Literary & Artistic African ...

Become a Literary Scout

By Tiffany Provost

A career as a literary scout is a combination of book editor and literary agent rolled into one job. It is the job of a literary scout to find new works for their clients to buy and publish, and they’re always doing it. They can also be often hired by a publisher in a foreign country, and many literary scouts spend a lot of time reading to find material that their clients may be interested in. Their job is to keep abreast of American publishers’ trends by tracking the popularity of their latest published titles. It’s a well-kept secret as a career and a great choice for those who enjoy reading. After reading this you will have a fairly good grasp on what it takes to become a literary scout.

You should begin with a good education. Completion of a college course is key to a career as a literary scout. Be sure to specialize in English Literature and focus your studies on editing, marketing, creative writing and publishing. While you are in school take every opportunity related to literature that you can to add to your experience. Before searching for a permanent position as a literary scout you should test the waters by applying for an internship. However, any experience with respect to publishing, writing and editing will only serve to help you in your career.

Be aware of what the trends of today are in books. Knowledge of a strong body of literature, current and past, will strongly contribute to the success of a literary scout. It is important to have a good library of literary knowledge so you should read often and well. Maintain awareness of what is on the bestseller’s lists and look for what publishers are putting out. The basic requirement for being a literary scout, is an understanding of how the literary market works.

Relocating to Manhattan. You can often get a job right out of school if you are truly passionate about being a literary scout. But you must plan to reside in New York in order to do this. It may be a major step to take in order to secure the job that you want, but you should take into consideration that it is the only place in the U.S. where these kinds of jobs are available. Literary scout positions are difficult to find as it is a specialized field and not in great demand. You will find the largest number of literary scout positions are in New York City.

Contact scouting agencies to get more information. Scouting agencies will provide good advice on how to become a literary scout. A few of the popular ones in New York are Bettina Schrewe, Maria Campbell & Associates, Mary Ann Thompson Associates and Franklin & Siegel. When seeking a role as a literary scout, you should just call their offices and see what they might have. You may want to consider reviewing scouting agency sites for potential employment opportunities as well. Your search should include media job forums. These paths can put you on the right track to a job as a literary scout.

About the Author: Tiffany Provost writes about Job and Career tips for


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