Great news! You’ve caught someone’s eye, and even though it wasn’t what you wanted (i.e. ‘the call’) it’s a step in the right direction.
What are the rules of agent communication and unsigned authors?
Get in touch only when it’s appropriate
Now that the door is open it’s not your chance to bombard us with emails, questions and more. Don’t be the author that latches on and doesn’t let go. Agents will see this as a red flag for future correspondence and will lessen your chances of getting signed by them. When your revisions are done, you have received an offer of representation for the project they are waiting on from you, or your next project is ready–then it’s time. Whatever guidelines the agent left for getting back in touch (i.e. revisions or next project) follow those closely.
Reply to the email that opens the door
If an extensive edit letter is provided confirm that you received it. Agents want to know that their extra time and efforts are being seen by you and considered. If we don’t get a response we’ll think that you have moved on or don’t agree with our edit notes. This is another instance where we see the communication style of an author and whether we jive with it.
We do get a lot of submissions, but we also have a good memory
You don’t need to keep checking in to update us, we do have a good memory for manuscripts we provided lengthy notes for. When you are getting in touch again remind us of your book, the title (the title it was at the time and if there is a new one now) and the hook of your pitch so it jogs our memory.
We say what we mean; if we ask to see a revision or future work we mean it
We don’t tell everyone to send us revisions, if we did that would double our workload. We reserve that phrase for manuscripts and writers that we truly are interested in seeing more from. So when you’ve taken the time to revise, or deem your next project ready to query please do get back in touch. So take your time and show us why you were worth the wait.
Sometimes the revise and resubmit process works and we sign authors from it (I know I have!). But sometimes, it’s a sign that it wasn’t mean to be. A good way to tell is how well you connect with the agent’s editorial notes. Are you on the same page? Do you like the agent’s communication style? You’ll know what feels right and whether opening the door with an agent is worth pursing.