Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Kind Of Call

Some of you (specifically T. Anne *grin*) were wondering about the call.

Well, it came as a surprise and was different than I expected. I had some fulls out but Les only had a proposal. I'd sent a status-check e-mail and he asked me a few questions about the story. Next thing I knew, he sent another e-mail offering representation.

So it wasn't a phone call, but that was fine with me.

I was nervous and excited. I had to keep rereading that e-mail to see if it said what I thought it did.

After that, I contacted the list of agents who had my full. There's a certain process to follow in this type of situation and I wanted to make sure I did it right. The BookEnds blog and Rachelle Gardner's blog both have archived posts on how to handle an offer of representation. For my checklist, I used a post on Nathan Bransford's site. HERE

The stats on responses were kind of interesting. Out of four agents who'd recently requested the full, one immediately declined representation, another never responded, and the remaining two said they'd read it over the weekend. Of those two, one got it read and also offered representation.

That made me even more nervous!

This is why it's really important to know what your priorities are when selecting an agent. It's also important not to be afraid to ask questions, especially if you can't find the answers online.

In the end, after praying and worrying and pestering my writer friends :-), I felt like I should go with industry veteran, Les Stobbe.

Does he meet all my secret hopes for an agent? Like a marriage, no. But I really love his strengths and I don't mind his weaknesses. I had to figure out my priorities and what would matter to me.

So I e-mailed him back and accepted his wonderful offer. :-)

I think with this whole process it's important to show thankfulness, to be polite and considerate of those agents involved.

What are your priorities when it comes to an agent? If two offered you representation, how would you choose?

51 comments:

Sherrinda said...

Congratulations! That is wonderful news!

Melissa said...

This is such great news. I think you handled the situation really well.

Jessica Nelson said...

Thanks Sherrinda! ;-)

Melissa, I hope so...:-) Hopefully I'll be reading some news on your end soon!

Jessica Bell said...

Oh my gosh! That is so exciting!!! Um, I'm just so thrilled for you right now I can answer your question. Congratulations!!!!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I want someone who it truly excited to advocate for me and my work.

This is so awesome! And I love that you prayed. I think that is where a lot of my clarity has come from in the past few weeks.
~ Wendy

MeganRebekah said...

I'm soooo happy that this has finally happened for you. You've been working so hard, and are such a talented writer. You deserve this success. I can't wait until you get to announce a book deal :)

Terri Tiffany said...

I love your process that you even had another offer of representation! That must have made it even harder. I know Les has been in the business a long time and really knows his stuff! I will be praying you have a contract soon!

Lynn said...

Congratulatons! How exciting but you also were stategic in handling it all. Excellent!

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh, Jessie, I am so happy for you!!!! This is excellent news!!!
My friend, Clella Camp is one of Les' clients, and she really likes him. I believe he will work hard to help you succeed. One of the best things about a veteran agent is they know what works and what doesn't.

Congratulations, my dear!! Here, have a chocolate covered caramel.

Jessica Nelson said...

Hi Jessica, Thanks for stopping by and for your congrats. :-)

Wendy, yep, nothing like praying to help us see things clearly. I hope you find that agent who falls in love with your work. :-)

Megan R, wow, your comments are so sweet! Thank you.

Erica Vetsch said...

Congratulations again, Jess. I hope you have a wonderful experience with Les and that your novels find a home soon!

Jessica Nelson said...

Terri, it did make it harder. I was sweating! LOL

Lynn, I tried to be strategic, even though strategy isn't my strong point. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

Hey Jeanette,
Yep, I saw that on her website. I also met her at my first conference, though I doubt she remembers me. I agree about Les. I asked a few questions and he had all this industry info to share with me. I was def. impressed!
Thanks for the caramel. Why don't you come over and we'll share a box? :-)

Jessica Nelson said...

Thanks Erica! :-) I hope so too...

Linda Kage said...

Oh, wow!!! This is so exciting. Before you know it, YOUR book is going to be sitting on store shelves. Can you imagine it now?? So happy for you.

Jennie Allen said...

Congrats! So exciting!!

Jaime said...

WOW !! Where have I been!!??? CONGRATS

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Wow, Jessica, congratulations again! And I agree it's wonderful you had another agent offer to represent you--that must be a great feeling knowing two agents feel that strongly about you and your work.

Jessica Nelson said...

Linda, thank you!! I can only dream. LOL

Thanks Jennie and Jaime! And Jaime, it just happened and I haven't posted about it much...:-)

Jessica Nelson said...

Cindy, it was nerve-wracking!! :-)

T. Anne said...

Exciting!!!! It sounds like you made the right decision. I don't know how I would deal with two offers of representation other than prayer! I'm SO thrilled for you Jessica, really it's beyond words!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

I'm so happy for you! Thanks for giving us the story on how you landed an agent.

