Do Your Research & Trust Your Gut: The Call

This week on the blog we’re talking about the infamous call. When I first started querying, I went down the rabbit hole with stories of The Call. I’m a researcher by nature, and I wanted to be as informed as possible if/when the phone ever rang. I’ve now spoken to three different agents about my work (one for an R&R and two offers), and I’m here to tell you that the best thing you can possibly do when the call comes is to do your research and trust your gut.

Do your research. When it comes to researching agents there are a couple of things that I look for.

  1. Sales. I look to see that the agent in question has made sales to Big Five publishers in my category. (No offense to smaller houses; I’ve seen them do really amazing things for incredible books.) I just want to know that the agent has the necessary connections to build my career.
  2. Clients. I think it’s really important to speak to clients and ask about the agent. When people come to me asking about my wonderful agent, I tell them about his communication style, editorial approach, and submission strategy.
  3. Interviews. A really good way of getting a feel for an agent’s personality and style is to read their interviews. Are their favorite books your favorite books? How do their interviews make you feel?

Which leads me to my next point…

Trust your gut. Now that I’ve told you what I look for, let me assure you that I didn’t take any of my own advice in choosing my agent, and I couldn’t be happier. When I talked to Brent for the first time (well before he ever offered to represent me) I knew that he was the one. And so, many months and a fruitful R&R later, when I got the email saying that Brent wanted to be my agent, I was thrilled. But I knew I had to give the other offering agent a chance to make her case. She ticked all my boxes, and she was LOVELY on our call. But, my gut said Brent. And from long experience, I knew I had to trust my gut. I hope you do too.

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Kaitlyn Sage Patterson

Kaitlyn Sage Patterson grew up with her nose in a book outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After completing her M.F.A., she moved to South Korea, where she taught English and started writing her debut novel. THE DIMINISHED will be published by HarlequinTEEN in April 2018, followed by its sequel in 2019. When she's not staring off into space and trying to untangle some particularly troublesome plot point, she can be found in her kitchen, perfecting the most difficult recipe she can find; or at the barn, where she rides and trains dressage horses; or with her husband, spoiling their sweet rescue dogs.

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