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.

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  • How to write a good non-fiction book proposal for submission Mar 17 2014 | leave a comment
    How-to-write-a-good-non-fiction-book-proposal-for-submission Christian Jennings, who is currently writing a book about the last year of WWII in northern Italy, entitled ‘If I Live to See the Dawn – At War on the Gothic Line 1944-’45.’, explains how to write a good non-fiction proposal for submission. The acronym of the seven Ps, whose etymology is probably military, goes like this: Prior Preparation and Proper Planning Prevent Poor Performance. It could have been invented for aspiring authors who have a non-fiction story to tell, and want to write the best possible submissions proposal for it. This article explains a little about how to best pr...
  • How the agency places its authors Mar 17 2014 | leave a comment
    Andrew Lownie, the best-selling literary agent in the world according to Publishers Marketplace, and recently short-listed for The Bookseller UK literary agent of the year, explains how the agency goes about selling its authors. There are three elements to selling books to publishers. An agency needs to have saleable books in the first place, the proposals need to be the best they can be and one needs to know the right editors to approach and not give up too easily. The agency spends a lot of time and effort on the website, as it’s a crucial tool in presenting the public face of ...
  • What UK Fiction Editors Want 2014 Jan 13 2014 | leave a comment
    Katherine Armstrong Editor (crime) - Faber My remit is to commission contemporary, commercial crime and thrillers and I've been lucky in finding two fantastic up and coming authors to publish in 2014. James Carol – whose 'Jefferson Winter' series will launch with Broken Dolls on 16th January – has a very intriguing main character, an ex-FBI profiler who is the son of one of America's most notorious serial killers. We are publishing book two, Smoke and Mirrors, in the autumn but will be launching an e-book only novella series in spring about Jefferson Winter's FBI years. I'm also very ex...
  • What US Editors Want 2014 Jan 10 2014 | leave a comment
    Twenty-one American editors explain the books they want to buy in 2014. Stephanie Bowen , Senior Editor , Sourcebooks Inc Though the majority of my list is adult nonfiction, I am one of those editors fortunate enough to have the opportunity to acquire both nonfiction and fiction. At Sourcebooks, we have a wonderfully diverse nonfiction list with particular strengths in history, memoir smart practical nonfiction with a unique hook and accessible action plan, quirky reference and inspirational gifty books, and some current affairs/women’s affairs. I’d love to find more inspirat...
  • What UK Non-Fiction Editors Want 2014 Jan 10 2014 | leave a comment
    In the agency’s annual feature, forty-three editors outline the sort of books they are hoping to commission this year. Hugh Andrew, Managing Director, Birlinn It would be too obvious to say that the next few years will just be about ‘war’ books but nevertheless there are many areas that relate to the war where good books are needed. Next year we will be publishing on war art as it relates to Scotland and this seems to me to intersect neatly with producing beautiful gift books. This Xmas was a very good one for us with regard to good quality non-fiction and I would like to see o...
  • Ghostly Aspirations Nov 30 2013 | leave a comment
    Fifteen of the agency’s ghost writers say who they would like to ghost. Lynne Barrett-Lee To London, to a ghost party, hosted by the legendary Andrew Lownie and, as might be expected when in a room full of ghost writers, talk naturally turns to our dream dates. Dates as in ghost writing gigs, obviously. As in people we harbour secret yearnings to interrogate (teasing ‘stuff’ out, to use the professional terminology) the better to climb in and inhabit them for a while. And there’s no contest for my personal number 1 slot: Andy Murray. And though you might think my choice is les...