Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Meeting Half Way

Okay, everyone out there, if you’ve heard this before, raise your hand:
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.
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25 comments:

  1. I think there are great agents in NYC and outside of NYC. Just like writers — they have addresses all over the globe, social media networks and the Internet.

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  2. I have to hope that location doesn't matter considering my position in Botswana.

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  3. I agree with Lauri- I am in Australia. Location somocation I say!

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  4. It used to be that writers wanted only NY agents. Especially with the Internet, agents are networking from all over now.

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  5. I want a NY agent so I can say "I was talking to my NY agent the other day..." And I'm sure there is a NY agent who is desperate to say over a ginger martini (yes Helen Ginger there is such a thing and it is divine!) that they just phoned one of their writers - the one who lives in Nova Scotia for gawd sake and then the other agent who is not drinking because they are on a liver cleanse will say 'you have a Nova Scotia writer - my gawd - you could get great nova scotian (smoked salmon) from them, you lucky dawg!"

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  6. Before the internet we only knew writers in our local area. Now we have friends worldwide. It only stands to reason that an agent search would now be global as well.

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  7. The Internet has made live so much more connected.

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  8. It's a tad difficult to remember life before the Internet. I feel like I am so much more connected.

    Jan, I am going to order a ginger martini the next time I'm at a bar. Admittedly, that won't be for many months, but I'm looking forward to tasting one. I love salmon! I'm not much on seafood, but do like salmon.

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  9. Interesting that agents aren't attending conferences solely to seek out writers. I hadn't thought of the meeting-editors angle. It's all about networking, isn't it?

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  10. I don't care where my agent lives, as long as I can find some excuse to spend a week in the Village every so often without alienating my other half. Agent, editor, whatever... as long as I can say that I 'simply must dash off to NYC, be right back, sweetie, I'll bring you a knish!' and still write it off my taxes.

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  11. Thanks to the internet- connections are expanding and completely global! Yay Internet!

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  12. Good points Helen.

    Many of us work out of our home via the internet anyway. It's no big to be an agent that works in an area outside of New York. Whatever *business* you're in, successful business people know who's who in their field and keep connected to them.

    Today it's nothing to hop a plane and go to NY or anywhere else you need to do business. As writers we go to various conferences too.

    Like you, I can barely remember not having internet, lolol!

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  13. OK, I'll show my NY ignorance. What, Fawn, is a 'knish'?

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  14. Guess in this day and age, they could live anywhere! Even Antartica if they've a thing for penguins.

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  15. Good points, Helen. It used to matter more that an agent be in NY or LA, for a lot of reasons, but that has changed over the past 20 years or so, especially more recently with instant communications. I just sent out two queries to agents, neither in New York.

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  16. I had heard that the reason agents attend conferences is to meet editors. In spite of the internet and other forms of communication, I think a lot of people like to have some face time in their business, even if it's an occasional meeting. I don't need to meet face to face with the people I deal with in my professional life, but even just a brief meeting in a hallway seems to smooth subsequent interactions.

    Maybe agents and editors will begin networking in Second Life. Wouldn't that be bizarre?

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  17. I don't live in NY now, but I once did. Three times. A knish is like a potato-filled dumpling. You can buy them on the street. Yummy.

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  18. Good advice as always :)

    I think I'd like to try a knish now. And now I'm hungry!

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  19. At this point,I'd take an agent who lived at the North Pole.
    karen

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  20. At this point,I'd take an agent who lived at the North Pole.
    karen

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  21. Mine is in DC, but has an NY partner. Seems to work out well (Signature Lit.)

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  22. I'm not sure if now is the best time to get into the business, but I think I want to be an agent.

    And I'd be the kind of agent with a slush pile so high it will have to be stacked in the stairwell.

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  23. Helen,

    Hmmm...I'm kind of in a quandry. I know it would be great to have a New York agent, but I live in New York (upstate) and think it would be kinda cool to say, "I had to go to LA to see my agent and..."

    I guess I'll go with my gut instinct and get the best agent I can get, no matter where he/she comes from and just get a kick out of mentioning the fact that I HAVE an agent (whenever that finally occurs)!

    By the way...don't miss the "Guest Author Interview" on my blog today--my guest author is: KATHRYN CASEY!

    And...did you notice "The $5,000 LuShae Sweepstakes" on my blog? Enter the online sweepstakes competition for the chance to win $5,000 cash (to spend anywhere you like). They also draw one $200 monthly random winner EACH MONTH! You aren't going to want to miss this one--it's easy--TRUST ME! Just check out the details on my blog by clicking here.

    Talk to you soon,
    Cynde
    Cynde's Got The Write Stuff

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  24. With the rise of the Internet, Mark, we might all end up in Second Life.

    Thank you Carol. If I ever get to NY again, I'll look for a knish.

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