Author Archives: Harry

Why screenwriters should write for the market that actually needs their services

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On the whole, writers are paid poorly and there is a vst over-production of supply. So professional novelists, for example, earn an average £11,000 for their year’s work, yet even so agents reject 999 in every 1000 manuscripts that come … Continue reading

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For self-publishers who want, you know, a book

We recently posted a long and comprehensive piece by David Gaughran which is your navigation guide to the world of e-publishing. The post is all about how to get your book up on to Amazon, how to format it right, … Continue reading

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Amazon-Hachette: by your words shall we know ye

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Amazon-Hachette: all fighting, no fun, right? We thought it was time to lighten up, so we’ve created two beautiful images, word clouds in both cases. The first one is based entirely on material taken from the Authors Guild, in the … Continue reading

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The winds of change

The publishing industry has, apparently, weathered the erevolution with remarkable ease. The transition to e-books appears to have broadly levelled off, at around 1/3 of the trade fiction market. Publishers remain profitable. Sales remain comfortable. The change seems to have … Continue reading

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How to Self-Publish your Book (It’s easier than you think)

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This post, by David Gaughran, is an all-you-need-to-know compilation about self-publishing . Obviously, there’s more to say about the subject than will fit into a single post, but there are links to everything else you will need. We’ve published other … Continue reading

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Agent transparency: an issue for every writer

Agents work very hard indeed. They are, the huge majority of them, among the most professional, ethical, passionate and committed people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. They add a lot of value to authorial careers. They have … Continue reading

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17 Tips on how to commission your ebook cover design

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If you are planning to e-publish your book on Amazon and elsewhere, one of the biggest questions you’ll face is how to commission a cover that will sell your story, or non-fiction book, as hard and as effectively as possible. … Continue reading

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Average novel wordcount. (And when is YOUR novel too long?)

You’re writing your novel, it’s getting longer … and you’re just getting a wee bit worried that you might, possibly have over-achieved? Worry no more. This guide will tell you quickly the average word counts for every category of novel, … Continue reading

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How to Start Writing a Novel: the ten things to do right away

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You want to write a novel? Keen to get going? OK. Fine. Just make sure you do not write your first sentence. Not now, and not any time soon. I mean, you’ll get there soon enough, but first up, you … Continue reading

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How to edit a novel: bringing your manuscript to perfection

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I recently completed my fourth Fiona Griffiths novel – as yet untitled. The book is good. It’s got a good crime, contains a nice locked-room mystery, has one good (shocking) sequence midway through the story, and a proper all-action denouement … Continue reading

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Story Structure: beginnings, middles and ends in the novel

This meditation on story structure in the novel comes from William Kowalski, author of Eddie’s Bastard, The Hundred Hearts and other novels. The excerpt is taken from his ebook/PDF, Writing for First Time Novelists. The full text of that ebook … Continue reading

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Giants hitting each other with hammers

Some thoughts from Harry Bingham, an author published by both Hachette and Amazon … Unless you’ve been off on a long space voyage, you will have noticed the furore surrounding the contract dispute between Amazon and Hachette. The precise nature … Continue reading

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Why Hachette is scared of Amazon – and why Amazon wants better terms

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In a sister post to this one, I’ve discussed the Amazon-Hachette dispute more generally. This post looks at one specific and underaddressed issue: namely the financial aspects of the current brawl. It’s pretty clear why the Big 5 Publishers are … Continue reading

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The 30 screenplays that every screenwriter has to read

I recently wrote a post listing creative writing books that I thought writers would do well to get their mitts on, and another one on a list of recent novels that sketch out where the leading edge of contemporary fiction … Continue reading

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What do authors earn? (or: don’t give up the day job)

Authors have always earned badly, but the latest data from the Authors Licensing & Collecting Society confirm that was bad has grown much worse. The median income of a professional author in 2013 was just £11,000. The last time we … Continue reading

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