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.

  • Inside a Publishing House

    01 Apr 2006

    Mark Booth is Publishing Director of Century at Random House, a list that publishes John Grisham, Chris Ryan Karin Slaughter and, currently in non-fiction Angela Lambert's biography of Eva Braun, Bansky and Jordan. Here he sheds light on how a publishing house really operates. Sometimes I hear people in publishing say, maybe a bit blandly, that any script that deserves to find a publisher will do so in the end. I say ‘blandly’ because I’ve been in the business for some twenty years and never seen any evidence to suggest this might be true. Whether or not your script is ...Read more

  • Publishing Outside the Bubble

    04 Mar 2006

    Andrew Crofts, a ghostwriter who has published over fifty books and had four Sunday Times number one bestsellers in the last two years, welcomes recent publishing changes. He can be contacted via Traditionally, many of those who work in the book publishing industry have lived within a restricted demographic bubble. Most are middle class, university educated and fond of products from the “higher” end of the cultural spectrum. Such people are not too keen on the wider and more vulgar, as they would see it, regions of the market, although from time to time th...Read more

  • What Life as an Editor Entails, Series One

    03 Mar 2006

    Ian Drury, Publishing Director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, describes what life as an editor entails One of my authors made indecent sums of money in the City before returning to his real interest, history. He asked me to explain the economics and business conventions that govern publishing, and stared open-mouthed as he learned what a deeply anachronistic trade this remains. However, from most authors’ perspective, the process of ‘consolidation’ within publishing groups (big predators snapping up smaller ones) is not especially relevant. A more immediate source of puz...Read more

  • What Life as an Editor Entails, Series Two

    03 Mar 2006

    Continuing the series on the role of an editor, Simon Winder, Publishing Director of Penguin Press and author of the forthcoming THE MAN WHO SAVED BRITAIN (UK: Picador/US: FSG), explains his editorial responsibilities. Editors oddly do very little editing at their desks - editing has to be done on the Tube or at home or generally between times. In the office editors are responsible for a huge range of tasks and every day throws up some new combination. We are responsible for working with colleagues to decide on new projects to buy, negotiating advances with agents, working with authors dur...Read more

  • Using British and Irish Online Family History Records in Your Research

    02 Mar 2006

    Alan Stewart, author of the forthcoming Online Routes to your Roots, highlights some of the websites which might help with historical research. The increasing popularity of family history has had a beneficial side-effect for biographers and historians. Public bodies like The National Archives (TNA), commercial companies such as, and enthusiastic amateurs have been creating websites large and small to provide access to digitised or transcribed wills, census returns, parish records and other genealogical information. Access to these sites can be free-of-charge, subscription-...Read more

  • How I Heard about the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency

    02 Feb 2006

    Authors come to the Agency for a variety of reasons - recommendation by another author, agent, editor, the Society of Authors, from the website or publishing guides or websites, from reading the acknowledgements page of comparable books, from articles in the press or simply, for one author, because I'm based near Victoria Station. I thought it would be an interesting exercise to ask some of my authors how they came to choose me and their explanations, many of them hitherto unknown to me, follow. Some authors go back some way - Anthony Bruce and Timothy Good were first sold by me in 1986, ...Read more