By Tamela Hancock Murray
Some authors ask me if they share too much. If you’re asking, you probably aren’t! In my opinion, most authors connect the right amount, or if anything, err on the side of not communicating enough. You might ask:
- Too much information? Not for me. I once heard a sermon that everyone needs to hear something eight times to remember it. I don’t mind hearing about something critical eight times, although I do try to remember the first time! Feel free to send me any and all information you want me to have. I’d literally rather get eight emails about the same topic than to be left out of the loop.
- Emailing too often? I don’t mind hearing from you – everything from a contract/editorial/deadline/industry scuttlebutt to the latest shoe sale at Macy’s. Don’t want to miss that!
- Calling too much? Again, no. Sometimes it’s better to call than to email. I’m good with that. Of course, if I want to receive an urgent call, all I need to do is to step out of the office long enough to retrieve the mail. But I’ll get in touch if I miss your call.
The number one complaint I hear from authors about agents is that they don’t talk to them enough. I don’t claim to be perfect, but this is one area I attempt to emphasize. I want to be responsive. But I can’t be responsive if the author doesn’t tell me. Please, if you need your agent, or just want to talk, speak up! Don’t let your agent think all is well, if in fact, you feel all alone. Make sure your agent knows the level of communication you need and do your part to keep in touch.
Admittedly, there are times when an agent will send a signal of lack of interest by not responding to author communication. My personality lends itself to overtalking rather than the silent treatment but if you’re feeling neglected, I recommend initiating a heart-to-heart talk to get back on track.
You wouldn’t write a book about two people not talking to each other. Don’t live that out in real life, either!
Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency is ACFW’s 2017 Agent of the Year. As a past bestselling author of novels and nonfiction books, she won an RWA Inspirational Readers Choice Award. She and her husband of 33 years live in Virginia and are the parents of two lovely daughters.