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on 21 October 2010
Wow! At last a book that really offers the information and expert guidance that I have been needing.

As hope-to-be-published writer myself, I've read most of the other books on this same topic - Pitch to Publication, The Dummies guide and the Insiders Guide by Rachael Stock - but this one is, IMHO, way better for content and readability. Fiction and non-fiction are both well-covered. The pick of the bunch by a country mile.

The first part of the book deals with the money side of things. How much can you expect to sell your book for? What is a realistic financial expectation if you're successful? You may not like the answers, but Getting Published gives them to you frankly and openly. The blurb about the author shows he has had both fiction and non-fiction best sellers. Plus he runs a huge literary consultancy and has helped many get their own works on to the best seller lists. So I guess he is a rare thing: author-publisher-agent all in one. And his expertise really shows.

Book then moves on to the whole business of determining whether your manuscript is ready to sell and what to do if it's not. As mentioned, author runs an editorial consultancy, so he's potentially biased here, but I will say he makes his bias very clear and he does push you to ask whether you're sending your manuscript out too early. (He made me think that I've been guilty of that. Sigh!)

The next section of the book is titled 'Planet Agent'. There's very good detailed advice on covering letters, synopses, manuscript presentation and the rest (stuff that I've read before, on the whole), but there are also incredibly helpful and rewarding chapters on things like how to know if you need an agent, what agents actually do for you, what questions to ask (if you get that far), how to interpret rejection letters, and a whole lot more besides. I haven't read anything else that's remotely this detailed or this helpful.

There are also loads of real life examples, all the way through. Also lots of first person articles from all the big players in the field- top agents, publishers, writers, head of the society of authors all give their insider tips.

The last part of the book is taken up with how the industry works and with the tricky business of managing the publishing process itself. In the end you do come away with a much richer understanding of the publisher's viewpoint, and that can only be a good thing when it comes to writing your manuscript. If - no when! - I get as far as a book deal, I can see myself reading this book repeatedly to make sure I don't mess up!

So much for content. In terms of style - well, I loved this. You don't expect a reference book to be laugh out loud funny, but this one can be at times. More than that: you feel that Bingham actually cares about writers, and that (as a pro author himself) he really understands all the ups and downs of the writers' life.

If you want a couple of gripes, though: why can't there be more generous margins? At £12.50 (£15 RRP), you should get a book that you can read without cracking the spine. And why isn't there a 'read inside' option on Amazon? The rival texts do have this, and I usually hate buying books that you can't sample before you buy. But these are minor gripes. The book sizzles.

In case you can't peek inside here is a list of contents. Note that each chapter is subdivided into multiple subsections, so the Getting Ready chapter, for example, has subsections on Motives / Is Your Book Ready? / Assembling a Proposal / Which Agent? / Titles & opening chapters / Covering Letter / Synopsis etc.
- Introduction
- Getting ready
- Planet Agent
- How the book trade works
- Getting your book deal
- Towards production
- Publication
- Life After publication
- Conclusion / Facts & figures

Overall: highly recommended. Certainly the best of the bunch. Essential for any serious writer - published or otherwise.
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on 4 October 2010
Harry Bingham knows whereof he writes, and from the aspiring writer's, the author's AND the industry insider's point of view. And yes, as authors we still aren't really insiders, and that's part of the point: this book is designed not only to help you set about getting your writing published, but also to explain a myriad things which agents, editors, publishers and booksellers either forget you won't know, or would rather you didn't. Either way, they won't tell you but Harry Bingham will. It's stuffed full of advice, information and revealing facts, but it's also funny and humane: a reality check and a handbook, a professional advisor and a friend.
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on 28 July 2011
I know that the publishing industry can be awfully cold at times and I suppose that as an unpublished author, I bought this book for maybe a little guidance and comfort. Mistake. This book made me feel like I had more chance of having dinner with Elvis than getting published; it's a book rife with sombre authors and publishing professionals that are full of woe. If you are looking for a brutal, very honest opinion on the publishing industry, this is most certainly the book for you. It's defiantly not a pep talk for new writers.
On the upside it does have a good section which attempts to debunk the craziness behind the scenes following an offer of representation from an agent, for those who have managed to find the golden ticket amongst the unrelenting sea of rejection letters.
I think that from now on I may enjoy just the process of writing a good story a little more and forget about the business of getting published for a long while.
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on 22 October 2010
This is an absolutely superb book, offering invaluable information, whether you've just started on your magnum opus - or just signed a publishing contract. As an author of fiction and non-fiction himself, Harry Bingham sees the publishing industry as a writer does, but he's also the head of a very successful literacy consultancy, liaising with agents and editors as he tries to get other writers into print. That unique double-perspective is a real strength of the book. A couple of things in particular stand out about 'Getting Published':

Firstly, the book avoids the 'No S**t, Sherlock' advice usually doled out to would-be authors. Harry Bingham's advice is hugely useful - and sometimes unexpected - even if you've already heard plenty on the subject at writers' festivals, writing courses and the like. His tone is very peer-to-peer, never patronising.

Secondly, although this book does what it says on the tin, giving you tips about the process of getting a contract (How do you present your manuscript? How do you choose an agent?), it also takes you beyond that, giving advice and information which will see you through the publication of your first book, and on to your second (How can you influence your cover design? How can you help with marketing?).

