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How the literary agent will be affected as post-pandemic publishing tightens its belts

scroll.in – Tuesday June 30, 2020

I run a solo agency practice, Lotus Lane Literary, which I established in 2013. I work from my home-office in New Jersey and employ a part-time intern throughout the year. I do business mostly in the US, the UK, India, and sometimes in other Asian and European countries via book scouts. My roster ranges from debut to well-established writers from all over the world. Lately, I have also started selling film/TV options to production houses in India, UK and the US.

In all these years, my life has been enriched in ways I could not have imagined. The camaraderie with authors and editors is special. It is gratifying to wake up each morning and look forward to reading a new manuscript, or working with an author on an edit, or brainstorming characters and their motivations. My authors often joke that they have graveyards full of characters I have suggested eliminating from their manuscripts. I love being immersed in narrative in any form, as books not only open us up to discovery, wonder and excitement, but also help us make sense of our volatile world.

While the joys of being a literary agent are deeply enmeshed with creativity, it is ultimately a business. In an industry that works at the dichotomous intersection of art and commerce, running a profitable business is always a challenge, especially in times of global pandemics and recessions.

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