my very first poll

63 responses to “my very first poll

  1. The sooner you book those tickets for things you’re sure you’re going to, the cheaper they’ll be.

    • Not always true. Farecast predictions show changes inside the 60-day window that are advantageous even with the rising fuel costs.

      • You need to keep a close eye, then. I wince every time I look at plane tickets right now. Of course, my big recent purchase was over a holiday weekend, so it was particularly painful.
        Oh, and I should go add “eat lunch” because decisionmaking without eating is generally subpar.

    • airline tickets first
      For the same reason that immlass said. And because I’d forget if I kept putting it off. And because it wouldn’t take long and would be one less thing on the very long list.
      Then I’d do the replies for requested non-client proposals read over the weekend (rejections, requests for more, etc.). Why? Because once you get those done, you’re DONE! Sure, there’ll be more, but you’re totally caught up, and I’d think that sending those replies will go much quicker than all the reading did.
      Then I’d take Proposal #1, because I’d think your current clients have priority, and I’m assuming #1 came in before #2 did.

  2. Have lunch first. Lunch is good. Lunch makes facing the next things easier. Then do the contract review(s), then book airline tickets. This is what I think. If you’ve got any time left after that, do, say, 10 of the 50+ non-query emails, then 5 e-queries, and then have a really nice dinner and watch BSG or whatever your tv drug of choice is right now.:)

    • What Kit said. Everything is better when you’ve eaten. I’d look into booking the tickets while lunch is cooking or if you’re eating at your desk, then dig in on something that looks good post lunch.

    • Actually, I don’t think I can claim a tv drug of choice at the moment. Criminal Minds is on hiatus and I just finished Veronica Mars Season 2 and sent that back to Netflix today.

  3. I’d take care of your clients, seems like a feels-like-good-ethics sort of thing.

  4. Review the contract #1 what pays out in a month after signing. Because money in the pipeline is good. Lightens the mood for what comes after.

  5. Always work from the top down. Had you reversed this order… my answer would have been different.

    • The order was randomized as a selection from my actual to-do list.

      • Yeah… I had a feeling. Good Lord!
        It may be time to think about handing over some of these items. I’m sure Stephen Barbara wouldn’t mind taking the ‘have lunch’ selection off of your overflowing plate. πŸ˜‰

  6. I chose contract review #1 first because, from a real world perspective, I’m sure it’s always good for you and the author to have a good feel for income.
    After that, lunch is probably a good idea, to get a breather and be prepared for afternoon work.

  7. Do the airline tix first. Shouldn’t take long and you can cross something off your list! Then the contracts because they put money in the pipeline. Momma needs a new pair of shoes!

  8. Assuming you know for certain which conferences you plan to attend, booking the tickets early saves the company money and does not take much time. After that, I’d move on to contract review, since finalizing pending sales is again the most fiscally helpful option I see there and you are running a business.
    However, after finalizing the contracts, I would sit down and decide how the filing cabinet SHOULD be organized, maybe during lunch since it theoretically wouldn’t take too much attention. Organizing a filing cabinet is not a top-level job, it’s something the intern does to your specs. Getting that out of the way gives you a more efficient work process without tying up more of your time, so doing it soon would be I think a better choice, especially if all you have to do is decide how to organize it.
    Then e-mails, since if they’re non-query they may be important and keeping up keeps the problem from getting worse, as well as making you appear to be a more available agent. Then editorial letters. If the collaboration agreement is going to be needed sooner, put it ahead of the no-work on the market letter, but after the already sold letter.
    And that should leave only a heck of a lot of reading, pretty much. Most of that reading sounds like it won’t involve money for a while, and for me, even active reading is a good mental down time compared to say, contract drafting, so that’s why I left it until the end. However, like the e-mails, I’d be sure to keep nibbling at it as much as possible, otherwise it’ll just become a big problem later on (or at least it would for me).

