GUEST POST: 10 Questions An Agent Might Ask You When You Get The Call

photo by Lynn Kelley

photo by Lynn Kelley

By Lesley Chea

  1. Tell me a bit about yourself.
  2. Why did you write this manuscript?
  3. Who are your influences?
  4. What are some of the books / films you’ve enjoyed recently?
  5. What other projects have you worked on /are working on / would like to work on in the future?
  6. Do you have a synopsis for the idea you just pitched?
  7. What books do you see next to yours in the bookstore?
  8. What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
  9. What is your revision process like?
  10. How do you see this submission being handled?

What other questions do you think an agent might ask?

41776_1775340232_8691_nLesley’s life choices revolve around storytelling in one form or other. This was evident when she was a copywriter, a contributor to a local daily and now, as a mother (“If you finish all your carrots, you can see in the dark! I swear!”). Armed with perhaps the most legitimate storytelling license of all – a law degree – Lesley writes stories from her corner in sunny Singapore while waiting for the latest seasons of Dr. Who, Once Upon A Time and The Big Bang Theory.


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7 responses to “GUEST POST: 10 Questions An Agent Might Ask You When You Get The Call

  1. Eek–a synopsis! I knew I’d forgotten something.

  2. I have a question. If the answer to question 2 is a mini-novel (extremely interesting mini-novel) is it appropriate to go into detail at this time? Or do you give her/him the Reader’s Digest version?

    • Lesley C

      Personally, I would give the elevator pitch and maybe back it up with a sentence or two, then take the agent’s cue and go from there. She might have ideas on how to expand it. Maybe, Linda would like to weigh in on this?

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  4. I got all nervous and fluttery just reading through those! I think it’s really important to remember that the agent on the other end of the line is a person too. And, like a certain unnamed, awesome agent told me, they are nervous too. They want it to work with you. They called for a reason. But, as far as questions are concerned, what about: Are you open to extensive revision and how do you handle criticism? And, of course, the old: have you ever raced ostriches at breakneck speed across the desert?

    • Lesley C

      Great perspective, Joe! I wonder how many people answered yes to the ostrich question. I bet pod racing is so much more popular these days!