Let’s get to know agent Jim McCarthy from Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.
Jim started off in the publishing world by interning for Dystel & Goderich while he was studying urban design at New York University. When he graduated in 2002, he decided he’d much rather work with books than buildings.
I met Jim at the 2012 PNWA Summer Conference where he told attendees that he is an avid reader and is looking for clients in both literary and commercial fiction and Young Adult/Teen. Inside scoop, he told us he’d also take a look at some middle grade! His more specific interests include, “literary women’s fiction, underrepresented voices, mysteries, romance, paranormal fiction, and anything unusual or unexpected. In addition to fiction he is also interested in narrative nonfiction, memoir, and paranormal nonfiction.”
Jim’s advice to writers- Do your research! Also, make the manuscript as clean as possible. He told us he has a rule- he won’t offer representation if he doesn’t like it as is. He will still edit, but wants it as clean as you can get. Even then, expect more cleaning.
How to query- “Enclose a cover letter, outline or brief synopsis of the work (with word count if possible), a sample chapter, and a stamped, self-addressed envelope for our response. Please type all of your correspondence and double space everything other than the cover letter. E-mail queries are fine, but keep them brief and make sure your cover letter is in the body of the e-mail. We won’t open attachments if they come with a blank e-mail. Please be sure to query only one agent at this agency. We will not review queries sent to more than one of us.”