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What Is a Literary Agent?

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Definition: Literary agents represent writers and negotiate the writer's contract with a publishing house. (Writers almost always need a literary agent in order to land a book deal with an established publisher, just as actors need agents to get jobs in movies and on TV.)

Literary agents handle contract negotiations for their authors and take a percentage of the advance the author receives.

Essentially literary agents act as an author's representative (and champion) in the book publishing world. A literary agent helps an author get his book published by submitting the author's manuscript to editors, editors that the agent likely has a standing relationship with.

A literary agent also helps an author navigate his longterm career. To find out more about the job of a literary agent, check out this article.

Also Known As: lit agent, agent
Examples:
The author's literary agent has submitted the manuscript of his novel to various editors.
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