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Spoilt for choice, or spoilt choices?

Most journalists or published authors will tell you how hard it can be to get published. Despite the UK surpassing all other countries for the number of books published in recent years (206,000 in 2005,i), and our being home to one of the world’s most diverse newspaper and magazine markets, it is still very hard for new writers to get noticed.

With the ever-expanding shelf space for books and magazines in supermarkets and large-sized retailers, the success of on-line retail giants such as Amazon, and of course the rise and rise of the blog, surely there is greater choice than ever for readers. So shouldn’t that mean more opportunities for new writers? In a word, yes, but the sheer range of outlets and mediums can also make it harder to get one’s foot in the door.

How to open doors

The first step is to know how to present your work in the correct way.

Poorly presented proposals, submissions and manuscripts are the hallmarks of amateur writers. When a writer knows the key to impressing editors, agents and publishers with his or her first attempt, doors open and being published becomes a reality.

The ABC Checklist for New Writers is written with all budding writers in mind, to help them present works that end up in the shortlist, not the shredder.

Information is presented in a concise A - Z format, and unfamiliar terms are explained, taking the novice through each step in the submission process. Suitable for writers of both fiction and non-fiction aiming to be published in magazines, radio, television, e-books or mainstream publishing, The ABC Checklist for New Writers is an indispensable reference for the budding writer.

A full list of topics is shown at the bottom of this press release.

What the authors say

Although everything new writers need to know about presenting work is available somewhere on the Internet, beginner writers often don’t know what they should be looking for, making it next to impossible to find the information required.

Lorraine Mace, one-half of the team behind The ABC Checklist for New Writers, comments: “For new writers, the world of the published is often seen as cliquey and all but impossible to break into. There is definitely a right way and a wrong way to present manuscripts to editors and publishers, and most writers have to learn this through trial and error.”

Co-author Maureen Vincent-Northam, who regularly writes for markets aimed at writers, adds: “Successful writers, whatever their chosen field, aren’t an elite bunch – they’re published because they are aware of how the system works – they know the rules. The ABC Checklist for New Writers reveals these conventions. It is the book we wish had been available when we started out as beginner writers.”

Praise for The ABC Checklist for New Writers

'A great writers' bible which all writers, no matter how well published, should keep at their elbow.' Writelink

Further information:

The ABC Checklist for New Writers by Lorraine Mace and Maureen Vincent-Northam (ISBN 978-0955075179, PB, £10.99) is published 26 October 2007.

To request your free review copy or to arrange an interview with the authors, please e-mail or call +44 845 257 1168.

About the authors:

Lorraine Mace was a columnist for Living France until a two-year sojourn in Spain, where she wrote a humour column for Spanish Magazine. Her work has been published in national weekly and monthly publications in the UK, America, France, Australia and the Republic of Ireland, as well as on the Web. She is the author of Top Tips to Write for Children and Top Tips to Cope Better with Menopause as well as The Greatest Moving Abroad Tips in the World (Public Eye Publications – publication 2008). Winner of the Petra Kenney International Poetry Award (comic verse category), she writes fiction for the women’s magazine market, has been placed in creative writing competitions (for both novels and short fiction), and also judges writing competitions. Lorraine writes extensively for markets aimed at the novice writer.

Maureen Vincent-Northam has had work published in local newspapers, in national magazines and on the Web. She is the author of Top Tips to Discover Your UK Family Tree and The Greatest Genealogy Tips in the World (Public Eye Publications, January 2007). She has written regularly for markets aimed at writers, both in print and online and is the author of Write & Seek, a writers’ workshop commissioned and published by Writelink. Maureen wrote and tutored Write Up Your Tree, an online course aimed at researching and writing family stories.

About Orana Publishing

Orana focuses primarily on non-fiction work, especially biographies and real-life stories, as well as self-help and humour.

At Orana we realise that every book is different, and requires a different approach to make it a success for us, our authors and their readers. We think that variety really is the spice of life, and prefer strength through diversity, to strength in mere numbers. As a result, we seek to work with a diverse range of people to publish compelling works in different genres. We know what sells books and we do it well. We're experts in constructing marketing campaigns that get people talking about our authors and their books.

Stay tuned for the 2008 launch of our forthcoming imprint for contemporary women's fiction, and other innovative projects.

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Contents list from The ABC Checklist for New Writers

A Abbreviations; Accrediting Sources; Acquiring Rights; Agents – When and how to approach them; Angles – Old ideas with a new
perspective; Anniversary Pitches; Articles – Checking the structure

B Biography – Writing a short author’s bio; Books; Researching the market; Choosing the right publisher

C Children’s Picture Books; Clichés; Clips; Competitions; Computers; Consistency; Character traits; Dialect; Names; Setting; Spelling; Weights and Measures; Continuity; Covering Letters

D Dates; Dialogue; Discipline – Staying on topic

E E-books; Edit; Editors (Magazines); The right approach; The wrong approach; Editors – Who they are & what they do; Envelopes & sae

F Feedback; Fees; Fillers; Final Checks; Foreign Words & Phrases

G Grammar; Sentence structure and length; Split Infinitives; Vocabulary; Groundwork or Guesswork; Guidelines

H Hooks; House Style; Humour

I Illustrations; Inclusive Language; Indexing; Interviews; Invoicing

J Jargon & Slang

K Keeping Copies; Keeping Records; Kill Fees

L Layout & Formatting; Bullet Points; Chapter Formatting for Books; Fonts; Footnotes and Endnotes; Headers and Footers; Italics; Line Spacing & Paragraphs; Margins; Numbering Pages; Radio; Stage; Television; Legal; Contracts; Copyright; Hearsay; Libel; Letterheads

M Marketing; Markets; Home; Overseas; Multiple Submissions

N Newspapers; Nom de Plume; Notebooks; Numbers

O Opinion Pieces; Originality; Outlines

P Padding; Photography; Plagiarism; Point of View; Preparation; Press Release; Professionalism; Proofreading; Publishers – When and how to approach them; Punctuation; Apostrophes – Misused and missing; Colons; Commas; Ellipsis; Exclamation Marks; Hyphens and Dashes; Quotation Marks; Semicolons

Q Queries; Quotes; Attributing quotes; Famous quotes; Pullout quotes

R Rejections; Research; Checking; Fact finding; Revision & Resubmitting

S Serial Rights; Sidebars; Spelling & Grammar – Common Errors to Avoid; Synopsis

T Tense; Theme; Title Page; Titles; Topics; Travel Writing; Typing

U Unbiased Opinions

V Vanity Publishers

W Websites & Blogs; Word Count; Writers’ Groups; Local; Online; Writing for the Web

X The X Factor

Y Yours sincerely – Examples of letters: Agent, Editor, Publisher

Z ZZZZ – Sleep on it

Additional Information; What happens after a publisher shows interest?; Addresses; Awards & Prizes; Resources for writers: Books, Magazines, Websites; Glossary of useful terms


(i) 'Bookish Britain overtakes America as top publisher', Reuters Entertainment, May 10, 2006

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