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 Write a Military History Best-seller

    01 Jul 2007

    Tim Newark, author and editor of Military Illustrated, talks to several military publishers to discover the real secrets behind hitting the top of the best-seller charts. ‘You can start by taking out military,’ says Claire Kingston at Collins Popular Non-fiction. ‘We are talking popular history, good people stories, strong narrative.’ She should know. HarperCollins have been riding high in the best-seller charts with Bomber Boys by Patrick Bishop, a fascinating account of the Allied bombing campaign in World War Two. But surely this is good old-fashioned aviation ...Read more

  • Marketing Duncan Falconer

    02 Jun 2007

    David Shelley , Paperback Publisher of Sphere, the commercial imprint of Little, Brown, describes the marketing campaign behind thriller writer Duncan Falconer’s latest book The Protector. David’s authors include Mark Billingham, Jeff Abbott, Duncan Falconer, Nelson DeMille and Mark Gimenez. I am lucky enough to publish one of Britain’s most talented action-thriller writers, Duncan Falconer. Formerly a member of the elite SBS Service, Duncan has some amazing tales from his days in action, as well as a natural gift for storytelling. He delivered his fourth book, The Prote...Read more

  • Book Publicity Begins at Home

    01 Jun 2007

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that an author with a new book must be in want of a wife to promote it. Or that’s what Victoria Sorzano decided when her husband published his book last year. And she discovered there’s plenty that authors can do to push their books beyond re-arranging copies in bookshops. Writer’s partners are often imagined as a quiet force behind each book, diligently typing away, researching, proof-reading and critiquing every chapter as it comes off the printer. I did none of those things for my husband Adrian Gilbert when he was writing POW: A...Read more

  • Writing History: Thriller or Chiller?

    01 May 2007

    Robert Hutchinson, author of widely-praised lives of Henry V111, Francis Walsingham and Thomas Crowwell, gives his rules for writing readable and authoritative history. Writing books on history for the mass market is reminiscent of travelling in one of those Victorian “pea-souper” fogs in Victorian London. You know your destination – a compelling, entertaining read – but the huge volume of letters and documents thrown up by your research contains material that can all too easily divert you from your chosen route and you end up in a number of cul-de-sacs. The result ...Read more

  • Publicity - Giving Your Book the Help It Needs

    01 Apr 2007

    Milton Kahn, one of Hollywood’s best known publicists and now specialising in authors, draws on his own experiences in the US to explain the importance of taking on a publicist and gives his advice on how authors can best publicise themselves. He has kindly allowed the article to be reproduced from his website www.miltonkahnpr.com. In today’s highly competitive literary marketplace publishers and authors are finding that it takes more than reviews and book signings to make a book successful. The reality of publishing today, even among the mainstream, big-name houses, is that ...Read more

  • More marketing tips from Lovejoy

    03 Mar 2007

    Ex-bookseller and publicist, Lovejoy, offers his monthly marketing tips. He welcomes questions c/o Andrew Lownie. I AM A FIRST TIME AUTHOR AND I AM FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO SECURE EVENTS IN BOOKSHOPS. CAN YOU HELP ME? Well let me first say that, if it’s any consolation, you are not the only author (first time or otherwise) to encounter increasing difficulties in pitching events to bookshops. Very few authors nowadays, particularly biographers, can justify a stand alone event in a Waterstone’s or independent book store. There is strength in numbers. For years crime authors have...Read more