If you’re an author in France who wants to publish a book, you can make a submission directly to a publisher.
However, if you have written a book, which you believe has mass appeal, you may want to work with a literary agent to approach the very best of the best book publishers on your behalf.
If you’re looking for literary agents in France to find a publisher and negotiate a contract for you, this post is especially for you.
Below we’ve featured 7 top literary agencies in France.
Some of the agencies below use a co-agent model and hence will be of interest to you if you’re either a literary agent or publisher in countries other than France, and you want to sell translation rights of books by your clients into France and other European countries.
Astier-Pécher Literary & Film Agency was founded by two literary agents in France; namely Pierre Astier and Laure Pécher in 2006. Nonfiction writers, publishers and rights-holders from across the globe are what this agency represents.
Both founders are experienced individuals in the publishing industry. Pierre Astier’s previous experience involves starting up Le Serpent à Plumes, the short stories magazine in 1998 and starting up Le Serpent à Plumes in partnership with Claude Tarrène, a publishing house publishing contemporary fiction. Pierre at Astier-Pécher Literary & Film Agency, primarily represents authors and publishers who are French speaking. Laure Pécher has an educational background in byzantine philology, and experience in publishing as a Rights Manager at Le Serpent à Plumes, and then in 2002, she formed Les Classiques du monde. At Astier-Pécher Literary & Film Agency, Laure represents both authors and publishers.
Astier-Pécher Literary & Film Agency works with both fiction and nonfiction authors, and if you would like to make submission, you can do so via email. You need to send only a completed manuscript as a PDF or ePub attachment, along with your bio and a synopsis to email@example.com. Do note that manuscripts are only accepted through email and not through the post. Response times of this agency to get back to authors is between 8 – 10 weeks. Genres that this agency doesn’t accept are poetry, theatre, practice, illustrated books and books for youth. Take a look here for more details.
Based in Paris, Lora Fountain Literary Agency is an organization specialising in selling rights mainly to the French market, but also to other European markets including Italy, Portugal, Netherlands and Spain. The genres Lora Fountain Literary Agency represents, includes adult nonfiction, fiction for adults, children’s and young adult fiction, children’s picture books, graphic novels and comic books. This agency’s clients are mainly publishers and other literary agencies from across English speaking nations, and some Spanish publishers and agents. It only represents a very limited number of authors and doesn’t not accept manuscripts that are unsolicited.
Founded in 2008 by Anna Jarota, Anna Jarota Literary Agency (AJA) is an international literary agency based in Paris. Its activities mainly involve working as a co-agent in partnership with literary agencies and publishing companies in the UK, the United States, Canada, Australia and Germany, representing French and European translation rights of authors. It also represents a select number of French and international authors.
The founder Anna Jarota was raised in Poland, and after gaining a diploma from Lodz University, moved to Paris where she gained experience as a bookseller. Anna is also a former agent at Andrew Nurnberg Associates in London and she has worked as a Director of Foreign Rights XO Editions. Anna represents general fiction, literary fiction, thrillers and women’s fiction and also a range of nonfiction, as does Deborah Druba who is another agent at AJA.
If you would like to make a submission, you should know that AJA only takes on a limited amount of new authors, as doing so allows it to maintain a high quality personalized service. For books it does represent, it looks for works with a unique view of the subject being covered, passionate writing and a knack for masterfully telling of stories.
Being true to its international nature, this agency accepts manuscripts in English, Polish, German, French and Russian. Queries need to be emailed and include a query letter, a brief synopsis, and an information document about you, and your manuscript (a completed, well-edited version). If you do plan on making a submission, be sure to the read the submission guidance, which provides further information on what to include if your submission and how to submit the required documents. Submissions need to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michelle Lapautre Literary Agency is a specialist translation rights agency, handling the sale of translation rights in French of the books by English-language authors through working as co-agents for agents and publishing houses in the UK, United States and Canada. This particular agency has been running since 1961 and in its first year, it completed 4 contracts, which increased up to 100 contracts after 5 years. Michelle Lapautre’s daughter Catherine joined the organization in 1994 and took over the agency after her mother retired. She is supported by a team of staff, each with different responsibilities, such as contracts and subsidiary rights, license renewals, and manuscripts and submissions. Do note that Michelle Lapautre Literary Agency doesn’t accept unsolicited manuscripts.
Susanna Lea Associates is headed up by Susanna Lea with offices in Paris, London and New York. Susanna, who is a University of Oxford graduate and whose previously experience before starting her own agency included working as Director of International Projects at Éditions Fixot/Robert Laffont, opened the Paris office of Susanna Lea Associates in 2000. The goal of the Paris office is to work in close partnership with authors and publishers and maximise the reach of the works it represents in French, and in other languages through various media including print, audio, digital and where appropriate in film. Works of interest to the Paris office of Susanna Lea Associates include fiction and non-fiction of both the commercial and literary kind.
Susanna Lea Associates when looking for new authors expects writing of the highest standards, and appreciates works written by unique voices and those that give underrepresented views of the world. If you would like to make a submission, you need to send a cover letter, a short synopsis, and either your book’s first three chapters, or a comprehensive manuscript. Submissions in France need to be emailed to email@example.com. Do read the full submission guidelines before sending in your submission.
Based in Paris, Linwood Messina Literary Agency is a boutique agency that represents authors, publishing houses and other literary agencies in France and across the world. It was founded in 2015 Gregory Messina who is from the state of New York and a former member of staff at Curtis Brown Ltd in New York. At Curtis Brown, Gregory was responsible for the selling of the film rights from the children’s and young adult books, which the agency was representing. He also has experience of working at Editions Robert Laffont and then a Place des éditeur selling translation and subsidiary rights.
Linwood Messina Literary Agency represents French authors and also English language writers, and from time to time, authors from other European nations to help them find publishers in their home countries and through translations in other markets around the world. In addition to acting as co-agents to literary agents from across the world and assisting in the selling of translation rights in France or other parts of the world, Linewood Messina Literary Agency also assists French publishers and publishing houses of English-language and other languages books in selling subsidiary rights.
If you’re an author interested in possibly being represented by Linwood Messina Agency, you need to provide a clear and concise description of your book and send in your bio using the contact form at this page.
Editio Dialog Literary Agency was founded by Dr Michael Wenzel in 2001 and is based in Lille. Initially, it started as an organization that represented foreign literary agents and book publishing house in France, Spain, Germany and Italy. 2010 was the year that saw this agency expand its activities to represent authors across France and Germany. Authors which this agency represents includes individuals such as Marylin Breand, Julia Bruns, Franz Hafermeyer and Cornelius Hartz, among many others. If you would like to contact this agency about possible representation, you can find a phone number, email address and postal address at this page.
Do you know of any other literary agents in France? Please tell us about them in the comments box below.
Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of Writing Tips Oasis.