by Tamela Hancock Murray
Christian publishing professionals want to honor God with success. Sometimes God grants recognition quickly. Other times, He does not. And since Christians are human, it’s hard not to be a little jealous of acclaimed authors.
But what about success? Are you ready for it?
Here are just a few concerns I’ve seen from various published authors:
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 It’s easy to cry on each others’ shoulders when everyone’s unpublished but everything changes when someone in your group finds success.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 work.
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 success?
What are some other issues you’ve seen published writers face? What was the solution?
What tips would you offer a successful author?