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By The Bookollective Team, Jul 5 2019 12:53PM

They are a tiny all female team of three who work with a diverse range of publishing clients - from Zaffre to Pearson to Unicorn, but they are clearly punching above their weight. Co-founder of Bookollective Esther Harris was among the winners in the PR & Communications Category at the WeAreTheCity Rising Stars 2019, sponsored by The Times and Sunday Times, that were announced this Wednesday in London at a glittering and gorgeous ceremony at The Landmark Hotel, London.

WeAreTheCity champions the next generation of female leaders by supporting the pipeline of women forging their way ahead across different sectors. Women from defence, education, creative, PR, banking, tech and finance were all represented at the awards ceremony on Wednesday. There was a joyful atmosphere on the night as hundreds shared stories on how they supported and mentored female colleagues and actively did their bit to encourage equal pay and opportunities across all sectors.

"I am focussed on actively supporting and mentoring other women and I am delighted to win this award," said Esther. "I get a lot of support and encouragement from my co-founders Helen McCusker and Aimee Coveney and I have had great mentors in the past and I enjoy paying it forward. The Publishing and PR sectors are not short of women... but I want to ensure its not all the same type of women who find a way in, stay, get promoted. I just love lifting other women generally. I mean, why wouldn't you?"

The Bookollective team were named among The Bookseller Rising Stars 2017. They also run Literacy Live, a literary festival within a music festival on the South Coast in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Authors such as Women's Prize Shortlisted Yvonne Battle-Fenton, Unbound's Astra Bloom, Nicola Upson, Ana Sampson and many more will all give inspiring and interesting talks to a diverse audience of non bookish and bookish people. And its not all women. Esther said: "We have two men on the programme too!"

For more information on Bookollective visit www.bookollective.com

Literacy Live takes place on 24 and 25 August 2019 https://www.victoriousfestival.co.uk/areas/

WeAreTheCity https://risingstars.wearethecity.com/rising-stars-winners-2019/

By The Bookollective Team, May 28 2019 08:28PM

Bookollective are proud to announce that the fabulous team at LoveReading will be sponsoring their Literacy Live author's stage at the Victorious Music Festival in Portsmouth this summer.

"Last year was our first year bringing books to Portsmouth, and we found an amazing amount of diverse readers and book enthusiasts among festival goers," said Bookollective co-founder Aimee Coveney. "For a city with a population of 1M, there is only Waterstones and one main WHSmith in Portsmouth! The libraries do a brilliant job but they don't reach everyone and the nearest independent is Southampton, some 20 miles away. People said they loved finding books, culture and a space to relax at Victorious and authors got a great response, selling lots of books.

"LoveReading and LoveReading4Kids are the UK's leading book recommendation websites, whose mission is to promote a love of books and reading to all. Portsmouth is one of the most busy, ethnically diverse cities outside of London and LoveReading's ethos made them the perfect fit to become a part of Literacy Live."

"Literacy Live aims to be an entry point into books for ANYONE who is interested in the written word. Children, adults, teens, working class, ethnic minority, majority, gender... there'll be something for everyone. We are thrilled to have LoveReading involved with us. Their sponsorship will ensure the efforts and message of this unique event reaches a wide audience and encourages book lovers to join us on the day."

Saturday and Sunday will be packed with two full days of author talks, including Yvonne Battle-Fenton talking about her book REMEMBERED that was long-listed for The Women's Prize 2019, Helen Whitaker, author of THE SCHOOL RUN, a perfect summer read for parents and Astra Bloom, contributor of COMMON PEOPLE (UNBOUND) who will talk about what it means to be a working class writer in a world piled high with middle class books.

There'll be poetry readings from Ana Sampson Laughlin, anthologist behind poetry anthology SHE IS FIERCEand music infused poetry from Steafan Hanvey.

LoveReading Managing Director, Deborah Maclaren said: "Our mission is simple - to share book love. Our passion for books ensures that whatever your age, and whatever your interest, that you have a steady stream of brilliant book recommendations for you and your child. Here we have found a corner of the world where we can reach new and established readers, in unique surroundings, and create a memorable platform for shouting about the joy of reading."

