I'm celebrating 10 years at Thomas Nelson this week, and my terrific team presented me with the Key to the Company this morning. Sooo exciting! When I got up on stage with Ami, I choked up at how good they have been to me and what an exciting time these years have been. I've learned so much from them, and especially from Ami.
Here's what these 10 years have taught me about longevity with one house and building a relationship with your team.
Be eager to accept your editors ideas for ways that will make your book better. Hold your book lightly. The project is a team effort. It's not just your baby. You are often too close to the work to see it clearly. Trust your editor/s.
Keep a close eye on the market and be nimble if you need to tweak your brand. My brand started out more 75% mystery and 25% romance but as Ami and I looked at sales and at what my readers wanted, we shifted my brand a bit to 60% romance and 40% mystery/suspense.
Vow to partner with your publishing house. Never think they are your adversary. Make sure you are not high maintenance. When you send emails, make sure they are encouraging and uplifting and not complaining. Make sure when your friends at your publishing house see your name pop up in their inbox, they WANT to read what you have to say. Don't be an author who makes them take a deep breath and cringe before they read the email.
Don't sweat the small stuff. Talk through problems with your team but don't raise a ruckus about things that don't matter. Don't take business decisions as personal slights. Demanding your way is the wrong move most of the time. You all have the same goal--to get your books into the hands of your readers. Communication works all the time.
Stay abreast of what's happening in the market so you can discuss things intelligently with your publishing house.
Do talk about ideas with your marketing and publicity team. But then leave the decisions up to them. Do your part but make sure your team knows what you're doing and agrees with it. They can save you money and effort if they've tried something that doesn't work.
Be grateful for what your team does for you. Thank them. Send them a card or candy when they do something special like sell.
I'm sure there are more things, but I'm too excited to think of them right now. LOL They also gave me a Pandora charm that looks like a house which represents Thomas Nelson. Love it! I happened to bring my Pandora bracelet with me so I got to put it on right away!
It's been a very exciting morning! I'm so blessed to get to work with the best group of people in the world. In case you can't read the inscription, it reads In Celebration of 10 Years. Colleen Coble bestselling author and Treasured Friend (my favorite part!) June 2012 Thomas Nelson Inc.
I'm a lucky girl!