Why I am a NYC prude when it comes to finding an agent

I want a New York City agent. Don’t we all?

There are thousands of literary agents. I’m sure some amazing ones are outside the Big Apple, maybe in California, London, Toronto, Chicago, Des Moine, Round Rock, Fort Myers, some tiny town on the rocky coast of Maine, maybe even just down the street from me here in Orlando. And maybe one of them would really want me as a client. I don’t want them. Sorry.

Sure, there is the old, standard saw. The publishing world is centered in New York, and that’s where you want to be. The storyline says that every day NYC agents and editors and publishers are lunching together. They know each other. They know each other’s wants and needs, strengths and weaknesses, fetishes and criminal records, etc. Meetings can be arranged the same day, almost anytime. The cross-pollination is heavy and constant. Blah, blah, blah.

That’s a good reason to want a NYC agent, but that’s not it.

I just love NY. I daydream about the agent calling me up and saying, “I have some things we need to go over. Can you meet me tomorrow?” Then I take a day off from the old day job, hop on JetBlue, meet with her at some little place in the village, fly home and go back to the day job the next day as if nothing happened.

I’m sure I could learn to love San Francisco or Toronto or Santa Fe, but it’s not the same. Besides, it would be tougher to jet over in the morning, have that meeting, and jet back that night as if nothing happened. London? Fuhgetaboutit.

Am I unnecessarily and unfortunately limiting myself by focusing on NYC agents, or am I empowering myself with a tactical decision? I’ve actually queried two or three agents outside of NYC. They’ve treated me the same as most of the NYC agents, by not responding, or turning me down. So if there’s an advantage to agents elsewhere, I’m not seeing it. Not yet

But you know me. I can be persuaded. If there is a non-NYC agent out there who thinks she could help me, she probably can have me at “hello.”


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