Literary Agents Again

I have never met a literary agent. It would be interesting to talk to one to find out more about their jobs and what they do on a daily basis. How much time they spend on queries. How much time they spend talking with publishers. How the whole selling a book process works…

Most literary agents seem to be in the New York City area. Others are in LA or San Francisco, Denver and a few other places. A lot of the agents who don’t reside in NYC have a little explanation on their websites that they don’t need to be in NYC, where apparently most of the publishers are. Being in the age of of e-mail, it’s probably much easier and in reading agents’ blogs, they seem to travel to NYC periodically.

Therse are a few other things I wonder about too.

Job hopping…

Is job hopping prevalent with agents? In my short time querying, I’ve seen a lot of change over. So when it comes to querying my next story, I can’t just send to those on my list. I will have to go back to websites and make sure that agent is still with that agency.

A funny thing happened a few months ago.

I queried Jane at Agency A. I queried Mary at Agency B. On a Friday, Jane responded and said she was not interested. On Tuesday Jane responded to my query on behalf of Mary (who was no longer with Agency B) that she wasn’t interested.

Did Jane switch agencies? Or are the two agencies tied together somehow?

This confused me slightly so I decided to write Jane (now at Agency B) and ask if she switched jobs. She responded. She’d indeed had switched jobs, taking the place of Mary.

The whole thing was weird because it happened within a span of a few days. But it was nice of Jane to respond to my query to Mary—even if it wasn’t a yes.

Common addresses…

I also found that agencies share addresses although I can not otherwise find a link between them. In Microsoft Excel, when you start typing a similar word it does the autofill. So are these agents just friends and share a common workplace? Or do they work together even though they each have their own agency?

No more queries…

Some agents post on their website that they are no longer accepting queries. (Some never accept unsolicited queries—you have to be referred). Most of the time they’ll give a specific date when they’re opening back up, othertimes it’s indefinite.

Why do they do this? Are they in query overload? Have they recently acquired several clients and need to concentrate on them? 

Being in ND, I don’t get the opportunity to smooze with litarary agents. Maybe someday I’ll get to attend a conference and meet some agents and learn more about how their jobs. It’d be fun to learn more about what they do.