When it comes to communication I’m a typical millennial, which means I prefer emails to phone calls. To me email is faster and more convenient than waiting around to schedule a call. The vast majority if not all of my communications with clients is done over email. Not only is it convenient for me, but it frees my phone up for emergency and editor calls. Having most communication done over email is pretty typical these days. If you are the type who relies on phone calls to discuss everything, then I’m probably not the agent for you.
As an editor I never did phone calls. Even my job interviews with houses were all done via email as well as my communication with authors. Basically I got accustomed to doing everything via email. Not to mention many of my clients hold other day jobs and while they can’t do a call during work hours, they can email. I often wonder if the offer email will start to trump the offer call in the digital era. I have signed clients without phone calls and to me they are no different than clients who I called. The email signings went so smoothly I have considered switching to the offer email across the board. When I’m ready to offer, I let my prospective clients know when I ask to chat with them. If I have questions I want answers to before offering, I usually ask them while I finish reading or right after reading while I mull everything over. I do that because by the time it comes to me wanting to chat more with them to see about offer, I want to be sure about that offer and know everything I need to leading up to that so we can get right down to business when I make an offer.
I’ve seen a lot of blog postings hyping up “the call” that puts a ton of emphasis on it from calling agents book soul mates to telling authors to ask lots of non-publishing questions to see if you are a personality match. As an agent my take on all that is I care about my authors being professional and willing to work on revisions with me and keeping in touch via email if they need anything. As long as you are professional I don’t care how similar or different we are personality wise as long as we can work together well and you treat other writers (and well everyone) with respect. As an agent I’m here to represent you and your work and have a professional relationship. For many of my clients the supposed “call” is the only time they talk to me on the phone. And on the phone you aren’t getting everyday me, you are getting business mode me. (For starters I leave the “yoooo, what up?” greetings for my friends.)
So with me expect lots of emails, especially for editing notes and spreadsheets. Since I’m editorial I provide editing notes if I think a book needs more edits. I also keep track of submissions with spreadsheets. All that gets sent via–you guessed it!– email. I also discuss things as we go, like how much info a client wants about a submission. Everything, rejections included? Or only good news? I’ll also discuss if we need to do another round of edits based off editor feedback during submissions before we move on to another round. I also discuss new projects as we go. When I send an offer, I let the author know what I’m thinking for edits as well as some frequently asked questions because I’m a “no beating around the bush” type. And while I’m an email girl, I also have a goodreads account and work Twitter for clients who wish to follow me on those.
To summarize, emails!