Agent Andy Ross (Interview)
Interviewed by John Robert Marlow
ANDY ROSS is a literary agent and founder of the Andy Ross Agency, which specializes in narrative nonfiction, history, politics and current events, science, journalism, and cultural subjects. Before becoming an agent, Andy was owner and general manager of Berkeley landmark Cody’s Books from 1977- 2006. He was a board member and officer of the American Booksellers Association, past president of the Northern California Booksellers Association, and is author of the Ask the Agent blog.
JRM: Why did you become—and why do you remain—an agent? What got you started, and what keeps you going?
Andy Ross: Most agents come out of publishing. Usually editorial. This makes a lot of sense. They have experience in the decision to acquire books for publishers. They know the calculations that go into making the decision, and they usually know what general sorts of books publishers are looking for.
I came into this job from an entirely different background. I was a retailer for 35 years. For 30 years I owned and managed Cody’s Books in Berkeley. It was an extremely well known and highly regarded store that had a reputation for its unusual selection of titles and its commitment to books of literary and intellectual value. This gave me an unusual perspective. Read more…