Literary Agent Row

Miss Snark,

As I edited the address of a new query letter (over the address of a rejected agency), I noticed the strangest thing. Not only was the street address the same but the new agency even had the same suite number as the previous one. I thought it must have been "user error" but I double checked both entries in Jeff Herman's guide and the addresses are identical. Is it common for two agencies to share space or should this be a red flag?

Oh please, we're stuffed into office space like bees in a hive. The cost of square footage is really high in NYC, and agenting income is erratic. Smart agents keep their "monthly nut" low. Sharing office space and a copier is smart. It's also great to have access to other people for quick consultations.

No red flag at all.


takoda said...

Exactly how many bees do live in one hive?


Minnie Bittertiddof said...

Agent Row: There could be a street fair once a year and everyone could eat cake.

Dave said...

I'm guessing that the big, expansive and elegantly decorated office is in reality, a large room with phones, cheap office furniture and a secretary with several mailbox drops. And, I'll bet the agent works at home.

Why do you consider this so odd? Reality is often a dissapointment when compared to anticipation.

litagent said...

You should see the publishing offices. Very senior editors at least have windows. Everyone else has either a windowless closet or just a cubicle. And all of them are stacked with precarious towers of books and papers. No glamour there, I assure you. On the other hand, I have seen some very nice agency offices. (Not mine!)

Dave Kuzminski said...

Definitely not a red flag, folks. If nothing else, it shows the agent doesn't splurge on a showcase that won't sell a manuscript. It's the words that sell. Like MS states, good writing trumps all.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm leary, but she said a Former Agency had the same information as a New Agency.

Given the number of names and companies a notorious (for fraudulent ways) "literary agent" has concocted with the same location information, I would wonder--particularly as this writer is using Jeff's guide which is not very reliable at weeding out scammers.

Craig Steffen said...

Why do you consider this so odd? Reality is often a dissapointment when compared to anticipation.

It's a matter of your perspective and experience. I live in the midwest (Ok, now the South, I grew up in the mid-west). With a reasonable professional job you afford a 2000 square foot house here in most towns. If you're willing to drive to the outskirts of the city (20 minutes) that increases to 3000.

I have a collaborator that lives in a 1400 sqare foot house with another family in San Francisco area that cost about $500,000. I know that I've heard that offices in the NYC area are very small, but it's as hard for me to visualize that as it is to comprehend the house in SF.