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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

P'kaboo Authors winning at Winter Words

(Reblogged from Bookseeker Agency) :

Marie Marshall and Lucy P Naylor do it again!

We have just this minute learned that our clients Marie Marshall and Lucy P Naylor have both had winning short stories in this year’s ‘Fearie Tales’ competition, at the 2015 Winter Words festival in Pitlochry. Lucy’s story ‘The Dragon Stone’ will be featured on Friday 13th (!) and Marie’s ‘Voices’ on Saturday 14th. Here’s how Marie broke the news. Both writers received emails within minutes of each other, it seems.
The picture below is actor Helen Logan, who will be reading both stories.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The 2 BIGGEST Submissions Mistakes to Avoid

You've written a book.  What's next?  Submissions.

But before you shoot off your work of love to a publisher, consider the following.  There are certain things publishers detest.  I'll give you two, right here, to get you started on the right road.

  • Don't submit by smartphone.

Yes we know, today one can do everything from a phone.  Your emails are on your phone.  You come across an interesting website and "drop them a line", by phone. You know what?  It shows!  The Windows Smartphone "autocorrects" your words into what you didn't want to say.  Also, a lot of spelling errors and poor grammar slip through on a phone message.  As an individual writing a quick message I will forgive you this; but if a submissions letter starts with "I wrote a bokk, pls cn u hve a lppk at ti", you have blown it.  Forever.  It doesn't matter if it was your phone, if your book is top quality (though after such a "sub" I battle to believe this).

Don't shoot your own foot.  Open that computer, find the link, then compose a carefully considered subs letter in Word or Libre, utilize the spell checker and send it after re-reading it carefully.  If you don't want to waste time writing a decent subs letter, why should I waste my time on the rest of whatever you've written?

Remember:  When contacting a publishing house, everything you write in that opening email is a submissions letter.  First impressions count.


  • Have you spell-checked your manuscript? 

One of the most annoying things for a submissions editor (and any editor) to find are common spelling and grammar errors. Common old gremlins.

Listen!  Back in the time of manual typewriters, we had Tipp-Ex (sic) strips to correct where we made most embarrassing typos.  You may be of the new generation that has never seen a genuine typewriter, let alone clocked up hours on one; in which case you are spoilt and should be spanked.  ;-)  Just kidding.  But typewriters disciplined us into saving time by not making spelling errors, and by trying to minimize all other errors.  Because a single error cost you retyping the whole page.  Even after Tipp-Ex, you couldn't include a page that had too many corrections on.  You retyped.

Today every word processor has a spell-checking function, a dictionary and a thesaurus.  If it doesn't, download LibreOffice, it's a free download and definitely has.

Do not submit a manuscript you haven't spell- and grammar checked!  It frustrates the editor and detracts from your chances.

I'll give you one more.

  • Submit exactly, I mean exactly, what is asked for.

If the publisher asks for 3 chapters and your book only gets exciting in chapter 6, by all means submit chapter 6, and two other selected chapters.  But don't expect the subs editor to read the entire 400 pages manuscript if 50 pages were what was asked for.

Blowing your own horn also won't help.  The tired response is, yaah, we know, you're the best author who's ever walked this Earth.  We know you think that.  All writers think that.  It's part of the essential arrogance one needs to be a writerDon't blow your horn.  Let your work speak for itself.

Featured Author Carmen Capuano: Interview

Book Reader Magazine interviewed an author of ours, Carmen Capuano.


Tell us a little about your latest book?

I have just completed a YA/crossover novel which is currently with my agent. I’ll let you know how that goes.

My most recently published book is The Owners, Volume IV: A New Epoch. It was an emotionally hard book to write, as has been the two volumes which follow on from it which are not yet published.
My characters had already been through so much and there I was pushing them into more conflict; even more dangerous situations. My stomach was churning with anxiety as I wrote every word of those books! And yet it was a thrilling ride!

The whole interview can be read

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Reblogged from Bookseeker Agency:

Carmen Capuano in the Bromsgrove Standard

Our client Carmen Capuano was recently asked to write a short story for The Bromsgrove Standard, her local newspaper, and came up with a tale called ‘The Wanderer’, a lovely depiction of infidelity with a twist at the end. Carmen said this about the Standard:
brom3I remember the very first time I ever read the Standard. I was house-hunting in Bromsgrove and it seemed like a good idea to read the local newspaper to get a flavour of what life could be like here. It was also the first time I had encountered a local newspaper, since none of the cities I had lived in before [Glasgow, London, Birmingham] had published anything so closely linked to the lives of its inhabitants.
brom2The distinction between a national newspaper and a local one, is more than just a difference in the types of articles they cover, for the disparity lies not just in scale but in proximity. The Standard knows its readers [‘demographics’ to other newspapers] better than just by their bank balances and the size of their homes – it knows their hearts, the things that make them tick, their whims and their foibles and it knows this because the people who write for it are local too. 
If you click on this link you can navigate to the Standard. ‘The Wanderer’ is on page 12. Enjoy.