Jobs


The Good Literary Agency is a new social enterprise agency founded by Nikesh Shukla and Julia Kingsford to represent writers from backgrounds under-represented in UK publishing. We have just received three years worth of Arts Council funding through the Ambition for Excellence fund at the end of which we plan to be self-sufficient.

We will work with writers to represent them in their publishing deals, help them make the best decisions about their writing career, negotiate contracts, pursue new opportunities and look to maximise their earnings and the value we add to the relationship. The only difference is the knowledge that the money we do make goes into ensuring we have the opportunity to help more writers whose voices should be heard.

We are seeking an Agent and an Assistant to join us from the beginning to build the agency into the huge success we know it has the potential to be. Both are full time permanent positions. Neither require any previous experience of working in literary agencies or the publishing trade but it’s vital that you are commercially savvy and passionate about the cultural and societal value of books, with a good eye and great taste.

We are also looking to build a network of freelance editors to work on developing writers with us.

Company Structure

Traditionally in literary agencies, each agent works with a set of clients who they personally choose and manage through all stages of their career. This means that agents have to be very multi-skilled and have taste, editing and management skills as good as their sales and negotiating skills. This creates a high barrier to entry.

Our structure will be different, divided into author facing and publisher facing so our team doesn’t have to be so multi-skilled from the start.

  • On the author facing side the Development Agent will find and develop writers utilising a team of freelance professionals to work on developing specific writers.
  • On the publisher facing side an agent will submit books to publishers and manage our relationships with them.
  • The Managing Agent will oversee all aspects and the Assistant will work across the company.
Image

Agent

Working as part of the core team of The Good Literary Agency alongside co-founders Nikesh Shukla and Julia Kingsford we are looking for a dynamic agent to manage our rights and publisher facing side of the business, selling books into UK publishers for all our authors, as well as having the potential to build your own client list (though if you’ve worked as a literary agent before then this can be the case from the start).

Because we’re running our business a little bit differently to a normal literary agency we don’t expect you to be an experienced literary agent (though if you are then that’s great). What we do expect is that you have exceptional taste and plenty of hustle and that you believe that books and reading are important and that representation in them matters.

  • Maybe you’ve worked in the book trade but never in an agency or rights role but feel this is really where your talents lie?
  • Maybe you work in a different cultural industry but care deeply about the value of books and increasing representation and want to make a change?
  • Maybe your background is more commercial but you have demonstrably great taste and have always wanted to work in the creative industries?
RESPONSIBILITIES

Selling books to publishers

  • Pitch & submit books to UK publishers, managing the full process including negotiations and auctions

Broader rights opportunities

  • Manage relationships with sub-agents and resulting opportunities to exploit rights as broadly as possible, both international and film/tv
    Manage relationships with scouts

Author relationships & submissions

  • Work with the rest of the team to scout for talent & choose which authors we represent and develop
  • Work up exceptional pitches & submissions to sell in to publishers
    Steadily build your own list of clients who you manage
SKILLS & QUALITIES
  • Commercial aptitude with a real drive to secure the best possible deal for our clients
  • Plenty of hustle and an entrepreneurial spirit
  • A critical understanding of books and an awareness of what makes one ‘good’
  • Great communications skills, both verbal and written
  • A self-starter who is comfortable working on their own and managing their own workload and deadlines, as well as being happy to work as part of a team
  • A real belief that books and reading are important and that increasing representation in culture is too
  • A willingness to learn and develop with the company

We are also particularly interested in people with interests and expertise in genre fiction as well as in YA and children’s. These are areas that we’re really committed to but aware that we currently lack expertise in.

Practicalities

The Good Literary Agency is based in Bristol though as this role is very publisher focused you could conceivably be based in London  or it could also be done remotely, providing you were capable of regularly attending meetings in Bristol and London.

Salary: in the region of £38,000 dependent on experience and location.

There will also be a bonus system once the agency becomes profitable.

We are committed to equal opportunities and are particularly interested in receiving applications from anyone who identifies in any of the under-represented groups we will be representing.

How to apply

To apply please email jobs@thegoodliteraryagency.org with 'Agent' as the subject line and include your CV and a covering letter explaining why you want the job and how your skills and experience are well matched to it.

