What is a Literary Agent?

When starting as a writer and wanting to get published, a literary agent can be a vital part of the process. Never heard of them before? This article will tell you all you need to know!

What is a Literary Agent?

A Literary Agent deals with the ‘business side’ of publication. They are often involved from the first stage of publishing and are a liaison, who acts on behalf of the author. Agents can work for themselves or an agency, and like authors, tend to have special areas and genres that they work in.

Your Literary Agent will support and represent you through the publication process and negotiations for a publishing deal, and therefore are a valuable support for both new and experiences authors.

Working with a Literary Agent is a long-term business relationship, therefore they are often investing in you as an author, as well as your novel/book idea. Many work on commission and get paid the same time you do, so it is a collaborative and supportive role.

How to find a Literary Agent

There are hundreds of Literary Agents working in the UK, so finding one who is right for your publishing journey can be tricky. Here are some of the best places to start looking:

Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook

A new edition of the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook comes out every year, detailing key information and guidance for authors. This can be a helpful first step into finding an agency or agent to submit your writing to.

Association of Author’s Agents

The directory on this website has a whole host of agents with their contact details and websites.

Book Acknowledgements

As mentioned, Literary Agents will work in specific genres/areas, and therefore looking in the acknowledgements of books similar to the one you’d be pitching (the agent will almost always be mentioned!) can be a great way to find an agent to send your writing to.

Don’t forget, Literary Agents will also seek out authors to work with through anthologies and other platforms, so make sure you get your writing and portfolio out there!

Hopefully this guide has given you the tools to start looking for a Literary Agent. Stay tuned for an article on how to pitch to Literary Agents!

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