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Faritova
06-19-2005, 01:17 PM
Tomorrow I am supposed to make a call to NY to speak with an agent. I sent out my first batch my query letters after much research [This site really ROCKS! The links have been marvelous] to about 20 agents. I started with the ones who took email queries because I currently live out of country. I got a bite from a reputable agency and sent my manuscript there about three weeks ago and now this agent wishes to speak with me. I am a total newbie to this whole thing and I have no idea what to expect. I know if it was a rejection letter it would have been mailed in that SASE we all send out with our queries. However, this call probably isn't that. So please, I beg of anybody waking up and reading this post in the next 24 hours, what should I be expecting from this call? What does this call represent? What information do I need to know? Of course I will keep searching this board for similar situations, but if anybody wants to put in their two cents worth, it would be so gladly appreciated and welcomed. :)

Torgo
06-19-2005, 04:19 PM
Well, if they want to speak to you - and they could just as easily email you - they might well want to pick up your book.

Cathy C
06-19-2005, 07:50 PM
Okay, Faritova, let's start with -- are you in Moscow, Kansas (or some other American city with the name) or Moscow, Russia? An agent might want to speak with you if you're from out of the country, because they want to get an idea of what you're looking for in representation in America. (Of course, if you're IN America, disregard this.) Sure, they can e-mail, but you can impart a whole bunch more information in a phone call in a shorter time than a flurry of e-mails back and forth over the course of hours.


So, if the agent is offering representation of the book, here are some the things you want to ask (and anybody else -- please feel free to throw in things I miss.) I pulled this from the FAQ on the Association of Author Representative's site, because it's really good advice:



Are you a member of the Association of Authors' Representatives? (Note: If not, WHY not? Often it's because there haven't been sufficient sales to justify admittance.)



How long have you been in business as an agent? Have you worked as an editor for a major house?



Do you have specialists at your agency who handle movie and television rights? Foreign rights? (Note: this is especially useful if you're overseas)



Do you have subagents or corresponding agents in Hollywood and overseas?



Who in your agency will actually be handling my work? Will the other staff members be familiar with my work and the status of my business at your agency? Will you oversee or at least keep me apprised of the work that your agency is doing on my behalf?



Do you issue an agent-author agreement? May I review the language of the agency clause that appears in contracts you negotiate for your clients? (Note: What you're looking for here is what's known as a "perpetual agency clause." This is a bad thing, and I'll bet there's a thread on it somewhere here at AW.)


How do you keep your clients informed of your activities on their behalf?



Do you consult with your clients on any and all offers?



What are your commission rates? What are your procedures and time-frames for processing and disbursing client funds? Do you keep different bank accounts separating author funds from agency revenue? What are your policies about charging clients for expenses incurred by your agency?



When you issue 1099 tax forms at the end of each year, do you also furnish clients upon request with a detailed account of their financial activity, such as gross income, commissions and other deductions, and net income, for the past year?



In the event of your death or disability, what provisions exist for my continued representation?



If we should part company, what is your policy about handling any unsold subsidiary rights in my work?
Okay, my additional questions:

1) How many books have you sold in the last 2 years?
2) Are any of your recent sales in the same genre as my book?
3) Do you know any imprints that might be a good home for my book? (Note: asking about publishers isn't nearly as telling as asking about imprints. A good agent will know which lines at a publisher are looking for which type of books.)

Good luck! Let us know what happens. :D

Faritova
06-19-2005, 08:04 PM
Thank you Cathy! I am a Canadian living in Moscow, Russia for the year. I started with American agents because they are a heck of a lot more organized on the internet in terms of pages to search, who represents what genre etc.... than the Canadian agents. It was sad really, I would have gone Canadian first, but it was easier to pull up concise information for agents in the States, sad really.

aruna
06-19-2005, 08:30 PM
Thank you Cathy! I am a Canadian living in Moscow, Russia for the year. I started with American agents because they are a heck of a lot more organized on the internet in terms of pages to search, who represents what genre etc.... than the Canadian agents. It was sad really, I would have gone Canadian first, but it was easier to pull up concise information for agents in the States, sad really.

There's a list of canadian agents on this page - scroll down, it's near th every bottom. And good luck!

http://www.everyonewhosanyone.com/aguk2.html

Cathy C
06-19-2005, 08:30 PM
Then you definitely need to decide in your own mind what market you want to approach. Do you want to sell the book to an American publisher or to a Canadian one? Keep in mind that Canada has some real perks for residents who publish there (including grants and book awards), but the American market might be bigger depending on your genre.


That might be another good question to ask the agent. They might have a good idea of what would be best for your career (again, presuming they're calling to offer agency.)

Faritova
06-19-2005, 08:54 PM
Huh, didn't even think of the perks for Canada, but you are right. I always think taxes. The genre is Children's Pic. Books, just the text, I don't have an illustrator. When I checked for agents in Canada, I only was able to find one who represented my genre, that's a real long shot. Where as in the States on agentquery.com, that site listed US agents only and just made my life a breeze. I never really thought that far ahead in terms of where or why, I just wanted to submit and I don't even know if I've been successful yet, guess I'll find out tomorrow. Thanks.

flotsamarama
06-21-2005, 05:36 AM
I feel like I'm reading a book and the ending hasn't been written yet. Tell us, Faritova, what happened with the telephone call?

WriteRead
06-21-2005, 07:16 PM
okay..waiting...biting nails... :)

Good luck, Faritova!

Dan