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THE WRITERS AND ARTISTS YEARBOOK 2006 A C & Black. London. There are many books offering advise to authors, poets, journalists and artists & illustrators on how to write and sell their work, but a writer only needs three books – a dictionary, a thesaurus and the Yearbook. It is basically a directory of UK, European & World publishers in all fields. Divided into separate chapters for newspapers, magazines and book publishers, the W & A Yearbook tells you what exactly every one of its thousands of publishers actually publishes. This is crucial information. Publishers specialise. Relatively few will simply publish anything good, no matter what the subject matter. Many authors naively choose publishers at random, oblivious of what they do and don’t actually do. Bible publishers are not likely to print out an erotic essay, or a book on atheism, but they receive such material all the time. Sending stuff to the wrong publisher guarantees a lack of commercial success. The directory tells you, which publishers do look for that western, history of pottery, or love story you want to sell.  The directory advises you how that publisher expects to be approached too. Some will want you to send only the full-completed book, while others want a sample chapter, and synopsis of the work first. It is not wise to get this wrong. Some publishers expect to be asked first if they are interested in a book, while others happily take unsolicited scripts. Some take work by e-mal Internet attachment; others prefer old-fashioned snail mail, with appropriate return postage being covered by the authors. The yearbook gives advise on publishing law and the kind of contracts or payments you might require. It explains copyright and libel issues, which are often complex. The guide offers sections on annual writing competition, including minor poetry contests and the Nobel Prize For Literature. It tells you where to apply for funding bursaries, lists agents (who, like publishers, specialise), and much more besides. Everything’s neatly cross-referenced and multi-indexed making the right publisher for your needs easy to find. The book also has essays by prominent publishers and authors, including J K Rowling and Terry Pratchett. It is advisable to renew the yearbook annually. Publishers come and go at an alarming rate, Many active one year go bust or merge with another the next, or change address overnight. The Yearbook helps writers keep up to date. It is the veritable Bible for any author.

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