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 Freedom of Information Act

    01 Dec 2005

    Authors of a wide range of non-fiction books have an important new research tool at their disposal: the Freedom of Information Act. Written by Mark Watts. Known by its acronym FOIA, it presents lots of opportunities for authors – as well as journalists, businesses and campaigners – which have so far gone largely unexploited. Having introduced this legislation in Britain in 2000, the Government has, seemingly, made its use as frustrating as possible. First, it delayed full implementation until last January. Then, public bodies responded to requests painfully slowly, often faili...Read more

  • Publishing Prose in the Twenty-first Century: Challenges and Opportunities

    01 Nov 2005

    This is a summary of a talk Andrew Lownie gave at Cambridge University on 28th October 2005. In The Artistic Career of Corky , Bertie Wooster says “I used to think that publishers had to be devilish clever fellows, loaded down with the grey matter but I've got their number now. All a publisher has to do is to write cheques at intervals, while a lot of deserving and industrious chappies rally round and do the real work.” If only it were as simple as that! The media is currently filled with stories of doom and gloom about the publishing trade. Earlier this month Alan Bennett at...Read more

  • Self-publishing: one writer's experience

    02 May 2005

    David Craig offers a few words on his self-publishing experience, and with the help of Andrew Lownie has recently published his book. For almost 18 months Andrew offered my book Rip-Off! The scandalous inside story of the management consulting money machine to every publisher we could think of... Many of the general publishers liked it, but felt that it was a “business” book and therefore not for them. The business publishers either hated it or didn't want to take it as they were afraid of harming their relationships with the major management consultancies. That left me with ...Read more

  • Four Months On...

    02 Mar 2005

    Andrew Lownie gives the latest news from the Agency. It is four months since the new website was launched and the agency became the first British literary agency to take on a PR person and I thought it might be useful to recap on what has been happening. Jennifer Solignac has been working hard in a number of areas. The first task was to conduct a publicity audit to establish how well authors had been publicised in the past by their publishers and to create a database of contacts and ideas to be used in the future. Our thanks to all the authors who filled in their forms. The material is s...Read more

  • A Reader's Guide to Writing

    01 Feb 2005

    David Haviland, one of the agency's readers, offers his ten point plan for better submissions. I'm a freelance reader and editor, which means I see a lot of proposals and drafts of every kind of writing, from personal finance guides to radio plays, submitted by authors ranging from anxious novices to embittered veterans. This gives me a rather unusual perspective on the process of writing, which will hopefully allow me to provide some useful insights in this, my ten point plan for better submissions: Avoid anything that looks academic One of the reasons teachers are miserable is that e...Read more

  • Engaging the Local Press

    03 Nov 2004

    Written by Jon Latimer Faced with promoting my latest book, Burma: The Forgotten War, I decided to expand on an idea that began with my previous title, Alamein. Then I offered short articles to local newspapers in the areas of regiments that took part in the battle. Since one can't guarantee national review coverage, and since that only reaches a small proportion of a prospective audience, this is a good way of making up the publicity gap, especially if it means an item in the free sheets. Few of them will pay but all publicity is good publicity, and most are keen to get copy. This time, ...Read more