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What does a literary agent do?

In this section, you can find advice and tips on the point at which you should start looking for an agent - and how a good literary agent can be indispensable to you on your journey to publication. 

Agents – What’s The Point?

To an aspiring writer, literary agents can seem like a parasitic race – they take their percentage, but what do they give back? And is it worth having one?

The short answers are ‘lots’ and ‘yes’. Read on!

An agent sends your manuscript out to see who would like to bid on it for …

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Do I Need an Agent?

Mark Le Fanu, General Secretary of the Society of Authors, explains when it is necessary for an author to have an agent.

Most of the queries that pour into our office concern publishers and their ways.

We advise on the terms they offer and on a myriad of issues to do with the exciting …

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How do auctions work?

Manuscripts are sometimes put up for auction. 

So what does that mean?

Well, the traditional auction is one held by an agent who is asking publishing houses to compete for the right to publish the manuscript.

Sometimes it's about the money; and when a book goes to auction like …

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Publishing Interviews: The Agency Reader

In this new publishing interviews series, author Claire Fuller will be asking people with roles within the industry about their jobs. What exactly does a publicist do? How are book covers designed? What makes an agent stop and read a manuscript? 

In the first of the series Claire interviews …

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Publishing Interviews: The Foreign Rights Agent

In the latest of her series of interviews with publishing industry professionals, author Claire Fuller speaks to Juliet Mahony, Foreign Rights Agent at Lutyens & Rubinstein (L&R), a London-based literary agency. Read on to find out about the role of a foreign rights agent.

Claire: Hello …

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Publishing Interviews: The Literary Agent

In the second of our publishing interviews series, author Claire Fuller interviews Jane Finigan, agent and partner at Lutyens and Rubinstein literary agency in London. Read on to find out what makes her heart sink when reading a manuscript.

Claire: You’ve been with Lutyens and Rubinstein [L&R] …

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Reading Fees – A Money Spinner?

Like everyone in business, literary agents need to make money. They make theirs by taking a commission from the sale of their clients’ books to publishers – and this is why agents only take on clients they believe have written a saleable book.

So, are reading fees a money-making scheme?

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Submitting Fantasy Fiction

Danielle Zigner, literary agent at LBA Books, discusses what she looks for in fantasy fiction submissions and gives advice on how to pitch your ideas effectively.

What draws you into a fantasy world?

This probably goes without saying, but for me it’s all about the world-building. When I pick up a …

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Submitting to Literary Agents: Hellie Ogden

Hellie Ogden is a literary agent at Janklow & Nesbit. Read on to find out more about the role of a literary agent and Hellie's top tips for authors when submitting their work...

In short, what does a literary agent do?

In the first instance we discover new writers. Authors come to us in a variety …

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The Double Agent: The Relationship Between Literary Agents and Writers

Conrad Williams

Conrad Williams is an author and a writer’s agent in the film department of a leading London literary Agency. Perfectly placed, then, to offer Writers & Artists a unique take on the complex undercurrents of the author/agent relationship.

If you think being a scriptwriter’s agent makes it …

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What Is A Literary Scout?

Gill McLay

Scouts. . .what do they do and why?

The world of children’s books entered a golden age twenty years ago when the success of books like Harry Potter, then Twilight and The Hungers Games shone the light on a resilient sector of the publishing industry that keeps on growing.  The need for scouts …

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Why Agents Want Exclusivity

It can seem unfair that a literary agent asks for exclusive submission, which to the aspiring author can seem like sheer pigheadedness. However, the following recent experience may give you some idea as to why they ask for it.

An agent I was working for had sent me unsolicited manuscripts to …

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