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Writer's Handbook 09 | Reviews

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The Writer's Handbook 2009

Editor Barry Turner

Macmillan, Paperback 800 pages

£14.99


 

 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

 

 

'The latest edition of The Writer’s Handbook has some interesting new articles for this edition.'

 

‘Described by The Times as the book no writer should be without’

 

 

'The Writer’s Handbook does what it says on the tin. It is a useful book for helping writers to find what they want, and a helpful volume to accompany you in your search for a writer or agent.'

 

The latest edition of The Writer’s Handbook has some interesting new articles for this edition. As well as useful existing articles on ‘Bringing in the Money’ by the book’s editor Barry Turner, ‘Clearing Permissions’ by Clare Hodder and ‘The Re-engineering of UK Poetry Ltd’ by Chris Hamilton-Emery, there are a number of new articles.

Amongst these, Barry Turner looks at ‘The publishing state we’re in’. Jon Reed writes on ‘How to sell yourself online – new ways of promoting your book’ and there’s also ‘The scriptwriting journey from novel to screenplay’.

The listings are comprehensive and include specialist lists such as Poetry Presses, PR consultants, UK and Irish Writers’ courses, Audio Books and Electronic Publishing and Other Services. There are also of course full listings of the usual range of publishers, including UK, US and Irish publishers, and Literary agents (UK and US).

Described by The Times as ‘the book no writer should be without’, it has also been praised by the Society of Authors as ‘a wise and witty book, packed with useful information’ and by London agent Mary Clemmey as ‘an essential directory for new and established writers alike’.

A handy subject index makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. The entries include everything from Dogs: Literary Agents (US) to France: Poetry Magazines, from Mountaineering: Prizes to War: Small Presses.

This year for the first time The Writer’s Handbook also offers access to all buyers of the book to its website, using the code provided when you buy the book. It is useful to have access to the listings in searchable form, but the other resources provided for writers are relatively minimal.

In spite of this The Writer’s Handbook does what it says on the tin. It is a useful book for helping writers to find what they want, and a helpful volume to accompany you in your search for a writer or agent.

 

Reviewed by Chris HolifieldManaging director of WritersServices; spent working life in publishing,employed by everything from global corporations to start-ups; track record includes: editorial director of Sphere Books, publishing director of The Bodley Head, publishing director for start-up of upmarket book club, The Softback Preview, editorial director of Britain’s biggest book club group, BCA, and, most recently, deputy MD and publisher of Cassell & Co. She is also currently the Director of the Poetry Book Society; During all of this time aware of problems faced by writers, as publishing changed from idiosyncratic cottage industry, 'occupation for gentlemen', into corporate business of today. Writers encountered increasing difficulty in getting books edited or published. Authors create the books which are the raw material for the whole business. She believes it is time to bring them back to centre stage.

© Chris Holifield 2008

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