series starring Brenda Blethyn and David Leon. Raven Black, the first volume of her Shetland Quartet has been adapted for radio in Germany and in the UK and an adaptation of Red Bones is currently in preparation for television. Her books have been translated into twenty languages.

Roger Ellory’s fifth fifth novel, A Quiet Belief In Angels won the Livre De Poche Award, Strand Magazine Novel 2010, Mystery Booksellers USA Award, and the Nouvel Observateur Prize. A Quiet Vendetta won the Quebec Laureat and the Villeneuve Readers’ Prize.  A Simple Act of Violence won the UK Crime Novel of the Year.  Nominated for a further seven awards, his books have been translated into twenty-four languages.

Matt Hilton, secured a record-breaking five book deal for his Joe Hunter series. Since then he has had a five book deal in the USA, a further four book deal in the UK, as well as being translated into several languages.  A high ranking Martial Artist he worked in the private security industry for eighteen years, followed by four as a police officer with Cumbria Constabulary. His latest Joe Hunter thriller, No Going Back, has just been published.

Pauline Rowson is the award winning author of the marine mystery crime novels featuring DI Andy Horton set in the Solent area, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Her crime novels have been highly acclaimed both in the UK and the USA and have been translated into several languages with translation rights in the DI Horton series having recently been sold to China where her novels will be published in 2012 and 2013.

They will join crime experts from Hampshire Constabulary including Crime Scene Manager Co-ordinator Carolyn Lovell, DC Terry Fitzjohn of Hampshire Police Arson Task Force and Andy Earl of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services, Dr Bran Nicol of Portsmouth University and other police and forensic experts.

There will be a chance for delegates to see how the fingerprinting bureau works and have their fingerprints taken, as well as talk to the crime authors to find out how they come up with their intricate plots and research their novels.

A mobile bookshop, provided by the Hayling Island Bookshop will be selling signed copies of the authors’ books.

Portsmouth BookFest is a festival of popular literature organised by The Hayling Island Bookshop and Portsmouth City Council and runs from October 22 2012 to 3 November. Its aim is to promote reading for pleasure and enthusiasm for literature in the city of Portsmouth. There will be opportunities to hear and meet popular authors at events across the city and in schools with ticket offers to attract new members to city libraries and stimulate book ownership.

CSI Portsmouth 2012 is being held on Saturday 3 November at John Pounds Community Centre. Tickets go on sale on 24 September from the Box Office at 023 9268 8037 and cost £10 for the day with £3.00 redeemable against the purchase of a book bought at the event, and £1.00 discount for Portsmouth City Library members.
For more details on CSI Portsmouth 2012 visit or

Sponsors include:

Click for Dummies Website

Monday, 16 July 2012

Read for RNIB Day

Can you donate a signed novel to help raise funds for the Royal National Institute of Blind People for Read for RNIB Day?

The Royal National Institute of Blind People has created Read for RNIB Day in October to support the almost two million adults and children who are blind or partially sighted. They are raising funds to help provide reading services and support to people with sight loss across the UK.

As part of their fundraising activity, they are asking authors to donate a book which they plan to sell in their pop-up or on-line bookshop to help raise much needed funds. It costs around £2,500 to provide a lifeline to someone with sight loss by recording an RNIB Talking Book; this investment opens up a world of reading and helps to end the isolation of sight loss.

If you would like to donate a signed copy of one of your novels please send to the address below. 

Read for RNIB Day 2012.

Stacey Kerr
Senior Public Relations Officer
RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People)
105 Judd St, London WC1H 9NE

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Frederick Forsyth has been awarded the Crime Writers Association's Diamond Dagger award at the CWA's annual awards ceremony,

Frederick Forsyth has been awarded the Crime Writers Association's Diamond Dagger award at the CWA's annual awards ceremony on 5 July, which also saw the longlists for the Gold Dagger and Ian Fleming Steel Dagger revealed.

Forsyth was selected by his peers for the award, which recognises a significant and sustained contribution to crime fiction, with Peter James, chair of the CWA, declaring: “Frederick Forsyth is a hugely deserving recipient and The Day of the Jackal remains of the greatest thrillers of our times.”

Other winners included Aly Monroe, who scooped the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger for Icelight (John Murray), while Andrea Camilleri, who has previously been shortlisted three times for his Inspector Montalbano novels, published by Picador, finally won the CWA International Dagger.

The Dagger for Non-fiction was awarded to the husband and wife team Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan for The Eleventh Day (Doubleday), about the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Steve Mosby, published by Orion, picked up the CWA Dagger in the Library award, while Sandy Gingras won the 2012 Debut Dagger for her story "Beached", and Cath Staincliffe and Margaret Murphy shared the short story gong for tales included in Best Eaten Cold (The Mystery Press).

Monday, 9 July 2012

Mumsnet hold free summer book promotion

The women's community website Mumsnet is set to send out 350 free books to its members from 10th July in a “summer giveaway” promotion.

The giveaway is launched from Mumsnet’s book club newsletter which goes out overnight. The newsletter will link to an application form that Mumsnetters must complete to access the free books.

There are seven titles to choose from, with the group giving away 50 copies of each title. The selected books are: You by Joanna Briscoe (Bloomsbury); Cavalier Queen by Fiona Mountain (Preface Publishing); The Two Week Wait by Sarah Rayner (Picador); The Child Who by Simon Lelic (Mantle); Between the Lines by Jodi Picault and Samantha Van Leer (Hodder & Stoughton); The White Lie by Andrea Gillies (Short Books Ltd); and The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman (Canongate).

The promotion will also be marketed to users of Mumsnet's Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Carlton Publishing buys Fiell Publishing

Carlton Publishing Group arts imprint Goodman, which launched in 2009 and is headed by chairman Jonathan Goodman, has acquired design, fashion and architecture publisher Fiell Publishing.

Peter and Charlotte Fiell, who founded Fiell in 2010, approached Goodman about the move, with Goodman acquiring the company and its backlist of 16 illustrated titles. The Fiells will continue to commission and edit the list, with Goodman contributing additional editorial input and sales and marketing reach.

Goodman said: "It is a very good market. They are not cheap books, they are about £30, but they are definitive sourcebooks and reference books and we find that market to be a solid one. You can’t find thousands of curated images and information on a website, and for students and professionals in the worlds of design, marketing, advertising, as well as the general public, these books are important. They look beautiful, they have a ‘flickability’ and they contain great information."

He added he envisaged the titles under the new imprint selling through "quality book stores and online, too, with some take-up from educational institutions—and also, around the rest of the world—our reach knows no bounds." On plans for digital publishing, Goodman acknowledged illustrated publishing was waiting for the right e-reading device to open up the market, and said: "I think we are ready and willing, but there are certain constraints at the moment, but if we are given the opportunity, then we will be as quick as anybody else."

Carlton snaps up Fiell publishing: