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.

  • 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

  • How We Work Together (part 2)

    07 Jul 2014

    Randall Hansen The basis of any book, and particularly books aimed at both an academic and commercial market, is a long lonely slog in the archive and the library. Different authors have different relationships with their agents, but mine involves much close work with Andrew at the start of a book. I generally send Andrew an email with one or two ideas, and he lets me know if he thinks they have intellectual (and commercial) appeal. I follow up with a ten-twenty proposal which provides a summary of what the book’s content (or what I imagine the content will be, as a proposal precedes...Read more

  • How We Work Together (part 1)

    29 Jun 2014

    Every relationship between an author and agent is different depending on the needs of the author and type of book. Here forty agency authors describe the relationship they have with Andrew Lownie and the agency. Lynne Barrett-Lee Those that know me well will also know that I am not much of a sports fan; I'm been known to ask which football team is wearing which ‘outfit’, which will probably tell you all you need to know on that subject. But there is no denying that sportspeople do give great quote. So while it’s self-evident that ‘talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence...Read more

  • A Week in the life of a ghostwriter

    17 Jun 2014

    Katy Weitz, one of Britain's most successful ghosts, outlines a recent week in her life as a ghostwriter. Monday Up at 4am to catch flight to Edinburgh to start interviewing Tressa Middleton for her memoir. I’ve been awake most of the night with my 4-year-old daughter who has chicken pox - not a great start. At Gatwick airport I hunker down in Garfunkel’s with a large coffee and reread our proposal. We’ve got four full days of interviewing lined up – it should be enough. We meet in a quiet corner of a hotel close to Tressa’s home at midday and finish up at around 5pm. I can barely...Read more

  • Ghostly Aspirations part 2

    30 May 2014

    In a sequel to the website article ‘Ghostly Aspirations’, published last November, eight of the agency’s ghosts explain the sort of books they would like to work on. Mandy Appleyard Powerful storytelling is so often about struggle and triumph: about ordinary people forced into extraordinary circumstances. As an award-winning newspaper and magazine journalist of 30 years’ standing, I have learned a thing or two about empathy, understanding, and drawing the very best from someone who has decided to share their story – often unearthing surprising details and new angles along the wa...Read more

  • An Agency Week

    27 May 2014

    Andrew Lownie outlines the range of activities he is involved with in a ‘typical’ agency week. Monday A raft of submissions have come in overnight. One author writes, ‘At this time I respectfully request you unsheathe your sharpened red pen and engage me. In good faith that you are up for the challenge, let us dance.’ Afraid I’m not really up to such frenetic activity first thing on a Monday. Other submissions include ‘a 130 page essay on Roberto Bolaño´s poetry’, the ‘historical origins and cultural significance of Jamaica's national dish’, ‘a Short Social History of the Clitoris’ a...Read more