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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  • Ten years of writing history Mar 12 2015 | leave a comment
    Roger-crowley I’ve been sitting at a desk writing history books for something over ten years . It’s been engrossing, demanding and occasionally exhausting. This is a good moment to take stock. What does it add up to? Four books in various languages (the last still in proof), thousands of pages of handwritten notes: Despite the impressive number of different language versions it’s been a modest living not a handsome one – I’m still waiting for the film rights. People come by and take out options but I’ve become realistic. I spent three unpaid months writing outlines ...
  • Getting PR for your Book Feb 24 2015 | leave a comment
    Katy Weitz , who with her colleague at Press My Book Emma Donnan runs one-day training courses on publicity for authors, gives her 5 TOP TIPS ON HOW TO THINK LIKE A JOURNALIST So you’ve written a book – the next step is getting people to buy it. But how do you do that? Well, unless you have a whopping great marketing budget, the quickest and cheapest way forward is publicity. Whether you are self-published, working with a small publisher or are lucky enough to have a deal with a major player, all authors should be concerned with the question of publicity. And the reason i...
  • Writing Habits Nov 15 2014 | leave a comment
    Sixteen agency authors describe their writing habits. Juliet Barker There comes a point in the cycle of writing a book when you have to draw a line and say: ‘I cannot afford to do any more research because I have a deadline to meet and I need to start writing now’. I know some writers work on a chapter by chapter basis, researching and then writing up before moving on to the next chapter. I’ve never been able to work like that – or to employ others to do my research for me. The best part of a book for me is always the research: exploring, investigating, putting the jigsaw togeth...
  • Further ghostly aspirations Nov 15 2014 | leave a comment
    In a sequel to the website article ‘Ghostly Aspirations’, published last November, eight of the agency’s ghosts explain the sort of books they would like to work on. Mandy Appleyard Powerful storytelling is so often about struggle and triumph: about ordinary people forced into extraordinary circumstances. As an award-winning newspaper and magazine journalist of 30 years’ standing, I have learned a thing or two about empathy, understanding, and drawing the very best from someone who has decided to share their story – often unearthing surprising details and new angles along the way. I ...
  • The Commissioning Process Nov 03 2014 | leave a comment
    The-commissioning-process Trevor Dolby, the Publisher of the Penguin Random House imprint Preface, outlines the commissioning process. What’s on your bucket list? Seeing the Northern Lights? Swimming with dolphins? Skydiving? Getting a tattoo? Visiting the Great Barrier Reef? Doing a bungee jump? The chances are that in amongst your top five is writing a book. A click of a button and anyone can publish a book these days. Some become colossal international bestsellers, some are read just by the author’s family. Most remain on the laptop. Getting into print is not a modern ambition. Time was people wou...
  • Writing a non-fiction book in five easy steps Nov 03 2014 | leave a comment
    Writing-a-non-fiction-book-in-five-easy-steps David Craig, the author of DON'T BUY IT! Tricks and Traps Salespeople Use and How to Beat Them, gives his non-fiction writing tips. His next book THE GREAT CHARITY SCANDAL will be published as a Kindle Single by Thistle later this month. Having spent most of my career selling and running management consultancy projects, I had no idea how one should go about writing a book. A further challenge I had was that I’m usually writing on a subject which interests me, but about which I know little to nothing prior to beginning a book. I have found that the most effective way for me to overcome...