Could you be a literary agent?

Alphabet Book PileNathan Bransford is challenging us to try his job as a literary agent for a day. He has posted a list of fifty book summaries, and we have to decide which ones to request manuscripts for. Hidden amongst 45 unsuccessful entries, are five book summaries, which have gone on to be published. The competition closes on Saturday night, so you still have plenty of time to decide on your publishing strategy!

I have really enjoyed trying to decide which ones I would like to read, but this isn’t really a good reflection of what will probably be published. There are lots of books published each year that I don’t like, but that doesn’t mean thousands of other people won’t like it. The problem is finding the ones which will sell the best. The discussion in the comment sections for this competition is also really interesting, so I urge you to take a look!

Everyone seems to be choosing different books, so it is great for showing authors how important it is not to be disheartened after a few rejections. I think I’d really enjoy being a literary agent. I can usually tell whether I’ll like a book from the first page, and although I wouldn’t like rejecting all the authors, I’m sure I could get used to it!

Did you find it easy to chose which books to pick?

Would you like to be a literary agent?

6 replies on “Could you be a literary agent?”

I wish I had the time to sit down and do this…how much fun! I’m not sure I’d be any good at it though. I tend to find good in just about everything, which would not serve me well as an agent! I need to be more discriminating, I know. Thanks for the head’s up on this. If by a rare chance I have some time before Saturday night, I will take a look!

I thought I wanted to a literary agent. And then I worked the “slush pile” at a trade publisher for a summer. AKA, I read all the submitted manuscripts (beginings) and tried to see if we wanted to request the rest. UGH. Yuck. I want to do something other than read bad writing for the rest of my life. I won’t be a literary agent.

Sandy – You’re so nice! I’m afraid one of my weaknesses is being unable to find nice things to say about some books. I know I criticise a lot of books excessively, but there are so many books out there that I need to be able to find a way of sorting the average from the very good from the outstanding. I’d probably be the opposite to you, and not let enough books through! Perhaps we’d make a great literary agent team!!

Rebecca – What an interesting job! You’re right – I love reading great books, and often wonder whether I really want publishers to send me their new books for review, or if I’d prefer just to buy the books I want to read. I’d love to give it a go though – just to see what the industry is like – perhaps I should try and get a temp. job at one in a few years time.

Melissa – I’m really interested to see which were the real ones! I hope you get a chance to play along!

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