What is a Literary Agent – The Guide to Book Agents

What is a literary agent? What is a literary agent? If you’re an author that wants to be published by a traditional publisher like Random House or Simon & Schuster, I might answer that question by saying…

Everything.

Scroll below to answer the question “What is a literary agent?” …and find out how to get one. This article is part of a 9-part series in our Guide to Literary Agents.

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What Is a Literary Agent
and Why Do You Need One?

What is a literary agent?

The key that you need to unlock the mysterious world of publishing.

That’s because most publishing houses no longer accept book submissions or book ideas directly from authors. Publishers will only consider your book or manuscript if it’s submitted to them by a literary agent.

So, what is a literary agent?

What is a book agent but a gatekeeper?

A gatekeeper.

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What Is a Literary Agent for Authors?

Literary agents (also known as book agents or publishing agents) act primarily as authors’ representatives for the sale and/or licensing of their books with large domestic publishers like Random House and Simon & Schuster, and sometimes small- or medium-sized domestic publishers like Peachtree Publishing.

Book agents also sometimes act as authors’ representatives for the sale and/or licensing of books with foreign publishing houses, theatrical producers, film and TV producers, and magazine publishers (interested in publishing an excerpt from an author’s book).

What is a book agent but a salesperson?

What is a literary agent in just one word?

A salesperson.

Many book agents do more than simply find the best publisher for your book and negotiate the best contract. But, having the desire and ability to sell your book to a publisher is the only thing that all publishing agents have in common.

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What is a literary agent?

To some authors, book agents are a necessary evil.

That’s because it can sometimes seem harder to get a literary agent than a publisher. It can also be difficult to find a book agent interested in representing you, one that’s also competent and a pleasure to work with. You might think of finding the perfect book agent as something akin to finding your soul mate.

What is a book agent but a soul mate?

Does it matter what genre your book is?

Nope.

Book agents represent authors of fiction, nonfiction, children’s book, graphic novels, short story collections, screenplays, etc.

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What else does a literary agent do?

What is a book agent and job responsibilities

A lot…

Like I said a moment ago, most agents do more than just find the best publisher for your book and negotiate the best contract.

Now, click here to read the next article in this 9-part series and
answer the question: What Does a Literary Agent Do?

What does a literary agent do?

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