I’ve just started to look for agents for my novel. Based in Austria (and I have to emphasize that this is not the country you’re likely to meet kangaroos) with ties to the US, I have researched agents in the US as well as the UK. Their requirements differ significantly! This is the picture I have after researching about 20-30 agencies and agents in each country:
US agents want query letters and, maybe, a few pages at first.
UK agents want cover letters (a totally different beast), a synopsis, and frequently also the first 20 or so pages.
Can you shed some light on why the requirements are so different? Does the publishing industry work differently in the two countries?
Not even a glimmer.
Query requirements aren't because the publishing industry is different.
It's a matter of taste and custom.
But I don't know enough about UK publishing to offer any opinion you should listen to.
My second question is: how much importance does geographic proximity still play these days? In other words, I am crazy to consider an agent based some 6000 miles from where I am?
I have clients who do live in the country where you're likely to meet kangaroos, and one where you're like to meet oil sheiks and veiled ladies.
And more than a few who live in their own world, somewhere off to the left of Pluto.
All of which means that as long as you can get money without me having to deliver it in dollar bills via jet pack, you're good.
Where you're going to run into glitches is promotion. Zoom presentations to book clubs at 7pm EDT may mean you need to look bright eyed and bushy tailed at 7am your time.
*I just like to include Mongolia in blog posts for fun.
I really do know where Austria is