Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Words Worth Looking Up

For the first time ever, Collins Dictionary is available free online. Collins Language, the dictionary arm of HarperCollins, has launched the website www.collinsdictionary.com. 

The service means that you can now access 220,000 dictionary entries, including, translations, synonyms and illustrative photos. It is possible to find correct spellings, use the thesaurus and even find words in over 35 languages. The website features more than one million audio pronunciations, highlighting British and American audio differences. 

The site offers access to two million full sentence usage examples. These have been taken from fiction, non-fiction, newspapers and magazines. Helping to put words into context. 

You can even access a word frequency graph, demonstrating the historical and contemporary use of the word over the last 500 years. This could be very helpful if you are thinking of writing historical fiction. 

Alex Brown, head of digital at Collins Language, said: "We've a big editorial team and 200 years of experience so we think we can bring something more to that online space than others." (Writers' Forum, April '12)

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Millionaire Bootcamp

A group of 12 millionaire authors and experts in book marketing are coming together to deliver a three-day Bootcamp for budding writers. The Bootcamp, titled Millionaire Bootcamp, will help those interested in building a career in writing by providing information and ideas on how to turn a manuscript into an international bestseller.

Bootcamp managing director, Stephanie Hale, states; 'Relatively unknown entrepreneurs are making six- and seven-figures from self-publishing. It's time for authors to wake to this new era and grasp the opportunities available!' (Writers' Forum, April 12). 

For more information or to purchase a ticket, visit www.MillionaireAuthorsBootcamp.com

Need help with editing your manuscript? Check out the Words Worth Reading Ltd editorial services! 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

CQC inspector dismissed for gross misconduct

A CQC inspector has been dismissed for gross misconduct after an internal investigation revealed that the impartiality of their regulatory judgements had been seriously compromised. This came to light as a result of whistle-blowing information to the CQC.

No additional detail can be provided as CQC has now referred this matter to the police.
Louise Guss, Director of Governance and Legal Services, said:
"Our inspectors operate to extremely high standards of integrity and professionalism. Unfortunately, in any large workforce there is a risk that a tiny minority may act in a way that betrays the principles of their colleagues and of the organisation as a whole, which is what has happened here.

“Having investigated allegations made to us about this inspector and found these were substantiated, we terminated their employment with immediate effect and referred the matter to the police.

“This inspector has failed the organisation, failed the providers who rely on us to act fairly and impartially, and - most importantly - failed in their responsibility to protect people who use services through identification of poor care.

“CQC operates a zero tolerance policy in regard to fraudulent or dishonest behaviour. As this case makes clear, we take any credible allegations relating to this behaviour extremely seriously and, following a full investigation, will take the swiftest and most severe action possible against any member of staff found guilty."

For any CQC concerns contact a member of our Words Worth Reading Ltd team

Authors ask for payment for library ebooks loans

The Society of Authors has suggested that writers rely on the income generated from library loans and have called for all digital books to be included in the PLR scheme. Under the PLR (Public Lending Right) scheme authors are paid 6.05p every time their books are borrowed from libraries. However, ebooks and audiobooks are not included included in the scheme.

Nicola Solomon of the Society of Authors, said writers have a legal right to the payments, she said – and could even consider going to court to recover them. "Since 1992 'rental and lending right' has been a part of copyright protection. That means that authors have a legal right to equitable remuneration whenever their works are lent out," she said. "The failure to make the payments means that the government and libraries are actually infringing the author's copyright every time they make an ebook loan and authors would be entitled to sue for the losses caused by that infringement. We have no current plans to sue, and don't know of any authors who are planning to do so – we would hope that the Government would recognise its legal and moral responsibility to make payments to authors particularly as ebook lending from libraries is becoming significant."