The LoveReading Stage will form the central entity of Literacy Live 2019 on 24 and 25 August 2019 as part of Victorious Music Festival. www.victoriousfestival.co.uk.


LoveReading and LoveReading4Kids are the UK's leading book recommendation websites, whose mission is to promote a love of books and reading to all by offering the tools, advice and information needed to help members and browsers find their next favourite book. For further information visit www.lovereading.co.uk and www.lovereading4kids.co.uk.

Bookollective are a multi award-winning team offering a range of impactful publicity, promotion and marketing options, editing services, book cover design and website creation. For Further information visit www.bookollective.com.

By The Bookollective Team, May 22 2019 12:03PM

Award-winning author talks, fierce female poetry, live illustration, self-publishing tips and loads more curated by Bookollective!

Victorious Festival is excited to welcome back Literacy Live for the second year running. Curated by the team at Bookollective this “Oasis of calm and culture at an awesome festival” located in the Fringe Fields will be returning with another programme of bookish events and giveaways.

Esther Harris, co-founder of Bookollective said: "We are thrilled to be bringing books back to Victorious. Literacy Live is for anyone who is interested in stories and what its like to work and play in the world of books on any level. We have a diverse list of authors and a friendly team. Pop along!"

Saturday and Sunday will be packed with two full days of author talks, including Yvonne Battle-Fenton talking about her book REMEMBERED that was long-listed for The Womens Prize 2019, Helen Whitaker, author of THE SCHOOL RUN, a perfect summer read for mums and Astra Bloom, contributor of COMMON PEOPLE (UNBOUND) who will talk about what it means to be a working class writer in a world piled high with middle class books.

They’ll be poetry readings from Ana Sampson Laughlin, anthologist behing poetry anthology SHE IS FIECE and music infused poetry from Steafan Hanvey.

Budding writers won’t want to miss talks on ‘How to get a job in books’, self publishing tips and even live illustration demos. Plus book fans will have the opportunity to win tonnes of prizes from The Book Fairy who’ll be hiding best sellers around the festival for lucky winners to find.

All this alongside the Bookollectives brilliant pop up book shop make Literacy Live a fantastic area to discover and relax at for Victorious Festival 2019.

With Friday tickets available from £35 *, Saturday and Sunday at £40 * and weekend tickets from £110 *, a day Victorious Festival continues to be one of the best value festivals in the UK


By The Bookollective Team, May 14 2019 07:30PM

WeAreTheCity shines the spotlight on 200 remarkable women as part of their Rising Star Awards shortlist. The Rising Star Awards, now in their fifth year, are the first to focus on the UK’s female talent pipeline below management level. Through these awards, we will celebrate 100 individual female contributors that represent the leaders and role models of tomorrow. The shortlist for 2019 has just been announced and we are thrilled that our very own Esther Harris is on it!

Esther said: "I am so proud to have made the shortlist for Rising Stars We Are The City in the PR and Communications category. I am lucky to be part of a strong, all female team at Bookollective and thrilled to have been recognised for something that we love to do instinctively; support women in telling their stories, help polish their raw talent and find a way into the publishing sector."

Lorraine Candy, Luxury Content Director of The Sunday Times, said “The Times and The Sunday Times are thrilled to once again support this year’s Rising Star Awards. With gender politics and female empowerment dominating our headlines, supporting women in the workplace remains important to our readers, as well as an important strand of the journalism we create. We believe that by raising up those at lower levels, we are creating tomorrow’s leaders and these awards’ help shine a spotlight on the tremendous work being achieved in the female pipeline. We look forward to celebrating the brilliant female talent that this year’s awards will discover.”

Vanessa Vallely OBE, Founder of WeAreTheCity, said, “The calibre of entries this year has been truly exceptional. Every one of these women should be extremely proud of their achievements. They are key contributors to their industries and outstanding role models. I wish them the very best of luck in the final round of judging. I am so excited to meet our shortlisted individuals in July at our prestigious awards ceremony.”

