PDA

View Full Version : What to expect



NealM
06-18-2017, 05:08 AM
Hello all, been lurking for a little while but this is my first post.

I got a MS request from an agent based on my query and sample pages. Several weeks later she got back to me saying that, though she hadn't yet finished it, she was "loving what she was seeing" and wanted to set up a phone call with me. We're scheduled to talk this coming Tuesday (6-20-17).

I have no idea what to expect from this conversation. I'm more familiar with the world of screenwriting, where the equivalent of this is something called a "general" where you sit down with the agent/manager/producer and just kind of shoot the shit and feel each other out (99 times out of 100 these meetings lead to nothing more than a free bottle of water). Is it sort of like that? Is there anything I should do to prepare for this conversation? Any particular questions I should expect? Should I get drunk first?

I imagine there's probably no single answer to this question and all these conversations are different, but if anybody would be kind enough to share their experiences I'd be very grateful.

Also I was kidding about getting drunk first. Unless you think I should in which case I'm not kidding... ;)

Siri Kirpal
06-18-2017, 05:45 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Welcome!

Agents call for one of two reasons: to offer you representation or to offer you an R & R (Revise and Resubmit).

If it's a call with an offer of rep, you'll want to find out if the agent's editorial style suits you, if the agent has expertise with this genre (you may already know that one), if the agent represents all your genres (if you write more than one, though few agents represent both books and screenplays), what sort of edits the agent would like (but don't expect details at this point), how & to whom the agent plans to sell the book, whether the agent provides any help with promotion once the book is sold. You'll no doubt get other tips.

If it's a call with an R & R, take good notes. Think carefully. Will the revisions make the book better? If you think they will, do them. Take your time to do them well. Resend. But you're also free (unless you've agreed to an exclusive, which isn't usually in your interest) to continue querying and send the revised version to other interested agents.

Best of luck.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Jeneral
06-18-2017, 05:58 AM
I found this (http://www.dystel.com/blog/2016/01/jim-suggests-questions-to-ask-a-prospective-agent/) to be a really good list of potential questions to ask during an agent call. It pretty much covers all the bases. It helped me to sort of sit back at the beginning of the call, and let the agent do the talking. They're going to (probably) tell you what they liked about the book, hopefully let you know up front if it's an offer call or an R&R, and essentially try to sell themselves to you. And then you can start asking your own questions.

Good luck!

Quickbread
06-18-2017, 07:37 PM
Yep, seconding the above replies. Agents only want a call when they're interested in offering representation, either now or hopefully in the future after revisions are done. They might be on the fence and wanting to suss out your visions for the manuscript or your career. But it's always because they're very interested.

Just be yourself. They might ask why you wrote your manuscript, discuss revisions, what your career goals are, what else you're working on, etc. It's nothing you can't answer off the top of your head.

If the agent offers you representation, you don't have to accept on the spot. You can ask for a week to decide, but be ready with questions that will help you make a good choice. Like, how they envision pitching the manuscript, whether they've sold other manuscripts like yours (if you don't know already), how they support their authors across the creation/publishing lifecycle, how hands-on they like to be with edits to new material, and how they prefer to communicate. Look for an agent who matches your communication style, such as the level of detail they share and when during the submission process, and how quickly you can expect them to reply to your emails. That kind of thing. And of course, you want to know the agent knows the right editors to pitch your work to. Their other clients and sales record can help with that. You can also ask to talk to a couple of other authors they work with, and they should readily be able to give you those names/contacts.

I don't know how it is with screenwriting, but for book agents, if you have other fulls out, you should immediately let the remaining agents know and tell them when your decision deadline is so they can either pass or decide whether they're interested, too.

I hope that helps. Good luck!

NealM
06-19-2017, 12:43 AM
Thank you so much everyone! This is exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. The world of book publishing is a lot different than how they do it in Hollywood. Out here it's talk talk talk and meetings meetings meetings and lunch lunch lunch and drinks drinks drinks and nothing ever seems to get done. Book publishing seems a lot more direct and to the point. I'm looking forward to heading down this road and seeing where it leads.

mccardey
06-19-2017, 12:51 AM
Thank you so much everyone! This is exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. The world of book publishing is a lot different than how they do it in Hollywood. Out here it's talk talk talk and meetings meetings meetings and lunch lunch lunch and drinks drinks drinks and nothing ever seems to get done. Book publishing seems a lot more direct and to the point. I'm looking forward to heading down this road and seeing where it leads. Nobody mentioned this, but if it's good news and you want to, there's a rule that you have to come back and tell us how it went.

