Ah, The Call! So let me start by saying that the last few years of my life have been a complete adventure and writing a book is no different! So I’ve learned to roll with the punches without getting too worked up over anything. I approached this process assuming it would take a year or more to get an agent, and if that didn’t work out then I’d self-publish and move on. I am writing a non-fiction business book. I’ve enjoyed a 25-year career as an actuary (I solve mathematical equations for a living and I love it) but also have a few crazy adventures under my belt, including having played CBS’s Survivor and travelled through all seven continents.
Well it didn’t take a year. It took a week. I recognize that my process went exceedingly fast. I only sent out a handful of queries (fewer than ten) starting on Monday, March 25, and I received two offers of representation by email on the morning of Monday April 4. The BookEnds office isn’t far from my house, so Jessica and I decided to meet up at a local Starbucks Monday afternoon (yes, just a couple hours after receiving the offer – I told you this went fast!).
This process was all very new to me so I had previously spent time on-line researching – what should I be asking? How do I pick an agent? I also spoke with a friend who had previously published a fiction book to get her advice. My plan was to be as prepared as possible, but not feel embarrassed if I asked any “dumb” questions because I’m new to this process and that should be OK too. I decided if any agent made me feel small, then that wasn’t the right fit for me.
Meeting Jessica was like meeting up with a close friend. It was very easy and comfortable. We talked about the process, including her views on editing, submissions, communication, and timing. We talked about my book – she wanted to change the title and the audience and I was definitely open to these ideas. We also talked about tangential topics – my TEDxTalk, reality TV, our kids and their sports. I think I got to the point where I didn’t feel like I needed to have every single small question answered because I knew I felt completely comfortable with her. I felt that she was most certainly an expert in this field, professional, and responsive, but also I thought I’d have a ton of fun moving through this process with her. Our meeting lasted about 45 minutes.
I let her know that I had other offers and conversations outstanding so I’d get back to her later in the week, after I had a chance to connect with other agents. When we were leaving Starbucks – she hugged me. It was the hug that sealed the deal. We signed on Thursday April 4.