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To help the author develop and create the best book possible. Material that has both commercial appeal and long-term value.

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To help the author determine the next best step in their writing career. Giving counsel regarding the subtleties of the marketplace as well as the realities of the publishing community.

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To help the author secure the best possible contract. One that partners with the best strategic publisher and one that is mutually beneficial for all parties involved.

Recent Posts

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Guest post by Beth Shriver

Today’s guest blog is from Beth Shriver, one of Tamela’s clients. Beth has been writing for a long time in multiple genres. Her new Amish fiction series (Touch of Grace) will debut with Realms (a division of CharismaMedia) next Summer. She received a degree in Social Work from the University of Nebraska. She was a CPS worker for the Department of Social Services before starting a family. Her two cats and beagle keep her company while she writes. Visit her web site (www.bethshriverwriter.com). This post was originally published on the Just the Write Charisma blog.

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I’ve been talking with writers who have another job as well as their writing to see how they juggle doing both. I was a social worker before my daughter was born and started writing soon after, but now that my youngest is off to college I’ve thought about getting back into the work force. I just don’t know how I’d balance the two yet.

The first thing I thought of was that I’d have to do some serious time management to get everything done that I do now plus working. Getting my family used to the idea that I wouldn’t be as available would be the biggest undertaking, and having others do some of the tasks that I’ve always done. In having less time for writing I’d be spending less time with my imaginary friends, meaning my characters of course (If I were writing this to anyone other than fellow authors I’d worry they would question my sanity) along with a number of activities and groups I belong to. I suppose it’s all about prioritizing.

I did a little research about authors who didn’t give up their day jobs, or at least not right away after they were published. Some of these might surprise you.

-Michael Blake, author of Dances with Wolves, had just been fired from his job as a dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant when Kevin Costner called him to ask if he would be interested in writing a screen play of his book.

-Steven King was a high school history teacher and used to write in the furnace room closet of his trailer.

-Both C.S. Lewis and Tolkien served in WWI and then taught at Universities.

-John Grisham was a lawyer and member of the State Legislature of Mississippi.

-Jack London was an oyster pirate and then a gold prospector.

-Nicolas Sparks applied at Law school but was not accepted, so he tried doing real estate appraisals, waiting tables, selling dental products and starting a manufacturing business.

-J.K. Rowling got her postgraduate degree and taught in Scotland. She had a baby and then was divorced. She completed her first novel while on welfare.

-Francine Rivers wrote obituaries for the town paper.

-Zane Gray was finally published after many years of rejections and quit his job as a dentist to write full time.

-William Faulkner was a post master.

This group of writers is a tough comparison, but were the most interesting. I know many writers on this blog manage doing both very well, so help me out with some ideas…how do you create the necessary balance working two jobs?

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News You Can Use – Oct. 25, 2011

What Authors Learned from their Editors – This a flat out brilliant piece. Come back here and tell us in the comments what you learned from your editor. How to Find Free Photos for Your Blog – In case you wondered, we use iStockPhoto.com for the majority of our images. …

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What Caught My Eye


Last week we talked about the hook, the sound bite, or the ability to “say it in a sentence.” One reader asked for examples so I thought I’d give you a few.

Below are the short pitches of proposals that have caught my eye over the years from debut authors. Please realize that the sound bite is only one of many factors that goes into a great proposal. Ultimately it is the execution of the concept that makes for a great book. For example, The Help by Kathryn Stockett would not have succeeded as a word-of-mouth bestseller if the writing did not support the story. (No, we did not represent that title, I’m only trying to make a point. :-))

Your challenge will be to see if you can identify which books these sound bites are pitching. Each one has been published. One is obviously non-fiction, the other two are novels. The answers to each of these will be provided later this week in the comments section. along with a link to the title so you can see it in its final form.

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Study the Market


What is the best way to find out what is successful in the current market?

This is a good question because while as an author, you don’t want to chase the market, you also don’t want to write books that are so far off from the current market that they have no chance of selling. First and foremost, marketing advice from any source assumes that authors submit their best, most polished, highest quality work. Just because vampire novels enjoy popularity now, doesn’t mean publishers will acquire just any novel with a vampire. The novel must sparkle to sell to a publisher and then to readers. I don’t recommend chasing nonfiction trends either, because one or two popular authors can quickly saturate the market on any given topic. Or as Steve Laube says, “If you are asking what’s hot…you are too late.” Although some topics are evergreen, as a rule the market can only absorb so many books on a topic. Writing about a tangent of a popular topic won’t help because then the book is in danger of being too narrow to sell to a large audience. It’s then a niche of a niche.

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