You can vote for Esther by clicking here https://risingstars.wearethecity.com/rising-stars-shortlist-2019/full-shortlist/

For more information email esther@bookollective.com

By The Bookollective Team, Feb 5 2019 03:35PM

Bookollective are thrilled to by sponsoring these awards. This impressive shortlist showcases the incredible talent of independent author's and we look forward to getting to know more of you!

Sponsored by IngramSpark, in association with the London Book Fair and Bookollective

#theselfiesaward / www.theselfies.co.uk

BookBrunch is delighted to announce the shortlist for the inaugural Selfies Award 2019, sponsored by IngramSpark and run in association with the London Book Fair and Bookollective. The 2019 award will recognise the best work of fiction self-published in 2018, not only in terms of the quality of the writing; the judges will be considering the cover design, blurb and sales and marketing campaigns too.

The Selfies have been established to recognise and reward the fantastic work being done by the many highly dedicated self-published authors working in the UK today. The sector is booming: Nielsen’s Books & Consumers survey reports that self-published books accounted for 6.2% of all consumer book sales in the 12 months to October 2018, up from 5.5% in the year to October 2016. And self-published titles take an even larger share of ebook sales: 18.4% at the latest count.

The winner of The Selfies 2019 will be awarded £1,500 plus a special self-publishing package from sponsors IngramSpark for their next book. BookBrunch are also delighted to announce that pr agency Bookollective have joined the roster of supporters, offering the winner a bespoke book cover design, created by award winning designer Aimee Coveney, and a book publicity campaign worth £1000 for their next book.

Selected from a very strong range of submissions, the shortlisted books are of exceptional quality. Jo Henry of BookBrunch said: “The judges who have drawn up this shortlist feel privileged to have read some exceptional works of self-published fiction from a very wide range of genres. The shortlist we’ve come up with contains works that can confidently stand against the very best fiction being published in the UK today. All eight of the shortlisted authors are women, hailing from all round the UK – with one author originally from Belgium and another from Holland – and their books range from chic lit to historical crime fiction. We’re now on tenterhooks to discover who will be crowned the inaugural Selfies 2019 author of the year at the London Book Fair!”

The judging panel to choose the winner will consist of literary agents Kate Barker and Annette Crossland, Ingram’s Robin Cutler and London Book Fair’s Emily Laidlaw, and will be chaired by BookBrunch md Jo Henry.

The Selfies 2019 winner will be announced in the Author HQ at the London Book Fair on Tuesday, 12th March. For further details please email theselfies@bookbrunch.co.uk.

The Selfies 2019 Shortlist

Anita Belli, Once Upon a Blue Moon

Jane Davis, Smash All the Windows

Caroline Goldsworthy, Tangent

Mel Gough, He Is Mine

Susan Grossey, Faith, Hope, and Trickery

Kathleen Jowitt, A Spoke in the Wheel

Heleen Kist, In Servitude

Jane Steen, Lady Helena Investigates

By The Bookollective Team, Jun 29 2018 02:11PM

This week saw the arrival of the first ever publishing specific networking event in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Co-organised by locally-based publisher and writer Abbie Headon and book PR and design agency Bookollective, the Portsmouth Book Bash was held at the Hunter Gatherer speciality coffee shop. The evening offered the Pompey book crowd the chance to come together and swap war stories about life in publishing, start new collaborations and cross-fertilise ideas.

The event capped an exciting recent time in all things books and Portsmouth. Back in March, the Central Library announced new Arts Council funding to help boost storytelling and writing in the city, with a new Writers Room facility which celebrates and promotes historical and new local writers. Plus this week the city's biggest music event Victorious Festival announced it will showcase books for the first time this year, with its first literary tent #literacylive featuring author readings and giveaways.

Co-host Esther Harris of Bookollective, which will also run #literacylive at Victorious Festival said: "It's a really exciting time to be bringing something new and bookish to Portsmouth. Regional is no longer a dirty word in publishing, which has traditionally been London-centric. In fact, it's the very opposite. Following the Northern Fiction Alliance's recent open letter to publishing imploring they take a wider view of the UK, it feels like the industry is finally 'on the move'. Orion Books are on tour in schools and communities across the UK right now, HuffPostLive is hosting from Birmingham next month and looking to specifically find new bloggers and northern stories and there is Weidenfeld & Nicolson's 'Hometown Tales' series which has found, published and mentored new voices from around the country. It's such a positive step and we're very happy to be a small part of it."

