What is a literary agent and what does it do?

In short, literary agents are concerned with selecting the best authors to propose them to the best publishers. However, theirs is a complex and articulated activity, the work of selecting the authors is only the first step, then it is also a matter of selecting the works of an author most suitable for being published at that time. The agents also prepare the works together with the author so that they are presented at their best and prepare the accompanying presentation material, they also deal with the communication and promotional aspects concerning a single work and the figure of the author. The approach is strategic also in the long term, from a literary career perspective.

Perspectives in European and international publishing

The literary agents of our company are engaged in an intense work of scouting that concerns above all the panorama. They carry out a representation of the texts they consider worthy of publication.

In cases in which they believe they are in front of an excellent text from all points of view and foresee the possibility of national and international collocation with the best publishers, they will propose a representation contract in Europe and in the rest of the world, through the literary agency Paradigmi . By the expression “best publishers” we mean here both the most famous publishers, belonging to the great historical publishing groups, present above all in the Milan area (Mondadori, RCS – that is to say Rizzoli, Bompiani etc. – Giunti, Gruppo Mauri Spagnol, Feltrinelli) and independent publishers who, regardless of turnover and the number of titles in the catalog, publish only selected texts and generally of excellent quality. A publisher of the latter type is also often recognized as a publisher who always seeks new talents and as a “nursery” of new authors, from which authors have emerged who later became famous. In other words, they are excellent editors who are scouting and then the big publishing groups try to keep them under observation.

The representation contract follows the standards of the best American literary agents and the most serious and reliable ones, with an international profile. Representation generally takes place on the basis of a percentage on the revenue of the author, retained by the literary agent when the publisher makes the payment of the proceeds of the exploitation of the work.

Starting from the signing of an editorial representation contract, the literary agency is responsible for the expenses related to: further editing work on the text, representation and search for contracts, printing, shipment of manuscripts, promotion directed towards readers.


We are looking for works belonging to the main literary genres (eg. Thrillers, thrillers, noir, historical novels, historical thrillers, pinks) and hybrid, literary and non-genre works. Our editorial line is independent and oriented towards enhancing emerging talents and not on the scene.

We prefer novels and informative essays of great current interest and aimed at a universal audience, who know how to ride the trends and make fun of them, visionary novels, with a strong innovative charge, novels that fly with wings of fantasy, texts of social commitment, memoirs related to radical human experiences. We evaluate instant books.

What are the requirements? What skills do you appreciate in an author?

Here is a brief list of fundamental virtues appreciated by our literary agents in their scouting work, especially in the one addressed to first-time authors.

  • Knowing how to read, ie an extraordinary sensitivity. But it is not enough, it also takes fidelity to one’s own sensitivity (knowing how to read). This loyalty involves at least a pinch of healthy madness. If there is great sensitivity and fidelity to that sensitivity, the technical repertoire takes second place (in some cases it can be remedied with good editing).
  • Knowing how to write, or knowing how to translate words and a singular story into one’s own unique readings of the world.
  • Knowing how to rewrite. That is, knowing how to question one’s own novel or essay, either on its own account, or in a reasoned debate with one’s literary agents, to make it better before proposing it to publishing houses. A healthy perfectionism is a fundamental requirement.
  • Knowing how to give up. It is also fundamental to understand the need, sometimes a bit painful, to make a series of cuts more or less consistent with the text, obviously not to censor, but to intensify the reading experience. They are the writers’ florets. And they make them great. Any text chosen for publication in a good publishing house will be subjected to editing, sooner or later, and an author who from the beginning shows himself unavailable to a serious editing job in collaboration with the agency’s editors and / or our literary agents do not start off on the right foot (different is, of course, the case with bad editing).
  • Knowing how to expose oneself: willingness to actively promote one’s own text and to collaborate with the literary agent and the publisher in the promotion at national level and possibly in the international panorama (certainly it is not mandatory to be a factotum writer, we also appreciate hermits, but they must be really very good and, in any case, willing to collaborate in some form with the promotion).

I’m looking for a literary agent. How to send an editorial proposal?

If you are looking for a serious and reliable literary agent, to propose a text and then to evaluate any costs, prices, percentages and forms of payment – but we specify that participation in our selections is free, free and open to all – we recommend reading this website.

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