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.
For The Call, I had a long list of questions, but I didn't ask each agent the same questions. It depended on what they covered in our conversation and what I couldn't find out ahead of time, etc. To gather questions, I asked friends and I also used Jim McCarthy's blog post.
This is my list of questions that I wanted answers for, though most of the questions were answered after the agent finished talking.
Enjoy The Call!
I usually post tips through my 4 on 7 series, released on the 7th of every month. I hope these posts will help encourage and inspire you on your journey to publication. Good luck!
About Julie Abe
Julie writes magical MG and YA adventures. Julie's debut, EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH, is a middle grade fantasy releasing in 2020 (Little, Brown Young Readers), and the magic will continue in 2021! She is represented by Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic.
Add Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch to your Goodreads TBR:
How I Got My Agent!
My Top Questions for The Call
Tips for (Before) The Call
How-to: Create an Author's Website
4on7: Author Mentor Match