Is a Literary Scout Like a Literary Agent?

Q. What does a literary scout do?
       – Geoffrey

A. A literary scout is someone who, simply put, reads a lot and looks for excellent works.  A literary scout may work for foreign publishers.  They read all the new books coming out—fiction and nonfiction—and try to pick out the works that have the best potential for translation overseas.  So a publisher in Italy may call upon someone in New York to be their scout—to scour through advance reading copies of books and then recommend what they should purchase foreign rights for.
       They are not like literary agents and cannot represent writers to sell their work.

Literary scouts are not to be
confused with other scouts.

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4 thoughts on “Is a Literary Scout Like a Literary Agent?

  1. Susan Cross

    So these are the people that choose books that might be worth translating? My upcoming book is a memoir of a person that was famous in Europe and Japan (and other countries). If I use a self-publishing house is a scout less likely to see my book?
    Obviously different from a cub scout or a baseball scout. LOL

  2. Chidelia

    Hey, this actually sounds like it would be a good independent job for someone with an educational background/experience in creative writing or publishing. Could you tell us a bit more about how someone would go about actually "becoming" a literary scout? Would make for a great post!