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Literary Agents

Overview

Literary agents, also known as authors’ representatives, serve as intermediaries between writers and potential employers such as publishers and television producers. Agents also represent actors, artists, athletes, musicians, politicians, and other public figures who may seek to undertake writing endeavors. In essence, agents sell a product: their clients' creative talent. In addition to finding work for their clients, agents also may negotiate contracts, pursue publicity, and advise clients in their careers. The majority of literary agents work in New York and Los Angeles, and many others work in San Francisco, Chicago, and Miami. There are approximately 13,230 agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes in the United States. Literary agents make up a small percentage of this group.

The Association of Authors' Representatives defines literary agents as those who only represent book authors; it says that agents who represent writers who craft stage plays, screenplays, television material, and musicals are known as dramatic agents. For the purposes of this article, literary agents are those who work with all types of writers.

Salary Range

Below $25,000 to $100,000+

Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma

Certification/License

None

Outlook

Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Personality Traits

Creative

Enterprising

Realistic

Career Ladder
Agency Owner

Literary Agent

Subagent

Office Worker

Related Professions