How I survived my first call with an agent

I feel like the luckiest writer on the planet right now.

I am currently querying three projects: a Middle Grade Novel, a Children’s Picture Book, and a Non-fiction Proposal; and this week, I was freakishly fortunate to receive a call from a literary agent (Squeee!). I’m thinking the solar flare this week had something to do with it—that, or maybe the countless months of hard work.

It kinda went down like this: Can you hear me? Yes. Yes. Followed by some giddy small talk (aka: personality test, no doubt); the writing (well, obviously); and next steps. End. Crash (this part was presumably, just me).

The opportunity to win the attention of an agent for an entire hour feels a bit like winning the lottery. It also somehow authenticates that hey, I might just be a real writer. I have graduated from queries to…CALLS! This particular agent was fan-friggin-fantastic; she was kind, complimentary, helpful, and attentive. She believes we are a writing community and should help each other out wherever we can. Afterall, we are in the business of promoting the importance of literacy.

Because this experience is all new to me (and I knew when the call was coming), I did oodles of research in a short period of time. And I’m sharing it with you IF and WHEN you get a call, or even “the” call.

7 things to do BEFORE you get a call from an agent:

  • Research the Agency, the Agent, & her clients. 
  • Read: “Getting THE CALL” (Rachelle Gardner’s Rants & Ramblings Blog).
  • Read: “What to Ask an Agent” and prepare a list of questions.
  • Review the status of your manuscript submissions: who has it & who has expressed interest (be prepared to talk about it).
  • Think about marketing your book & how you would bring it!
  • Think about your future plans & next projects (you’re not a one-hit wonder, are you?).
  • Relax (Yeah, I tried that. It was pretty much impossible).

Okay, so you’re wondering if she offered representation, right?

Status: she’s looking at all my projects, has offered some incredible feedback and has asked that I do some revisions and resend. She would like to continue the conversation, but has not offered representation…yet.



Filed under Getting published, Success stories, Writing resources

7 responses to “How I survived my first call with an agent

  1. BJas, you give hope and kick ass advice to us all…

    Let’s celebrate!

  2. Worth two bottles of bubbly…one for THE CALL and one for THE NEXT CALL. Woohoo!

  3. Exciting! Thanks for sharing your phone-call story and the great advice. And good luck! 🙂

  4. Marianne

    Congratulations! I think you should bronze your phone to celebrate.

    • bjas

      Ha! Thanks for your comment. I kinda like that idea. Perhaps when I do my follow-up post: “How to survive my second call with an agent!”

  5. Thanks so much! Oh, please let there be a NEXT call. AND of course, bubbly. LOTS of bubbly. Thanks again for your comments and enthusiasm!

  6. W/\Lter

    Luck is preparation met with opportunity. You have definitely been preparing for this and other opportunities like it. Take a deep breath and count your blessings and just be yourself now, more than ever. Don’t worry about everyone else too much because once you jump in the pond, we’re all fish. Everyone’s gotta swim, no matter how good they are. Go fish! You can do it:) And you will.

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