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.

  • Placing Never Say Die

    14 Dec 2009

    The publishing process can often seem confusing. Here the ghost writer, Lynne Barrett-Lee, and agent, Andrew Lownie, for Melanie Davies’s Never Say Die explain their respective involvements in taking on and selling the book. Lynne Barrett-Lee August 2007 I am approached, via my husband, by Melanie Davies, who, as well as being one of his breast cancer patients, is a paraplegic who has lived a remarkable life. She reads my novels and also my weekly newspaper column, and wants a biographer who’ll bring humour to her story. Would I consider writing her life? I am reticent – I am a f...Read more

  • Confessions of a City Girl

    09 Dec 2009

    Barbara Stcherbatcheff, author of “Confessions of a City Girl”, looks back at the experience of publishing her first book. In publishing terms, it seems unfathomable that only 12 months ago I sat down and started writing an autobiographical account of my time working in the City of London during the financial crisis. Except for my anonymous “City Girl” column in the London Paper, and a few contributions to other magazines such as Vanity Fair, I had never written anything before. It was late 2008: many of my colleagues were getting laid off in the City; banks were merging, liquida...Read more

  • What if your story isn't a book?

    26 Nov 2009

    If you have approached an agent or publisher with a book proposal about events that have happened in your own life, but have been told that your story isn’t quite right for them, you may feel quite disheartened. But as journalist and publicist Natasha Courtenay-Smith explains, there are other ways to get your story out there. Natasha Courtenay-Smith is the founder of Talk to the Press, a press agency specialising in helping people sell their stories to newspapers and magazines. Flick open the nation’s most popular magazines and newspapers and there is a good chance you’ll find grippi...Read more

  • Spreading the Word: Getting Your Book Into the Headlines

    17 Nov 2009

    Award-winning journalist, author and PR expert Jon Kirk provides insider tips about cost-effective book PR. If you're an author, publisher or agent, you'll appreciate the daunting prospect of publicising your work. Generating media exposure can be a thankless - and painfully expensive - task. Even the best titles fail to achieve the newspaper, magazine, TV and radio coverage they deserve. But it doesn't have to be this way. With the right information, it's possible to achieve coveted column inches on a regular basis, often without spending a penny. Follow the five steps below t...Read more

  • A Literary Agency Week

    15 Nov 2009

    By popular demand, Andrew Lownie begins a regular blog giving a flavour of his week. MONDAY 7.45 am start as usual, the advantages of working from home and look through the over night e mails. There’s the usual encouraging spam such as “Hello Dear, Don’t be Inadequate any more” and dozens of submissions from around the world including: a ‘fictional biography’; an “historical fantasy aimed at teenagers”; an expose of investment management in City; a first novel from Bulgaria; a “novel with romantic and supernatural elements”; a spy-based comedy aimed at 9-12 year olds; a memoir of f...Read more

  • Twitter and publishing: a chance to engage with readers

    13 Nov 2009

    Gary Smailes, co-owner of BubbleCow, a literary consultancy that helps writers to get published using only social media and on line promotion, shows just why publishers need to consider twitter as part of their overall social media strategy. Earlier this month Osprey Publishing (@OspreyBooks) ‘tweeted’ out their monthly commissioning meeting. As the editors wrangled over the books to accept and reject, an ‘impartial’ member of staff shared the ups and downs of the meeting. Books were introduced, a moment of twitter silence and then the decision announced. The result was a highly enter...Read more