SE USA, Atlanta area. But I also learned that agents are human and all different so that doesn't mean she spoke for everyone. But publishing IS very expensive, and time is money, so I can understand why an agent would want to streamline their work investment as much as possible and avoid costly mistakes. If a writer shows she knows her market, I guess it gives her an edge. I failed mine. I comped an older book and a movie, and was called out on it in the one-on-one I paid for. But again, by THAT agent. Maybe another would not have objected. That's what they mean by tailoring one's query to the specific agent, I guess. Also, once you've been published, it's a heck of a lot easier to get published again, from what I gather. It's that first time that's the bugger, lol.