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 importance of serial

    08 Nov 2013

    Doug Wight, former News of the World Books Editor and now a freelance books consultant, looks at the importance of serial rights. In the five years I was a serial buyer for a national newspaper I was able to witness first hand the impact a good serialisation could have on book sales. Strong, positive coverage in a newspaper can do wonders for a book. Retailers can massively increase their stock orders ahead of publication and, on the occasions when we ran post-publication extracts, we could watch as the title shot up the Amazon charts. It was often said that a reader needed thre...Read more

  • Author tips on obtaining an ITIN

    28 Oct 2013

    Five agency authors share their experiences and tips for obtaining an ITIN to avoid US withholding tax. I didn’t realise that I needed an international tax reference number until quite late in the proceedings, so I was keen to get my application completed as quickly as possible to avoid having to stump up 30 percent US tax. I followed nearly all of the instructions I found in an article on Andrew Lownie’s website about this very subject. The one difference was that I dealt with the IRS at the US Embassy in London instead of dealing directly with the IRS in the USA. The advantage of d...Read more

  • The rise and role of the literary consultant.

    28 Oct 2013

    Vanessa Curtis looks at the increasingly important role of the literary consultant. At a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult for a new author to get representation with an agent, the literary consultant can provide a useful step between the stages of writing a book and submitting it to agents/publishers. There are far more literary consultancies than there ever were, some specialising in YA fiction, others more general and they have multiplied over the last fifteen years as it gets increasingly difficult for new authors to get their manuscripts noticed. As with all busin...Read more

  • Why I Write by Lynne Barrett-Lee

    31 Aug 2013

    Lynne Barrett-Lee, whose latest book Novel; Plan it. Write it. Sell it. has just been published, reflects on what makes her write. ‘Yes,’ or so the narrative goes. ‘Yes, yes, oh, yes! Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES, YESSSSSSS!’ I'm not the first, obviously, to quote the actress Meg Ryan, and I’ve a hunch that neither will I be the last. And it may well be that, in doing so, I'm sliding slightly towards cliché, but I'm prepared to risk it, as I can think of no better way to put what I'm trying to say, which is ‘just say yes’. Ah. Perhaps those three words would do just as well. Aft...Read more

  • The Ghost in the (Historical) Machine

    31 Jul 2013

    Novelist and historian M.J. Trow explains how he help bring memoirs and history books alive when he is called in to ghost write them. The challenges of writing historical memoirs are legion; ghost writing even more so.As an historian I believe that everyone’s story is fascinating, but passing that sense of fascination onto publishers and readers whilst keeping the integrity of the ‘owner’ of the memory takes practice and skill and brings with it a number of major challenges. Challenge One: Finding a voice. I did not fight in the trenches of World War One or live through the ...Read more

  • The Future of Agenting

    13 Apr 2013

    Andrew Lownie gives his thoughts on the future of agenting. He will be discussing the issue at the London Book Fair on Tuesday. The publishing landscape is rapidly changing with the growing opportunities provided by digital publishing and the growth in social media and with online and supermarkets replacing book stores. The way publishers publish and what they publish is changing and we as agents will have to respond to that change to better protect the interests of our authors. I see the book market in the future being 5% major publishers/authors/agents, perhaps 20% middle r...Read more