Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Actually, I heard phone lines twist and turn a lot

Hi Rejecter. What about if a well-known and successful best-selling author who has read some of your work, (because he happens to be a mate) gives you the direct phone number to an agent he knows, whom he thinks will like your work, and tells you to give this agent a call, mentioning that you are a friend of his? Wouldn't it then be churlish and insulting to assume that you, as a first time novelist, know better and to use another form of communication?

I don't know what this "direct phone number" is (all phone lines are pretty much the same), but I've had this happen before, where a friend of a client of the agent or a friend of a friend of the agent calls in. The appropriate way to do it is to have your author friend give the agent a heads up that you'll be calling and make sure the agent agrees to the call. Your friend should be the one initiating the phone relationship. Otherwise, just mention the author in your query letter.

2 comments:

Craig Steffen said...

I don't know what this "direct phone number" is (all phone lines are pretty much the same)

I assume this is referring to an office where everyone has a phone on their desk that has a unique number. I think it's fairly common in large companies/offices. The phone number on their business card/web site/directory listing goes to a receptionist/secretary/intern sort of person, who can then transfer you (or not) to the person you want to talk to. A "direct number" will go directly to the desk of the person you're trying to call, not having to go through the receptionist.

When a company has a phone system like this, someone in the company may give you their "direct number" as a courtesy so that you can call them directly. The presumption is that they know why you're important, and so will treat you accordingly.

tinkerbell said...

> The appropriate way to do it is to have your author friend give the agent a heads up that you'll be calling and make sure the agent agrees to the call. Your friend should be the one initiating the phone relationship. Otherwise, just mention the author in your query letter.


Many thanks for taking the time and trouble to answer my question, Rejecter, it is much appreciated and very helpful :)


Craig - Thank you for clarifying the confusion about direct lines. That is exactly what I meant. We may have a different system in England to the US. It is the English system to which I'm referring.