Wonders a Snarkling:
A writer friend of mine says agents often will decline to represent clients whose work is similar to that of an existing client. This makes perfect sense to me, as I'm sure it does to those who already have agents. But most of the agent-searching advice out there says to seek out agents who represent authors whose work is similar to ours -even to *point those similarities out* to the agent in our queries.
So what's your position? Do you and your esteemed colleagues try to keep your client lists heterogeneous?
My contract specifies that I can represent similar authors so I'm pretty upfront with clients that I do so. I actually think it's a good idea. Think about it this way: those guys at Burger King and McDonalds spend a fortune on store placement research. What did they learn? Put the competing brands near each other. Demand for McD drives up demand for BK.
From a literary perspective it makes sense too. If I take on a client within a category or genre, it makes sense to take on others in that category or genre. Philip Spitzer for example represents several very well known and successful mystery writers. If I wrote mysteries instead of rejection letters I'd sure want Mr. Spitzer as an agent.
The only time I can think of when this wouldn't apply is if you write political non fiction. I wouldn't want to represent Al Franken AND Ann Coulter. Both would be pretty upset about it, and both would probably doubt my commitment to them.
As it is Miss Snark confines her client list to less vitriolic people and happily, we all DO get along!