What a silly question. Of course it does. The real question is how do you define “size”?
Is size defined simply by how many books an agency or agent sells in year? Is size defined by the number of agents on board and the size of the support staff? Or is size defined by the number of zeros behind the deals an agent makes?
Which is the size that matters?
This is why researching possible agents and learning more about the industry is so important.
For example, it’s not a question of whether an agency is a boutique agency or a big house like ICM; the real question is how powerful are they?
There are small boutique “agencies” that are very ineffective and a quick look at the sales record (foreign rights included) or lack thereof will make it clear. Then there are “small” agencies that carry very big sticks. Most of my agent friends own their own show and all of them easily sell over 50 books a year and get, in Deal Lunch terms, very nice, good, significant, and major deals. They are powerhouses.
Besides, the only real difference between an ICM and a boutique agency is the location of the staff. ICM is all internal while a boutique agency partners with the players externally.
Same support staff on board—contracts manager, accountant, publishing lawyer for the issues, foreign rights manager, assistants, etc.–only the staff location differs.
Or that’s how it should be for effective boutique agencies. Avoid the ones who don’t have a support staff in place. And if a small agency is interested in you and your work and you don’t know whether they have the needed connections, ask.
So, does this size matter? Doesn’t seem like it but I’m biased because I can be considered a boutique agency. What about the number of books sold in a year?
What would you prefer? An agency who sells a 100 books but all in nice deals (under 50k) or an agent who sells 10 or 20 books a year but does very nice, good, significant, and major deals?
I guess if you can find that agent who does a 100 books a year and all for major deals, grab him or her—if they’ll have you. That many books a year means the client list is pretty full. You want to make sure you have an agent who has time for you. Many authors can tell you horror stories of being lost in the crowd. There is such a thing as an agent who has a client list that’s too large in size and the less successful authors on the list slip through the cracks.
So size does matter. Just make sure you know which definition of “size” matters the most to you.