STATUS: I had a great week and I’m ending early. It’s only right around 5 p.m. Yahoo.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? ACCIDENTALLY IN LOVE by Counting Crows
The most delightful thing has happened. An agent has called to offer representation. Now what?
First off, unless the agent is absolutely your first choice and you have no reservations, you won’t accept the offer during that phone call. You’ve got some work to do. One, you want to have your list of agent questions ready and you want to ask those questions. If you don’t have them ready, you might want to schedule a phone conference with the offering agent for when you do (but just have them ready).
It’s not presumptuous. You’re setting up a business partnership. You want to know what you are getting into. Ask about the agent’s agency agreement (if they have one), so you can read it (and ask questions) before making a decision.
Hiring your agent should be an informed decision. Maybe on Monday I’ll tackle what you ask during “the call.”
But for now, you have one offer on the table. Now what?
1. While on the phone, you tell the agent that you have several other agents interested (if you do—don’t lie if you don’t obviously) and that you will need to contact them before making a decision. All the agents I know fully respect this. And if you don’t have any other interest, you can ask for a short period to contemplate the offer before accepting. That’s reasonable too.
2. Then you contact all the agents who have your full manuscript and inform them. I’d start with email and then if you don’t receive a reply from some of the agents, I would follow up with a phone call to make sure they know.
3. Give those still reading agents a deadline. You need to make a decision by XYZ date so please get back to me by such-n-such a date if interested.
You now might end up with more than one “the call.” How exciting is that?
If other calls come, ask questions, review the agency agreement beforehand (all the stuff I mention above), and now you might also want to chat with current clients.
And it’s okay to have more than one conversation with the offering agents if you are undecided and you like more than one. You’re now in the driver’s seat because agents want to land you as a client. It’s our time to woo you.
In the end though, you can only choose one.