Articles

Andrew Lownie uses his expert knowledge in the publishing field to maximise the potential of his clients and build up their careers. Here Andrew Lownie, and some of his clients and guest columnists, share advice on a variety of topics to writers. Elsewhere on the site you can find a Frequently Asked Questions list on literary agents, as well as advice for submitting work to agents.

  • When is the right time to plug your book in the papers?

    26 Jul 2017

    Agency author David McClure recounts his adventures in the newspaper trade after finishing a book on the royal finances If you want to promote your book by writing a newspaper article, timing is everything – as I learned through trial and error over the past year plugging “Royal Legacy” (Thistle Publishing 2015). To boost your chances of the piece running, it helps if it’s pegged to a news story in a timely manner. If you dilly-dally and deliver copy 24 hours after the news first breaks, it’s likely to be rejected as old meat. As someone unused to writing to a tight deadline, ...Read more

  • Ten tips when checking royalty statements

    24 Jun 2017

    In the second of his articles, Stephen Aucutt, a contracts and royalties expert who has worked in publishing for over thirty years, gives his insider tips for checking royalty statements. He can be contacted at stephencfp@john-lewis.com. 1. A copy of the contract and any previous royalty statements are a necessity. Particularly previous statement since errors in those may not be apparent until subsequent statements are received. 2. Check that the amount of any advance or unearned balance of the advance deducted is correct and that advances or debit balances which apply to other bo...Read more

  • Top tips when negotiating contracts

    23 Jun 2017

    Stephen Aucutt, formerly contracts manager at Hodder & Stoughton, draws on his thirty years experience to provide a contracts checklist when agreeing terms with trade publishers. He can be reached at stephencfp@john-lewis.com. 1. Ensure that any and all terms and conditions agreed before issue of the contract have been included accurately. Pay particular attention to any terms or conditions which have the effect of altering what was agreed pre-contract, e.g. a royalty of 10% of retail price on hardcover trade sales agreed but, contract contains several provisions which provide for ...Read more

  • Creating a professional book trailer using Adobe Spark

    04 Apr 2017

    Piu Eatwell shows how any author can produce a book trailer. The received wisdom is that book trailers are only useful to YA writers. For the rest of us authors, the average cost of having one made – anything from £500 to over £2,000 – is simply not worth the money. Well, yes and no. Cetainly, book trailers won’t make a success of a book by themselves. However, if shared on social media or uploaded onto Youtube or Reddit, they can help spread the word about a new book. If, like me, you are a writer of narrative fiction or non-fiction who is keen to increase the chances of having a f...Read more

  • My Writing Space by Lynne Barrett-Lee

    09 Nov 2016

    Agency author Lynne Barratt-Lee describes where she writes. I’ve wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember, and along with that came a very clear vision of where I’d write. Though I read many books in which people wrote in secret, magical places –nooks in elderly oak trees, in wardrobes, while stowed away at sea – my own vision was rather more grand. As a child, I would write in exercise books, at the kitchen table, and sometimes I’d dream of being a proper writer, and how, when I was, I would write where a proper writer would. I would write in a big house, set high over ...Read more

  • How To Profit From The Promotional Power Of Twitter

    25 Jul 2016

    Last year agency author David McClure wrote about how social media helped launch his book. Here’s what happened this year. For the last few summers I’ve tried to promote my book on the royal finances “Royal Legacy “ by being the first to tweet about one of the biggest financial events of the year (at least to sad Windsor-watchers like me): the announcement of the Queen’s private income from the profits of her hereditary estate, the Duchy of Lancaster (HM hit the jackpot in 2016 with record receipts of £17.8m). In year one, I broke the story on Twitter thanks to m...Read more