How to Prepare to Meet Your Agent

In my first post about an agent calling I was rewarded with more information. Sometimes instead of a phone call, an email is sent asking for a valentine-145353_1280phone appointment. I had to agree this an excellent use of time management.

Before committing, make sure you allow enough time to refresh your memory about why you submitted and make sure what you thought is still true.

This is not out of order. Webpages get updated, and wish lists change. What could sell six months ago might be hard to give away. And lastly, all agents research a possible client before reaching out, so they must see something in you.

It saves time and energy to be prepared.

I suggest you follow their example. Check their website, blog and any posted interviews. Look for recent sales, client list, publishers they query, professional associations, and their latest #mswl Manuscript Wish List. Try not to waste valuable phone time asking questions that have been asked + answered. Use them to pique other questions specific to your needs.

Once you’ve found the basics here are some other topics to consider:
• Plans for your booksocial-367942_1280
• Possible markets
• Recent sales in your genre
• References (clients and publishers)
• Is the book ready or are you facing more revisions
• Are they involved in the promotion of your work
• Why do they want to represent you or your book?
• The contract and its highlights
• Business hours and preferred communication methods

Note: I’m going to assume that you’ve submitted to reputable agents and have checked reliable online resources such as Publishers Marketplace, AgentQuery, and QueryTracker to verify all is true.

There are hundreds of questions to ask someone you don’t know, so I’ve probably missed a few :-). I suggest keeping the questions open ended, and professional. What questions would you ask?

Gleaned from:
http://www.victoriastrauss.com/advice/safest
http://www.underdown.org/researching-agents.htm
https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/writers/advice/74/preparing-for-submission/how-to-find-a-literary-agent/choose-your-agent-wisely
http://www.sfwa.org/real/#How
http://www.rachellegardner.com/what-to-ask-an-agent

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12 responses to “How to Prepare to Meet Your Agent

  1. Excellent advice! I don’t know if I’ll ever meet an agent, but I’ll keep this post saved in case I do. 🙂

  2. Good suggestions. So far, the agents I’ve chatted with have made an effort to put me at ease. Still preparation would also put me at ease.

  3. Excellent advice. The more you research, the better your chances of making that longed-for connection!

  4. Great advice. Doing a little research and reevaluation of an agent can’t hurt. It’ll help you to be more prepared and a little less starry-eyed. Want to remember it’s a phone call now. A definite contract, if the agent is interested to publish, comes later.

  5. jenniferbielman

    always love your advice! Thanks.

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