Here are just a few quotations from the Autumn edition of The Author, the journal of the Society of Authors (UK). All were extracts from stimulating articles about the state of the writing and publishing profession today. I can highly recommend the organisation and its journal. More information and how to join at
"Equally destructive is the trend towards pricing e-books at preposterously low levels, in an effort to increase sales of a given item tenfold. This strategem may work temporarily for a few books, but the long term effect will be to make all but the most sought after e-titles sell for peanuts (99p and less) and to reduce the overall revenues of authors and others in the industry dramatically."
"By now there's hardly any point in submitting a novel if all you can say in its favour is that it is extremely well-written and has an utterly enthralling story. If the marketing department agrees it has those virtues but they still can't see it selling many copies, it's dead."
"publishers have at last realised they must up their game in order to compete with the convenience of e-books. Go into any bookshop these days and you will see glittering tables full of sweeties. Books are now being better designed with better covers and paper, with innovative packaging. Books are becoming beautiful objects."
"The problem with companies such as ASI is the cynical way in which they exploit the naive aspirations of Sunday afternoon writers, encouraging them to believe that a vast readership is eagerly awaiting their book. As Author Solutions, 'now a member of the Penguin Group', helpfully explains on its website: 'Through our unique imprints, you can publish, promote, and sell your book around the globe, plus retain your rights and get in the market much faster than with a traditional publisher.' Easy Peasy!"
"There is no silver clock to be handed to you by the managing director, no pats on the back, no speeches. There are not even colleagues around to tell you that your time is up. Thousands of authors, all over the world, are working away right now without having noticed that they retired several years ago."
"Letters are often celebrated for their ability to capture an author's tone of voice, but to an even greater degree emails mimic the natural rhythms of speech and can result in a series of pithy exchanges that give a researcher or a biographer a picture of how their subject behaved in informal or unguarded moments."
Sophie Baldock (Archives in the electronic age)
"If you are not where you want to be with your career, think long. With increasing longevity, our productive lifespans now extend from 20 to 80 (at least), which provides six decades to accomplish something in a chosen genre, and plenty of time to make a mark if you've come late to writing.
The passing of time has a way of revealing truth. Writers, consider this radical idea: time is not the enemy, it is our friend."