A Q&A with Agent Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich

The 2011 Agent’s Conference is shaping up excellently with a great bunch of agents and editors. Today we have a Q&A with agent Jim McCarthy of Dystel and Goderich Literary Management that will give you a bit of insight into the world of literary agents and Jim himself. Even if you don’t plan on going to the conference in 2011 (although everyone should consider going — it’s an great opportunity and fantastically fun weekend!), his Q&A will be an entertaining and informative read.

How did you get started in publishing?

I landed at Dystel & Goderich as an intern in 1999. I needed a part time job, and they were the first people to call me back! I didn’t even know what a literary agent was, but I became fascinated by the inner workings of the publishing industry. When I graduated from college a few years later, a full time job opened up, and I jumped on the chance. And here I am!

What’s the average number of submissions you receive in a month?

I’ve always focused on how many the agency gets, not just me, so I’m not completely sure of this estimate, but I’d say about 500. Continue reading