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.

  • Favourite Books of 2012 part 2

    13 Nov 2012

    In the second of two articles, agency authors pick their favourite book of 2012. CAMERON ADDICOTT A History of London by Stephen Inwood (Macmillan, 1998) By a country mile this is the history of our capital. Stephen Inwood has produced a masterly work; 1100 fascinating pages on the greatest city in the world. Despite its length, Inwood has a surprisingly light touch with such a vast subject. My enthusiasm for it comes from the real social insight one gets from such a diverse range of heroes, villains, changing fortunes and downright grit. Everyone knows what Johnson thought; In 11...Read more

  • Favourite Books of 2012

    05 Nov 2012

    In the first of two articles, agency authors pick their favourite book of 2012. JANE ANSON IQ84 by Haruki Murakami, (English translation, Random House, first Publication date of Japanese edition 2009) I fist discovered Murakami when living in Tokyo in 1994, when lent a Wild Sheep Chase by a friend, then given Dance, Dance, Dance for my 22nd birthday. He is one of the very very few authors who has never disappointed, and I am still a little bit in love with his jazz-bar owning, cat-loving hero (never the same person, always the same voice). Although this is on one level one of...Read more

  • Addressing Me

    01 Nov 2012

    Andrew Lownie continues his occasional series of salutations he has received from prospective authors. Well hello there, Dear All Dear delightful people at Andrew Lownie Hi Andrew Lownie Agency, Hey Hello all at Andrew Lownie Literary Agency. Good day Dear Andrew Lownie Team, Hello lovelies! Dear Reader Dear staff, To the fine agent reviewing manuscript submissions for picture books, Hi Jacq, Dear All at Andrew Lownie, Dear Andrew and team, Dear Director of Development. Dear executives at Andrew Lownie Agency: Dear Mr Lowni...Read more

  • The background to Dear Mr Bigelow

    10 Oct 2012

    Barbara Bass, selector of letters for Frances Woodsford's Dear Mr Bigelow, published by Chatto and Radio 4 Book of The Week, relates the genesis of this remarkable portrait of postwar Britain. If, like me, one is born on a 13th, one tends not to be superstitious. But the coincidences which culminated in my submitting this book to Andrew Lownie, make one wonder if it was fated to happen. The letters, published by Chatto & Windus, were written to Paul Bigelow by my cousin, Frances Woodsford, when she was in her 30s and 40s, from 1949 to 1961. She will be 99 next month and predict...Read more

  • Twenty Things American Publishers like

    03 Oct 2012

    Christian Jennings looks at the types of books American publishers are commissioning based on the announcements on Publishers Marketplace. There was a trueism in British publishing in the 1980s that four kinds of books were guaranteed to succeed: sure-fire winners included anything written on the Royal Family, steam trains, fishing or the Third Reich. More than twenty years on, the market has grown more complex, but despite all of its technological innovations, such as Kindles and e-books, most successful book ideas still fall into fairly strict categories. If an aspiring author kn...Read more

  • Don't join the 'banana skin and grave brigade'

    16 Sep 2012

    In the fifth and final article of financial tips for authors, David Craig, author of PILLAGED How they’re looting £413 million a day from our savings and pensions shows how financial advisers can take advantage of the elderly. The people that banks and financial advisers seem to find most attractive are what some in the financial services industry call the ‘banana skin and grave brigade’ – elderly people who have one foot on a financial banana skin as they don’t know much about finance, savings and investments and the other in the grave as they’ll presumably soon be going on to a bet...Read more