Answering the #FridayFive today is Katie Moran, Literary Scout at Badcock & Rozycki.
Tell us a bit about your job?
I’m a Literary Scout at Badcock & Rozycki (brlitscouts.com). We advise our clients on the best books coming from the UK or elsewhere for translation or adaptation to film or TV. Our client list includes international publishers from around the world and a host of TV and film production companies. I work across all areas of adult fiction and non-fiction for our clients, and it’s my job to find out about what books are upcoming that might suit their lists, providing them with information, material, context and reader reports.
What are the key ingredients for success?
Hard work! The workload in my job can vary greatly depending on the time of year, but it pays to be on the ball at all times, checking in with agents and editors to make sure I’m across all the titles out on submission and any movement in terms of sales or offers. I’d also recommend being open, honest and friendly in our industry – publishing is a very relationships focused environment!
Could you describe a normal day?
I usually work from home, so after getting my kids out the door and having a cup of tea, I’m switching on the laptop to check emails and, usually, type up a reader report or two from something I have read the night before. The rest of the day usually follows in a flurry of emails and reading, making sure to share any urgent submissions or updates with our clients as soon as we have them. I also like to check in with my colleagues on Teams or by phone at least once a day to make sure we’re aware of what each other is reading and working on.
Other days I take the train into London and enjoy a day of meetings with a mixture of editors, rights people and agents. It’s a friendly industry and it’s a genuine pleasure to have catch-ups over coffees and lunches whilst chatting about books and industry gossip!
For those trying to break into the industry, could you explain how you got to where you are today?
It’s not very helpful as advice, but I got where I am with a certain amount of luck. I think, like many people who grew up loving books and wanting to get into publishing, I had my eyes on an editorial job, but I don’t think I really knew the scope of other jobs out there in the industry. I actually started off working in translation rights as my way into the industry and found I loved the travel and social aspect of the job. After that I side-stepped into scouting, which suits me much better than any editorial role ever would, and now I’ve been doing this job at various levels for nearly 15 years!
What are you reading, watching and listening to now?
I’ve just finished reading Notes on an Execution by Danya Kufafka, which was tense, confronting and uncomfortable but also brilliant. I think after this I might need something of a palate cleanse so I’m lining up Bonnie Garmus’ Lessons in Chemistry to read next. I like quite a breadth of genres, which is helpful in the job I do!
In terms of what I’ve been watching, I’ve been craving something a bit more escapist and light-hearted, so Ted Lasso has been hitting that sweet spot for me.
In all honesty I don’t listen to much in the way of podcasts but, when I do, I enjoy a bit of light learning with Stuff You Should Know, and Ear Hustle is always fascinating.