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.

  • Confessions of a Book Publicist

    01 Feb 2010

    Najma Finlay, Publicity Director of Icon Books describes the publicity campaign behind Darren Moore's The Soldier. Book publicity is primarily about preparation – it’s not an exact science and you don’t have to be a genius to do it well. The skills of a valuable publicist are defined by preparation, doggedness and sometimes, sheer bloody-mindedness - and (although I might be doing myself out of a job here) just a little bit of luck shining at just the right time. It might be too much of a metaphorical stretch to say that publicists are the Cassandras of the industry – predicting...Read more

  • All Things Come to Those Who Wait:Even your ITIN from the IRS!

    22 Jan 2010

    Celia and John Lee explain the intricacies of applying for an ITIN to avoid paying US tax on US contracts. In December 2008 Andrew secured for us a contract with Palgrave Macmillan New York to publish our new book, The Churchills: A Family Portrait, based on our exclusive access to a large tranche of family papers that had not been in the public domain before. By bringing Winston’s brother, Jack, back into the family story we were able to revise many popular misconceptions about the great Churchill family. Andrew warned us that contracts with American publishers were slightly c...Read more

  • How to Attract New Readers with Ezine Articles

    21 Jan 2010

    Agency author David Craig, shows how ezines can be used to sell and promote books. Three weeks ago, I stumbled into the wonderful world of ezine articles. I was doing some Googling research for my next book Would You Buy That? when I found out that a lot of the most up-to-date and useful information on the Internet came from ezine articles. I then started placing my articles on an ezine and discovered that whether you are a published writer or aspiring to be published, an ezine is the place to be. An ezine is an electronic magazine available on the Internet. There are ezines covering alm...Read more

  • Placing Never Say Die

    14 Dec 2009

    The publishing process can often seem confusing. Here the ghost writer, Lynne Barrett-Lee, and agent, Andrew Lownie, for Melanie Davies’s Never Say Die explain their respective involvements in taking on and selling the book. Lynne Barrett-Lee August 2007 I am approached, via my husband, by Melanie Davies, who, as well as being one of his breast cancer patients, is a paraplegic who has lived a remarkable life. She reads my novels and also my weekly newspaper column, and wants a biographer who’ll bring humour to her story. Would I consider writing her life? I am reticent – I am a f...Read more

  • Confessions of a City Girl

    09 Dec 2009

    Barbara Stcherbatcheff, author of “Confessions of a City Girl”, looks back at the experience of publishing her first book. In publishing terms, it seems unfathomable that only 12 months ago I sat down and started writing an autobiographical account of my time working in the City of London during the financial crisis. Except for my anonymous “City Girl” column in the London Paper, and a few contributions to other magazines such as Vanity Fair, I had never written anything before. It was late 2008: many of my colleagues were getting laid off in the City; banks were merging, liquida...Read more

  • What if your story isn't a book?

    26 Nov 2009

    If you have approached an agent or publisher with a book proposal about events that have happened in your own life, but have been told that your story isn’t quite right for them, you may feel quite disheartened. But as journalist and publicist Natasha Courtenay-Smith explains, there are other ways to get your story out there. Natasha Courtenay-Smith is the founder of Talk to the Press, a press agency specialising in helping people sell their stories to newspapers and magazines. Flick open the nation’s most popular magazines and newspapers and there is a good chance you’ll find grippi...Read more