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.

  • How I Heard about the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency

    02 Feb 2006

    Authors come to the Agency for a variety of reasons - recommendation by another author, agent, editor, the Society of Authors, from the website or publishing guides or websites, from reading the acknowledgements page of comparable books, from articles in the press or simply, for one author, because I'm based near Victoria Station. I thought it would be an interesting exercise to ask some of my authors how they came to choose me and their explanations, many of them hitherto unknown to me, follow. Some authors go back some way - Anthony Bruce and Timothy Good were first sold by me in 1986, ...Read more

  • New Year Message

    01 Jan 2006

    Andrew Lownie reflects over the past year and the changing times in the literary business. There is no denying that it is becoming harder to be published by a mainstream publisher. First-time authors can find it difficult to secure a agent and a publishing deal whilst many publishers are not re-commissioning authors whose previous books have not met expectations. There is some ageism and a preference for authors who are promotable - young, famous, attractive or preferably all three. It is also increasingly difficult in non-fiction to find commercial subjects which have not already been rec...Read more

  • A Week in the Life of Literary Agency

    01 Jan 2006

    I am often asked what the work of a literary agent involves. Every agency and every week is different but here is a snapshot of one recent week. The e-mail record does not include the junk mail received nor does it include all the phone calls or the correspondence – much of which has to remain confidential. Given I work alone and the time also involved in reading scripts and meetings, I hope it will explain why rejection of unsolicited material has to be brief and give some insight into the work of one particular agency. MONDAY E mails received 124 E mails sent 69 9.0 Even thou...Read more

  • The Freedom of Information Act

    01 Dec 2005

    Authors of a wide range of non-fiction books have an important new research tool at their disposal: the Freedom of Information Act. Written by Mark Watts. Known by its acronym FOIA, it presents lots of opportunities for authors – as well as journalists, businesses and campaigners – which have so far gone largely unexploited. Having introduced this legislation in Britain in 2000, the Government has, seemingly, made its use as frustrating as possible. First, it delayed full implementation until last January. Then, public bodies responded to requests painfully slowly, often faili...Read more

  • Publishing Prose in the Twenty-first Century: Challenges and Opportunities

    01 Nov 2005

    This is a summary of a talk Andrew Lownie gave at Cambridge University on 28th October 2005. In The Artistic Career of Corky , Bertie Wooster says “I used to think that publishers had to be devilish clever fellows, loaded down with the grey matter but I've got their number now. All a publisher has to do is to write cheques at intervals, while a lot of deserving and industrious chappies rally round and do the real work.” If only it were as simple as that! The media is currently filled with stories of doom and gloom about the publishing trade. Earlier this month Alan Bennett at...Read more

  • Self-publishing: one writer's experience

    02 May 2005

    David Craig offers a few words on his self-publishing experience, and with the help of Andrew Lownie has recently published his book. For almost 18 months Andrew offered my book Rip-Off! The scandalous inside story of the management consulting money machine to every publisher we could think of... Many of the general publishers liked it, but felt that it was a “business” book and therefore not for them. The business publishers either hated it or didn't want to take it as they were afraid of harming their relationships with the major management consultancies. That left me with ...Read more