I am a product of that old British `Sec Mod' educational system which provided no formal qualifications whatsoever - not even a certificate of education. Consequently, when (many years later) I sat down to write my first book - people laughed. I was serving in the army at the time and writing about a subject (scuba diving) in which I was very proficient, highly qualified and widely experienced and one senior officer actually said to me "By what right do you seek to write a book about Scuba Diving?" Now, thirty years on, I was recently described as and award-winning, best-selling author.
YOU can do the same if YOUR drive to write is strong enough and, if it is, you should read all the reviews for this work (good and bad!) and then ask yourself this single question: `Can I afford to be without a copy of this book?'
This work is not just a collection of addresses for various book publishers and magazine editors. Instead, it contains almost everything you might need to know when contemplating writing for the very different categories of; Newspapers, Magazines, Books, Poetry, TV, Film, Radio, Theatre et al. The advice given and lists of outlets in each of those areas is then followed by sections on; Literary Agents, Art & Illustration, Societies, Prizes and Festivals, Online, Resources, Copyright & Libel and Finance. Altogether, the wide ranging degree of helpful advice covers almost every element of the publishing world.
Certainly, if you already have a copy of last year's edition you will find few changes but consider this; The publisher contacts each contributor every year in a bid to ascertain the most up-to-date information for inclusion and every year several of these fail to update their own particular entry. The book is not, therefore, perfect but it is the best there is - by far.
Leaving aside those lists of potential outlets for your work, there are many lessons to be learned from within. If like me, for example, you write books aimed at the scuba diver, there is no point in submitting your work to a publisher who concentrates solely on, say, religious architecture (or whatever). Having identified their specific market, the writer must also learn how to present a manuscript (A4 paper, double spaced typing with a 3 mm margin all round). In other words, that prospective publisher is saying; "Do it my way and I may get around to reading it but, irritate me, and I can't be bothered!"
Nobody in the world knows all there is to know about the complicated subject of publishing. This book, however, will give the writer - most especially the aspiring writer (and artist!), the widest possible appreciation of what is involved and had I been in possession of a copy - 30 years ago!, my own particular journey would have been so much smoother!
Now consider this review alongside all those others - and ASK yourself that question!
And good luck.
on 10 May 2014
This book is invaluable to any writer of anything, if you want to publish. This book gives advice on how to present your writing, which agents and publishers to go to, it is extra encouragement for those a bit shy of publishing their first book or prose whether fiction, autobiography, biography or poetry. I would never have attempted to publish without this book. I am a new writer but I have been writing for 20 years without publishing. This book gave me the impetus to start to seek out agents and publishers and to enter my first competition. If you don't have an up to date volume of this book, don't bother with the library's out of date copy because if you get the name of the editor wrong because it's out of date you could find your work in the bin. Please always consult this book when contacting agents and publishers.
on 27 March 2014
I've been buying this book for years, and I'm never disappointed. It's like a writer's bible. It's cram full of everything you need to know, especially when it comes to 'how to do things properly'. All the rules, guidelines, tips and guides to writing are there. A wealth of Publishers, whether it be a novel, or tv and radio. And, of course, it's not just for writers, but artists, and photographers. I would definately recommend this book.
on 9 April 2014
This book is perfect for finding a list of magazines and newspapers to contact about writing work, and also film companies to approach with screenplays and ideas for a series (my big dream!)
The book is well laid out, and it's simple to navigate between different sections. It seems very geared up towards self-publishing, which of course is the new Gold Rush, but there's still a lot for those of us interested in writing for print publications as well as online.
I would definitely recommend it to any style of writer, especially authors (self-pubbers will pick up some tricks), and magazine and newspaper writers looking to broaden their client base by reaching out to prospective new publications.
It even offers tips on how to market yourself, how to pitch an idea, and what not to do. Very useful!
on 10 March 2014
This is an undeniably comprehensive and professional guide, with some well-written articles to boot, and so I can't fault it on quality of production or content. However, the changes in the publishing industry limit the usefulness of the book to a great extent, particularly when it comes to a first-time author looking for a publisher. For example, of the vast list of publishers listed who publish commercial fiction, it turns out that only two accept unsolicited material. TWO! This makes the rest of the list somewhat redundant, but you have to do a lot of leg work to discover this.
I'm not sure what the equivalent situation is on the agent front, but I suspect it's similar. The world is changing and hard copy reference materials such as this, which you can't readily sort or filter, are of diminishing relevance.
on 9 January 2014
Useless for artists. If you're an illustrator or photographer it may be useful, but only 30 pages worth. Disgraceful that this advertises itself as the writers' and ARTISTS' yearbook. It contains no useful information for artists whatsoever. Please give this book the right title so artists know not to waste money on it.