Notes from the Armchair: The Best Interview You’ll Ever Have

By Laura Zats

We’ve all been waiting for The Call.

Agents. Writers. We’re looking for that perfect match for our career. All it takes is one book to create that magical connection.

But before we sign together, it’s important that we make sure that we align personally and professionally.

That’s where The Call comes in. It’s a chance for us both to talk and interview each other.

That’s right. It’s an interview both ways.

Contrary to the butterflies in your stomach, you do not have to sign with the first agent that offers you rep. They might be the perfect fit, but they might also not be.

The Call may seem nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be.


Here are a list of question to make sure to ask:

-Are you an editorial agent? To what extent do you expect your clients to loop you in to the writing/brainstorming process?
-Where do you see this book going? What houses are you considering?
-Do you tell your authors when you get a rejection? Do you let us know who you’ve subbed to? Are check-ins okay?
-Will you be in direct contact with the agent all of the time? Or will you be talking to assistants some of the time?
-What is your preferred method of communication?
-Where have you sold projects to recently?
-Can I talk to some of your other clients?
-What does the rest of your list look like?
-What do you think about my next idea?
-What will happen if you can’t sell this book? If you’re not into my next book?
-What’s your background? How did you get into publishing?-What are your favorite books? What do you like to read?
-Do you have any marketing ideas/experience?


Make sure you’re thinking about what you WANT the answers to be and make sure to ask the agent to explain why they do things the way they do!


Have you had the call? What questions do you recommend to ask?






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  1. Bob Iozzia (@BobIozzia) on June 23, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    I have not yet received the call, but I will ask if the agent will be providing marketing assistance, and to what extent.

  2. Bob Iozzia (@BobIozzia) on June 23, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Great list. I hope my previous comment about marketing was deleted–I missed that item on the list. Sorry.

  3. Dena@TheReluctantJaneite on July 13, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Very good advice. I would also ask if they were accredited, I cannot remember the exact name of the trade/association of literary agents, but it’s something along those lines. I would also just run their name through the internet on sites like Preditors & Editors to make sure they have a good reputation. Also it seems most agents will be pitching your book or books, as two book deals seem to be the standard now. Ask them how they feel about the pitch/how are they going to sell your book to publisher’s etc. And make sure you are on the same page. Good luck!