Solomon has written to both culture secretary Ed Vaizey and Conservative MP Louise Mensch, who is sitting on the select committee inquiry into library closures, to highlight the issue. "Any ebook lending should result in a PLR payment to the author … PLR is designed to balance the social need for free public access to books against an author's right to be remunerated for the use of their work," she wrote to Vaizey on behalf of the Society of Authors, which includes Philip Gross, Anthony Horowitz and Sarah Waters on its management committee. "We also wish to remind you that section 43 of the Digital Economy Act 2010 extends PLR to audiobooks and ebooks 'lent out' from library premises for a limited time but these payments have never been implemented. This is patently unjust and we urge that this provision be brought into force and that extra funds be made available to cover PLR payments for such lending."

Chair of the society, historical novelist Lindsey Davis, said that authors would "certainly be pushing" for PLR to be extended to ebooks and audiobooks. "We have earned it. It's not a benefit, it's a right," she said. "I would expect to be paid. There is no difference between ebooks and print books – it is all work, produced for people to read ... It seems very obvious to me [that an ebook] is just another version of a title, in the same way that a paperback is."
If you think you have an idea for an exciting new novel, find out about Words Worth Reading Ltd's ghost writing service

Michael Gove's King James Bible plan rescued by millionaire Tory donors

Thanks to the Guardian online for this one...

Education secretary will send a copy of the Bible to every state school after donors club together to save £370,000 initiative
Michael Gove's Bible project is said to have run into trouble in January when the prime minister reportedly told him to avoid using taxpayers' money. Photograph: David Jones/PA
Millionaire Conservative party donors have clubbed together to rescue a plan by the education secretary, Michael Gove, to send a copy of the King James Bible to every state school in the country.

Gove hoped to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bible's completion by donating a leather-bound copy, written in 17th-century English, to all primary and secondary schools by Easter. However, his plans were said to have run into trouble in January when government sources reported that David Cameron had told Gove to avoid using taxpayers' money for the £370,000 initiative.

At the time, Gove had not found private philanthropists to sponsor the enterprise. It has now emerged that leading Tory donors – mostly former hedge fund and private equity bosses – are footing the bill. They include Lord Stanley Fink, the former co-treasurer of the Conservative party who was once chief executive of the listed hedge fund Man Group. Fink, a life peer, has donated more than £2.3m to Tory projects.

Lord Robert Edmiston, a motor trade entrepreneur who gave more than £3.2m to the Tory party between 2000 and 2010, has also sponsored the Bible project. The life peer is an evangelical Christian who set up the charity Christian Vision. Others who have funded the scheme include Ramez Sousou of the private equity firm TowerBrook, who has also given support to Cameron's party, Michael Farmer, the Conservative party co-treasurer and City financier who has donated more than £3m to the party, and Lord Harris, a regular donor to the Conservatives and the chairman of Carpetright.

The Liberal Democrat donor Paul Marshall, a hedge fund boss and committed Christian, and his wife have also donated funds for the scheme, as has Sir Peter Lampl, the founder of a private equity firm who is an education philanthropist. A spokeswoman from the Department for Education said no public funds would be needed for the project. The Bibles, which state on the spine that they have been presented by the secretary of state for education, have been sent to schools this week.

Teachers have greeted the initiative with a mixed reaction. A primary school teacher from Sheffield, who did not want to be named, told the Guardian the Bible, which arrived on Monday, would "stay in the headteacher's office on a shelf".
"I work in an inner-city primary school and there's no way that our children are going to be reading and understanding the kind of English this Bible is written in," he said. "I have nothing against celebrating the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, but we really could have done with some more story books."
Another teacher, who did not want to be named, wrote on the forum of the Times Educational Supplement that pupils in her school – a Church of England primary – were presented with their own Bibles. "I feel the inscription on the side is more to do with this project than the actual 'gift'," she said. "Privately funded or not we could all have used the money more appropriately to our own school setting."
The Bibles, which have been published by the Oxford University Press, are accompanied by a letter from Gove.

"I believe it is important that all pupils – of all faiths or none – should appreciate this icon and its impact on our language and democracy," it says. He adds that the gift has been funded through the generosity of private sponsors "who share my view that this book has a unique place in our nation's history and culture".
All schools are expected to have received their copies by the end of the month.

Think you have a book that could be popular in schools? Contact the Words Worth Reading Ltd team to find out how we can help you publish and distribute it.