Literary Scout

Scour manuscripts to find the next best seller.
picture of Literary Scout

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$23,000 – $86,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Literary Scouts do?

A Literary Scout is someone who looks for reading material for clients. You’re part Literary Agent and part Editor, scouring materials to find something worth publishing. More often than not, the work that you do as a Literary Scout is for foreign-based publishing agencies. You keep an eye out for popular titles in the U.S., and then you make recommendations for translating or publishing those works in other countries.

You are first and foremost a reader when you’re a Literary Scout. You should love reading, and be relatively quick at it, in order to do this job. The kinds of books you’ll end up reading depend on where you work, but be prepared to sample a wide variety of titles. Additionally, you talk to Agents and Editors on a regular basis, getting the inside scoop on what the next hot new title is going to be, and when it’s being planned for release.

You also read a lot of unpublished manuscripts to find which has the potential to sell. Once you’ve found a good book, you write up a report detailing the synopsis of the book, and why that selection fits the needs of your client.

But the publishing world is not the only place where you’ll find opportunities. You can also work as a Literary Scout in the realm of filmmaking, where you find books for possible film adaptation.

Should I be a Literary Scout?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • How to become a Literary Scout

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Literary Scout-related education!
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