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literaryfictionaire
05-21-2014, 09:34 AM
I live on the east coast of the US, and am wondering: does location of the agency matter? If I query a lit agent in California, or even London, will I just get dismissed (or am I much more likely to be dismissed)?

Just trying to prioritize my time. Thanks!

waylander
05-21-2014, 01:19 PM
I live on the east coast of the US, and am wondering: does location of the agency matter? If I query a lit agent in California, or even London, will I just get dismissed (or am I much more likely to be dismissed)?

Just trying to prioritize my time. Thanks!

No it doesn't matter.
I know plenty of UK writers with US agents. Everything is done by e-mail or Skype.

literaryfictionaire
05-21-2014, 05:38 PM
No it doesn't matter.
I know plenty of UK writers with US agents. Everything is done by e-mail or Skype.

Much appreciate your input, waylander. Do you know of any US writers with UK agents? That seems like a tougher bridge to cross, but I know there are some great agencies over there

popgun62
05-21-2014, 10:05 PM
I don't think it matters as long as the agent has the appropriate experience, e.g. worked as an editor for a big publishing house, as an intern for a well-known agency, etc. There are plenty of great agencies in California, Colorado, Florida and elsewhere.

Siri Kirpal
05-21-2014, 10:10 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

A good agent is a good agent no matter where she or he lives.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Quickbread
05-21-2014, 10:25 PM
Do you know of any US writers with UK agents?

A friend of mine lives on the east coast and is repped by an agent in London. Works out just fine for them.

suki
05-21-2014, 10:30 PM
The only thing to think about is whether the agent's contacts and experience are in the market in which you would like to be published. What I mean by that is there are plenty of agents located in the UK who have contacts in and sell books to the US publishing market, and vice versa. But not all agents in the UK regularly pitch books to the US market, and vice versa regarding US agents and the UK market.

So, you want to query agents who rep the kinds of books you want to write and who regularly sell books in your geographic market.

There are, of couse, books that would do well in multiple geographic markets. But not all.

~suki

alexaherself
05-21-2014, 11:04 PM
In theory, it doesn't matter.

In reality, I suspect that some London agents may imagine that you're approaching them having totally failed to secure representation in the US. I don't know of any specific agent who will, but I've certainly seen at least two US agents fairly openly say the equivalent (i.e. of receiving queries from the UK).

Jamesaritchie
05-21-2014, 11:07 PM
I do think the location of the agent matters, if you're dealing with absolute top tier agents. We may live in an age of instant communication, but knowing editors personally, and being able to meet with them at a moment's notice, still matters.

For this reason, I think it's still best to get an agent who lives in one of the power centers of publishing.

There's a reason the really big agencies have branches in all the major publishing centers, be it Paris, London, New York, or Hollywood.

I'm not saying an agent can't do a good job if they live in Nowhereville, but for a top tier agent/agency, I want one who lives very close to where the publishers are.

waylander
05-21-2014, 11:12 PM
Much appreciate your input, waylander. Do you know of any US writers with UK agents? That seems like a tougher bridge to cross, but I know there are some great agencies over there

I do. Some of them on this board. In most cases they got a deal with a UK publisher first.

popgun62
05-21-2014, 11:50 PM
I do think the location of the agent matters, if you're dealing with absolute top tier agents. We may live in an age of instant communication, but knowing editors personally, and being able to meet with them at a moment's notice, still matters.

For this reason, I think it's still best to get an agent who lives in one of the power centers of publishing.

There's a reason the really big agencies have branches in all the major publishing centers, be it Paris, London, New York, or Hollywood.

I'm not saying an agent can't do a good job if they live in Nowhereville, but for a top tier agent/agency, I want one who lives very close to where the publishers are.

Marlene Stringer of Florida has made many sales to the Big 5, and I know for a fact she spends much of her time flying back and forth to NYC to meet with editors.

Other top agencies with major sales include KT Literary, Marsal Lyon and the Nelson Literary Agency, all in Colorado; The Knight Agency in Georgia; Rees Literary and Zachary Schuster Harmsworth of Massachusetts; Bookends in New Jersey; Andrea Brown Literary, Ashley Grayson Literary, Books & Such Literary, Bradford Literary, Foreward Literary, Full Circle Literary, Kimberly Cameron and Associates, Larson Pomada Literary, Manus and Associates Literary, Paul S. Levine Literary, Red Fox Literary, Sandra Dijkstra Literary, Waxman Leavell Literary, all of California. I think you get the picture.

