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.

  • 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

  • The Future of History

    26 Jul 2008

    Gregor Dallas, author of MetrostopParis: History from the City’s Heart, and the War and Peace Trilogy: 1815, 1918 and 1945 takes a critical look at authors and publishers of history today, and suggests that epic and the study of frontiers may be the way forward. What is the future of history in this world of instant electronic communication? A little over a year ago the Tudor historian, Robert Hutchinson, wrote in these columns that historians with a future should write their books ‘with all the tricks of marketing’ in the forefront of their minds. Their book shoul...Read more

  • Embracing Darkness and Uncovering Our Forgotten Pasts: A Quest to Make Reading for Boys Cool Again

    20 Jul 2008

    Fewer boys and young men are reading these days. Young adult writer Steven O’Prey sets out to find the causes and possible solutions. Experts insist the future for boys reading is bleak, crippled, dying. Boys, especially teens and young adults, just won’t read. The experts, of course, know the reasons why. Boys can’t be bothered, they boldly assume. They are ignorant and unschooled, growing up in a radically different culture to that of ten or twenty years ago. What’s the point of a publisher wasting valuable funds to fight a loosing battle? The government ar...Read more

  • Gutenberg’s Web

    14 Jul 2008

    Biographer Susan Ronald puts forward a new commissioning model for publishers, based on the film industry, which she argues will cut publishing overheads and allow publishers to take greater commissioning risks. When Johannes Gutenberg (1400-68) invented his printing press from movable type, the first great revolution in printing and publishing occurred. Everyone agrees so far, right? What many of us forget, or perhaps didn’t know, is that his invention created such a tidal wave of unemployment in the monasteries that it spelled the beginning of the end for monastic manuscripts, and...Read more

  • A Short History of Why the US Market Has a Cold… and the UK Has the Flu

    21 Jun 2008

    Susan Ronald, author of The Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers and the Dawn of Empire and currently writing books on Richard 111 and King Charles 11’s mistress Barbara Villiers, looks at how the non-fiction market, in particular for history, has changed over the last few years. A year ago, the UK and US markets were on a sympathetic course in the publishing world. The status quo merrily prevailed. Then, slowly, almost imperceptibly, things changed. In the autumn, world stock markets trembled; our Prime Minister stumbled over whether or not to call elections; ...Read more