Dear Miss Snark,
What you think of the following piece from ebookcrossroads:
"What Do I Do After An Agent Asks To See My Manuscript?
First, call them. Try to sound confident. Ask a few questions about their business, such as: Who are their current clients? What do they consider their strengths? What do they think makes their agency special? etc. Now it's time to talk about you. Tell him/her what you have had published (magazine articles for example) or contests you have won, ask what questions he/she would like to ask you. These phone calls will give you a sense of who you feel comfortable with and who you think will provide you with the best deal. Take notes for your final evaluation."
Ummm, I just sent the ms as requested and plan to wait for a reply. Am I right to think that following the above advice would qualify me for nitwit of the day?
yes. Not just the day either.
Anyone who tells you to do this is not only a nitwit, they are so wrong as to be suspiciously malicious...are you sure it wasn't a joke?
I gotta tell you, if you call me up "just to chat" about who my clients are and tell me about your magazine pieces and find out why I think I'm special, I can tell you right now that you are "not quite right" either for my list, or in the head.
This is nuts.
It's not the content, it's the timing. You don't start calling agents up until they've said "yes this manuscript is something I'd like to take on". Until that point, whether you think they are perfect for you or not is irrelevant; the agent hasn't decided if s/he thinks s/he can sell this.
There's not that fine a line between being careful and being a nitwit.