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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Being Prepared For The Call

Now that I have a few fulls of my manuscript out to agents and editors I've started to seriously think about The Call. You know the one, the call every aspiring author dreams about. The call from an agent offering representation. I'm not so arrogant to think I have it in the bag, especially in today's economy. But, I know it's best to be prepared. Having gone through this before I know the excitement of that call can cause you to forget everything you were going to ask. And let's face it, this is a big decision. You don't want to forget your questions!

I've scoured the internet and have put together a list of questions that you should ask an agent when they call with an offer of representation. Some of these are questions I've come up with and some are from other sources. Some sources said to ask questions such as, is this agent a member of the AAR, who are their clients, what have they sold recently. All these things can be found on the internet so you don't need to waste your call on asking them. If you haven't done your research to discover these things before submitting to the agent who has your full or partial, DO IT NOW. Without further ado, here is my list:

Do you feel my manuscript needs editing, if so what do you have in mind?
What is your approach to providing editorial input and career guidance?
How fast do you like your clients to complete edits?
Who do you plant to submit to and when?
What is your preferred method of communication?
Will you be available to answer questions and offer feedback?
Do you forward or share information about editorial responses with your clients?
Will you consult with me on any offers from editors?
Will you be open to hearing about other projects I have, or will have in the works?

This is by no means a complete list. There may be different questions you want to ask. Remember, this will be a business partnership. You want to make sure this is someone you will be able to work well with. Best of luck, I hope you all get The Call!

26 comments:

  1. Excellent advice. Not something I've thought about tbh. I like to think, after I've stopped stuttering, that I'll be able to ask reasonable questions lol

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  2. It's def. important to have a notebook and questions ready. During my first call I was so nervous I'd have forgotten everything if I didn't write it down. Love the new layout :)

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  3. LOL! Yes Louise, there is a lot of stuttering the first time. Having the questions on a pad in front of you helps a LOT!

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  4. So true Candyland! That notebook has kept me from sounding like a mute. LOL! I'm glad you like the new layout, thank you!

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  5. I wish I had known more when I got THE CALL with my first agent. But for this next round I'll be better prepared.

    Great list of questions, Heather. :)

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  6. Great list! I hope you get "the call" soon!!! :)

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  7. That's one phone call I will can't wait to receive. Great questions Heather. I will definitely have to save them and add a few more.

    Good luck! I hope you get that call today!

    Michael

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  8. I know exactly what you mean Karen, me too! If I had known the right questions to ask I think things would have gone very differently. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to learn the hard way.

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  9. Thank you so much Elana! Me too! Fingers crossed and double crossed (ouch!).

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  10. It will be worth the wait Michael! I'm glad the questions gave you a starting point. Thanks for the good luck!

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  11. Great questions, Heather. Hopefully you get to use them soon. :D

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  12. I really hope you get that call and tell us all about it!

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  13. Thank you so much Stina and Lydia!

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  14. I recently had an opportunity arise and I've had to ask some very difficult questions for myself. It hasn't been easy, you want to be excited about the call but you also want to be smart and prepared, and sometimes that's not easy.

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  15. That's so true Jen. I hope it was a good opportunity that turned out great! You're right, not being prepared can be the difference between a good choice and a bad one. I've been down that road before.

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  16. RING! RING! Heather, it won't be long. Thank you for the great list. I'm copying it and will refer to it. Sooner than later. I hope!
    I'm hearing it again-- "Ring Ring"

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  17. Good luck, Heather! You've got a great list and it's always good to be prepared. You just never know when the phone might ring. :)

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  18. I love your positive enthusiasm Karlene, thank you so much!!! And you're welcome for the list. I hope the phone will be ringing for you very soon too!

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  19. Thanks Jennifer. :) Preparing is part of what helps keep me busy during the wait!

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  20. You're in an exciting place, I hope you get The Call :)

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  21. What a great list and a great topic to think about. Instead of feeling at the mercy of outside forces, identifying what questions to ask in The Call creates a sense of control over our own destinies. What a great feeling! Thanks, Heather. And you will definitely be getting that call. You'll have to decide between excellent offers. I can see it now...

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  22. Thank you Joanne! It IS excited, and nerve-wracking, and scary, and many other things! But it is a good place to be.

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  23. Linda, it does help give one piece of mind to have a list ready, at least someone as OCD as me! LOL! Thank you for your confidence. I love how you think!

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  24. Oh, Heather, I hope you get that call SOON.

    Hugs,
    Lola

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  25. Great list Heather, I hope I need we need it soon :)

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  26. Thank you so much Lola!

    And thank you Kangaroobee! I hope you need the list very soon as well!

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