One of the keys to a successful book, or so I have read and been told, is a great agent. Since this is my first book, I needed to find a great one, and my first port of call was Marc Orchant. I knew of Marc through his blogging, through my friend Eric, as a result of the pending publication of Marc's first book (on Outlook), and finally as a result of working at same place (although that was a much more recent happening at the time).
"Marc", said I, "do you know of any good agents for my book on the 7 Pillars?"
"You can have mine", said he. "He's the best."
And so an introductory email later, I was on the phone talking to Neil Salkind of StudioB (and, mind you, a prolific author in his own right). That was in mid-2006, and I shelved that book because of time-constraints.
Fast forward to October 2007. I'm in the final stages of negotiating with Microsoft Press on Seamless Teamwork, and I need the expertise of an agent to help with the contract. I rang Marc to ask if he thought it was too late to involve Neil, and then this email got sent:
From: Michael Sampson
Date: 2 October 2007 3:52:57 PM
To: Neil Salkind
Subject: Can we talk?
We spoke last year about a book ... I've been working with Microsoft Press on a different book, and are now at the contract negotiation point. Is it too late for you to be my agent? ... I have some questions about the contract and terms. Marc Orchant said you'd give me a straight answer :-)
Hope things are well with you and your agency.
He said yes!
Welcome to the team Neil! (and many thanks to Marc).