Literary Scout

Literary Scout


New York, NY

Female, 0

Literary scouts work with foreign publishers to help determine which American books they should acquire. We spend our days (and nights!) reading manuscripts, writing reports, meeting with agents and publishers, and speaking with clients to keep them apprised of developments. Scouts don’t make much money, but the perks and fun help make up for that.

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31 Questions


Last Answer on April 11, 2013

Best Rated

I'm a writing major and have decided that being a literary scout is the perfect job for me. But do you think it would be smarter to minor in english/literature or marketing?

Asked by Semilia about 6 years ago

I’d say literature. I don’t know of any scout with degrees in marketing. It’s a field made up of book lovers who love to shmooze and are curious to learn about other cultures. Remember, the most important thing is internships. Even if you can’t intern with a scout, try to get some experience working with a literary agent or publishing house.

Who do literary scouts work for? (e.g. publishers, talent agencies, film companies?)

Asked by Mari55a almost 7 years ago

Scouts work for foreign publishing houses, but can also work for film companies to assist them in deciding what books might do well as movies.

Was there ever a book you were REALLY pushing for with your publisher, but the publisher passed on it, and then it went on to become a huge success? (What book was it?)

Asked by Tonja almost 7 years ago

The one book that comes immediately to mind is The Shack. It's a super Christian book that sold tons and tons of copies. Few clients bought it because the subject matter didn't appeal to them.

Can a novelist achieve success through self-publishing, or is a traditional publisher required to really make things happen?

Asked by Mark almost 7 years ago

There is the very rare story of a breakout self-publishing hit like The Shack, but it’s atypical. There are so many self-published books out there that it is almost pointless to spend time trying to weed out the good from the bad. This is why we really only work with agents and publishers. For example, scouts started reading The Shack only after it had been acquired by a large publishing house.

Where do scouts look for new material?

Asked by rossina almost 7 years ago

We get all of our manuscripts from agents and publishers. Scouts do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Unless it’s definitely being printed in the US, it is not part of our scope.

What recent best-sellers do you think are TOTALLY overrated??

Asked by Tried and Trudy almost 7 years ago

I have to say that I really, really disliked Sarah's Key. The Tiger's Wife was pretty good, but didn't blow me away. A Visit from the Goon Squad was terrific, but the last few chapters really disappointed.

Do you have to run checks for plagarism on manuscripts you review?

Asked by SaltairLA almost 7 years ago

Nope. That's the responsibility of the American publishers working directly with the authors.