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.

  • How to Snag an Agent in These Economic Times

    25 Nov 2008

    Jeff Rivera, the author of Forever My Lady (Grand Central) and the founder of GumboWriters.com, gives his tips on how best to sell yourself to an agent. I do extensive work with seasoned and aspiring writers to attract the right agent for them. I deal with literary agents every day on some level, either in matching them with the right authors or helping their clients to promote their current books, or even more important and lasting helping to build their authors' platforms. So, I'm in a very unique position to listen carefully to what agents are looking for and what they say they want r...Read more

  • No, I Didn’t Bring Down Wall Street Just to Sell My Book

    13 Oct 2008

    Selwyn Parker, whose The Great Crash, has just been published looks at the parallels between the current economic crisis and The Thirties. A week can be a long time in publishing. When veteran editor Alan Brooke, then with Piatkus shortly before it was sold to Little Brown, signed me to write a new history of the Wall Street Crash of ’29 and the horrors of the subsequent Great Depression, we both agreed over a glass of wine that the latest global boom was about to run its course and would end in tears fairly soon. So the timing looked serendipitous. Then, a few months before the cre...Read more

  • What on Earth Happened to Big History?

    12 Oct 2008

    Chris Lloyd, whose What on Earth Happened? has just been published, remembers how he had the idea for a book which tells the physical and human story of our planet and why history should be about ‘The Big Picture’. HOW OLD is the universe? When did life on Earth begin? Is Homo Sapiens the only species of humans ever to have existed? These three questions come from a five-minute, 15-question multiple-choice quiz that I posted on the web in late July. I wanted to sample what basic information we do and do not know about history. Within four weeks, several hundred people had ta...Read more

  • The Experiences of Ghosting An Ordinary Soldier

    11 Oct 2008

    To publish a book is a dream for many of us. But it takes time, effort and often a good bit of luck. For almost a decade ITV reporter Philip Gomm looked for the perfect project. In the end he found it in the most inhospitable of places. Here’s his story of becoming a ghost-writer. The soldier was sitting quietly under the camouflage netting, seeking some shade from the brilliance of the Afghan sun. His uniform was dusty, his eyes glazed, his face covered with cuts and bruises. I was in no doubt; this was a man with a story to tell. And what an extraordinary story it turned out to b...Read more

  • Rewriting History

    25 Aug 2008

    John Hatcher, Chairman of the Cambridge History Faculty , explains how in the absence of extensive sources he drew on fiction to tell the story of the Black Death and argues that historians need not always confine themselves to conventional historical techniques. The Black Death: A Personal History has just been published in US and UK and rights already been sold to Spain and Latin America. This book is not a conventional history book. It combines solid history with fiction. Having studied and taught about the Black Death for more than thirty years I wanted to find a new way of addin...Read more

  • A Space of One's Own

    20 Aug 2008

    Victoria Sorzano lists various social networking websites which authors can use to promote themselves. Social Networking for writers Last summer, my step-son Louis won a battle of a bands competition on our local BBC radio sation. “What’s your MySpace mate?” the DJ asked him during the phone-in interview. Louis instantly rattled off the URL for his band The Dufflefolks’ MySpace page, where listeners could find out more about the band, and, most crucially, listen to their songs. It’s no secret that MySpace, the social networking giant formed in 2003, has don...Read more