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.

  • 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

  • Opening lines

    27 May 2014

    Andrew Lownie gives examples from recent submissions of how not to address agents if one wants one's work to be treated seriously. You are the hottest hustler in the UK. Your reputation internationally proceeds you. Well hello Mr. Andrew Lownie, Hello, Mrs. Andrew Lownie, Dear Mr. or Ms., Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Andrew Lownie Literary, The Consulting Editor, The Andrew Lownie Literary Agency Ltd, 36 Great Smita Street, Publishing Agent, Dear Fellows, Good fortune Dear Messrs. hi, dude Hi Thomas, Dear Respect...Read more

  • How to write a good non-fiction book proposal for submission

    17 Mar 2014

    Christian Jennings, who is currently writing a book about the last year of WWII in northern Italy, entitled ‘If I Live to See the Dawn – At War on the Gothic Line 1944-’45.’, explains how to write a good non-fiction proposal for submission. The acronym of the seven Ps, whose etymology is probably military, goes like this: Prior Preparation and Proper Planning Prevent Poor Performance. It could have been invented for aspiring authors who have a non-fiction story to tell, and want to write the best possible submissions proposal for it. This article explains a little about how to best pr...Read more

  • How the agency places its authors

    17 Mar 2014

    Andrew Lownie, the best-selling literary agent in the world according to Publishers Marketplace, and recently short-listed for The Bookseller UK literary agent of the year, explains how the agency goes about selling its authors. There are three elements to selling books to publishers. An agency needs to have saleable books in the first place, the proposals need to be the best they can be and one needs to know the right editors to approach and not give up too easily. The agency spends a lot of time and effort on the website, as it’s a crucial tool in presenting the public face of ...Read more

  • What UK Fiction Editors Want 2014

    13 Jan 2014

    Katherine Armstrong Editor (crime) - Faber My remit is to commission contemporary, commercial crime and thrillers and I've been lucky in finding two fantastic up and coming authors to publish in 2014. James Carol – whose 'Jefferson Winter' series will launch with Broken Dolls on 16th January – has a very intriguing main character, an ex-FBI profiler who is the son of one of America's most notorious serial killers. We are publishing book two, Smoke and Mirrors, in the autumn but will be launching an e-book only novella series in spring about Jefferson Winter's FBI years. I'm also very ex...Read more