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What is a literary agent?

The profession of literary agent, still unknown in France and very little represented in children's literature, comes straight from the Anglo-Saxon tradition.

The agent acts as an intermediary between the author and the publisher. They handle the literary career of the author they represent.

They have a lot of different tasks:

  • they read the manuscripts of the author
  • correct them
  • they help rework the text and better it
  • sélectionne les maisons d’édition les plus appropriées
  • they send the projects to the publishers and handle all contact with them
  • they negotiate the publishing contract
  • they promote the books
  • they can represent the author on social medias or in other instances such as book fairs if needed
  • they handle the foreign rights of the book as well as the multimedia rights, so as to sell the book for adaptation on different medias or in different languages

Generally speaking, an agent will represent the author when needed and act as an intermediary with the publishers so that the author can focus on their writing. The agent has the best interests of the author in mind and will promote their books and make sure their literary career develops.

In terms of remuneration, the agent is not paid directly by the author but is due a part of the royalties the author earns once the book has been published. This part is generally between 10 and 20%. This ensures that the agent works in the best interests of the author, as their remuneration entirely depends on the literary success of the author!

Each agent is specialised in a different field. Here at RĂªves de jeunesse, we come from a publishing background and have a specific interest in reworking the text and accompanying the author through their creative and writing process. Other agents might be more interested in the legal aspect of the work and will be champions at negotiating contracts. Some might be very social medias oriented with a love for marketing and promotion. It is very important that you find the agent that works for YOU! If you are interested in working with us, please clarify your expectations in your very first email: we will always ask you what you want in an agent before going any further. Please note that while we do work with english speaking authors, we are primarily oriented toward the french publishing market.

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