Step one: Write a damn good book and WORKSHOP IT.
On finding an agent: DO YOUR RESEARCH. Write a good pitch letter and WORKSHOP IT. FOLLOW directions.
Don’t give up!
Formalizing representation: Sometimes, authors must do REVISIONS before an offer of representation. An agent needs to know you can have a good working relationship.
Phone call with an agent: ask questions! Now is a good time to start. Make a list of questions you will ask your agent in the future.
The agent will submit to agents using a pitch letter.
When there is interest from an editor, it will go to an editorial and acquisitions board to be approved by the editor's colleagues.
Then, the editor may offer. Several different things can happen at this point depending on the type of offer. Sometimes this can lead to an auction if there are multiple editors interested.
Negotiating/signing the contract: this is when the agent/author decides what rights to keep (i.e. film, electronic, etc).
If you sell your book, you will begin working with an editor. You will receive an editorial letter that will explain the revision and will explain the vision the editor has for your book. Then, you will work on revisions. A lot. And then a lot more. And then maybe a little more.
After the book sale, the agent steps back a bit, but will be involved if necessary--for example, with a title change, the cover, design, etc.
You won't be sent on book tours! For pre-publication, consider promotional ideas: websites, blogs (and blog tours), school visits, author photos, etc.
Amazing Quote of the Session: "Patience is a virtue you really need to have in this business. Books take 18 months from contract to publication at the MINIMUM."