Co-host Abbie Headon also launched and signed copies of her new book THE POWER OF YES - Positive and Practical Advice to Help You Live Life To The Full, published by Ilex. She said everyone who was working in publishing and Portsmouth based or interested in entering the industry was welcome to come along.

Abbie said: "It was a really fun evening. More and more people in the creative industries are working freelance now, so you're either on your own or working from home a lot. It can be isolating. So, to get together with like-minded people and talk shop in a friendly, informal atmosphere really helps. And it's really important the industry realises that you don't have to live in London to work in publishing."

Abbie said: "We will hold another Portsmouth Book Bash in the Autumn. Watch this space!"

If you'd like to register for the next event or for more information contact abbie@abbieheadon.com or esther@bookollective.com

By The Bookollective Team, Apr 19 2018 02:01PM

Unicorn acquires Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang by Kirsty Stonell-Walker

Unicorn, the visual arts and cultural history imprint of Unicorn Publishing Group LLP, is pleased to announce that it has acquired World English Language rights from agent Esther Harris at Bookollective to Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang: Fifty Makers, Shakers and Heartbreakers from the Victorian Era, by Kirsty Stonell Walker due for publication in September 2018 to coincide with Pre-Raphaelite Day on 16th September.

Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang will introduce readers of all ages to the remarkable women of the Pre-Raphaelite art movement which began in the second half of the nineteenth century and continued through the early part of the twentieth. From models to artists, these women all contributed something personal and incredible towards the most beautiful and imaginative art movement in the world. From duchesses to poor laundresses, each woman has a story to tell and a unique viewpoint on art no matter their age, status or background.

Rich or poor, black or white, these women redefined what it meant to be beautiful and influential in a male-dominated world and broke new ground in art, business and women’s rights to pursue the life they loved. Spanning almost a century and uncovering the truth behind some familiar and less familiar faces, this collection will offer new information to readers already interested in Pre-Raphaelite art and open the doors on an enchanting and revolutionary band of women who are unlikely and compelling role models. Artists, sculptors, inventors, models, wives, sisters and muses, all provide inspiration for the ground-breakers and trailblazers of today. Kirsty’s text will be accompanied by some striking illustrations by Kingsley Nebechi, who was last autumn featured in Buzzfeed’s ‘34 British Young Black Artists You Should Pay Attention To Immediately’.

Unicorn Group Chairman Lord Strathcarron says: ‘It’s wonderful that Kirsty has chosen Unicorn to publish Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang. It’s a terrific story about a great subject and Kirsty tells it with such enthusiasm and knowledge’

Kirsty Stonell Walker says: ‘I fell in love with my first Pre-Raphaelite stunner at 20 and I've been chasing them ever since. Their lives, loves, struggles and achievements have such an eternal quality that it’s impossible not to identify with them and the paintings they both created and appeared in have such beauty. Rather than being remote figures, some born almost two hundred years ago, these women bring inspiration on how to slay it in a man's world. These women deserve to be your Girl Gang and it's a joy to celebrate them’

It was while studying for her first degree that Kirsty Stonell Walker became immersed in the life and loves of the Pre-Raphaelites. The plight of ‘bad girl’ Fanny Cornforth fascinated her so much that she spent a decade researching her life and wrote her biography Stunner: The Fall and Rise of Fanny Cornforth. Since 2011, she has written a blog, The Kissed Mouth, where she publishes original research on the many models of the Pre-Raphaelites. She has also written two novels about Victorian artists. fannycornforth.blogspot.co.uk/

Kingsley Nebechi is an Italian born, British raised illustrator. His work is inspired by his love for patterns, comics and fashion. Kingsley's artwork has been featured on book covers, ad campaigns, product packaging and animation. After four years working at leading design studio I Love Dust on a range of projects for everyone from Nike to Red Bull Kingsley has now set up his own studio, currently based in London, UK. www.kingsleynebechi.co.uk/

Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang * 13 September 2018 * Hardback, £15 * ISBN: 9781911604631 *

Illustrations by Kingsley Nebechi

For media enquiries please contact: Louise Campbell

Email: louise@unicornpublishing.org

Phone: (07540) 892364 /Twitter: @UnicornPubGroup

Notes for editors: Unicorn Publishing Group LLP is a leading independent publisher with three distinct imprints: Unicorn, specialising in the visual arts and cultural history; Uniform, specialising in military history; and Universe, specialising in historical fiction. Unicorn Sales & Distribution is UPG’s and its client publishers’ marketing arm, with worldwide sales and distribution operations. UPG has its corporate and marketing offices in London and Chicago and a design studio in Lewes, Sussex. Learn more at www.unicornpublishing.org

By The Bookollective Team, Feb 14 2018 10:17AM

Alice Crossland is pictured top left with the other writers who attended.
Alice Crossland is pictured top left with the other writers who attended.

Creative agency Bookollective - who manage #TheAuthorHour hashtag on Twitter - held their first offline Meet-Up in London on Monday this week. Following the success of their online platform, author Alice Crossland had the idea of hosting a regular Meet-Up for writers in London, to motivate each other with an hour of dedicated writing time. Commenting after the event at Waterstones Piccadilly, Alice said: "We had a brilliant inaugural Meet-Up in conjunction with #TheAuthorHour. Six of us enjoyed getting down to an hour of serious writing, after enjoying some coffee and book-related chit-chat!" Next month, #TheAuthorHour Meet-Up will be held on Monday 12th March at Waterstones Piccadilly's 5th View Restaurant between 6.30 - 8.30pm and the second Monday of every month thereafter. #TheAuthorHour was launched by Bookollective in 2016 to provide a free weekly forum for publishers, agents, booksellers and authors to promote their books and share writing advice. Anyone who is interested in attending the next London Meet-Up, or hosting a similar event elsewhere, can tweet @Bookollective or @TheAuthorHour

By The Bookollective Team, Jan 22 2018 09:12AM

Written by Alice Marie Crossland

I recently read a quote which resonated strongly with me –

‘Writing is like giving yourself homework, really hard homework, every day, for the rest of your life.’

You might ask yourself, why put yourself through that? Was English A-Level not hard enough the first time around?

Amazingly it is now a year since I published my first book, a non-fictive narrative based on the life of Lady Georgiana Lennox, a great friend and companion of the 1st Duke of Wellington. Working as a historical researcher at the time who specialised in the Duke, I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to work on a number of unpublished letters from Wellington to Lady Georgiana. This led to discussions with Unicorn Press, who took the project on. The book took almost four years to complete as I was working full time throughout the process, and was a wonderful learning experience for me as a writer. Unusually, we pre-sold copies of the book through crowdfunding, which helped to fund the practical costs of publishing such as the editor and designer, as well as PR support. I loved working in this way as it meant you worked with the publishers as equal partners, and I felt it gave me more control over the direction of the publication. Finally, on a boiling hot September evening in 2016, we held a book launch at Daunt Books on the Fulham Road. This was undoubtedly one of the best evenings of my life, and certainly made all the long evenings and working weekends worth it.

Life after Book No.1

I must say, after six months of working 14-hour day days (editing a book and working full time in a media agency is no picnic I can tell you), the joy of having actual ‘free time’ to do normal things was completely blissful. But after a few months you do start to think ‘what do people do all weekend if they don’t write?’ After the excitement of the book launch, publication day and press releases were over, I found myself itching for a new challenge.

Thus the writers curse strikes again. Not content with simply doing a normal job and having normal hobbies, authors go out of their way to make their side line as all-consuming as possible. The result, however, is the most marvellous of things. Whether an article, novella or full blown War and Peace epic, the pride resulting from turning a blank screen into the printed word is second to none.

The question that often arises at this point is where and when do I take the plunge? If you, like me, have a case of ‘the second album has to eclipse the first’, then read on for some tips from one writer to another.

