Conversations To Have When Offered Representation

We’ve talked a lot about the questions you should ask when receiving an offer of representation. But of course that call is much more than just an interview, it’s a conversation with your potential new agent.

When having that conversation is there anything you shouldn’t discuss or bring up?

Discussing Other Genres

Jessica, would it be impolite when offered representation to ask the agent if they would be willing to represent you if you branched into a second genre? Or is that something to worry about after you’ve established with your initial genre?

Comment from, Understanding an Agent’s Vision for Your Work

Having the Conversation

No question or conversation is off limits. This is your career and a future business partner. It is the time to fearlessly go in an ask all the questions and have all the conversations.

This is the time to discuss your goals and your business plan. If you are writing in other genres this is something you should discuss. If you have a vision for a series or a next book, this is a good time to discuss it.

Not all agents will be able to represent all genres, but knowing your your agent’s thoughts on it is helpful in making your decision.

Having that initial conversation with an agent is overwhelming. It’s why, when I make the first call, I often suggest a second, to give the author time to put their thoughts and questions together. If an agent doesn’t offer a second call, ask.

This is not the time to be hesitant or afraid. I get how hard this can be, but think of your career in the big picture and take the time to take charge.

Resources on Offers of Representation

This is a hot topic at BookEnds and one I’ve written on a lot. Here are some other resources to help you handle your offer of representation.

Tips from Sally MacKenzie on Handling the Conversation

Step-By-Step on Handling the Offer

And our video on how I answer all of those questions (there are other videos too).

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6 comments

  1. Nice, though short, article, Jessica. I sent my MS to an agent last week, hopeful (of course) that she’ll come back with an indication of interest in representation. This article starts with “we’ve talked a lot about the questions you should ask,” but I could not locate those articles. I did see the “What You Believe” article. Any chance I get the earlier ones on this topic?

  2. Thank you so much for all the helpful and encouraging posts and videos. I definitely feel more prepared as I start querying. Along the lines of questions to ask: I often hear about asking an offering agent for a few client names as references. Do you have any suggestions for good questions to ask an agent’s clients? Thanks!

  3. I’ve never heard of asking for a second call, but that is great advice. I remember when I got my first job post university they rang to tell me and discuss the position – after I hung up I hardly remembered a word of the conversation.

  4. Thanks so much for this, Jessica. After talking to one of your agents at a convention, and coming to your website to look around, I did query and now I check Query Tracker daily with breathless anticipation. I look forward to feedback and of course, hope to get “that call”

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