Is a Literary Scout Like a Literary Agent?

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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.

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Literary scouts are not to be
confused with other scouts.