After the Call, Part 2

(continued from After the Call, Part 1)

So, at the end of my last post, I had two offers, 5 agents reading, and a few days to make a decision. But I was torn, because I knew I’d choose Agent2 even if the other 5 all came back and loved it. I wondered if I should email the others, saying not to read after all. But that really seemed unprofessional. It was only fair to give everyone a fair shot. But at that point, I was praying no one else would make an offer. The thought of having to turn a bunch of agents down terrified me.

Thankfully, most of the remaining agents read over the weekend. They didn’t leave me waiting until the last minute. A flurry of rejections, all encouraging and congratulatory, arrived Sunday and early Monday. Twitter informed me that Partial Agent was still on vacation, and she was running out of time to read the full, so I assumed it was too late.

That left one agent with the full. An agent I really liked and respected. I waited on pins and needles to see if she’d respond by midnight. I kicked myself for not asking for an answer by the end of business day so I could go to sleep without worrying about it. The message came the next day at noon, and it was a no. At that point, I was 100% firm on my decision, and nothing any other agent said could have made a difference. So I was relieved when she said no.

The thing I learned, though is this: Agents are very busy, but most of them want to read requested materials if you give them the time. When you get an offer, if there are agents out there that you really, really want to work with, it might help to ask for a week and a half or two weeks, and maybe even considering giving a reading deadline a few days before you need to get back to your first agent. If I’d gotten a final offer at midnight or had to try to do a call during working hours the next day with a 5:00 p.m. deadline, I would have been left with only a couple of hours to make a decision.

Also, when asking “Can you read by this day?”, give a time. I forgot to specify that I’d like an answer by the end of the business day, which is why I spent an evening agonizing over whether to go ahead and sign the contracts for Agent2, even if I couldn’t send them until the next day.

Oh, and after everything was done? I emailed Agent1 to thank her for the wonderful opportunity and let her know I’d chosen another agent. Then I emailed Agent2 to accept the offer (it was super early in the morning), and I waited for a response from the first agent (which was very gracious) before posting the announcement on Twitter. You really don’t want an agent who offered on your work to find out on social media that you picked someone else.

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