Literary Agent

Senior Level // Literary Agency

What does a Literary Agent do?

A Literary Agent is someone who helps writers get their stories made into books. Their job is to read as many stories as possible and find the best ones and then find a publisher who is willing to pay the writer to turn the story into a book which is then sold in bookshops or online.

Literary agents then work for the writer to help them make money from their stories by selling them to different types of publishers. Publishers will pay an author to turn their story into a book, ebook or audiobook, and to publish in different languages. The agent will get a share of the profit.

They work with writers and publishers acting as a middleman between the two. They split their time between reading and selling. They can work in a big office with lots of other literary agents, or they can work on their own.

What is a Literary Agent good at?

  • Reading; reading lots of stories and choosing which are the best ones that other people are likely to spend money to read   
  • Writing; helping writers to improve their stories  
  • Selling; getting other people to pay money to turn the story into a book
  • Communication; talking on the phone with lots of writers and publishers
  • Organisation; making sure that everything is done on time and is within budget

Who does a Literary Agent work with?

A Literary Agent works with authors and publishers.

How do I become a Literary Agent?

To become a Literary Agent, you need to have experience as a Literary Agent Assistant and to have started building your own list of authors.

Learn more about what it’s like to be a Literary Agent: