Having bought this book direct from the publishers (albeit at a price higher than Amazon's), I have had it for about a month now, and have had plenty of opportunity to formulate my thoughts.
This is the eleventh edition of the Price Guide, now issued every two years. As usual, the publishers are at pains to point out that it is the largest, most comprehensive guide to rare UK releases, and this is difficult to argue with - at 1440 pages it is 32 pages longer than the last edition. (However, a little research would suggest that this edition may not be any more comprehensive than the last - many items issued in mono and stereo now have their entry extended over two lines rather than one, thus taking up more space. I'm quite sure the cumulative effect of this would at least add up to the extra 32 pages.)
Thankfully, this edition seems to be materially better than earlier editions - I have not yet come across any pages with obscured print, as occurred with the Kinks entry in the last edition; there don't seem to be any pages in the wrong order, as occurred with Slim Whitman's entry in an earlier edition; and the index captions at the top of each page do at least appear to coincide with the entries on that page, which is a welcome improvement on earlier editions.
However, there are still a number of instances where text has been indented for no apparent reason, rather breaking the flow and making some pages look untidy.
Finally, as far as editing goes anyway (as far as I have yet noticed), it is unforgivable, in a work such as this, that one of the most important entries, in this case Elvis Presley's entry, should contain such a fundamental error as transposing the headings for "RCA EPs: Triangular Centres" and "RCA EPs: Round Centre Re-Pressings". Thanks to that simple, stupid error, buying Elvis Presley EPs will be purely a matter of "Pot Luck" for the next two years, until the next issue comes out, hopefully complete with correction.
The editors are (or should be) aware that this book sets the starting prices for the market, and mistakes like this simply should not happen.
From a user's point of view, it is disappointing to note (again) that many artists continue to have their product grossly over-valued (Cliff Richard, Adam Faith, Gene Pitney etc.), or over-represented (Sex Pistols, Muse, Gary Numan, Pet Shop Boys), while others seem either under-valued, under-represented or poorly researched (Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, Beach Boys, even the Beatles). Readers with interests differing from mine will no doubt be able to add further examples to the above.
...And that's the problem with this book. For some time now (probably the last ten years at least), it's been obvious that each successive edition has been less comprehensive, less representative, less relevant, less consistent, and less realistic than its predecessor, and things have now drifted too far. What we are presented with now is a rather poor, discredited piece of work requiring major surgery.
It's not enough to simply implement small incremental changes to the last edition to reflect what the editors or publishers consider may have been changed over the past two years. This approach ignores other changes which may have taken place over a longer period of time, maybe five, or even ten years. It is now time to take radical action.
Every entry in the whole book requires reappraisal. Does it deserve to be in the book? What is a realistic current value? Are the details (b-side, catalogue no. etc) correct? Are there other items from this artist/label/genre which should be added? If the editors were to begin this task now, the next edition could easily be a real return to form. It may involve a little more resources than are currently devoted to the guide, but it really needs to be done. It is only the lack of a viable alternative which keep this guide in its position as the buyers'/sellers' "bible".
I still give it two stars because, deeply flawed though it is, it is still the best available option.
But come on, Record Collector, give your customers what they deserve!!