04 Jul The Place of Literary Agents in France. An Interview with Sophie Langlais (S3 E7)
By Marleen Seegers, Co-Founder of 2 Seas Agency and Host of The Make Books Travel Podcast
July 4, 2022
It’s been a while since I recorded and published the previous episode. Landing back on my feet after my 5-week trip to Europe around the London Book Fair was a bit more challenging this time, due to some lingering fatigue after I caught Covid at the fair, like many others. Luckily that’s all behind me now!
Today I’m speaking with Sophie Langlais, literary agent at #BAM – Books and More Agency in Paris. We discussed many topics, including the rise of literary agents in France, where the publishing landscape was pretty reluctant to embrace this role for a long time, bringing new translations of classics to the market, and the upcoming book fair season.
Here are some of the questions I asked Sophie:
- Was becoming a literary agent something that you’ve always aspired to?
- Were you already involved in the editorial department at Les Arènes/L’Iconoclaste, working closely with authors?
- How do you find the authors that you want to represent?
- Can you tell us a bit about the current French book market?
- What is selling well & what isn’t?
- Is audio growing as much in France as it is elsewhere?
- What is your favorite book fair, and why?
Sophie’s book recommendations:
- Stardust by Léonora Miano
Sophie Langlais was born in 1982 and has been reading a lot ever since. After working for two years in London at the French Book Office, she joined the foreign rights department at Gallimard; then the two independent publishing houses Les Arènes and l’Iconoclaste, where she sold rights (for Adeline Dieudonné’s La vraie vie, for instance) and acquired books (such as M by Antonio Scurati). She is now a literary agent at #BAM in France, with partner Marie Lannurien.