What Does a Literary Agent Do – Guide to Book Agents

What does a literary agent do? What does a literary agent do for the authors he or she represents? Probably more than you realize. Read this article to find out exactly what book agents do, and figure out if you need one. This article is part of a 9-part series in our Guide to Literary Agents for Fiction and Nonfiction Authors.

* * *

What Does a Literary Agent
Do for Authors?

That depends. That’s because there are just as many types of book agents in the world, as there are books. Okay, not exactly. But it’s true that the only thing all agents have in common is their desire, and ability, to sell your book and negotiate the best contract. That’s just the tip of the iceberg…

What does a book agent do for authors?

Most agents bring a lot more to the table.

Let’s take a closer look…

* * *

What Does a Literary Agent Do for Authors?

Book agents can be involved in every stage of the book development, publication, and publicity process. Here are some of the things that I helped my authors with during my time as a publishing agent.

* * *

What does a book agent do for book development?

Book Development – What Does a Literary Agent Do? A book agent can help you find the perfect title/subtitle or even the best style/structure for your book to give it the most bestseller or commercial potential. Some book agents (especially those who are former editors) will even help you edit your book.

* * *

What does a book agent do for your platform?

Author Platform – What Does a Literary Agent Do? Who you are can sometimes be just as important as what you write (depending on your book genre). A book agent can suggest strategies to help you build your author platform (exposure and credibility) so you’ll have a better chance of getting published.

* * *

What does a book agent do for your pitch?

Pitch Development – What Does a Literary Agent Do? A book agent can help you edit your book synopsis and proposal (if you’re pitching a nonfiction book). He can even help you research and better understand your competition, and differentiate your book from “similar” titles.

* * *

What does a book agent do to get a deal?

Get a Book Deal – What Does a Literary Agent Do?

Of course a book agent will also “shop” your book to publishers. He might do this by email, phone, courier, postal mail, and/or face-to-face (or using a combination of all these methods). Then he will negotiate the best terms for your contract.

* * *

What does a book agent do during publication?

The Publication Process – What Does a Literary Agent Do? After your book is sold to a traditional publisher, your book agent will monitor your book’s progress through the editing, cover design, and production processes. If you have any difficulties, your agent will help you solve them.

* * *

What does a book agent do for publicity?

Book Promotion – What Does a Literary Agent Do? Your book agent might also help you strategize (and implement) promotion strategies with your publisher: website and/or blog development, social media, working with publicists, securing blurbs and reviews, distributing press releases, book tours, etc.

* * *

What does a book agent do for subsidiary rights?

Subsidiary Rights – What Does a Literary Agent Do? Some book agents take a primary role in exploring (and negotiating) the sale of subsidiary rights for books such as: foreign editions, translations, book clubs, licensing, merchandising, stage, TV, feature film, serial rights for magazines, etc.

* * *

What does a book agent do for your career?

Writing Career Development – What Does a Literary Agent Do? If you’re interested in writing and publishing more than one manuscript, your book agent can help you determine which manuscripts have the most bestseller or commercial potential… and tell you which one you should try to sell first.

* * *

What does a book agent do for your brand?

Brand Development – What Does a Literary Agent Do? If you and/or your book have enough potential, your publishing agent might help you turn your book (or series of books) into a brand. This basically means building a business around your book(s) with multiple streams of income.

* * *

What does a book agent do for support?

Emotional Support – What Does a Literary Agent Do? Although book agents aren’t therapists, many agents are highly skilled at telling their authors what they need to hear (when they need to hear it) to keep them focused, positive, and productive.

* * *

Conclusion – What Does a Literary Agent Do? Maybe I should answer that question by asking… what doesn’t a literary agent do for his or her authors? You can be sure of one thing. Good literary agents do a lot more than just get book deals and negotiate book contracts! Now, click here to read the next article in this 9-part series and answer the question: Do you need a literary agent?

Do you need a literary agent?

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This