Just because an agent has asked to speak with you, doesn’t mean you’re in…not yet. Sometimes an agent wants to “feel you out” first, to make sure they want to work with you. Sometimes, especially if they’ve requested a full, they want to tell you why they’re not making an offer of representation, and will tell you that you’re welcome to query them again. Sometimes they just loved your work so much they want to snag you before anyone else can…let’s all hope for the last one!
Before you speak to any agent you should already know the following:
1) What is their track record? Do they work for a reputable agency and have an interest in your genre? Have they recently sold books in your genre?
2) What other authors they represent? You can always ask them to email you a list with specifics before you talk. You may know a couple (or you wouldn’t have queried them) but it’s good to see the whole picture.
3) How long have they been in the business? This can usually be found on their website. Are they established as an agent, or new to the game? A new agent isn’t necessarily bad; do they work for a bigger agency?
4) Do they have a web presence? How google-able are they…might help later when it comes to promoting your book.
Remember: Do your homework. You should already know a lot about an agent before you query them, but make yourself as familiar as possible with them before you speak to them.
Tomorrow - The Call Part Two - What to Ask