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.

  • Writing a non-fiction book in five easy steps

    03 Nov 2014

    David Craig, the author of DON'T BUY IT! Tricks and Traps Salespeople Use and How to Beat Them, gives his non-fiction writing tips. His next book THE GREAT CHARITY SCANDAL will be published as a Kindle Single by Thistle later this month. Having spent most of my career selling and running management consultancy projects, I had no idea how one should go about writing a book. A further challenge I had was that I’m usually writing on a subject which interests me, but about which I know little to nothing prior to beginning a book. I have found that the most effective way for me to overcome...Read more

  • The Acquisitions Process

    01 Nov 2014

    Three top editors explain the process of commissioning books within their publishers. Hugh Barker, Publishing Director, Michael O' Mara Books There are a variety of ways in which a proposal might come to our attention. Firstly, we might simply come up with an idea and ask a writer if they would be interested in writing it for us – a lot of our books at Michael O’Mara Books have traditionally been generated this way, and across the publishing business it is a reasonably common model. So for writers it is worth bearing in mind that simply being in touch with publishers and being wil...Read more

  • The Writing Life

    31 Oct 2014

    Twenty-five authors describe their writing habits. Adrian Addison For me, it is a race. A race to get the first draft done (not even the dog gets to see this draft). I have to out-run that voice in my head, that bastard who tells me ‘you’re shit - a fraud. Who the f’k you think you are, Shakespeare? Go to the pub, you moron, the football’s on.’ It’s like a sprint from tree to tree, day to day - a heavy man running naked, sometimes over hot and open ground - with predators nearby, all smelling The Fear. ‘Run, you bastard, run!’ Across that white page. But, ah but, when there IS a ...Read more

  • How I Write

    22 Oct 2014

    Twenty-five of the agency’s authors outline their writing habits. Nicholas Best I live in a Cambridge village and work in a 17th century barn across the drive from the house. There's a 400-year-old skeleton under the floorboards, a cat buried in a corner to ward off evil spirits. It doesn't work for the Inland Revenue.I start writing after breakfast and continue until lunchtime. If I'm lucky, I'll have written 400 words by then, although I do occasionally stretch to a thousand. If I'm unlucky, I'll have clocked up minus 200 or so after deciding that whatever I wrote yesterday was ...Read more

  • Thistle vs The Rest

    08 Oct 2014

    M J Trow writes about his experiences with the agency's imprint Thistle Publishing. As the author of over forty fiction titles I do have, as one might expect, a rather chunky backlist and it was with this in mind that I began my collaboration with Thistle Publishing. It was nothing but seamless from the start, with great feedback from fans via my website who were suddenly able to re-visit books of mine they had lost over the years to flood, disaster and lending them to feckless friends who had omitted to return them. It seemed a very natural progression from there to place my next two ne...Read more

  • Hole in Heart of Publishing Threatens Shelf Lives

    23 Sep 2014

    A ghost writer and former journalist argues that publicists need to work more closely with authors and receive proper training if they are to be truly effective. There appears to be a great big hole in the heart of the publishing world – a hole that is threatening the shelf lives of millions of books. As a ghostwriter who specializes in non-fiction memoir I’m aware of the thousands of pounds editors are sinking into this market. Every week the supermarket shelves are stuffed to the gills with the latest celebrity, inspirational or nostalgic memoir and the reasons are obvious: firstl...Read more