McIntosh & Otis is the second oldest literary agency in the U.S. He started working as an intern at Random House, and then went into agenting, working at McIntosh for 5 years. He had a success story at last year's conference, finding an author at a first-page reading.
Things are cyclical, he says. When he first started, you couldn't sell YA. When he took over McIntosh & Otis, it was "picture books are dead." But things bounce back. These times of crisis are also times of great opportunity. I think we'll be resilient.
When he sends out a manuscript, he wants the editorial assistants fighting in the hallways to open his manuscripts because of his reputation.
He things parents will buy book for children before they by books for themselves.
There's a lot of streamlining, but at the end of the day, we'll see leaner, meaner, and houses getting behind known commodities but also take chances on new authors without track records.