You need to have a New York agent because they’re the ones who can woo the editors over lunch and drinks.Looks like everybody’s heard that one.
Now, raise your right leg if you’ve heard:
It doesn’t matter where your agent lives. Nowadays, agents use the Internet, the phone, and even quick flights to NY to meet with editors.Everybody put your arms and legs down before you fall over.
Now, it’s true that NY agents have the most opportunities to get to know NY editors. It’s also true that agents outside of NY network with editors at the big houses. I know from my days as Executive Director of the Writers’ League of Texas that one thing agents wanted to know when we invited them to the Agents conference was how many editors would be there and who. A big draw for them was getting to talk to editors they either knew or wanted to meet.
So don’t dismiss an agent who lives outside of New York, especially if they attend conferences where they can network or say on their website that they travel to NY often. And don’t forget the telephone. It’s a networking tool, too.