Last week, I started a series of blog posts to talk revisions, The Call (separated into Before, During, and After posts), multiple offers, and submission. Up today: discussing what steps I took between scheduling the call with the agent and actually speaking on the phone.
What I researched:
- Any red flags on Preditors or Editors, Absolute Write, or Querytracker?
- How long have they been around?
- What books do they represent?
- What publishers do they sell to?
- Have there been multiple clients to have signed with the agency and left?
- What’s the subsidiary rights setup for the agency?
- Sales on Publishers Marketplace
- How is his/her track record with your category/genre?
- Clients…more specifically,
- How long they’ve been clients
- You can find this information by searching for a client’s How I Got My Agent post on their website or by checking the client’s tweets
- Have there been multiple clients to have left this agent in a short amount of time?
- Again, this information can be gleaned from tweets and blog posts
- How many clients does the agent represent?
- How many of those clients are in your category/genre?
- How successful is the agent on average at selling his/her clients’ books?
- How long they’ve been clients
- Every interview they’ve done
- I looked in particular for why they became an agent, what their industry experience is, and whether their MSWL matched with what I wanted to write
- Are they an AAR member? What about the other agents in the agency?
If I couldn’t find any of these answers, I asked them during The Call.
Finding the answers to the above questions wasn’t easy. I often spent hours Googling and scouring client websites searching for the answer to one part of one of the questions, but I am really happy in retrospect that I spent the time doing this. I think it gave me a good idea of the agent’s experience, success, and client relationships even before the phone call. I felt a lot more prepared during the actual call and felt like I got more out of the call because it built further on the impression I already had.
What I prepared:
I also prepared an intro of myself which included a description of my other work, an overview of what I wanted to write in the future, and the answers to the questions listed in this wonderful post by Carly Watters. I summarized the questions below:
- What is your writing process like? How long for drafts? Revisions? Do you have a critique group? Beta readers? When do you write and how often?
- Who are your favorite authors? Who inspires you?
- What kind of support do you need? What kind of agent-relationship?
- What is your publishing and writing history?
- Where do your ideas come from?
- What is your vision for your book? Your career?
- What is your social media presence?
- Do you have any ideas for marketing and promoting your book?
I wrote out answers to each of the questions just in case I blanked the day of the phone call. Having everything written out and ready to go also helped calm my nerves since I felt as prepared as I could be.
Coming up the next four weeks:
- Oct 10—The Call (including what questions I asked)
- Oct 17—After The Call: Client References
- Oct 24—Multiple Offers
- Oct 31—Submission Demystified
If you enjoyed this post or are interested in the rest of this series, you can follow my blog by email or WordPress on the sidebar (or below for mobile).