I heard when you send an agent your book, they’ll call on the phone if they want to represent it and send an email if they don’t. I wasn't sure if that was true – as a newbie, I’m a victim to the wisdom on the internet – but for the past few days, I've kept my phone close by and haven't checked my email very often.
I sent my book to two people, and purely by coincidence, I’ve been getting exactly two emails a day. I hardly ever get emails in that account, so every time I see the number 2, I think, “Oh no! They both rejected me at the same time!”
Knowing I could get The Call at any time made me pretty anxious. I handle nervousness by getting overly prepared. I learned the zip codes of the agents so can I recognize them before I pick up the phone. (I was going to enter the numbers on their business cards to my address book, but I don’t know which number they’ll use to call.) I found a room at work that’s usually empty where I could take the call, and I tested the reception in that room.
Remember how I said you should get a writing friend/mentor who's been through this before? I talked to mine, thank goodness, and she said an agent will usually send you an email to set up a time to talk on the phone. Whew! I'll get some warning!
During the phone conversation, you ask them a bunch of questions like which publishing companies they'll submit the book to and what about your book they want to change, and then they ask you a bunch of questions. It's like a date to see if you're a good match.
Boy, am I glad I talked to her. I can just see me getting an email from an agent, falling into despair over the rejection, only to find out the email says she's interested. That would be quite the emotional roller coaster.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go check my email.