I know I’m not the only person out there working hard to try and get published, so I just wanted to share a post with my thoughts on a gem of a book which is looked upon as a writer’s Bible in this industry – the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook.
I have the 2012 edition but it has been published every year since 1906 and it is aimed at every type of writer imaginable: novelists, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, journalists and even illustrators. Basically, it is a very practical guide to the writing world, providing information on all aspects of it, from the dos and don’ts of approaching a publisher to dealing with rejection, from self-publishing to managing your online reputation, from the growth of travel guidebooks to illustrating for children’s books.
What I like about it is that a huge portion of it is written by successful writers, each of whom can offer their own unique insight into the industry and their personal path to publication. On the other side of this, you have articles written by publishers and agents who outline very clearly what they are looking for in a writer and who can say in no uncertain terms what works or does not work for them (make sure you spell their name right, for one thing).
Perhaps the Yearbook’s most valuable sections are the listings – dozens and dozens of pages of up-to-date contacts for book publishers, literary agents, festivals, websites and more. An aspiring writer need look no further for practical information on agencies’ contact details, which genres they are interested in and how they should be approached. This saves a lot of time as you then won’t end up posting your sci-fi epic to someone who only accepts crime submissions by email.
Before I got this book, I was completely ignorant of what is involved in trying to get published. After reading it (studying it cover to cover, more like), I was both daunted and inspired by its content. It is a must-have for anyone who is serious about writing.