Gravity
05-22-2014, 12:53 AM
My agent was one of PW's top ten deal makers of 2012, and he lives in a small town in Oregon. So there you go. :)

Mr Flibble
05-22-2014, 01:16 AM
I've certainly seen at least two US agents fairly openly say the equivalent (i.e. of receiving queries from the UK).

Really? WOw.

I think that woudl depend utterly on whether the book has a wider appeal or is very British in natire

FWIW my agent lives over 3000 miles away, on another continent (in Colorado I think currently). My editor (that he negotiated with for my deals) lives less than 30 miles from me. This, I have met my editor not my agent (in fact I've never even spoken to my agent, something that brings gasps whenever I mention it!)

A lot might depend on the sort of agent you need. Do you need someone you can ring/talk to if something happens? A time difference will not help you. Do you need to meet them to know if you want them to rep? Is a voice on the other end of the phone important? Or do you just want to get on and write and let him/her deal with it all? It won't matter. You'll get emails at odd times of night, but they'll know it's 3am for you and wait for an answer. Above all, does this agent have the contacts you need?

Think about what you need from an agent, and whether distance will affect that. Query accordingly

gingerwoman
05-22-2014, 04:41 AM
It surprises me that people get themselves tied up in knots imagining these things are an issue in this day and age. And no offense OP, I mean nothing personal, because I see many, many people asking questions like this on the internet. But I don't get why people post on the internet, which they know is a world wide thing, and imagine location is somehow an issue. Agents and publishers care about the manuscript, and how good and marketable it is, and that's all.

I haven't tried to get an agent at this stage, but I live in New Zealand, and am published by a publisher in Ohio.

RightHoJeeves
05-22-2014, 10:09 AM
This is good news for me. Australia seems to be a very small pond for this sort of thing.

ZachJPayne
05-22-2014, 10:26 AM
It surprises me that people get themselves tied up in knots imagining these things are an issue in this day and age. And no offense OP, I mean nothing personal, because I see many, many people asking questions like this on the internet. But I don't get why people post on the internet, which they know is a world wide thing, and imagine location is somehow an issue. Agents and publishers care about the manuscript, and how good and marketable it is, and that's all.


Because there are a great number of things on the internet, where they want to keep it limited to the country you're from.

The first example that jumps to mind is that of YouTube videos. I discovered this wonderful band during my travels to Germany, and I can't see half of their videos on Youtube because <Big Ass Label> doesn't want me to see content that's "not for my country". I have to shop in the American iTunes, which limits my access to music, as well. It's all online, and yet . . .

I think it's a pretty reasonable question, all things considered. I think that the openness and destruction of borders (in the virtual sense) is a nice concept, but it hasn't actually happened in most fields yet.

It's nice to know that it doesn't interfere with writer / agent / editor relationships, though.

Putputt
05-22-2014, 11:31 AM
I don't think it matters too much depending on you and the agent. I'm a Californian living in Oxford, and my agent is in London. Yesterday, I had a meeting at her office where we discussed the current book that's being submitted as well as my other books. Before the meeting, I wondered why she'd ask me to meet up with her when e-mail would've sufficed (the majority of our correspondence is done over e-mail), but after the meeting, I totally see why she wanted to do it face to face. The amount of energy and enthusiasm she conveyed during our meeting was very helpful, not to mention we got to cover a lot more ground during that hour of face-to-face time. It was very pleasant and I definitely appreciated it. (Fwiw, the book she was most enthusiastic about is set in the US, with very American characters. Nothing British about it.)

I'm also interning for an agent in NY, whose preferred medium of communication when it comes to discussing MSs is over the phone or on Skype. Again, I wondered why this was, especially since he's a really busy guy in one of the top NYC agencies, but we do cover a lot more ground over the phone/Skype than we're able to over e-mail. He also has clients who live in the UK, so naw, it's not a problem for him.

