An Evaluation of 2015: Ours is a tough industry. A lot of writers are rejected. Over and over. The journey to publication seems harder than ever. Available slots in a publisher’s list are fewer and harder to secure. It’s more difficult than ever to make books profitable. Competition is tougher. Only the top authors seem to be making money.
What year am I talking about?
I think it is 1998. Or was it 1994? Or then again, 2005? Or was it 2015?
Seriously, any year in publishing is a difficult year.
For me, the year 2015 was fabulous and, even better, from a life perspective, it was uneventful. I love my life and I’m totally fine with uneventful. God is good!
I did enjoy visiting Oregon for the first time to be on faculty at a conference, and my schedule included my usual stops at ICRS, Florida, and ACFW, along with an extra gig in Colorado. Back at the office, my primary goal was to stay optimistic and to keep my authors optimistic. Want to read an article about the end of the publishing industry as we know it? I could send you a hundred links. Want to read about how no one is making any money? I could send you another hundred. Want me to tell you that I heard a rumor that fiction is dead? D.E.A.D.
In lieu of flowers, you can send checks to me. Because I’m still selling fiction.
Not only am I selling fiction, but much of that fiction is recognized as excellent. Among the many examples in contest wins and recognition, clients I represent won prestigious awards last year, including an AWSA Golden Scroll Merit Award for fiction and an ACFW Carol Award.
Subscribers to “Romantic Times Book Review” will see that the February 2016 edition features six top picks, ranking those books with 4.5 stars (its highest rating). Of those six, The Steve Laube Agency is the agency of record for four, and I represent two of those authors. I eagerly await this publication each month because I enjoy seeing my clients listed with top ratings and favorable reviews.
Oh, and let’s not forget nonfiction. I have the privilege to be able to place many excellent nonfiction titles, including two debut non-fiction authors this past year.
And loving it.
Still. After all these years. This was my 14th year as an agent.
Each day when I wake up, I realize how blessed I am to be part of the journey of such a talented pool of hardworking authors. I am proud of each and every author on my list.
I am optimistic about books and this industry. Yes, the industry continues to change. Often change is for the better. Let us adapt to this change. We can do it. And as your agent, I’m here to partner with you.
Happy New Year!
This is so exciting to hear. Thanks for sharing this good news and helping to counter all the negativity.
I love your optimism, Tamela!! Thanks for posting this today. 🙂
Thank you very much Mrs. Hancock. Something positive for writers. ‘talented pool of hardworking authors.’ What makes an author hardworking? I hope its all writing and writing again.
Tamela Hancock Murray
Michael, a couple of examples: a hardworking author is committed to craft and will keep writing and revising until a book is ready to submit. The hardworking author will also keep up on social media (emphasizing one or two platforms and perhaps appearing on the others as secondary sources) to build an audience and connect with current and potential readers. This author is committed to a writing career. I have a feeling my wonderful blog readers may have more insights to offer!
Thank you Mrs Hancock . How then can a writer who hasn’t been published build a platform successfully?
Tamela Hancock Murray
Here is a good book: http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/build-a-platform-start-blogging/building-a-writers-platform
Thank you once again Mrs Hancock.
Encouragement is always appreciated.
Daniel J. PARKER
The only flowers which would momentarily stop me from letting out that which is in me are the roses which I delight in stopping to smell. Thank you for your positive, encouraging words. Long live “King Fiction” !
Thank you Lady Murray: I feel like revising again.
Tamela, your personality and perspective are rays of sunshine during what feels like a bleak time in my writing career. Thank you for providing all of us—even those you don’t yet represent—with the hope and facts to “keep on keepin’ on.”
Tamela Hancock Murray
Thank you, Heidi!
“In lieu of flowers, you can send checks to me. Because I’m still selling fiction.”
Your hope, grit and confidence make me smile. Thank you, Tamela, for such an encouraging post. Here’s to an even brighter 2016.