Please also fill in this monitoring form.

Application deadline: 9am Monday 12 March


Assistant

Working across the company you will play a key role in all aspects of the agency’s work and we hope you’ll develop to be promoted to Junior Agent. From reading submissions and working with authors to managing work flow and databases this is an incredible job for someone who is both creative and good at administration.

This is not an entry level role, we don’t mind whether you’ve worked in the book trade or elsewhere but we’re looking for someone with a little experience of the workplace who will be comfortable working on their own and managing their own time, as well as being managed and working as part of a team. To be clear this can be experience working in retail, hospitality, an office or anywhere really. And you can make a case for cumulative periods of work during holidays counting  - we just want to be confident that whoever we hire will be able to work efficiently from day one.

RESPONSIBILITIES
  • Support the author facing side of the business, doing research, reading and evaluating submissions, organising and supporting the workflow with freelance editors and developers, managing client care and communications.
  • Support the publisher facing side of the business, working on submissions, managing publisher databases, processing contracts and invoicing.
  • Provide general support to the managing agent particularly around partnerships and other opportunities, managing the agency’s profile and general administrative duties.
SKILLS & QUALITIES
  • Great organisational skills, we’re keen that you’re creative as well but the person in this role has to be a fantastic administrator
  • Great communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Good attention to detail, particularly when dealing with rights and contracts
  • Someone who thrives with a busy, varied workload, who isn’t just good at juggling but actively enjoys it
  • Good with managing systems, apps and software and learning new ones
  • Someone who is good at learning and keen to get the most out of any new opportunity
Practicalities

The Good Literary Agency is based in Bristol and ideally you would be too. However we are willing to consider candidates who are based in London or who wish to work flexibly and would be able to be in Bristol a few days a week but working remotely the rest of the time.

Salary: Starting salary is £24,000 though there is the ability to offer more dependent on experience

There will also be a bonus system once the agency becomes profitable.

We are committed to equal opportunities and are particularly interested in receiving applications from anyone who identifies in any of the under-represented groups we will be representing.

How to apply

To apply please email jobs@thegoodliteraryagency.org with 'Assistant' as the subject line and include your CV and a covering letter explaining why you want the job and how your skills and experience are well matched to it.

Please also fill in this monitoring form.

Application deadline: 9am Monday 12 March

The Book Trade Charity offers financial support to people looking to enter the book trade but who may struggle to afford the costs of attending interviews and undertaking internships. For more information visit www.booktradeentrysupport.org


Freelance editors

A key part of our business plan is investing expertise in writers to help them develop their work where this is helpful.

We recognise that talent is universal but that the opportunity to develop writing craft can be limited by structural inequalities. For example if you enter elite education at the age of 7, continue in it through to Oxbridge and then enter a profession where writing skills are prized you are simply going to have more opportunities to develop your writing craft. Likewise if you undertake a creative writing programme or degree. When Harper Lee had completed her first novel and sold it to a publisher they then spent two and a half years helping her develop it from Go Tell a Watchman to To Kill a Mockingbird, work that enabled it to become arguably the greatest novel ever written, work without which we would be culturally poorer.

We have specific funding to work with freelance professionals to develop writers’ work and as such we are looking to recruit a network of professionals that we can call upon when an appropriate manuscript needs development. For example if we received a SF submission that we felt was of a high standard but needed further work before we submitted to publishers we would want to have the author work with an experienced SF expert on further developing it.

At this stage we are looking for expressions of interest from experts in any form of non-fiction or fiction including all genres, children’s and YA.

You need to fall into one of the following categories:

  • have worked professionally as an editor in book publishing
  • be a creative writing teacher
  • have been published by a traditional publisher

We will be paying for all development work but rates will depend on each project.

How to apply

To register your interest please fill in this form:

Expression of interest form
This is an ongoing expression of interest and as such there is no deadline. However we anticipate that we will open for submissions in April and will start to need to work with editors from May onwards.

Work Experience

We are not currently offering work experience as we are not set up to do so, but anticipate that we will be offering this for periods in the future - we just can't say exactly when yet or how it will work. If you would like to know when we'll be offering it please sign up to our mailing list indicating that this is your interest.

Mailing list sign up