  9. I would first review the contracts. As an agent, my current clients (and let’s face it…the ones earning me the money to ensure that there ARE future clients) would be my top priority. And also? MAJOR points for the Princess Bride reference! πŸ˜€

    • Points for being the first to mention the PB reference! *G*

      • It’s only the best movie ever made! *wonders if it’s bad form for an agent to soar to the top of your query list based on having great taste in movies…*ponders…great taste in movies means great taste in books right? *adjusts list feeling justified *g*

  10. Do the contract review. The sooner it’s reviewed, agreed and signed, the sooner everyone starts to make money.

  11. I would say do the contract review first. Get paid then you can buy the plane tickets and lunch. ;*)

  12. I said contracts, because money is always good and you make your current clients happy, which is a good thing. Then reward yourself with lunch.

  13. Getting money to authors is always the priority, surely? Hence, contract reviews. Then lunch, because getting food into agents (I have observed, over the years) is also a priority. Ideally, take an author to lunch!

  14. Lunch first and foremost. Headaches, crankiness, and low blood sugar mean you will not do anything else as efficiently as you could. Candy bars don’t count.
    This comment brought to you courtesy of my mom. πŸ™‚

  15. I pick the reasonably-sized YA, just because it’s the task that sounds most appealing to me personally and not at all for the sake of behaving responsibly. The responsible choice is probably the contract, but I’m in full support of instant gratification.
    Also, a big fan of Mysteries of the Unexplained.

  16. My suggestions:
    Lunch [if you haven’t already had it]
    One contract review
    Editorial letter for author with nothing currently marketed
    Maybe some of those non-query emails
    If your brain is melting at this point, start that YA ms. *wry grin*

  17. Contracts: Because you are in business and money is how the business eats.
    Then lunch, because you need to eat too.
    Get survival out of the way first. πŸ™‚

  18. I said replies to requested materials… Mostly because that seems to be the most stressful part of the process for me personally on the author end. Waiting on a query response isn’t as important to me in the long run, but waiting to hear an agent’s thoughts on the manuscript they’ve requested… Well, that’s all I’m really thinking about right now.
    -Brit Mandelo

  19. Book the airline tickets! It’s the quickest thing on your list and it’ll make you feel like you accomplished something.
    You can do it while you start on those non-query emails πŸ˜‰

  20. Lunch! I fully support lunch.

  21. I picked lunch because it’s what I would do first as a means of procrastinating on everything else. Had you asked should I’d have picked contracts, then editorial letters.

  22. Contract review #1, so you and your author can pay for lunch (and mortage, and bills, and dinner, and more books, etc). πŸ™‚
    (and I loved the Princess bride reference πŸ˜‰ )

  23. Food first, and that shouldn’t even have been on the list, silly person, but done as you were making list. As to my actual choice…well, I have a Bias. *grin* Contract reviews! (even if it’s not mine)

  24. I picked contract review #1 aaaand #2 as priorities for the day.
    The way I see it is: these are symbols of a job near completion and a job well done. Throughout the bog that will make up the rest of the day you can have these two finished items sitting visibly on your desk to remind you that you have indeed accomplished and completed something.

  25. Anything at all that needs to be done can wait until you’ve eaten lunch. Postponing it for hours isn’t good for you or for your clients. Then you can hone in on those contract reviews. Plane tickets if you get a chance.

  26. I picked the top five things I’d do if it was me, starting with reviewing contract number 1. Years of retail management taught me you always go for the sure money first and work your way up to things that will make you money in the future.
    Years of management also taught me to eat lunch at my desk while doing paperwork. It was great time management, though probably not the healthiest option.

  27. *waves the lone e-query-flag* But then again since I haven’t submitted mine yet….second choice would be contract review πŸ˜‰

  28. Food (since it will help you think better), then contract reviews. Your current clients are your top priority. Then whatever you feel like doing, although I’d place reoganizing the filing cabinet last.

  29. Have lunch. Because if you’re like me, being hungry just makes everything harder.
    Then take care of the money. Because honestly? An income stream coming in makes everything else on the to-do list possible. Including lunch.

  30. I voted ‘have lunch’.
    When I was in medical school, I had a very wise chief resident, who said, “if the doctor’s dead, they can’t help the patient”. So take care of you first, k?

