Taking a Call… The Call?

We’ve had quite a lot of good news in the Club lately so I thought I would dedicate this blog post to…

Ohmigosh! An agent wants to call and talk to you about your manuscript!

SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But, after a little celebration dance it’s time to… freak out! You have other submissions out. What if you’re offered representation during the call!?! What do you say? What do you do?

Take a deep breath.

Now take another one.

Good. Feeling better?

Not to worry. Seriously. DON’T WORRY.

This has happened before. To lots of writers. And agents too. When you’ve sent your manuscript out on submission it’s pretty darn common to send it out to more than one agent for consideration. Agents are used to this. Many probably even expect it. So…

Talk to the agent just like they are any other person interested in you and your work. BECAUSE THEY ARE.* Have some questions written down. Regardless whether you’re offered representation or not you have a great learning opportunity ahead of you. (Not sure what to ask? Internet search is your friend.) Be sure to have a pen and paper ready.

And if you are offered representation? Yippee!!!  Thank the agent for the offer (of course!) Tell them that you have your manuscript out to other agents and need to give them notification. One to two weeks is pretty standard. The agent you’re talking to should be happy to offer advice.

Then get to work. Send out those notifications. Emailing with your original submission attached, putting in a new subject line such as “Received Offer” should be fine. For paper submissions a quick, polite call is the quickest way to notify. You don’t have to talk straight to the agent, letting the secretary know is great too. In all cases DON’T FORGET TO LET THEM KNOW OF YOUR RESPONSE DEADLINE.

Waiting will be hard. It always is. Take the time to do more agent research. If you get more than one offer you want to make the most informed decision that you can.

And celebrate! Whether a call turns into an offer of representation or not, you have made it one step closer to publication.

*Yes I may have used a slight bit of psychology on you there. They mostly are. Agents do have the position to get your manuscript into the hands of closed publishing houses. Not everyone has that. 🙂

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About Heather Ayris Burnell

Full time mom. Part time librarian. Author of BEDTIME MONSTER. Creator of Sub It Club. Curator of the Monster Lists of Picture Book Agents & Publishers. Always fooling around on Twitter @heatherayris. KICK! JUMP! CHOP! coming fall 2017 from Sterling Publishing.
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