Sooo I guess what I'm trying to say is: No, I don't think having your agent live in a different country is necessarily a bad thing. With all the different modes of communication, it is no longer necessary to be able to meet up with your agent face-to-face, although that is certainly a bonus. As for the agents themselves having to live in big cities, meh. Kristin Nelson is one of the biggest agents in the industry and she lives in...um, I'm not sure where she lives, but it's not NY. (Is it Philly? Colorado? Gah, brain fart!)

Old Hack
05-22-2014, 02:02 PM
It surprises me that people get themselves tied up in knots imagining these things are an issue in this day and age. And no offense OP, I mean nothing personal, because I see many, many people asking questions like this on the internet. But I don't get why people post on the internet, which they know is a world wide thing, and imagine location is somehow an issue. Agents and publishers care about the manuscript, and how good and marketable it is, and that's all.

Because there are a great number of things on the internet, where they want to keep it limited to the country you're from.

The first example that jumps to mind is that of YouTube videos. I discovered this wonderful band during my travels to Germany, and I can't see half of their videos on Youtube because <Big Ass Label> doesn't want me to see content that's "not for my country". I have to shop in the American iTunes, which limits my access to music, as well. It's all online, and yet . . .

I think it's a pretty reasonable question, all things considered. I think that the openness and destruction of borders (in the virtual sense) is a nice concept, but it hasn't actually happened in most fields yet.

It's nice to know that it doesn't interfere with writer / agent / editor relationships, though.

Zach, your complaint is about intellectual property rights, which has nothing to do with whether an agent can represent a writer effectively if they're in separate locations.

I understand it's irritating not to be able to see the things you want online: but it's not a question of the Big Ass Label not wanting you to see that content: they don't have the rights to allow you to see it, and would be violating others' IP rights and contracts if they gave you access to it.

Corinne Duyvis
05-22-2014, 08:21 PM
I'm from Amsterdam. My agency is headquartered in Arizona. My agent is from Massachusetts. She's also consistently one of the top dealmakers in children's lit.

So... just do your research and you'll be fine. Living in New York might be a bonus, but it's in no way a necessity.

gingerwoman
05-23-2014, 02:40 AM
Zach, your complaint is about intellectual property rights, which has nothing to do with whether an agent can represent a writer effectively if they're in separate locations.

I understand it's irritating not to be able to see the things you want online: but it's not a question of the Big Ass Label not wanting you to see that content: they don't have the rights to allow you to see it, and would be violating others' IP rights and contracts if they gave you access to it.
lol This is basically all my deleted message said, but I don't know all the ins and outs of how foreign rights work, so I thought maybe I wasn't the person to comment on it.

Old Hack
05-23-2014, 10:06 AM
Ha! I must be chaneling you, ginger.

ETA: Or chanelling you. I can't work out which is correct, and this frustrates me. I need more tea.

alexaherself
05-23-2014, 04:15 PM
Ha! I must be chaneling you, ginger.

ETA: Or chanelling you. I can't work out which is correct, and this frustrates me. I need more tea.

I need coffee, myself. I think you need an extra "n", in either version?

Unless I missed a perfume allusion, there. http://clicksmilies.com/s1106/ernaehrung/food-smiley-010.gif

Old Hack
05-23-2014, 05:16 PM
God yes.

I told you I needed more tea.

Mr Flibble
05-25-2014, 02:00 AM
(Fwiw, the book she was most enthusiastic about is set in the US, with very American characters. Nothing British about it.)

Conversely my series, while fantasy, has a marked British tone to it* and I have a US agent.

But he had British contacts (and US ones, a subsequent book is being shopped both sides of the Atlantic and it's set in Brighton. I had a fab rejection from a US pub/editor who loved it but couldn't quite get the go ahead). Mayhap your agent has US ones, or knows British pubs who want that sort of book

It's not where the agent is. It's whether they have the contacts to sell your book, whether they think they can sell it. That is the important bit.


*Well I think it does anyway, and that seems borne out by what I've seen after publication.

Zenning
05-25-2014, 06:44 AM
I read somewhere on other sites that, though communication-wise is no big deal, be prudent with payment and tax and royalty, since you and your agent are in different countries, there might be implications that your tax laws are different. Make sure you talk with your prospective agent about it before signing on.