Kafez

Literary

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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Writers' and Artists' Yearbook 2009

*As compared to last year's listings, there have been several updates made to addresses and especially requirements of publishers and agents. There are also new additions to the lists and deletions with regards to those who have shut down business dealings altogether; eg. The Friday Project. - sa

I was pleasantly surprised to see AC Blacks' popular Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2009 edition being sold already at Hodges Figges in the Classics section, over at Dawson Street, Dublin. I couldn't walk away without picking up a copy. It cost me almost 20 euro, just short of a few cents.

I'm not too sure about last year but up until then, the newest edition wouldn't have been out in England until September. How thrilling the prospect that titles are released in the UK and Ireland simultaneously. For instance, in Dublin, we have two versions to a newspaper everyday. Think The Times and then too, The Irish Times or The Independent and then The Irish Independent; all dutifully sold side by side.

Unless specifically ordered, this treasured publication is likely to reach my country, Malaysia, months later.

I suppose an early updated edition just tells me how competitive the international publishing industry really is although I confess to being one of the few who enjoys being in the swing of things and the exhilarating carousel of it all is good for an adrenalin rush. I find the world of books and the dramatic arts strangely inspiring because of this attitude.

On the whole, the directory is a chunky treat.

It serves as the ultimate motivation for any aspiring, artist or producer as well as for the more established names in the view that global markets may be expanded or publishing ventures challenged and taken to new heights.

With priority given to names, addresses, telephone numbers, websites and email addresses of literary agents, publishers, newspapers, magazines, societies, book clubs, writing festivals, poetry publications, syndicates, writing retreates, writers' websites, theatre and film producers in the UK, there are also listings a-plentiful for the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and West/Europe. Then come along those listings of e-book publishers or do-it-yourself websites and blogs. These are the categories that cut across the barriers of space, time and geographical landscapes.

Certainly, this time round, the edition turns its attention to webspace in a monumental way. For the first time, it's own url address takes pride of place on the cover. A quick peep into its website (click above) reveals the variety of self-help, encouraging and helpful articles/features with a view to publishing in the global market.

Any writer who requires this awareness, especially as with regards to the big players, who will eventually shape all else, needs this book. If there is a tendency only to worry about publishing in one own' s country especially those in the Far East, I would say in this day and age, that it becomes a bit like burying your head in the sand.

For any country interested in publishing and literature but who stay myopic to regional operations, it's a stagnant life indeed. The rest of the world have come out to play so why choose to be locked indoors.

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