What to Expect When You Finally Get an Agent: How Many Questions Can I Ask?

PART THREE (of a multi-part blog post)

Email-IconEven though you (Linda) were very clear that I could send you an email or ask for a phone call whenever I had questions–and that you encouraged me to come to you with them–I felt like it was different once the manuscript was sent in and in your hands. It felt like the ball was in your court and I wasn’t sure if I should let that run its course (wait for you to get back to me with what would happen next) or if I could start asking you about what I planned to do next. So, I’m thinking there might be some newbies like me who are thinking “Am I getting ahead of myself and bothering her when she’s clearly busy already trying to get through the first steps we agreed on?” Is it okay to come to you, when you’re in the beginning stages of working on a manuscript, with questions/requests for advice and opinions on what we’re working on next or should be doing?

1103361_telephone_icon_4This question is way longer than my answer, which is “yes.” I’m comfortable with a fair amount of communication (email preferable, but scheduling an occasional phone call is ok, too). But I think every agent is different, so it’s not a bad idea to find out what the ground rules are for your agent. When I say to my clients at the beginning of our relationship that whenever they have questions they can email or we can schedule a call, what I really mean is “we can email or we can schedule a call.” I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, and blabbing over here on the blog.

Yes, I’m busy. But I’d rather take the time to answer my clients’ questions than have anyone sitting around wondering what I might say if they asked me. I will always let a client know if they’re getting ahead of their self. (them self? their selves? help!)  I imagine most agents are the same, but again, find out what the ground rules are with your agent.

How many questions is it ok for an agent to ask a client?

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “What to Expect When You Finally Get an Agent: How Many Questions Can I Ask?

  1. I noticed that your question at the end of this post in this continually informative and inspiring series is “How many questions is it ok for an agent to ask a client?”
    I’m assuming it was an intentional switch there, and another sign of how collaboratively you’re thinking. I would assume there are never too many questions for an agent to ask a client. I think an endlessly curious and communicative agent would be every writer’s dream. I know it’s mine. Questions = interest, right? How much better does it get?

  2. Steve McCann

    I don’t really have anything to add except I find your posts helpful. And they confirm my expectations for an agent-client relationship. DO be courteous, professional, and prepared. DON’T be a whining, pestering anus.

  3. Susan

    The posts are great. Thank you for all the helpful information.

  4. Apparently I have outrageous word counts even when I ask questions…

    Thanks for answering!

  5. Really enjoying this series…please keep up the good work!
    P.S. Himself or herself 😉 Alternatively: “…let clients know if they are getting ahead of themselves.” 😉

  6. Linda, I also hate reflexive object pronouns! Technically, there are two grammatically proper solutions. First is to agree in gender and number, which gives the unwieldy “him- or herself.” When there are many occurrences, that one is ugly. Preferable is to assume the gender, and agree with number; hence, “client know if she is getting ahead of herself,” and let the other gender get ahead of itself in chewing you out. Your best bet in the above case would be to use a plural throughout. “I will always let clients know if they are getting ahead of themselves. Now if only I can achieve such problems!