Friday, October 2, 2009

How It All Shook Down


So, remember  the most recent agent who rejected my novel, but wanted to read my other manuscripts? (Go way back to the day before yesterday.) After polling you guys, I thought it over and wrote her back to ask more specifically what her proposal would entail.  Her response was as follows: "it depends what's going on with your novel. If you find representation by someone who wants to represent all your interests, that would of course be ideal for you. I know I'd be interesting in reading the memoir/ short story collection." 
    I wrote back and thanked her for wanting to read more.  I told her that I'd like to see what happens with the other agents, one of whom may snatch up my novel with all my other work, or all of whom may pass on it and agree with her assessment that the novel is not ready, in which case, if she were game, I wanted to come back and show her my other work.  I asked if she was cool with waiting a few weeks.  Her answer: "Of course. Good luck!"  
    I don't know why this is true, but I think I might not have put her off if she lived and worked in New York City. I guess I have a regional bias.  But maybe folks can chime in here.  Do you have an agent who lives in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Boston, somewhere other than Manhattan?  If so, how's that working for you?

7 comments:

Travener said...

I have an agent who lives in my imagination and just loves my work.

heynonnynonymous said...

Hey! I think I have the same agent as you!

Chazz said...

That's interesting because (a) you were totally honest with her without game playing and (b) she didn't get all pissy about it. She may be a keeper after all. When many agents interat with writers or blog about said interactions they sound like they suffer from Center of the Universe Syndrome. (Cardinal sign and symptom: Everybody sucks but me and how dare you thwart my whim?!)

Keep that sweet agent in mind. If she goes to New York regularly, that'll do.

Anonymous said...

My agent doesn't live in NY, but she works there. I also have a good friend who has an agent who goes to NY every couple of weeks, and that works well.

I think non-NY agents are more common than they used to be, and maybe almost as legit.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Heh, that's a classic "New Yorker" illustration there!

I've had agents in various places and none of them ever sold anything for me, so I'm going to have to pass on commenting on this one.

Anonymous said...

The agent in my head lives in New York City...WHERE ALL THE OTHER LITERARY AGENTS LIVE AND WHERE THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY LIVES.

Why go anywhere else?

Susan M said...

My agent does not live in New York but has strong connections with editors there. I could see from her query letters to them and their responses to her (even though most were rejections) that they knew and respected each other. My agent travels to NY when needed. When she offered representation to me, and I asked her about "not being in NY," she said, "People in NY are busy, and they don't get together as much as you might think. Much more exchange goes on via email and phone." So . . . I think it's the connections that are important, not the locale. And I like that you were honest and straightforward with the agent as to what was on your mind, and that she responded so positively.