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Tips for writers 3

Magazine

New technology and the Internet

The third set of our new pages of tips for writers

  1. Take full advantage of the Internet and all it offers to develop and inform your writing. To start with you can learn to use the web as a research tool and you will find that it is endlessly useful for general research and for finding out where the information you need is stored. WritersServices has its own Google-powered Search, which is the quickest way to find what you need on this site. Use other sites’ search facilities in the same way. For those who have not yet experienced what it can do, Google offers it own Desktop, and here’s an article explaining what it can do for you.
  2. The online encyclopedia Wikipedia has been criticised for some of its democratically entered rather than authorised information but it still provides a stunning summary of information and is a good starting-point, with over 7 million articles in 200 languages.. There are an infinite number of other information-rich websites, so use them to do the reserach for your writing.
  3. Use the Internet to find out what other writers are doing and to get in touch with them. There is a vast growth in online magazines and writers’ community sites and some of these may provide what you are looking for. You can also research publishers and agencies online and it’s particularly useful to find out what else publishers are doing and whether your work might suit their list. Our agency listings and links are a good starting-point, with the links offering a series of recommended and reviewed sites of special interest to writers under 21 headings.
  4. Sites such as WritersServices offer a vast amount of free information which can help you develop your writing and get published. Our 2,000+ pages can be accessed through the homepage or through Help for Writers, which gives a breakdown of what is on the site. Look for other useful sites on the web.
  5. Blogging is becoming an increasingly important way of attracting attention to your writingshed, bloggers are becoming key in terms of reviewing books. Publishers are learning to use this medium and so can you. It’s individual, direct and spontaneous - and a great way to reach readers.
  6. Consider setting up your own website, which will give you a place to display your work and a platform for your blog.
  7. New technology is opening up many new opportunities for writers. Browse the over 100 pages of our Writers Web Watch to find out just what it can do for you. If you’re a bit of a technophobe and not very confident about technology, use the starter pages to get you going. If you’re already at ease with technological developments, have a look at the advanced section, which offers thoughtful articles on topical issues for web users.


Chris HolifieldManaging director of WritersServices; spent working life in publishing,employed by everything from global corporations to start-ups; track record includes: editorial director of Sphere Books, publishing director of The Bodley Head, publishing director for start-up of upmarket book club, The Softback Preview, editorial director of Britain’s biggest book club group, BCA, and, most recently, deputy MD and publisher of Cassell & Co. She is also currently the Director of the Poetry Book Society; During all of this time aware of problems faced by writers, as publishing changed from idiosyncratic cottage industry, 'occupation for gentlemen', into corporate business of today. Writers encountered increasing difficulty in getting books edited or published. Authors create the books which are the raw material for the whole business. She believes it is time to bring them back to centre stage.

See also An Editor's Advice on doing further drafts and manuscript presentation

Writersbookstall titles on grammar

Tips for Writers 1: Improving your writing
Tips for Writers 2: Learn on the job
Tips for Writers 3: New technology and the Internet
Tips for Writers 4: Self-publishing - is it for you?
Tips for Writers 5: Promoting your writing (and yourself)
Tips for Writers 6: Other kinds of writing
Tips for Writers 7: Keep up to date
Tips for Writers 8: Submission to publishers and agents

© Chris Holifield 2008-9