An excellent book, at least as useful as the ubiquitous Writers' and Artists' Yearbook 2011
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on 19 November 2010
When I approach a book that purports to 'show me how', I usually home in on the chapter, sentence or diagram I need and forget the rest. That is impossible to do with Harry Bingham's guide, 'Getting Published'. He had me riveted, he had me laughing (sometimes uncomfortably at my past mistakes and delusions) and above all, he informed me in a painless manner. The book is full of information that I have found nowhere else, and answers puzzles I couldn't solve six years ago when I began writing. Above all it is honest. The publishing industry is changing all the time, there is a sea of manuscripts out there, and the possibility of any author getting published is low.

This book won't teach you how to write, but if you have a manuscript in your hand, it will take your through the scary process that follows. With the aid of 'Getting Published' and enough detachment to view your work as others see it, you are in a good position to get your work read. That is just the start of the adventure, and Harry Bingham doesn't leave you on the agent's doorstep. His book continues to be a useful companion throughout the whole process that follows. This book should help established authors as well as newcomers.

'Getting Published', The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook Guide to Getting Published: The Essential Guide for Authors (Writers & Artists Yearbook Gde) is filled with contributions from experts in all areas of the publishing business, and one of the qualities that struck me about the book is its even-handedness. Many views are expressed, and you can take your pick.
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on 6 September 2012
I had to review this book because its full of all the useful information you ever wanted to ask a successful published author.

It provides any new writer completely in the dark about how to present your finished manuscript and what you need to do next and things you need to consider including whether you should get in touch with an agent or a publisher first and when you should do this.

I am so glad I bought this book, its provided a wealth of information I always wanted to ask an author about all the stuff I've read in this book if you are really keen on getting your first book published.

This book also gives you an insight into whether you really have a writers mind frame, and if your doing all the things you should be doing as a writer, and where you might be going wrong if your not already doing the things a good writing would think about.

It makes you understand whether or not you really are taking a lot of thought about your writing because as it says in the book 'get it right the first time' to get noticed, its always good to get as close to perfection as you can to give you that first stepping stone with any potention agent or publisher.

It provides the reality, and there is nothing wrong with that, it keeps your feet firmly on the ground, but it also gives that push to keep going and keep trying.

Whats good about this book is that it also provides you with alternatives to main stream publishers, which is good to consider, just take a look at 'Fifty shades of grey', the author did not use a main stream publisher but the book is selling like hot cakes by those who both love it and hate the book.

The moral of the story is: If E.L James who wrote 'Fifty shades of grey' can do it can I!!!!

Its worth buying.
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on 18 October 2010
This book is ace. If you've just completed your manuscript and are sweating over the dreaded synopsis and enquiry letter, or you've just come up with a killer proposal for a non-fiction book, arm yourself with it. The writer de-mystifies the world of publishing, advises you how to approach agents and answers all the questions you're likely to have (plus quite a few you wish you'd thought of).

There's loads of contradictory advice knocking around on the Internet for wannabe authors. This book cuts through it. Case studies and anecdotes are provided to back up each subject area, along with hints and tips from publishers, agents and other insiders. Everything is covered, from assessing whether your manuscript is ready to dealing with approaches from Hollywood (and why you shouldn't get too excited about that prospect.) There are sections on libel, copyright and plagiarism, self-publishing and marketing.

The tone of this guide is pitched just right; it's light and readable without ever being patronising or flippant.
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on 20 October 2010
Get this - ideal for anyone with an inkling to write a published book that someone else pays for as opposed to self-published! Tells you things you wouldn't know unless someone 'in the know' enlightened you.
Fab reference book - the great unanswered questions are all dealt with here - like 'how do I get an agent', 'what about the covering letter?' and who's got the highest selling book out of Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens and J K Rowling!
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on 8 November 2010
Harry Bingham has created a superbly written book that compliments the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook perfectly.

Getting Published is not only well written but gives informative and clear advice on the publishing industry. Whether you need advice on preparing your manuscript, writing your submission package or just a general outline of the editorial process, you will find everything you need to know in this book.

Most books in this area are researched and written in a commercial fashion. This, however, is 'straight from the horses mouth' so to speak! Harry has been there, done that, got the t-shirt and best seller titles to prove it. He knows the process from start to finish and also runs the Writers Workshop, helping new writers on their way to success; so he has the experience and knowledge to pass on.

Getting Published should be on every writers bookshelf as a reminder of the hard work that is needed to succeed.

For an honest approach to getting published, with a laugh along the way, this book is an absolute must.

So go on - treat yourself!
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on 9 March 2012
Ask the tutor at a creative writing class how to get published, and he or she will look embarrassed, and mumble something to the effect of how impossibly difficult it is to do so. Your chances of getting published, they might suggest, are about the same as your chances of landing on Mars next Saturday. Fortunately, this book will help.

I've read and enjoyed all of Harry Bingham's novels so I was drawn to this book, which tells you, in great detail, all you need to know, presented in a very readable style with occasional offbeat humour. Getting publshed is far from easy, we learn, but with the right approach, a lot of patience and an outstanding script it's only a matter of time before somebody will take you on. You'll find this book a great read even if you're not interested in getting published. Recommended.
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