  31. My heart says lunch, but my head says money. Contracts always win.

  32. Aw, I wanted the PB reference. I almost picked that one for sheer good taste. But take lunch first, and clients over non-clients. That’s what I hope my (as yet undetermined) agent will do!
    Also: yes. Delegate.

  33. I say have lunch. You can’t do any of it if you die of starvation.

  34. Getting paid is good. So is lunch.

  35. Lunch.
    Oh, sweet, sweet lunch.

  36. It was a close call between Contract Review #1 and the answering non-query e-mails. I chose the latter because I usually attend to my e-mails first thing each morning. I like to know what’s going on, what else I might need to add to my to-do list, or if there’s a crisis or two to avoid.
    Very good survey. I *really* wanted to choose responding to the queries and manuscripts, but that’s so not what you should be doing first.

  37. ME? I would reorganize the filing cabinet. Not because it is smart, not because it is even needed, but because I am just that good at procrastinating.

  38. Whatever you decide… get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.

  39. You need to eat — these all sound exhausting and energy-consuming!

  40. I’ve got a couple of loose rules for figuring out what I should do next. In no particular order, do whatever will make the next [time period] easier for you, and do what you need to in order to get other people working on time-consuming things that require their action to be completed.

  41. Re-submit ms that was rejected would be top of my list. I didn’t even read the rest after I saw that. Everything in this business so depends on tenacity and pushing hard; the rest are easy compared to making the initial sale.

  42. dang, i missed the poll.
    i would have voted for lunch.
    food makes the world go round!

  43. I went with the editorial letter for newish client for book already sold but needing revisions – you’re new to each other and getting it to the client sooner might ensure that they have the time to ask questions or just work out what they have to do to get the book delivered on schedule. Then I’d probably go with lunch (I have no idea how long an editorial letter takes to write) and spend the rest of the afternoon with the contracts (followed by the airline tickets).

  44. Let’s face it, the money drives everything else (even lunch).
    But you forgot, head over to PopCap and spend far too much time developing hand-eye coordination skills that will never be applicable to anything other than a possible alien invasion that would require you, a laptop, and a supergenious nerd (who looks great with or without glasses) who can hack into anything.

  45. I would start off with the e-mails. Most of them will (hopefully) not take a long time to go through, and as someone mentioned, there may be something important in there. I’d have the intern prep your replies, handing them a typed out list of the weekend’s readings so you can sign them and the intern can mail them (all assuming there’s an intern) Then take a crack at the contracts. After you’ve got money in the pipeline, lunch. When you get back, book the airline tickets, then look at your client list for your letters to people. Who’s foaming at the mouth for this letter, who needs it the most? Time sensitivity is a deciding factor. Draft the collaboration agreement, get that out the door for the afternoon, the intern needs an afternoon project of reorganizing the filing cabinet, send out the just-rejected manuscript and you should then have cleared most of your plate. Grab the young adult novel (because its smaller and is hopefully more compact) read that, sort through a few of the submissions and then go home. πŸ™‚
    – Sean

  46. As someone whose dayjob is being a one-woman business, I’d say do whatever gets money in the bank–contract reviews! Or, you know, an emergency shopping trip to the nearest chocolate shop. Pay the soul and all that.

  47. I chose the two contracts because money is good. Also, reading contracts sounds much less fun than some of the other options, and I’m a big believer in putting off the fun stuff until after the dreary stuff is done.

  48. That’s a lot of work. Have lunch. Definitely. That’s what I would do. Then, of course, I’d probably re-organize the filing cabinet. Especially if it doesn’t need to be re-organized. And the whole time I’d be compiling a strategy in my head to make sure I get the dreadful things done before moving onto the really fun things. It’s always good incentive if you have something to look forward to.

  49. Contract reviews. Secure the money you’ve almost got. Although I missed ‘have lunch’, which is quite important.

  50. Contract review #1 ties with “have lunch,” followed closely with Contract #2, resubmiting, and reading recently delivered client stuff (the latter with wine, on a porch swing).

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