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 Practical Guide to Submitting Your Material

    29 May 2006

    Helen Corner, founder of the Cornerstones literary consultancy, gives some guidance on presenting material to literary agents. As a writer, you have to be multi-talented: be original and creative when you’re writing, objective and cut-throat when you’re redrafting, and then informed and professional when you’re submitting. And throughout this process - which can take years - if you really can write, and you believe your work should be published, then you have to remain optimistic and not fall at the first hurdle. My job is to help authors through the redrafting and submit...Read more

  • Some Tips for Writing Effective Book Proposals

    25 May 2006

    David Haviland, writer and script doctor, gives advice on preparing a non-fiction submission. Writing an effective proposal is arguably the most important stage of planning and producing your book. This document alone will determine whether or not your book will be published, the size of your advance, and how publishers will position and market your book. Even if you have a history of successful books, or have already completed a high quality first draft, the proposal is still of paramount importance, as it is usually the only thing publishers will read before making their offer. With thi...Read more

  • Some Background to David Roberts' 1930s Detective Series

    26 Apr 2006

    David Roberts gives some background to his 1930s detective series featuring Edward Corinth and Verity Brown and, in particular, the latest one. In October 2006 Constable and Robinson publish The Quality of Mercy, the seventh in my series of detective stories set in the 1930s. When I began writing Sweet Poison, the first in the series set in 1935, back in 1999 I imagined it would be light-hearted if not unashamedly humorous in tone but as the years went by – the fictional years and the real years! – I find the mood has darkened. The Quality of Mercy is set in 1938 and begins wi...Read more

  • A Brief History of Meetings

    21 Apr 2006

    Paul Sidey is Editorial Director of Hutchinson. Before that he worked at Penguin. He has published a range of authors - from Borges, John Mortimer and Francois Truffaut to Ruth Rendell, Simon Raven and Antony Sher. He is also the author of two slim volumes of children's verse - THE DINOSAUR DINER and MY BROTHER IS AN ALIEN. In the mid 70s at Penguin, we didn't go in much for meetings. Or for bits of paper which set out potential profit and loss. You liked a particular book or a particular author, thought of a number, talked to your Publishing Director, and told Sales and Marketing about th...Read more

  • UFOS are back

    20 Apr 2006

    Nick Pope, former UFO desk officer at the MOD and author of several UFO books argues that interest in UFOs is returning. After a period when interest in the subject had waned, the topic is suddenly generating a vast amount of media coverage. So what's going on and what are the implications for publishers and authors? First of all, I should declare an interest. I used to run the British Government's UFO Project at the Ministry of Defence. I've written four books on the subject, all of which were agented (can I use a noun as a verb if my editor isn't looking?) by Andrew Lownie. Interest in...Read more

  • A Literary Editor's View of Publicity and Review Copies

    11 Apr 2006

    James Munson, literary editor of Contemporary Review and author of a forthcoming social history of nineteenth century European travel, rates publicity departments and their sending out of review copies. As someone who is a literary editor as well as a writer, I have an unusual perspective on book publicity. First, some details. The journal for whose book reviews I am responsible, Contemporary Review, is venerable, having been established in 1866. It is a learned, but not academic journal devoted to international affairs, politics, the environment and current literary issues. It has 136 pa...Read more