4 on 7 is a monthly series where I curate 4 interesting items and share it on the 7th of the month. In August, I shared four tips for preparation before The Call. This month, I'm sharing four tips for during The Call - things to say, things to NOT say.
So, say IT has happened. You have received the magical email from an agent asking for a call... And now it's time for THE CALL?!
Here's some tips on what to do:
1. Take The Call in a private, quiet place with good phone reception
The last thing you want is trying to interpret what they're saying because it's noisy in your coffee shop or your phone signal keeps cutting out. I recommend either talking at home (so you have your desk/computer with your list of questions, and a place for your notepad), or in your car if you're at work.
2. What to say when they offer?
"Wow, thank you so much! This is so exciting!" and "I am so honored, thank you!" are all appropriate responses.
I don't recommend saying anything that sounds like you're 100% signing with them, like, "You are my number one dream agent! I can't wait to work with you!", especially since there's a chance you might get additional offers and, after talking with other agents, realize that a different agent is actually your dream agent.
3. At the end of The Call, if they don't ask for a decision by X date, set the date.
I recommend asking for two weeks. If an agent tries to pressure you for a decision in a few days or anything less than one week, I would wonder why they're trying force a decision.
A great agent will not force you to make a decision in a few days, because that would not give enough time for other agents to respond to your nudge. A great agent will respect you - and other agents - and give you time to choose the right agent for you.
How to ask for time to decide:
"Thank you so much for your time today! And I'm so excited about your offer! I do have some fulls still out with agents, and I’d like some time to notify them. Would it be okay with you if I let you know my decision on or by (two weeks from date of offer)?"
4. Take notes!
No matter if you have one call or twenty, it's great to take notes to remember the agents' responses.
I wrote out a master list of questions and numbered them, and when jotting down answers, rather than re-writing my question, I simply listed the number of the question the agent was responding to: #2, #12, etc. This helped me stay focused on taking notes on the things that mattered.
Last but not least, CONGRATULATIONS!! You've written an amazing story and caught the eye of an agent! That is definitely worth celebrating, so do something to commemorate the day!
To see other 4 on 7 entries, click here.
4 on 7 is a monthly series where I curate 4 interesting items and share it on the 7th of the month. For August, I've collected four tips for preparation before The Call.
So, say IT has happened. You have received the magical email from an agent in response to your full manuscript, asking for a call. Maybe they offer directly in the email, or perhaps they just ask for a call.
1. If they didn't offer directly, what's my call about!?
It could be THE Call or an R&R (Revise and Resubmit). Wait until the call to confirm - some agents want to get on the phone and talk with you before offering.
2. How do I RESPOND!?
Short answer: professionally and enthusiastically answer all of their questions.
More info: Give two times with a decent window to talk to agents. I talked with agents anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes - it really depends on the agent and how the conversation flows - so make sure you have time in your schedule for the call to go over. And list your time zone. The agency may be located in New York, but the agent may be working remote from California. I checked Twitter/the agency's website to get an idea of time zones, and tried to list the call time in the agent's time zone.
Here's an example of how to respond to a request for a call:
Thank you so much for your interest in my story! I'd love to chat! I'm available on (Thursday, July 12th between 10 AM to 2 PM ET). If that time isn't convenient for you, I'm also available on (Friday, July 13th between 10 AM to 2 PM ET).
(Any additional information they ask you to include, ex: the best number to reach you at)
(Your First Name)
(Include your number here especially if they didn't ask)
3. Okay but now what do I do!?
Start preparing your list of questions!! Do more research on the agent - you don't want to ask them questions that are publicly available, like their sales or who some of their clients might be. Read up on all of their online interviews and prepare.
ALSO - prepare pitches on your current WIP(s). Be ready to answer THEIR questions about:
Find a quiet place to take the call. Have a notepad and pen to jot down questions, and earbuds with a microphone so you don't have to hold your phone to your shoulder for the 30+ minute call.
4. Do I inform other agents?
I recommend waiting to talk with the agent, especially if they didn't explicitly offer or tell you how long they'll give you to consider their offer.
Last but not least, celebrate (privately! don't post it to Twitter yet!) with friends and family who have supported your writing journey! Congratulations!
Next month's entry will be tips for DURING the call! To see other 4 on 7 entries, click here.
ABOUT JULIE aBE
Julie writes magical MG and YA adventures. She is represented by Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic.
How I Got My Agent!
My Top Questions for The Call
Tips for (Before) The Call
Author Mentor Match Announcement!
How-to: Create an Author's Website
4on7: Author Mentor Match