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Authors and Books

Read about authors' experiences in their own words, find discussions on the issues faced by the publishing world and discover what makes a book impossible to put down, from experts in the industry.

Top Tips On Writing Crime Fiction

On the evening of 5th April 2017, I attended the Writers & Artist’s How to Write Crime Fiction masterclass, with best-selling author Mark Billingham. It was a fantastic introduction to writing crime fiction – talking rules and when to break them. 

Here are 10 top tips I learnt from Mark:


1. Write the book you want to read

As a writer, don’t look for gaps in the market. Instead, write about what interests you as a reader  as this is likely to interest other people too. 


2. Choose a strong opening

You need to hook the reader quickly and early. You have 15 seconds in a bookshop to ‘sell’ your book through the cover, blurb and first few paragraphs. Lure the reader in with a killer sentence or anything that asks a question. This is essential if you’re submitting a manuscript to an agent or publisher, as this will make the difference between them reading your first three chapters or not. 


3. Decide on your point of view (POV)

You may find you write more …

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Be a Better Writer

In her book, 10 Rules of Writing, Elmore Leonard advised would be authors to – ‘Get an accountant, abstain from sex and similes, cut, rewrite, then cut and rewrite again – if all else fails, pray’. Whilst Ernest Hemmingway famously wrote, ‘There is nothing to writing. All you do is just sit at a typewriter and bleed.’

But surely there’s more to great writing than simply praying and hemorrhaging at your desk… I’ve analysed advice by famous authors in an attempt to discover how to become a better writer.  My favourite tips are listed below; let me know what you think of them.

1. “Find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!” – Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451

How to use it:

At first glance it seems Bradbury is advocating a sort of voodoo magic in the creative writing process whereby protagonists take care of the plot for you. However I think what he’s really saying here is that your characters should …

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The Writing Process

At Book Aid International we believe books have the power to change lives. In places where books are scarce, libraries are often the best place to discover the joy of reading. That’s why we work in partnership with libraries in sub-Saharan Africa providing books, resources and training to support an environment in which reading for pleasure, study and lifelong learning can flourish.

We were delighted to join up with Writers & Artists for a second year running to offer aspiring authors a fantastic series of masterclasses with established authors on different aspects of the writing craft. Each of these practical sessions – which focused on key facets of the writing process – expertly guided participants through exercises and techniques that helped hone their manuscripts.

Writers & Artists generously donated 50% of proceeds from each ticket sold to support our work and they raised a fantastic £2,032.50! That’s enough to send over 1,016 books to libraries in Africa!

We were …

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Beloved British Authors Share Summer Memories

Seaside memories

Have you ever felt yourself being transported away to the seaside through the pages of a book – back to special times spent with family on holidays you always hoped would last forever? The holidays themselves may not have, but you probably feel like the memories have and always will.  

According to the Family Holiday Association there’s a reason why. The charity that gives struggling British families a break recently published compelling research looking at the social, psychological and emotional benefits of a family holiday. This research showed half of Brits (49%) say their happiest memory is that of a holiday with their family and an overwhelming majority (55%) agree these holidays have given them happy memories that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. 

In the year of its 40th anniversary, the charity has launched a digital, interactive celebrity scrapbook full of inspiring #seasidememories donated by celebrities across Britain, including some of our …

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Rights & Licensing A-Z

Rights & Licensing

In the first part of this article we looked at the wider book rights and licensing arena. In this post, I’d like to offer a snapshot of the most commonly traded rights.


Anthology and Quotation Rights

These are the rights for the publisher to grant permission for another publication to quote from or include your work in an anthology. The author would usually be consulted before this took place.

Audio Rights (Abridged) 

The right to record a shortened version (you may get approval of the abridgement) of your book for sale on tape, CD or digital download.

Audio Rights (Unabridged)

The right to record the full, verbatim text of your book for sale on tape, CD or digital download.

Book Club Rights

Book Clubs such as The Book People and Scholastic Book Fairs receive high discounts from publishers for committing to a certain number of copies - as a result the terms agreed in your contract will be different to the terms for other book sales.

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