Literary Agent

Help Authors get published or sell movie rights to their work.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$40,000 – $114,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Literary Agents do?

Literary Agents represent Authors, using different marketing and promotion techniques to create the Rock Stars of the literary world. As a Literacy Agent, you work to negotiate the sale of the book or movie rights and generally help your Author navigate the wild world of publishing.

Authors tend to be introverted and although they create wild worlds on paper, they often have trouble talking themselves up and making the connections they need to get published. That’s where you come in as the Literary Agent. As a Literary Agent it’s your job to find Publishers who will take on new books. After the book becomes wildly popular, you help your author find film or theater producers to create an onscreen or stage version of their written work.

Although the publishing world is in a bit of a flux right now, traditionally publishing houses require Authors to have an Agent before they can get published. Writers all believe they’ve written the next great American novel and will send manuscripts to you hoping you’ll pick theirs to represent. You read these submissions and then decide, based on your personal preference and the current literary trends, which Authors actually have marketable books.

Once you’ve chosen your newest literary star, you use your connections in publishing houses to find Editors that will be most interested in your Author’s genre. Keeping good relations with publishing houses and knowing the industry is key, because if you try and pitch a children’s book about unicorns to an Editor who only works with nonfiction politics books, your Author will soon be searching for another Agent.

Should I be a Literary Agent?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Book Agent, Entertainment Agent

    How to become a Literary Agent

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