Good luck! A call is a Very Good Sign. :Sun:

NealM
06-19-2017, 02:45 AM
Nobody mentioned this, but if it's good news and you want to, there's a rule that you have to come back and tell us how it went.

Good luck! A call is a Very Good Sign. :Sun:

For sure! Thanks, mccardy. I will 100% keep you posted, good news or bad.

NealM
06-20-2017, 05:37 PM
For sure! Thanks, mccardy. I will 100% keep you posted, good news or bad.

Just to follow up real quick, the phone call that was scheduled for today was rescheduled for Monday (6-26-17).

polishmuse
06-20-2017, 05:42 PM
Best of luck! Will check back on the 26th!

NealM
06-23-2017, 12:31 AM
Just to follow up real quick, the phone call that was scheduled for today was rescheduled for Monday (6-26-17).

Okay, so the phone call that was scheduled for Monday just got moved forward to today...

The agent loved my MS and offered representation right away! We chatted mostly about what she liked about it and what sorts of changes she might suggest should I decide to work with her. We talked about her company and some of her other clients, etc. It was a nice conversation and I liked her quite a bit. I didn't want to make any quick decisions so I told her I'd get back to her early next week.

Thanks again for the advice and support. I realize this is only the very earliest stages of the journey, but here's hoping that journey goes the distance!

mccardey
06-23-2017, 12:36 AM
Okay, so the phone call that was scheduled for Monday just got moved forward to today...

The agent loved my MS and offered representation right away! We chatted mostly about what she liked about it and what sorts of changes she might suggest should I decide to work with her. We talked about her company and some of her other clients, etc. It was a nice conversation and I liked her quite a bit. I didn't want to make any quick decisions so I told her I'd get back to her early next week.

Thanks again for the advice and support. I realize this is only the very earliest stages of the journey, but here's hoping that journey goes the distance!:hooray::snoopy:

Well done, you! That's terrific news! Very smart to take your time.

RaiscaraAvalon
06-23-2017, 12:38 AM
Congrats on the agent!

folclor
06-23-2017, 01:17 AM
Yay! Congrats! I wish all the success available upon you!

Carrie in PA
06-23-2017, 01:40 AM
Okay, so the phone call that was scheduled for Monday just got moved forward to today...

The agent loved my MS and offered representation right away! We chatted mostly about what she liked about it and what sorts of changes she might suggest should I decide to work with her. We talked about her company and some of her other clients, etc. It was a nice conversation and I liked her quite a bit. I didn't want to make any quick decisions so I told her I'd get back to her early next week.

Thanks again for the advice and support. I realize this is only the very earliest stages of the journey, but here's hoping that journey goes the distance!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! And wow, kudos for taking your time. I'm not sure I'd have that kind of self-control. LOL

Thedrellum
06-23-2017, 05:26 AM
First, congratulations!

Second, I think people have mentioned it before, but you should let any other agents who have partials or fulls know that you have an offer. I let everyone I queried know. In your e-mail to those agents, you should give them a deadline for getting back to you if they're interested (usually a week to ten days). Many will pass. Some might ask for fulls. Some might not answer at all, or will answer much later than your deadline. But all will appreciate you letting them know.

Also, again, congratulations!

CameronJohnston
06-23-2017, 11:58 AM
Congratulations! It's so nice to hear good things happening for people :)

PeteMC
06-24-2017, 05:13 PM
Congratulations Neal! And if you have requested material (not just queries) out with any other agents then do what Thedrellum said :)

Quickbread
06-26-2017, 09:08 AM
Congratulations, Neal! That's wonderful news about the agent! :D

Siri Kirpal
06-28-2017, 06:29 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Fantastic!

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Gidget1225
07-10-2017, 05:37 AM
The agent loved my MS and offered representation right away!

Thanks again for the advice and support. I realize this is only the very earliest stages of the journey, but here's hoping that journey goes the distance!

Neal, I'm new here and wasn't part of this thread as it was progressing. Nonetheless, I am thrilled to read that the agent loved your manuscript and that you liked her. Bon voyage! May your story go far!

WriteMinded
07-11-2017, 05:07 PM
Okay, so the phone call that was scheduled for Monday just got moved forward to today...

The agent loved my MS and offered representation right away! We chatted mostly about what she liked about it and what sorts of changes she might suggest should I decide to work with her. We talked about her company and some of her other clients, etc. It was a nice conversation and I liked her quite a bit. I didn't want to make any quick decisions so I told her I'd get back to her early next week.

Thanks again for the advice and support. I realize this is only the very earliest stages of the journey, but here's hoping that journey goes the distance!SO nice to hear good news. Thanks for sharing it and congrats!