These days, everybody wants to be an author. Just walk into any book store and you’ll see thousands of titles about every conceivable subject. They say everybody’s an expert about at least one thing and going by the number of books there are, it’s probably true! If you want a high profile job that borders on glamorous, and you love books and reading, then try your hand at being a Literary Agent.
A Literary Agent basically represents the writer, making sure that they get the best deal for the international publishing or movie rights to their books. It may not stop there. If you’re doing such a great job and your client is very successful, we’re talking about spin-off merchandise like toys, clothing and product endorsements. These are usually handled by a Business Manager, but you might have to play that role as well.
First, you’ve got to find a talented writer to represent. There a literally thousands of up-and-coming writers who are terrific writers but don’t know the first thing about marketing themselves or their book. Finding the writer who could be your big break isn’t going to be easy. You’ll have to LOVE reading because that’s how you tell if you want to represent someone – you read their material. We’re talking tons of material here… not just your odd manuscript every now and then. You never know when that special manuscript will pop up that makes yoy say “this is the one I want to represent”.
When you’ve found the writers you want to represent and they in turn have agreed to let you represent them, then it’s time to sell, sell, sell. You need to sell their work to publishing houses and movie producers. You’ll need to know which publising houses tend to prefer your writer’s genre and then approach them. You’ll need loads of energy, people skills and a sense of diplomacy as you meet the authors you represent and the executives or managers of these publishing houses. Not every meeting will be successful, but then if it were that easy, everyone would be doing it, right? Anyway, you never know… you may be sitting on the next best seller. Can’t you just read the money between the lines?