Office Locations

Virginia Woolf famously called for a ‘room of her own’ in which to write. Simon Whaley chats to three wordsmiths about where they work and why.

A year ago, the Royal Society for Literature released the results of a survey in which 80% of writers said they needed a room of their own in which to work. Entitled A Room of My Own, it also highlighted that 78% of respondents who weren’t currently writers, but planned a writing career, also felt having a dedicated room in which to work was important.

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A Bigger Platform

Should self-published authors go exclusively Amazon, or dip their toes into the wider world of Kobo, Apple and more? Simon Whaley explores the pros and cons.

Writing Magazine – June 2020

Ask any self-published author which ebook platform they sell their books on, and most will say Amazon. It’s easy to understand why. In the UK and USA, Amazon is the dominant player in the ebook market.

But when we upload our text onto the Amazon platform, there’s a decision to be made. Should we enrol in their exclusive KDP Select scheme? It’s an important business decision to make, because it can have far-reaching implications.

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You Can Bank On It

The Business of Writing – You Can Bank On It

Has your writing business come of age? Simon Whaley looks at when to get a business bank account.

We all remember our first time. It was 1989, I was 18, and I couldn’t believe what I was holding in my hands. (It was a postal order for £3.50, in case you were wondering.)

Writing Magazine – April 2020

That was the payment for my first published piece – a word search puzzle. Little did I know then how that would be the first of many, many more payments.

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Successful Signings

The February 2020 issue of Writing Magazine is out now, and my Business of Writing column looks at how writers can organise their own booksignings in WHSmiths.

Successful Signings – Writing Magazine – February 2020

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Understanding Your ALCS Statement

Understanding Your ALCS Statement was published in the March 2018 issue of Writing Magazine

I love this time of year. March is when we get our free money from the ALCS. Free money? Oh, yes! However, from the many comments I’ve seen on social media, not everyone understands their ALCS statement. Many simply look at how much they’re getting and then file it ready for their tax return. But having a clearer understanding of what you’re receiving the money for may help ensure you claim everything to which you’re entitled.

What is ALCS?

The Authors Licensing and Collecting Society collects money generated by secondary rights from various sources and then distributes it to writers. When you sell an article or a short story to a magazine, you sell a primary right – a right to publish your work, for which you should be paid. But once a piece of your writing has been published, there are legitimate ways in which it can be scanned or photocopied. Organisations and business pay for this legitimate right to copy your work.

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Taxing Transformations

Remember the plans for quarterly tax returns? Simon Whaley finds out what writers need to do now, in preparation.

If there’s one piece of writing most of us detest it’s completing our tax return. So when George Osborne announced in November 2015 the Making Tax Digital scheme, whereby self-employed people, such as writers, may need to complete quarterly tax returns, many feared the worst. How much of our future writing time would be gobbled up by the need to be creative with numbers?

However, plans for this were dropped from the Finance Bill that went through parliament just prior to last year’s general election. But this tax story hasn’t been buried like a murder writer’s latest victim. It’s simply sleeping, ready to reawaken in the near future. As writers, we need to start taking steps now.

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Letter Feedback

It’s always nice when a reader writes in to a magazine’s letters page to comment on an article you’ve written (hopefully, for the right reasons!). So I was especially delighted …

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Agent Attraction

Agent Attraction - Writing Magazine - November 2016 issue
Agent Attraction – Writing Magazine – November 2016 issue

Attracting an agent can be the start of a long business relationship. Simon Whaley flirts with two agents to learn more about the wooing process.

At this time of year many literary agents are talking Frankfurt. The Frankfurt Book Fair is one of the biggest gatherings of publishing professionals in the world. Over 600 agents from more than 300 agencies from over 30 countries will get together around tables at its Literary Agent and Scout Fair to negotiate rights and deals. As Jonny Geller, literary agent and joint CEO of agency Curtis Brown, says on the Frankfurt Book Fair website, ‘The Frankfurt Book Fair can transform the hopes and dreams of an author. A place where a book can go from a local idea to a global phenomenon.’

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Conquering Challenges

BoW - Conquering Challenges

Just like paralympians, writers with disabilities strive to achieve their goals on a daily basis. Simon Whaley chats to two writers about how disability influences their writing business.

After the spectacle of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games comes the Paralympic Games, where athletes with physical disabilities show the world what they’re capable of. Not all disabilities are physical, something Prince Harry focussed on during this year’s recent Invictus Games, but living with a disability creates a range of challenges on a daily basis.

Yet those determined enough will find ways to overcome them, and that’s just as true for writers with disabilities as it is for paralympic sport stars. Having a disability need not prevent you from being a writer, or force you to give up writing, but it might change the way you run your writing business.

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Festival Fever

Festival Fever - Writing Magazine - September 2016 Issue
Festival Fever – Writing Magazine – September 2016 Issue

Most of us love a good writing workshop, and for an hour or two we’re in heaven. But why go to one when we could have a whole weekend or even a week of them? Three key writers’ conferences take place between the end of July through to the beginning of September, giving delegates a plethora of workshops and talks in which to immerse themselves.

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