Don’t rush

Enjoy your downtime, and allow yourself time to research in and around your favourite topics. Play to your strengths and to your own personal interests. Writing a book is like deciding to have another child, once you’re in it it’s for the long haul. So it needs to be a project that you literally have to write. Make writing a passion and labour of love, never a chore. Find your niche, and carve it out a little every month. The result should surprise and delight you.

Do, however, get a move on

Now this book is not going to write itself. Downtime is essential to take stock and read widely. But be brave and take the plunge! Books typically take at least a year to write and a year to publish, as a rough guide. As I was working throughout, mine took nearly four years from kick off to publication date. Imagine where you plan to be in four years’ time. Would you like a have a book in your hand that you managed to get published? If so, then get working!

Spread your wings

Now if your time to shine, so don’t hold back. You know that book you fantasise about when you’re travelling to work or trying to get to sleep? The one you whimsically ponder ‘If I could write any book…’ There is a high chance that if you are that committed to that story, then others will be too. Give it a chance, devote perhaps two days of research and planning to it, and see if it is feasible.

Then clip your wings (a little)

As I say, writing a War and Peace style epic is nigh impossible whilst running a business, working full time or looking after small children. If this is your first book, why not try something more manageable? From research to plot, to editing and book design, you will learn so much from this initial experience. When you have those learnings, and perhaps some more time (put your hand up if you are writer who dreams of either winning the lottery or retiring so they can write more!), than you can crack on with War and Peace.

Don’t tell your friends

Writing a book can be a daunting process, and when you are on your second you get asked when you are starting it – a lot. Deciding on a book can be a lot like having a delicious secret which you can ponder at your leisure. This time is important as you can work on the minutiae details of characters development and plot lines. However…

You then need to tell your friends

This step is important but terrifying. Telling your friends and family your book concept means you are basically committing to a long gestation period, and an enormous amount of work before the book comes out. It suddenly becomes very real.

Now tell the world

Yes that’s right, the earlier you get on your blog, Twitter, Facebook or forums and talk about the project, the sooner you can get the public on board. There is a warm and welcoming world of book worms online who love to support aspiring writers, and many organisations have been set up to help you through the highs and lows. Personally I have found the Bookollective to be incredibly inspiring, providing online support as well as running events to bring writers, publishers and designers together.

If you are not on book no.1, I hope you will have online and real-life friends who belief in your work and want to support it. Ask for their advice and help as much as you possibly can. Don’t be shy, send them that first draft when they offer their help (even though it is probably dreadful in comparison to the finished version) – they are asking for a reason.

Once a writer, always a writer!

Considering my last point, I should probably tell you (with fingers shaking on my keyboard) that I am now writing my second book. It is a romantic novel based on a real-life family in Brussels at the time of the Battle of Waterloo, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Whether I publish with Unicorn remain to be seen, as it is still early days. However, knowing that I have got through the process once, relatively unscathed, gives me a sense of confidence of what can be achieved. Whatever happens, and even if book No.2 does not get published, I know I will learn so much from the process of writing it that I can apply to future projects.

I think most authors will confirm that the process of book publishing is totally, and irrevocably, addictive. For better or for worse, we return to our well-worn keyboards with aching fingers, and just keep trying to make the magic happen as best we can.

. . . . .

Have you recently started work on a new book? I would love to hear from you in the comments section if so.

[Alice Marie Crossland’s book ‘Wellington’s Dearest Georgy: The Life and Love of Lady Georgiana Lennox’ (Unicorn Publishing Group, 2016) is available online and in-store. The kindle version is now available on Amazon for only £2.99 for a short time only.

Follow Alice on Twitter @amcrossland1 or Instagram amcrossland_author

Bookollective can be followed online @Bookollective, for more information see http://www.bookollective.com/

By The Bookollective Team, Nov 6 2017 03:40PM

On the release of his new book Write to the Point, author Sam Leith shares his top writing tips with Bookollective

The most important tip I can offer for any writer is: remember who you're writing for. I don't tire of repeating the quote: "When you go fishing you bait the hook with what the fish likes, not with what you like." This applies whether you're writing a memoir, a novel, a biography, an academic gloss on Kant's Critique of Judgment or a children's book.

