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Thread: When agents call....

  1. #1
    Strange Monster Yāogui's Avatar
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    When agents call....

    Hi! An agent has had my full manuscript for a couple of months, and now she wants to call me and discuss my manuscript. I'm delighted but nervous. What kinds of things tend to be discussed in this kind of call?

    Has anyone else had the phone-call-after-the-full? If so, what was it like? Is it a promising sign? Should I have a resume and a list of accomplishments at hand?

    Is there any other advice you can offer?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW benluby's Avatar
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    Never been called by an agent, but I'd seriously doubt an agent is going to call you to tell you that they aren't interested in your book. They'd use email for that.
    Good luck!!

  3. #3
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    It's possible that she's calling to offer representation, but she could also be calling to get a feel for you and offer feedback. I got a call once from someone making a request, but the call after a full in my case was an offer. Don't automatically assume that's the case, though. It could also be that she would like some changes made and wants to talk them over with you or something of that nature.

    In any case, the best thing to do is come up with a list of questions you'd like to ask in case she does offer rep. You'll have to ask around for a full list (there are several), but things like what does she have in mind for the book, is a contract for a single book or for the career, what sort of work style does she have (for instance, does she send you all rejections, or none?), what is her communication style, and so on. There are quite a few things you'll want to discuss.

    I made a list, wrote them down, and that way I wouldn't go blank and completely forget what to say. Basically, prepare as if it's the call, but know that she might just want to discuss the manuscript. Either way, it's a good sign. It means she's enthusiastic about your manuscript.
    "You will experience a tingling sensation and then death."

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  4. #4
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Arm yourself with a list of questions to ask, and if you are offered representation ask for ten days or so to consider it. And good luck!

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW Marika's Avatar
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    Congrats, Yauguai!!

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW mccardey's Avatar
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    Also - do come and tell us how it went, won't you?

  7. #7
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Seconding that you tell us how it goes.

    Best of luck!

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thumbs up

    Woot! I'm in a similar situation, except she read my full manuscript for critique (Kickstarter). I didn't expect a request for a phone call and synopsis. I'm thinking, no matter what, it is a good opportunity for feedback and representation.

    To prepare, I wrote down a few things about myself and questions I might have about my writing. In a way, I'm preparing a bit like it is a job interview. Also, I have some articles on questions to ask her if representation comes up.

    Here are a few resources I found helpful:
    http://www.literaryrambles.com/2010/...gent-when.html
    http://www.squidoo.com/litagents
    http://wow-womenonwriting.com/15-FC-SusanKearney.html

    I'm sure there is plenty more out there, but don't fret too much. Asking for time to think after asking questions should be reasonable.

    Good luck and definitely give an update!

  9. #9
    chronically underwhelmed Fantasmac's Avatar
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    I would think it's pretty likely that the agent is interested in your MS. Agents don't call authors to ask about the weather. I don't think the resume and list of accomplishments are necessary, but expect her to ask about any other things you've been working on and career goals.

    Mary Kole at kidlit.com has two really great posts for this:

    Questions you might be asked when offered representation
    10 questions to ask when offered representation

    No matter how the conversation goes, I'm going to echo Old Hack and advise you to ask the agent for time to consider an offer (if she makes one). That way, you can alert anyone else who has your MS and maybe drum up additional offers now that there's some competition.

    Good luck and congratulations!
    Rep'd by Kerry Sparks of Levine Greenberg
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    The Cheerleader's Guide to Anarchy (YA Contemporary) -- editing, banging head against wall
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  10. #10
    writer, rider, reader...ex-pat! BethS's Avatar
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    Three days after I sent my agent the full manuscript, he called to discuss it. Took me totally by surprise, and I was recovering from the flu on top of that.


    So I was not at my most coherent. I remember him telling me what he liked about it and then asked how I would structure it if were broken up into a trilogy. I was to send it again with its parts rearranged accordingly and we'd talk in two weeks. That second call was scheduled, and that's when he made the official offer. We talked for the greater part of an hour. I had made a list of questions to ask, some of which got answered in the course of the discussion without me ever having to ask them.

    Anyway, the call you get might not be THE call, but it is a good sign. Good luck!

  11. #11
    creative genie katci13's Avatar
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    I read it's a good idea to ask things like, how much work they think the story needs, what is the timeline for revisions, how hands on they are. If it's THE call, it might be good to ask for a copy of the agency's contract, how regularly they communicate with clients, and what their submission plan is, if it doesn't come up in the normal conversation.

    Works in Progress:

    Paranormal/Horror - Drafting

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