A literary agent is an agent who represents writers and their work to publishers, theatrical producers, film producers in order to assist in the sale and deal negotiation of the same.
Several traditional publishers in the western world only accept manuscripts via literary agencies.
The website of the publishers will give a list of agents who work for the publishing house. The agency has the work of skimming through the manuscripts and presenting them as per the demands of the commissioning editors at the publishing house.
Dealing with a publishing house without prior knowledge of the industry can be a rather tricky spot to be in for a first-time author. A good literary agent will help the author get a fair deal with a publishing house and undertake due diligence to avoid any kind of unfair contract terms.
Some literary agencies are known to charge the author money to edit the book before presenting it to publishers, while others take care of basic book editing themselves. Several times it is also seen the literary agents don’t represent first time authors as well as the author may represent her/his work. The literary agents charge a 15%-20% fee to the author from her/ his advances and royalties, till the deal is active. This reduces the amount the author takes home.
However, considering the number of submissions every publishing house gets in the form of unsolicited manuscripts, it can prove to be helpful to hire a literary agent to represent your book. This can increase the chances of you landing a fair publishing deal with a relevant publishing house. In addition to this, if you want to avoid the lengthy timelines, and have more control over your manuscript, you can opt for supported self-publishing model as well.
List Of Literary Agencies
Authors Represented: Zafar Anjum, Prita Kumar, Rajiv Vij, Adele Wong
Description: Books@Jacaranda was founded in 1997 and is a full service literary agency, working with first time as well as established writers covering the entire range of activities associated with successfully placing a manuscript. In 2008, the agency expanded to open a branch in Singapore.
Description: In addition to its publishing and distribution foci, Leadstart has made quite a name for itself as a literary agency, arbitrating between various mediums and content providers. As a literary agent, they are constantly negotiating with other leading content providers, media representatives, and authors, regarding the redistribution of literary works across various media and geographies.
Name: Purple Folio
Authors Represented: Ravi Mantha, Gauri Jayram, Rajat Chaudhuri, Aditya Mukherjee
Description: Purple Folio offers the following services:
Editorial Consultancy: Provides editorial consultancy to writers and publishers. This includes manuscript evaluation, synopsis development, structural editing of manuscripts, copy-editorial services and proof-reading services.
Book Publishing: It publishes a few books on turnkey basis – photographic, design and general trade books and also journals.
Communications Consultancy: Publicity services and advice offered to writers and publishers. This includes publicity activities like organizing book reviews, interviews, producing communication and publicity materials, social networking publicity through mediums like Twitter, Facebook etc.
Name: Sherna Khambatta
Authors Represented: Alaine Robert, Chandru Bhojwani, Gopika Kapoor, Pierre Freha and more
Description: It accepts new manuscripts in Fiction, General as well as Narrative Non-Fiction in the areas of biography/memoir, narrative travel (no guidebooks), current affairs and contemporary issues.
Similarly, fiction and non-fiction, including children’s books are accepted. Essays and anthologies in any of these areas would also be considered, along with single-author narratives.
Authors Represented: Aatish Taseer, Adeline Foo, Aruna Roy, Dirk Collier, Gulzar, Gurcharan Das and more
Description: Siyahi offers the following services:
Literary Events Production
Manuscript Assessment, Feedback and Editing
Literary Event Content and Programming
Book Marketing and Social Media presence
Speaking Opportunities for Writers
Name: Writers Side
Authors Represented: Soum Paul; Sharan MR; Karen Jonson; Anirudh Bhattacharya and more
Description: Writers Side offers the following services:
Manuscript Reading: This is the most basic service provided at Writer’s Side. Here, their reader will read the manuscript and provide you feedback on its creative and market potential.
Manuscript Critique: The Manuscript Critiquing service will provide a comprehensive critique of the manuscript. It will give a detailed report on the manuscript in terms of plot, relevance, characterization, narrative technique and marketability.
Manuscript Editing: This is the most comprehensive service provided at Writer’s Side. It includes:
2) Line Editing
3) Substantive Editing
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