10 Things You Need To Know About Getting ‘The Call’!

We love our Call Stories on SOLD! – there’s nothing more inspiring than hearing about the moment authors’ dreams of publication come true. And you might think that no-one is more excited than the author when it happens. But you’d be wrong! Read on for the Harlequin editors’ perspective on what it feels like to make ‘The Call’…

  1. It’s just as exciting for editors as it is for authors – and it goes by in a total blur! Like you, we find ourselves forgetting what we said the minute we’ve hung up 🙂
  2. We love a big reaction, so don’t worry if you sound incoherent/emotional/excitable – tears of joy are the best!
  3. Sometimes the editor cries with joy too 😉
  4. The whole editorial team is waiting with baited breath while we make The Call, and once we put down the phone, the cheers (assuming the author has accepted the contract!) can be heard across the office!
  5. We like to give all the details up front, but since we know it can be a lot to take in – and we’ll likely be squeeing right along with you – we always follow up with an email. So don’t worry about jotting down notes if you’d rather be bouncing around your living room!
  6. It is a fine balance between scheduling The Call for when the author is in and not ruining the surprise! There is nothing more anti-climactic than trying to make The Call and the author being out…
  7. Every editor has a different approach – some dive in with the offer while others are more devious and take a roundabout way to build suspense. It can be very tempting to channel our inner Simon Cowell when we deliver the news: ‘We didn’t like it [dramatic pause as your heart is in your mouth] we LOVED it!’
  8. It creates a really special bond, to be part of making that moment happen. You never forget an author you acquired or the editor who bought your first book.
  9. It’s not only authors who crack open the bubbly to celebrate, it’s the editor too! We’ll be toasting your success in the office, at home, anywhere we can!
  10. Making The Call is the highlight of our day, our week, our month – our whole job, really!

Have you had ‘The Call’? Share your favourite memory below!

12 replies on “10 Things You Need To Know About Getting ‘The Call’!”

The Call is a blur but I remember my heart racing for hours afterwards. A month on and it still hasn’t fully sunk in- but I’m on the SOLD! blog so it must be true.

I had a stealth ‘Call’ 😀 Fifteen minute conversation about the revisions I needed to do put all notion of a contract out of my head. I really didn’t see it coming at the end of the phone call. Those eds are sneaky!

I found an “I’ll call back” message from the editor on the answering machine when I came back from a walk. It’s enough to make a writer regret leaving the house! All afternoon I asked myself “good news or bad news?” (It was great news!)

I had an email from the London office because of time zone differences. They were in the UK and I was in Canada.

I luckily got up that cold, bitter day in January 2013 and saw the email from her saying “Can I give you a call?” I replied and we set up at time at 5 a.m. my time for 9:30 a.m. my time. That way I could get kids to school.

I remember pacing the whole time I was on the phone and I was very ecstatic. I didn’t even mind the cold too much that day I was on cloud twenty seven!

I had been through the day from hell when I got ‘the call’. I still remember coming home from work and my husband ordering pizza because to cheer me up. Then I saw a tweet from Flo Nicoll saying she was going on holidays but that she had one special call to make.

I put my phone in front of me and started at it til it started ringing (talk about Jedi mind powers!). Then I babbled like a crazy person and burst into tears when I hung up the phone. Cue celebratory champagnes and a phone call to my mum.

Just spotted this…I remember this call, it was a good day! I was very VERY excited to dial that number! 🙂


I am reading these responses after I didn’t make the Top 25 of SYTYCW15. You have just reinvigorated me!
Thank You!

@Yvonne Rediger: I know the feelng! It was hard getting traffic to the site should have put the story up earlier. But congrats for making the Top 50

@Deborah : True, also setting up an ID was a road block for some. Ah well, I will submit the regular way. I hope you will too.

I love call stories. That precise moment when everything just suspends in your mind and then…magic. I’m sure if I ever receive one, I’ll be a blubbering mess.

What a fun post. I’ve heard editors love calling authors. I look forward to receiving one of those calls some day! I’m sure I will not be coherent at all. 🙂

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