View Full Version : If An Agent Calls ...

Linda Adams
02-18-2007, 02:08 AM
... and says he wants to make offer, what are some appropriate questions that should be asked? Kristen Nelson brought this up on her blog (http://pubrants.blogspot.com/2007/02/agent-calltake-2.html):

First off, unless the agent is absolutely your first choice and you have no reservations, you wonít accept the offer during that phone call. Youíve got some work to do. One, you want to have your list of agent questions ready and you want to ask those questions. If you donít have them ready, you might want to schedule a phone conference with the offering agent for when you do (but just have them ready).


02-18-2007, 02:42 AM
I don't know the answer, but she did also say:

Maybe on Monday I’ll tackle what you ask during “the call.”

02-18-2007, 06:49 AM
One author I like addressed this in one of her newsletters back in 03: http://www.karenbrichoux.com/newsletter133777.htm

It's not exactly a template, but it might help a little. :)

02-18-2007, 09:00 AM
I think that you should know all the technical questions (i.e. are you a member of AAR, who else have you represented, do you charge fees--no one here's going to fall for that one, right???--etc.) before you send in a full. If it's questions you can easily find answers to on the internet, don't make them answer them for you. It's kind of a time waster.

Ask them questions that are personally important to you. Be sure to ask if they have a contract or work on handshake (and if you don't like the answer, ask if they will make an exception for you.) Agents tend to gush; you probably won't have to ask them what they liked about the book, but do ask them what--if any--revisions they want to suggest. You may want to ask where they are thinking about submitting it (with my agent I saved that for later, but it's because I knew her submission history so well and have a friend who is also a client.) If you want a recomendation, now is the time to ask if there is a client you could contact. (I think this is a little bit useless, personally, because she is obviously going to give you the contact info of a happy client.:))

When my agent called the first time we just talked about the book. Forty-five minutes of talking about almost nothing except my book and our combined vision for it. And lucky me, they meshed perfectly.:) It was a nerve-wracking first five minutes, but then it was really easy because she was asking me to talk about something I loved so much and she loved it too!! How great is that! I'm not saying this to brag, but to emphasize that this is the bottom line. The agent wants to talk about your shared love! How totally cool is that! Focus on that instead of having a big list of questions.

That doesn't mean not to have questions, but I think the specific questions you have are far less important than feeling that click that says the two of you are both on the same track.

If this is not your first choice, do mention you need to let others know that you've recieved an offer, but I think it is best to wait till the end of the conversation if you can. That way, you can get some more natural feedback on your book, not the agent trying to decide what the "right" answer is.

Also, it seems pretty common for the agent to e-mail you to schedule a call, so hopefully you will have some warning for all of this.

Good Luck on getting that call!


02-18-2007, 05:06 PM
I find it so much easier to email agents then to actually talk to them. But if you must talk a nice general question is: "What is your plan for my book?"