Blogger: Rachel Zurakowski
Location: Books & Such Main Office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
An agent’s Monday starts out much like yours, I bet, but you tell me. Here’s a typical Rachel Monday:
The alarm clock rings, and I hit snooze. This process repeats itself until I know that if I don’t get out of bed, I’m going to be seriously late to work. I already sacrificed the time for my shower two or three snoozes ago. Good thing the people at work understand and also usually look a little rumpled on Monday.
I get ready for work and grab the most important meal of any Monday–my coffee–then it’s off to the office.
On arrival, I take a quick inventory of my workload.
Email box full? Check!
Query box full? Check!
Stack of mail at least two feet high? Check!
My calendar is pretty clear today. Personally, I don”t like having Monday phone calls because I need Mondays to get revved up for the week. If there’s an emergency or if there is no other day that could work for a call, I’ll of course have a Monday call, but if I can avoid ’em I do.
I typically spend my Mondays clearing queries. At Books & Such, this used to involve hours of sending individual replies to each author. This last year we made a change; we now inform authors on our website and with an auto-reply that we’ll only reply to the queries that seem to be a good fit for our agency and that intrigue us enough to ask to see more. This was a necessary step because queries were eating away our work time (we can’t earn a living just by reading queries), and it has really freed us. Now query review is as simple as reading queries and sorting them into the appropriate email folders. If I see something I like, I send a request for a proposal. If the book isn’t a proper fit for our agency, we put it in a sub-folder marked with the current month and year. The time we save by using the standard reply allows us to read the letters we receive more thoroughly, too.
I also spend time on Monday answering emails from the authors I represent. Their notes are very important to me, and I try to answer them as quickly as possible.
By the time 5 pm rolls around, Ive worked up an appetite and am ready for dinner.