Think of the job of a literary scout as being part book editor, part literary agent. A literary scout is someone who looks for reading material for clients. Often hired by foreign countries, literary scouts are constantly reading books to find material that their clients should purchase and publish. To do so, they must keep track of what American publishers are doing by monitoring popular titles in the States. It's a job that few people knew existed, but it is certainly one that anyone with a passion for reading would enjoy. This guide outlines the steps of how you can become a literary scout.
Start with a solid education. The first step to becoming a literary scout is obtaining your degree or diploma from a college or university. Preferably, you'll specialize in English Literature, with courses in editing, publishing, marketing, and creative writing. And take advantage of any experience you can get during your schooling that is related to literature. Internships are a great way to test the waters of being a literary scout before you actually dive in to the career head first. But any experience related to publishing, writing and editing will benefit you.
Know the current trends in books. What makes a literary scout successful is her knowledge of literature, both past and current. She needs to read as much as she can, as often as she can so that she's got a good library of literary knowledge to draw from. Keep track of the bestseller's lists, and see what publishers are putting on the shelves. If you have an understanding of how the literary market progresses, you've got the basics of being a literary scout.
Move to New York City. If you are truly passionate about being a literary scout, you can often get a job right out of school. But you'll need to live in New York to do so. Sure, it's a big step to take to secure a career, but this is just about the only place in the U.S. where there are literary scout jobs available. (There obviously aren't too many literary scout positions anywhere else, as it's such a specialized career). Go to New York City and you'll find the greatest number of literary scout jobs.
Talk to scouting agencies. To find a job as a literary scout, you need to talk to scouting agencies. Some popular ones in New York include Maria Campbell&Associates, Bettina Schrewe, Franklin & Siegal, and Mary Ann Thompson Associates. Call their offices and inquire about any available positions as a literary scout. Browse scouting agency websites for job postings as well. And don't forget to check out media job boards. All of these avenues could eventually lead you to a career as a literary scout.