Not worth the wait!,
This review is from: 500 Guitars: A Definitive A-Z Guide (Hardcover)
I waited for a long time to get this book. I have many Guitar History type books, and am an avid reader of guitar reviews. This book gave little. A poor description, minimal history, and sometimes not even a photo. You could do better simply Googling the product. Very disappointed.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Dec 2011 22:12:42 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Mar 2012 16:32:17 GMT
G. Wilson says:
I do sympathize with M. Wingate's review. I too was disappointed with the book and I'm the guy who wrote it. Basically the story was this: the publisher already had the idea for the book. They already had the concept, the back cover blurb written and even the cover designed. They just didn't have an author. I have a feeling that they may have had another author lined up who then dropped out at short notice. Anyway, they had seen my guitar blog at guitarz.blogspot.com and approached me to write it for them - but they needed the whole job turned around very quickly. I had recently been made redundant from my full time employment and jumped at the chance.
I was told I could write about 500 guitars - any 500 guitars that I wanted as long as I choose a good cross section of instruments from over three centuries (a tall order in some cases because my knowledge isn't great on antique historical instruments), and I was told that that their art department would find the photographs to fit. So, I trawled the archives of my blog and a few others such as Guitar Noize, and I made a list of 500 guitars. Then I set to work writing. I had just ONE MONTH to provide the publishers with a finished manuscript. They wanted approximately 100 words per guitar, so with 500 guitars that made for 50,000 words. Writing was intense. I set my alarm each day for 7:00AM, had breakfast and got down to writing and went on writing until 9 or 10 PM each night with a couple of short breaks for meals. This went on for just over a month with no breaks, no days off, no weekends, but I got the job done as per the contract and the manuscript was delivered on time.
Then I had the problem with another author's name being listed on Amazon instead of mine. I wasn't happy about that at all, but that's a whole other story.
When the book arrived I was alarmed to see that many guitars had no photos to represent them, whilst other guitars had the WRONG photos. I'd thought that the book was mainly going to be photographs and that the 100 words I was writing for each guitar was essentially an extended caption. So yes, I was disappointed. I had in fact offered to check through the proofs of the book before it went to print, but my offer was declined. If I had been allowed more input I would have made sure that there were no incorrect photos, and maybe could have supplied photos for other guitars. (I had in fact supplied a few photos already for some one-off guitars made by people known to me, but only one of these was used and that was cropped badly).
In short, it wasn't really my book, it was the baby of the publisher's marketing department. The whole job was done the wrong way around - concept, cover artwork, synopsis, etc before actually finding the author. It may have been easier to have made sure we had a whole bunch of photos of 500 guitars first and then written about THOSE. As it turned out I guess the art department couldn't find pictures of certain guitars I had included, despite me being told that this would not be a problem.
I would like to write a second, vastly improved volume, but it would have to be a project that I was 100% in charge of instead of the publisher. I could use my contacts via the Guitarz blog to get original photographs up-front before writing a word. I'm confident I could cover guitars that are NOT in every other guitar book already. I have already published a limited edition Guitarz calendar for 2012 using photographs submitted by Guitarz readers and it has been a great success. If only I had been in charge of 500 Guitars, it would be a book truly to be proud of.
Nevertheless, having said all that, I don't think 500 Guitars is a BAD book. Yes, you could Google it all (IF you knew all those guitar names to start with), but it's more convenient to have all the info in one place. I actually use my copy quite often for reference when I am writing blog posts on the Guitarz blog.
M. Wingate - I'm sorry you were disappointed. If you contact me via the Guitarz blog I could sort you out a freebie copy of the 2012 calander by way of compensation.
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2011 13:57:40 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Dec 2011 14:39:18 GMT
M. Wingate says:
What a nice reply and offer. I was familiar with G.L.Wilson and the guitarzblogspot site and really was dissapointed with the book not bearing much resemblance to that of the "authors " other work. What a rip for him. My HoD has claimed ownership of an article written by myself in a book just published, so I know a little how G.L.Wilson feels.
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