Monday, March 25, 2013

Agency Lessons: The Call

Before I get started on today's post, I want to take a minute to thank you guys again for all your warm fuzzies last week. You sure know how to make a gal feel special. Also, I want to point out that I have added a tab at the top with my submission guidelines. If you are interested in querying me, please check these out. I'll also post an update on where I am with queries and requested manuscripts. That way you can check here obsessively to see when you're up. Because obsessive blog stalking is half the fun of querying.
Now on to today's real blog post, The Call. You guys know the one. The one every writer prays for. As a writer, I've played out the call in my head at least half a dozen times. But even though I've been working at the agency for a while now, I've never practiced the call from the other side.

Let me tell you folks, it is just as nerve wracking. What if the author doesn't like me? What if they don't like my thoughts about their book? To calm my nerves about The Call, I made a checklist of all the things I wanted to talk about. If you are a frequent reader, you know how much I like making lists in my composition books.

I felt pretty good until about 5 minutes before The Call. Then I went into panic mode. My first panic was that I would forget something important like the authors name, the title of the manuscript or their main character's name. So I opened up a ton of documents with all the crucial bits of info. Then I worried that I would forget a part of the contract and the author would ask me a question specific to the part I just forgot. So I opened up another document with a blank copy of the contract.

As I hit the call button, I worried that I would sound like a big goober. Because the truth is, I am a big goober. That may work well when relating to my toddlers, but goobers aren't ultra professional. I wanted to sound professional. But not too professional, because this isn't exactly a jacket and tie kind of profession. Great, I was having an identity crisis while the phone was ringing.

"Hello?"

One gigantic breath later and I was actually making coherent sentences about relevant information. Turns out, being yourself is the right answer.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because before I joined the agency I imagined agents as some sort of mythical creatures like sparkly unicorns. Turns out we're normal people. Who knew?

So when the delightful day of The Call arrives for you (and I'm sending good vibes it will) the most important thing to remember is to be yourself. Because deep down, we're all big goobers.

15 comments:

  1. I think this is the first post I have ever read about The Call from an agent's pov. Very insightful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't seen one either. The internet failed me. :)

      Delete
  2. so cool - your first Call! Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Huzzah on working the angle from the other side of the desk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always find peaks into world's we aren't a part of to be fascinating. :)

      Delete
  4. This is so endearing the image of you grabbing notes for your call fearing that you might forget something. Fearing that you might not be liked or might talk funny. I can't help it but I find it so sweet I want to give you a hug. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I didn't look sweet when I was scrambling at the last minute, but everyone lived. :)

      Delete
  5. It makes The Call seem less daunting to know that even agent's get nervous from their side of the line. I'm a compulsive list maker, too. It helps calm some of the nerves, doesn't it? Congrats on your first call!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, lists give me the (probably false) sense that I have it together. :)

      Delete
  6. Just a quick post to admit, in a public forum, that I am a big goober. Oh, I am SUCH a goober. As you'll see over on my blog, I've had a few of these "calls." And I acted like a goober every time. I don't think there's really any way to play it cool when you think your dream is finally about to come true. And while I don't want to end on a downer, getting "the call" doesn't really mean you've made it. Don't start spending the money just because you got "the call." Take it from me. And as for your new job, calling fellow goobers to COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY CHANGE THEIR LIVES...I think it's really cute that you feel nervous too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true. Some agents make the call because they want to discuss some hefty revise and resubmit comments. I can't imagine ever wanting to do that over the phone.

      Delete
  7. Aw, that's so cute, Sarah! I've read several agents' blogs admitting they're devastated if they offer for a client who decides to go with someone else. I hope you get all the clients you want and have great relationships with them. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right, the hardest words to say: "You need to take the time to contact other interested agents and really think over this decision". On the inside I'm yelling: "Talk to no one. Pick me!"

      Delete
  8. Congrats on your first Call, Sarah! I remember when I got the call. I had a feeling it was "The Call" but I didn't want to get too excited. Then Lauren started the conversation by saying she was calling because she wanted to offer representation. I couldn't talk. I just clammed up. Then I babbled like an idiot for a few minutes. Luckily, Lauren's really nice and she calmed me down so we could have an actual conversation. :) I'll never forget that moment.

    ReplyDelete

Share the love, man...