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Profile Summary

Andrew Lownie is arguably the best known agent in the UK to specialise only in non-fiction.

Within non-fiction, his range is very broad. He’s handled some of the biggest-selling misery memoirs around, and often works with ghost writers who are bringing someone else’s story (a celebrity, or ordinary person with an extraordinary story) into a form fit for publication. Since Andrew generally represents both the ghost and the subject of such memoirs, the whole team sits under one roof, easing the journey towards publication. Also within a more commercial bracket, Andrew represents authors of diet books and other big-selling popular works.

Alongside this more commercial activity, Andrew also works happily with book on history, popular science (including science for children), politics and current affairs, all things military, domestic history, religion, literary biographies, and. Indeed, that list doesn’t even entirely capture the full range of Andrew’s list. Titles he’s sold also include such things as “How To Spy” and “Love and Sex Magic”.

Andrew has a particular passion for biography – he’s a historian by education, a biographer of John Buchan and created a Biography Club which awards an annual prize.

Andrew also handles a very small number of novels, but generally only from existing clients. (That is, if you are taken on for your history work, Andrew would likely also agent your novels.) However if you are considering the agency primarily as a fiction author, you would probably be better off submitting your work to Andrew’s colleague, David.

Andrew’s agency website is substantially more discursive than the vast majority of agent sites and it’s easily possible to build a very full picture of both the agency and the agent if you spend half an hour or so on there. Do also note that the site offers good advice on how to submit work to agents and has some interesting blogs from editors on the acquisition and editorial process.



Detailed data

Agency:
Andrew Lownie Literary Agency
Agent since:
1988
Short biography:

Andrew Lownie was born in 1961 and was educated in Britain and America. He read history at Magdalene College, Cambridge where he was President of the Union. He went on to gain an MSc at Edinburgh University and spend a year at the College of Law in London. After a period as a bookseller and journalist, he began his publishing career as the graduate trainee at Hodder & Stoughton. In 1985, he became an agent at John Farquharson, now part of Curtis Brown, and the following year became the then youngest director in British publishing when he was appointed a director. Since 1984, he has written and reviewed for a range of newspapers and magazines, including The Times, Spectator and Guardian, which has given him good journalistic contacts. As an author himself, most notably of a biography of John Buchan and a literary companion to Edinburgh, he has an understanding of the issues and problems affecting writers. He is a member of the Association of Authors' Agents and Society of Authors and was until recently the literary agent to the international writers' organisation PEN.

Client list status:
Open to new clients
Genres this agent is interested in:
Travel, Science, Politics, society & current affairs, Other non-fiction, Religion, Mind, Body, Spirit, Memoir and autobiography, Food and Cookery, History
Authors & books liked:

Passionate about biography: a biographer himself, Andrew has also set up a Biography Club and associated prize. He's agented numerous such works, from highly commercial misery memoirs through to more upmarket fare. Andrew is also keen on Scotland, on history, and on any serious non-fiction.

Other loves & passions:

In 1998 he founded The Biographers' Club, a monthly dining society for biographers and those involved in promoting biography, and The Biographers' Club Prize which supports first-time biographers.

How to make a submission:
Agency standard submission
Other advice and background:

Address the agent correctly. Make sure the agent actually handles what you are offering. Pitch by e mail or letter rather than phone as it's the writing which will sell you. If leaving the phone message, explain why you have phoned. Try and personalise the letter. It is easy enough now agencies have websites to find out the authors they handle. Look at the acknowledgements page of books which are comparable and try the agent who handled the book. A submission which shows the author has done research on the agency and comes with a recommendation is always taken seriously. Follow instructions. If agencies have a preferred format then follow it and customise your proposal. If the book is categorically rejected then don't respond pointing out they have made a "mistake". Keep quiet about multiple submissions and only send a few at a time so one can adapt submission in the light of response. Don't expect agents to recommend other agencies within or outside their areas of expertise. Presentation is important. Check spelling and punctuation. Don't underline or use exclamation marks. Word process rather than write, especially in pencil or green. Plain not lined paper on A4 paper. Envelopes should be at least for A4 and still have gum. Manuscripts should be loose leaf. Be clear. The concept of the book should be apparent in the opening sentence. Don't use euphemisms. Highlight in a covering note what you think makes your book different and special. Make it easy for an agent to respond. Return postage is important but enclose British stamps. Include an e mail address for a response. Send an envelope into which the manuscript will fit and which is sufficiently strong enough not to break.

Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
No
Follow on Twitter:
@andrewlownie
Interesting links:
http://www.writewords.org.uk/interviews/andrew_lownie.asp
Clients:
The agency does not publish an individual agent client list. The following names represent the full agency client list: Officer A, Cameron Addicott, Dominic Adler, Richard J.Aldrich, Mary Alexander, Geoff Andrews, Jane Anson, Des Astor, Gurpareet Bains, Alan Baker, Chloe Banks, Juliet Barker, Lynne Barrett-Lee, Anna Barrington, Eleanor Baumgartner, Roger Beam, Martyn Beardsley, Doug Beattie, Guy Bellamy, Jonathan Bennett, Nicholas Best, Tony Bleetman, John R Bradley, David Bullock, Gerry Byrne, Warwick Cairns, Rory Callan, Nessa Carey, Bryan Cartledge, Joyce Cary, Malcolm Castle, Marina Chapman, Jessie Childs, Adrian Clark, Jeremy Clay, Coralie Colmez, Jonathan Conlin, David Cornell, David Craig, Deborah Crewe, Roger Crowley, Helen Croydon, Peter Daughtrey, Melanie Davies, James Davies, Warwick A. Davis, David Day, Tom Devine, Patrick Dillon, Emma Donnan, Stephen Dorril, Alicia Eaton, Joanna Eede, Nigel Randell Evans, Gavin Evans, Duncan Falconer, Dr Fame, Peter Forbes, Emily Franklyn, Bobby Friedman, Jon Frost, Joseph Fuhrmann, Laurence Gardner, Patrick Garrett, Marguerite Van Geldermalsen, Marcus Georgio, Jasper Gerard, Nadene Ghouri, Adrian Gilbert, Tony Giles, Cathy Glass, Philip Gomm, Timothy Good, Chloe Govan, Ian Graham, Jasper Griegson, Christian Guiltenane, Jeff Gulvin, Benedict Gummer, Emma Gunavardhana, Das Piu Gupta, James Hannam, Randall Hansen, Cassie Harte, John Hatcher, David Haviland, John Heale, Mary Hollingsworth, Kris Hollington, Nina Hollington, Trevor Homer, Roger Howard, Ross Husband, Robert Hutchinson, Kevin Ivison, Michael Jago, Lawrence James, Alice Jamieson, Christian Jennings, John Jobling, Bob Johnston, Paul Jones, Amelia Kallman, Anne Kazel-Wilcox, Casey Kelleher, Saul Kelly, Catherine Kerr-Phillips, Ian Knight, Angus Konstam, Annmarie Kostyk, Stewart Lansley, Jon Latimer, Frank Ledwidge, Carol Lee, Jimmy Lee Shreeve, Simon LeVay, Ian Littlewood, Christopher Lloyd, Emily Lloyd, Anthony Brettell Lodge, David Long, Sean Longden, Andrew Lownie, Teena Lyons, Ben MacFarlane, Emily Mackenzie, Tracy Mackness, Julian Maclaren-Ross, Sayed Mahmoody, Sinitta Malone, Chris Marinello, 'Rocky' Carl Mason, Jennifer May, Jeff Maynard, David McClure, Deborah McDonald, Neil McKenna, Sean McMeekin, Nick Meo, Paul Merrill, Ian Millthorpe, Darren Moore, Richard Mullen, Clare Mulley, James Munson, Tim Newark, Christine Nicholls, Mark Nicol, Celestria Noel, Lin Noueihed, Sonia Oatley, Adam Ockelford, Christian Oliver, Bijan Omrani, Susan Ottaway, Peter Padfield, Selwyn Parker, Mark Peel, Michael Perham, Victoria Peters, Helia Phoenix, Jamie Pike, Sam Pivnik, Tom Pocock, Nick Pope, Linda Porter, Katharine Quarmby, Nadine Quashie, Vicky Radtke, Sian Rees, Hannah Renier, Fransje Van Riel, Noreen Riols, David Roberts, Geoffrey Roberts, Dinah Roe, Carol Rowntree, Jo Sandelson, Celia Sandys, Leila Schneps, Michael Schuster, Dominic Selwood, Desmond Seward, Vikie Shanks, Sheridan Simove, Neil Simpson, Mike Sincere, Ross Slater, Gary Smailes, Gary Smith, Claudia Spahr, Tony Spawforth, David Stafford, Anthony Stancomb, Barbara Stcherbatcheff, Jules Stenson, Robert Stirling, Nicola Stow, Smita Talati, Daniel Tammet, Anthony Teasdale, Peter Thompson, Clifford Thurlow, Jimmy Junior Tippett, Louisa Treger, Peggy Trentini, Carol Trow, Mei Trow, Reg Twigg, Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott, Louise Van der Velde, Robert Verkaik, Simon Vigar, Matt Walker, Shaun Walker, Alex Warren, Casey Watson, Adrian Weale, Romilly Weeks, Alan White, Douglas Wight, J P Wilcox, Russ Willey, Christian Wolmar, Rachel Woods, Karen Woods, Frances Woodsford, Jenny Woolf, John Worthen, Antony Wynn, Simon Young, Charlotte Zeepvat.
Full client list:
http://www.andrewlownie.co.uk/author_book_list
Email address:
mail@andrewlownie.co.uk

