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.

  • The background to Dear Mr Bigelow

    10 Oct 2012

    Barbara Bass, selector of letters for Frances Woodsford's Dear Mr Bigelow, published by Chatto and Radio 4 Book of The Week, relates the genesis of this remarkable portrait of postwar Britain. If, like me, one is born on a 13th, one tends not to be superstitious. But the coincidences which culminated in my submitting this book to Andrew Lownie, make one wonder if it was fated to happen. The letters, published by Chatto & Windus, were written to Paul Bigelow by my cousin, Frances Woodsford, when she was in her 30s and 40s, from 1949 to 1961. She will be 99 next month and predict...Read more

  • Twenty Things American Publishers like

    03 Oct 2012

    Christian Jennings looks at the types of books American publishers are commissioning based on the announcements on Publishers Marketplace. There was a trueism in British publishing in the 1980s that four kinds of books were guaranteed to succeed: sure-fire winners included anything written on the Royal Family, steam trains, fishing or the Third Reich. More than twenty years on, the market has grown more complex, but despite all of its technological innovations, such as Kindles and e-books, most successful book ideas still fall into fairly strict categories. If an aspiring author kn...Read more

  • Don't join the 'banana skin and grave brigade'

    16 Sep 2012

    In the fifth and final article of financial tips for authors, David Craig, author of PILLAGED How they’re looting £413 million a day from our savings and pensions shows how financial advisers can take advantage of the elderly. The people that banks and financial advisers seem to find most attractive are what some in the financial services industry call the ‘banana skin and grave brigade’ – elderly people who have one foot on a financial banana skin as they don’t know much about finance, savings and investments and the other in the grave as they’ll presumably soon be going on to a bet...Read more

  • Don't believe the 'shares outperform cash' story

    15 Sep 2012

    David Craig, author of PILLAGED How they’re looting £413 million a day from our savings and pensions shows how to avoid the five worst money mistakes writers can make. In article four he looks at shares. If it were the case that cash (money held in a bank) usually outperformed shares (either shares held directly by savers or held by unit trusts and pension funds) then most of us would be much better off leaving our savings in a bank rather than investing in stock markets, unit trusts, bonds, ETFs, OEICs or whatever. But this would also mean that most of Britain's 28,000 supposedly ...Read more

  • Don’t trust a Unit Trust

    14 Sep 2012

    In his third investment article aimed at writers, David Craig gives advice on Unit Trusts. If you're looking for somewhere for your savings, you'll find a queue of people - banks, financial advisers and many others - all eager for you to put your cash into unit trusts. Why? Because they care about your wellbeing? Or because they make massive commissions from flogging unit trusts? In Britain we pay an astonishing £59m every working day to unit trust managers and to the people who sold us those unit trusts. That's £59m a day - £15bn a year - being taken from our savings and pocketed...Read more

  • Only bank with your bank

    13 Sep 2012

    In the second of his articles, David Craig, author of Pillaged: How they’re looting £413 million a day from our savings and pensions, continues with his financial tips for writers. The main high-street banks (HSBC, Barclays, NatWest, Lloyds etc) love to run our current accounts. They don’t make too much money from this. But it gives them the chance to do what they call ‘cross-selling’ – using their contacts with us and information about us to flog us all kinds of other financial products. These include deposit accounts, mortgages, insurance, pensions, investments and so on. But, ap...Read more