Guest Blogger: Angela Henry

The good news for today is that Bettye is patting herself on the back for having cleaned out her old apartment and turned in the keys. She also crossed two other things off her to-do list. The bad news is that Bettye has one other major thing to complete today that she won't quite make.

While Bettye formulates a Plan B, here are a few words from author Angela Henry. Angela, author of the popular Kendra Clayton mystery series (The Company You Keep, Tangled Roots, Diva's Last Curtain Call) is a native of Springfield, Ohio and a graduate of Ohio University. She is a member of both Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

For more about Angela, visit her web site, and also stop in at the Crime Sistahs blog, where Angela and five of her sister authors offer tidbits about writing and other stuff.

Take it away, Angela!

Authors & Jealousy: Beware the Green Eyed Monster
by Angela Henry

It happens to the best of us. You see how well another author is doing, the bestseller lists they are hitting, the media attention they are getting and you’re jealous. It’s only human to feel this way, especially if you’re doing all you can promotion wise and feel you’ve written a book just as good or, let’s face it, better. We all have our negative moments and we need to recognize them and move on because one of the most self-defeating things authors can do is to compare themselves to other authors. Every author’s situation is different.

For example, author A and author B both write in the same genre and have books that came out the same time. Author B is jealous of author A because A got a bigger advance, massive publisher support, and has sold 25,000 copies, while B got a much smaller advance, minimal publisher support, and has only sold 8,500 copies. But what B doesn’t know is that A’s print run (how many books printed upfront by the publisher) was 150,000 copies. B’s print run was only 10,000 copies. In the publishing world, selling 8,500 copies out of a 10,000 copy print run is considered a success, while selling only 25,000 copies out of 150,000 copy print run is considered a big flop. Guess whose career is in jeopardy? And it’s not author B. Don’t be so worried about how well you think another author is doing. You may not know the whole story and the time you waste worrying could be time spent writing.


Well said, Angela! One of the reasons given for the suicide of singer Phyllis Hyman was that she became increasingly depressed over the greater success of those whom she felt had less talent. (I know this is an eerie coincidence, but today might well be the anniversary of her death). As Popeye once said, "I yam what I yam." And you know what? That's just fine!


shelia said...

Angela, thanks. People assume without knowing details. As the old saying says, "the grass is not always greener on the other side."

Bettye, reference Phyllis Hyman, I was at the Essence Festival when I learned of her suicide. It saddened me because she was one of my favorite singers. My uncle introduced me to her music back in the late 70s or early 80s I believe and I had been listening to her since then. Her music is/was timeless--unlike some of the new stuff out on the market now.