I need an agent, who will be as passionate about my book as I am. It's also important that we have a good rapport. This is one reason I like meeting agents face-to-face at writers conferences.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jessica Nelson said...

T. Anne, thanks for your excitement. I think it still feels a little unreal to me.

Susan, I totally agree about that. I think it also helps agents to know who they'd want to work with too.

Diane said...

The ball's a rollin'...... Can't wait to see what happens next!!! :O)

Jessica Nelson said...

It could crash or it could bounce...LOL We'll see!

anita said...

Oh, the ball's gonna bounce, my dear friend! High and long. I see lots of sales for you in the future. And I agree, you handled the entire thing like a pro. I'm right proud o' you!

Heh.

Have a great day in the blogasphere, BQE!

Deb Shucka said...

It's really nice to be able to read your process. Looking forward to reading about when your book sells and then when it becomes a book. It's just a matter of time.

Kara said...

This just proves I've been living under a rock recently!! I am so excited for you, woo, hoo:) Congrats Jessica!

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Wow! How awesome! Bunches of congrats! Way to go!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Congrats on you big news! I love it when I visit a blog in time for the writer to announce The Call. :D

kathy taylor said...

Jessica,

I'm so thrilled to learn about your good report. You've been wonderful to me. I am saying a prayer that you will have wonderful success. Blessings galore!

Steena Holmes said...

I am so excited for you! This is fantastic - and you're right - you made the right decision based on your needs as a writer :) WOW!!!!

Glynis said...

What wonderful news, Jessica. I wish you all the best for the future. Congratulations.

Susanne Dietze said...

Squee! Congrats, Jessica! WTG! I can't wait to hear about what happens next.

Thanks, too, for the link about agent representation. I appreciate the resource!

Cheryl Linn Martin said...

I'm sooooooo excited for you, Jessica!

Warren Baldwin said...

Good news, and I agree that you handled the situation well. About the two questions, I don't know, and I don't know. wb

Georgiana said...

Congratulations! That is exciting :D

I've never had two offers at once...I can only imagine what I'd do!

Heather Sunseri said...

Congratulations, Jessica! That is awesome news!!!

Jennifer Shirk said...

WOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So excited for you, girl!!!

Nancy said...

You are so funny. I'm glad you finally realized your email wasn't too good to be true. Congratulations on getting an agent you can work with. So great that you had two bites. That's the way to go. Your professional attitude in response to the others shows class.

Karen Lange said...

How exciting! :) So happy for you. Of course, you will keep us posted, right??
Happy, happy weekend!
Karen

Jessica Nelson said...

Hey Karen, yep, definitely will keep you all posted, and I hope you guys do the same. ;-)

Hi Nancy,
I don't know if I have class but I sure didn't want to burn any bridges or be unprofessional, so hopefully I answered okay.

The rest of you, thank you so much for your congrats and excitement. It makes things seem a little more real to me. :-)

patti said...

Jessica, you are such a real girl, ya know?
It was nice to step outta my writing cave and say hi.

Hmmm. I guess I love Natasha's passion for books. It's so cool to share that with her.

Blessings,
Patti

Katie Ganshert said...

I think you handled the situation with a lot of class and professionalism. Well done, Jessica! Excited to see what God has in store for you!

Jill Kemerer said...

So nerve-wracking!! You're one smart lady, though. You did your research, followed up appropriately, and went with your gut. Congrats!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Yayy! I'm so glad I stopped by-- CONGRATS! now you are on a journey -- can't wait to see where it leads.....:-D

Elana Johnson said...

Awesome post! I somehow missed the one where you got an agent--I'm so sorry! (There are just so many blogs and I fall off the radar sometimes.)

CONGRATS!

As for choosing, I think you know deep inside who you can work with, who gets your book, who will be your truest champion. That comes when you talk to them.

Jessica Nelson said...

Patti...what does that mean I'm a real girl? LOL! Yep, Natasha seems extremely knowledgeable and I'm familiar with the authors on her website because I love their books!

Katie, thanks for the sweet comment. I HOPE I handled it okay. Time will tell, right? And I hope to hear wonderful news from you soon too!

Thanks Jill! I tried... I'm just really thankful for the author and agent posts around the web. I definitely used those to guide me.

Jessica Nelson said...

Kathryn, I'm surprised you stopped by! 'Cause you've been busy with that grandbaby. :)

Elana, thank you! People are always falling through my cracks, so no worries. It's def. been awhile since I hit up anyone's blogs. Tomorrow is the day....

Caryn said...

That is such a great story! Thanks for sharing the details. I hope your relationship is a productive and happy one.

Angie Muresan said...

Jessica! I am so very happy and excited for you! Can't wait to read your book!

Christina Berry said...

Sorry I missed this when you first posted it! Congrats!!!!!