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Monday, 21 December 2015

Writers' Handbook 2016 - Do not buy this book.

Copy of a review of Writers' Handbook 2016 (title, I suspect, deliberately misappropriated from the MacMillan version) which I felt moved to post this morning:

DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. I did, and it was an appalling waste of money. I used to buy the old Writers Handbook every year from about 1989 to 2008, and found it informative, useful, just about essential for my work as a freelance writer. This book is an utter impostor. Ignore the fact that a respected U.K. agent, ANDREW LOWNIE, has put his name to an essay on 'How an Agency Sells Its Authors'. Those two pages aside, the book consists of little more than lists of information you could get in a moment from the internet. That means, oddly for a book sold in the UK, 98 pages of American agents and publishers, 42 pages listing 'Agents Subjects' (unnecessary and repetitive), another 30-odd on Publishers Subjects (do.), There are even 45 pages of U.S. magazines but, no mention anywhere of newspapers, their editors, addresses or policies. The old version, published by Macmillan, had useful synopses of individual publishers' and agents' philosophies, history and attitude towards writers. All that has gone. I am going to go out on a limb and say that this is more than an impostor: it is a cold-blooded, calculating con, using a respected name to sucker writers into buying a piece of worthless crap. Spread the word.