Juliet Mushens is an Agent in the UK Literary Division of The Agency Group. Juliet began her publishing career in 2008 at HarperCollins, after reading history at Cambridge, and became an agent in 2011. Juliet represents a bestselling list of fiction and non-fiction writers including international bestseller ‘The Miniaturist’ by Jessie Burton, Sunday Times bestselling crime writer James Oswald, and hugely successful brand ‘Very British Problems’.
Orna Ross writes novels, poems and the Go Creative! books and is Director of The Alliance of Independent Authors. Her most recent book is a novel, Blue Mercy, a family drama of intrigue, secrets and surprise. Her website is www.ornaross.com.
Marti Leimbach’s career began with the New York Times bestseller Dying Young, which was made into a film starring Julia Roberts. She is also the author of The Man From Saigon and Daniel Isn’t Talking, which topped some of the summer reading lists here in the UK and abroad. Widely translated, and published worldwide, Marti is a core tutor at Oxford University’s Creative Writing Program, where she teaches on the Master’s programme.
Last year you successfully published your first children’s book to add to the adult fiction you’ve written over the years. Did you find the writing process to be very different?
Quite, yes. At one level, it’s easier and more enjoyable, because my adult novels are all set in the real world, whereas The Parent Agency – as indeed is The Person Controller, my new one – is powered by a fantasy storyline, which allows me to let my imagination go.
Dr Alison Baverstock is author The Naked Author: a complete guide to self-publishing (Bloomsbury). A former publisher, she jointly founded MA Publishing at Kingston University. A long-time commentator on the publishing industry, her academic research into self-publishing over the past five years has both challenged much traditional thinking, and given heart to many writers. She is currently celebrating the addition of a self-publishing module in The Kingston MA publishing course.
Tom Weldon was brought up in London. After studying history at Oxford University, he was a graduate trainee with Macmillan. After three years as a non-fiction commissioning editor, he joined William Heinemann, then owned by Reed Elsevier. He spent nine years there as an Executive Editor, American Editorial Director based in New York, and then Publisher of the imprint.
Last week The Bookseller reported that big Publishers in the US are giving away $250m in free e-books as part of the Obama scheme. While this is a great initiative that will make children with low-income families (but who can afford e-readers) have easier access to discovering reading, this alone will not be not enough. Yes, it is tempting to throw money (or free books) at the problem, but doing so only creates a temporary fix. If we truly want to get to the root of the problem, we have to dig deeper.
Richard Nash is a strategist and serial entrepreneur in culture and media. He advises numerous start-ups in digital media and consults with corporations on using narrative to grow their business.
Much has been made of the discovery and subsequent scheduled publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman. The world seems to be divided. Should we be dizzy with excitement that the world’s greatest living one-hit literary wonder should have actually written another book? Or should we fear for her place in the canon, and a reputation potentially sullied forever all because someone, somewhere wanted to make a dollar?