Tamela Hancock Murray has been an agent for over 12 years. A bestselling, award-winning author of twenty novels, novellas, and nonfiction books, Tamela brings the perspective of a working writer to her role as a literary agent. As an agent she represents many top authors and continues to develop new talent. She earned her BA with honors in Journalism from Lynchburg College in Virginia. Today she enjoys living in Northern Virginia with her family. She can often be found reading books on her Kindle.
Are You Ready For Success?
Here are just a few concerns I’ve seen from various
1.) I’m nervous about my advance. What if I
don’t earn out? Steve Laube wrote a post called The
Myth of the Unearned Advance. Do publishers make mistakes and
give some authors advances that are too large? Yes, but earning out is likely
because publishers know how to calculate their expenses and estimate expected
sales of a book. If you do earn a big advance, don’t spend it all at once. In
other words don’t act as if the windfall income will be normal and consistent.
Careful planning of your finances is always prudent.
2.) Some people who were my friends when I was
struggling don’t seem to be as friendly now. It’s easy to cry on each
others’ shoulders when everyone’s unpublished but everything changes when
someone in your group finds success. Bottom line: If your talent is spotted
before your friends’, be a good mentor and support for them. If you are slow to
be recognized while your friends sail by you, re-read this article for an idea
of what they may be facing. Continue to support them and learn from being
associated with a published author.
3.) I have a deadline. And here come the final
proofs, which are due on Monday. And I have to write three articles for my blog
tour. And… Be ready for a packed schedule. It happens to every
successful author. Book deadlines will change your life for the better, but
meeting them will be an adjustment. Plan out your schedule and otherwise be
prepared to adjust your life accordingly.
4.) The edits are much, much more intense than I
thought they would be. I think I’m going to cry. Go ahead. Cry. Then
get to work. Your editor and publisher is partnering with you. Be grateful they
care enough to make your book the best it can be.
5.) The edits on Book 1 have caused rewrites on
most of Book 2 and Book 3. This is taking much more time than I thought. Will I
have to ask for a deadline extension on my next book? And will that have a
domino effect on the other books? You won’t be the first or last
author to have this happen. Don’t worry. Since the editor has seen the
requested changes, she shouldn’t be surprised when you ask for the extension.
But if you can meet your deadlines, by all means do so, and with your best
6.) What if I fail? Put in your best
effort at all times. Then if your book does fail, you will know it’s not
because you didn’t make your best effort. Spend no time on regrets. Instead,
plan with your agent on how to move forward. With God, nothing is impossible.
What makes you most nervous about the prospect of
What are some other issues you’ve seen published writers
face? What was the solution?