It affects everything from subject matter and structure to how you put together sentences. And as a rule, if you're writing for the widest possible audience (rather than, say, one of specialists) you will want to make things easier on the least able of your readers.

That means preferring right-branching sentences, where the connection between subject, verb and object isn't obscured by a pile-up of subordinate clauses. It means thinking hard about what your reader will – and won't – know; it's easy to take things that you know for granted, and leave a reader flailing. And what will they be most interested in? It may not be what you are most interested in – as many unread blogs about the author's feelings or breakfast choices testify.

Take advice, as egolessly as you can. Another set of eyes on your manuscript – be it those of a spouse, a friend or (ideally) an editor – is a taster of first contact with the enemy. Don't assume everything they say is right; but don't assume it's wrong either. If a passage presents them with difficulty, it will present others with difficulty too. That doesn't mean their suggested solution (if they offer one) is the right one; but it does mean a solution is needed.

Leave your work in a drawer for a bit and come back to it. You'd be surprised how much work the back of your mind does on a manuscript when the front of your mind is doing other things.. You may find it improves on rereading: when you've been working hard at a revision you'll be painfully conscious of the cut-and-paste scars. They heal over the days and weeks. Also, it's worth reading your work aloud. Cadence, the rhythm of prose, is hugely important. You'll be able to hear it better when you read aloud. If it's hard to read, you need to revise.

It's also been suggested I offer the odd tip on how authors should approach literary editors in the hopes of getting review coverage for their books. If you have a publicist – or your publisher does – then the best advice is not to: the lit ed will be hearing from them anyway.

If you're self-publishing, be resigned to an uphill struggle: most books pages won't review self-published books. This is not out of snobbery (we recognise that many self-published books are great) but because with 300 or so trade books coming in a week, and any multiple of that number being self-published, we have to limit the candidates for review space somehow. And the proportion of trade books likely to be good (having been through professional agents, editors and acquisition meetings) is higher than the proportion of self-published books, where the bars to entry are lower.

But nil desperandum. If your work is good it will find an audience even if it does not do so immediately. Just ask Herman Melville or John Kennedy Toole. The general rule is to send a copy as far ahead of publication as possible (the earlier you send, the more likely that you'll get a review – the Spectator, where I work, hopes for books at least a month in advance) and make sure to enclose a press release with the date of publication prominently displayed. Then cross your fingers. Good luck!

Sam Leith is Literary Editor of the Spectator and the author of Write To The Point: How To Be Clear, Correct and Persuasive on the Page (Profile) - tweet Sam via @questingvole


banner1_Fotor_Fotor bookollective blog



Favourite book:

To Kill A Mockingbird 

by Harper Lee


Best tip for authors:

Tell me your life story. It's the personal ups and downs and how you've overcome them that sometimes help us pitch you and the book.


Publishing career highlight:

My first byline in The Mirror and ghost writing a newspaper feature for a client that saw her get a phone call from the Defence Secretary saying how impressed he was.


Our aim for the Bookollective blog is to provide honest and informative articles to help everyone within the industry and book world. Our team will regularly contribute articles, but we will also invite guest bloggers. If you would like to guest blog for us, get in touch via the contact page.


You can also find out a little more about our team below!




Favourite book:

Pride and Prejudice 

by Jane Austen


Best tip for authors:

Good design is good business; it builds your brand and conveys professionalism. As an author, your book is your business; don't let your hard work down with poor presentation.


Publishing career highlight:

Getting my first award for cover design! It's always an amazing feeling when you're acknowledged for doing something you love.




Favourite book:

The Tiger Who Came

to Tea by Judith Kerr


Best tip for authors:

You are unique and so is your book, so create a unique publicity campaign that suits you. Most importantly, don’t quit - I always tell my authors that writing their book is actually the ‘easy’ bit, promotion takes patience and determination.


Publishing career highlight:

I was proud to be selected as a finalist in the Publisher’s Publicity Circle Awards for one of my paperback non-fiction campaigns, but my career highlight has to be winning the title of Young Business Person of the Year at the Inspire Business Awards.

EoLhGXJ_ approach