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Old Hack
08-14-2008, 10:51 AM
(I hope this is the best place for this: mods, do please move it if you would prefer to have it somewhere else.)

I've been asked to review a writers' guide: the 2009 edition of Writer's Market UK.

I intend to include with my review a list of all the things I'd like to see added to the guide, and all the things I'd prefer to do without.

I'd like to see a lot more information given on the nuts and bolts of publishing and scam-avoidance: for example, advice on how to recognise a vanity press at fifty paces, and the real differences between self-publishing and vanity publishing.

If any of you have your own suggestions, ideas, or pet hates, I'd be happy to add them to my list. Just add your comments here, or to my blog page here (http://howpublishingreallyworks.blogspot.com/2008/08/writers-market-uk-2009.html), and I'll pass them all on to the Writer's Market team.

Don't worry if you're outside the UK: if you've got an idea, an opinion, or a point to make, I'll be very pleased to hear from you.

alleycat
08-14-2008, 11:05 AM
I'm not sure about the UK version, having never seen it. A couple of things I don't particularly like about the Writer's Market books in general (I just got the 2009 edition of Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market) is having articles interspersed with the publishers listings (put them at the very beginning or at the front of a particular section). I also wish they'd change the index. Actually, I wish they'd take the index the way they have it now and call it a "reference appendix" or something like that, and then put in a simple, alphabetical index.

Neither of these are big things to me, just things I wish they'd change.

Old Hack
08-14-2008, 04:44 PM
Ah, Alleycat, thank you for taking the time to respond.

In my UK edition there is a plain, no-nonsense alphabetical index but no subject index (is that what you object to?) and I was going to suggest that they added a subject index--not at the expense of the alphabetical one, though.

I wouldn't like articles scattered through the listings, either. In the UK edition the articles are all at the front, and the different classifications don't even have a tiny intro (although they did in last year's edition). I'd like an introductory article at the start of each section. Not a tiny little para like in the 2008 edition, a useful piece on using the listings and what to avoid.

JeanneTGC
08-14-2008, 08:32 PM
The UK version sounds much better than the US one!

My main complaint is that they accept scam and/or gormless agents, and newbies think (as I did once) that if it's listed in these guides, it's legit. Your idea about how to avoid scammers and why/when to use vanity press and when not might solve some of that, but I'd love to see more careful screening.

nevada
08-14-2008, 08:47 PM
i'm looking at my 2008 edition, mind you, its the novel and short story writing one, i dont need all that other stuff, Canadian edition, and all the articles are at the front. The guide on how to use the listings are at the front of every section, ie agents, literary journals, are a page and a half.

It has two indexes. One subject index and one strictly alphabetical. I like this guide. It works for me. I never use the agent listings, I go to Agent Query instead and cross reference every name on preditors and editors. I don't think the guide can do it all for you. There has to be some effort on part of the writer.

I like the 2008 edition. I hope the 2009 one is the same. If the US version is different, then perhaps it's not the guide but the different editions that are different.

Old Hack
08-14-2008, 10:37 PM
When I worked as an editor, I remember receiving a form to fill in so that the house I worked for could be included in a similar guide.

We decided not to submit it, because we were a packager, not a publisher, and from past experience we knew that the distinction between the two wasn't clear enough in writers' minds.

Nevada, my version doesn't have that page and a half of intro to each section, but I would like it to: I'll suggest it, and feel backed up by you when I do so. Thank you.

Jeanne, you're right about there not being enough stuff in the guides to warn people about scammers: but I can see how it would be impossible for the editors of such guides to screen out vanity publishers (and in fact I've blogged about this just this week--there's a link to the blog in my signature, down there, look). Publishers aren't going to admit to being vanities, are there? But perhaps a good article which outlines how to spot a scam would be useful. I'll suggest it.