Agents of: Andrew Lownie Literary Agency

Agency details

Website:
http://www.andrewlownie.co.uk
About the agency:
Every author is unique and what the Agency does for each person varies according to their needs but the service might include: suggesting book subjects; helping to shape proposals;- placing work with publishers and newspapers throughout the world; negotiating and checking contracts; monitoring the progress of a book through the publishing process: checking royalty statements and chasing monies. Do also check out Andrew's tips at http://www.andrewlownie.co.uk/fifteen_tips
Address for submissions:
The Andrew Lownie Literary Agency Ltd, 36 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BU
Office address:
No data
Email address:
mail@andrewlownie.co.uk
Phone number:
0207 222 7574
Number of agents:
2
Accepts email submissions:
Yes
Submission type:
Other - see details
Further submission info:
The Agency is always looking to take on new authors and accepts submissions by email or post with a stamped addressed envelope. They should take the following form: 1 page mini-synopsis highlighting with bullet points what makes the book new and special; 1 page cv; 1 page with a few lines on the five most recent competing and comparable books giving author, title, publisher and date of publication together with a note on how the books relate to the author's own book; 1 page on sources used; 1 page on any specialist marketing outlets such as websites, organisations or magazines; 1 page synopsis per chapter; A sample chapter and, if appropriate, some photographs.
More info on this agency:
No data
Average response time:
8 days
Agency Transparency Index:
65/100
Member of the AAA:
Yes
Overseas offices:
None
Accepts overseas writers:
No
Follow on Twitter:
@andrewlownie
Latest news:
http://www.andrewlownie.co.uk/news
More about the agency:
Every author is unique and what the Agency does for each person varies according to their needs but the service might include: suggesting book subjects; helping to shape proposals;- placing work with publishers and newspapers throughout the world; negotiating and checking contracts; monitoring the progress of a book through the publishing process: checking royalty statements and chasing monies. Do also check out Andrew's tips at http://www.andrewlownie.co.uk/fifteen_tips

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