Sign up to the newsletter

Working with your publisher

Congratulations! You've written the book and you're going to be published. Now, it's up to you to build a healthy relationship with your publisher. This section provides advice and tips on author etiquette and getting the most out of your book deal.


An entry in the house database

All titles need basic descriptive copy for a range of purposes, from catalogue compilation and website to in-house newsletters and trade information, long before the accompanying manuscript has been delivered.

This will be loaded onto the house computer system (or database) and recycled …

Read more

Author etiquette

Endless stories circulate in publishing about which authors are most troublesome to deal with. If you are a sufficiently good writer, and your books are selling well, you can be as awful as you like:

‘Be nice or be vile but don’t vacillate; I like to know where I am. If the book sells I …

Read more

Authors v Publishers

Two opposing camps

What’s this adversarial language? Surely publishers and authors should be united in their desire to produce a good and widely read book? Why the reference to ‘sides’ and ‘opposition’?

Authors v publishers

Anyone who tries to get published will quickly …

Read more

Becoming a Picture Book Author

Pamela Butchart

Pamela Butchart is a children's picture book author for Bloomsbury, and a young fiction author for Nosy Crow. Here, she tells us her route to getting published, what it's like being published by two different publishing houses at the same time and why she thinks writers' conferences are a great way …

Read more

Death of the Diva

There are many more great books written than there are publishing slots. So, how can we help ourselves to be the lucky ones who get published and stay published?

Well, a good start is to be flexible, polite and humble. Yep, the Diva Days are over. As with pop stars, movie stars and TV …

Read more

First novel, first book deal

What's it like getting that first, all-important book deal? Guest blogger Laura Jane Cassidy, a 23-year-old writer from Ireland, explains:

My most treasured childhood books all have little puffins on their spines. Roald Dahl’s stories sparked my love of fiction and Eoin Colfer’s adventures kept …

Read more

Going Small: Working With A Small Press Publisher

A small press publisher is an independent publishing house usually run by one person or a small team who publish a few titles each year. It is this small scale operation that allows originality and eclectic tastes to thrive: this handful of people only publish what they want regardless of economic …

Read more

Jacket design: supermarket or upmarket?

Do judge a book by its cover.  We make all our purchasing assumptions based on jacket design. Will it be funny chick-lit? Yes, if the cover art style is cartoony, with a girly colour palette. Will it be literary? Probably yes, if a fine art painting is used. And will it be suitable for …

Read more

Jargon buster - MTA

Over the past few weeks I've started a series of posts helping to demystify the jargon of publishing. Sometimes it doesn't seem like jargon to me, but when you're starting out who's there to explain what an MS or MSS is, or even what PLR is all about (actually, that one definitely is worth …

Read more

Jargon buster - POD

The term ‘print on demand’ (POD) crops up from time to time. I’m also often asked questions about it at seminars. So to clear things up, what exactly is POD and what does it mean for authors?

Quite simply, POD is a process of printing which does what it says on the tin – it …

Read more

Number one tip for writers

Often when authors are asked to give their number one tip to aspiring writers, they reply with ‘Read, read, read’.

I know that reading is important, but I think rewriting is even more so.

When you read a book you are looking at the finished product, and in most cases it’s the …

Read more

The Commercial Needs of the Book Jacket

The Clothing of Books by Jhumpa Lahiri

Pulitzer prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri explores the complex relationship between artist, writer, and reader in this extract from her thought-provoking essay The Clothing of Books.


The definition of the word copertina (cover) in my Italian dictionary is quite succinct: “The paper or cardboard …

Read more

Things authors dislike about publishers

Publishers do not understand how hard writing is

Authors often complain that publishers have no idea how difficult it is to write a book. They don’t know how long it takes, how lonely is the process, how much – once it is over – you worry about ever being able to do it again.

Read more

Things publishers dislike about authors

Authors fail to appreciate that publishing is a profession, and effective publishing is the product of experience

Stories of manuscripts picked up from the slush pile are motivating, but they stand out because they are rare; publishers get it right more often than they get it wrong. Authors …

Read more

What Do You Want From Your Cover?

Cesca Major

Writer Cesca Major's debut novel, The Silent Hours, will be published in June 2015. Here, she shares her experience of being published - specifically, how a cover is designed and chosen for your book; and the anticipation of the 'big reveal'. 


You’ve got your book deal, you’re working …

Read more

Working with your publisher

Good communication between author and publishing house is the best way of producing effective marketing for the forthcoming book. So, whether your path to the publishing house has been relatively straightforward, has been punctured by specific and cruel instances of maltreatment by the house …

Read more