Apr

10

2014

Why an In-the-Know Agent is Your Best Partner

by Tamela Hancock Murray

businesswoman on the phone

Even in the tightest market, new opportunities develop. Not only can authors keep up with these opportunities by being well-connected themselves, but this is just one part of your career where partnering with a great agent is key.

Why? Because editors don’t always put out a call to every writers’ loop when they need proposals. Most don’t have time to become inundated with lots of proposals that won’t work. Instead, editors go to their friends, the agents. An experienced agent with a healthy list of talented authors will send editors appropriate proposals.  

A well-connected agent with a stellar agency is likely to learn:

When there is hole in an editor’s schedule. Writers miss deadlines for many reasons. That’s when your agent can help you fill that hole. This can be the start, or continuation of, a fabulous relationship between you and a grateful editor.

About a new line. Agents are often the first outside of a publishing house to learn about a new line. This can help you be among the first authors to submit a proposal.

About unexpected needs. Editors will often let agents know they are expecting to need certain categories of books in the near future. This knowledge also gives you a chance to be an early contender.

That a house is changing direction. Publishers’ web sites and Amazon listings are informative but even the most up to date only reveal what has just happened. You want to look to the future because your book will be published in the future. That’s why, based on a web site, it may seem like a great idea to submit, say, a chick lit book to a house. But if that house has decided to move in the direction of WWII novels, your agent is more likely than any of your other business partners to know this. Your agent can keep you from submitting a fantastic proposal — fantastic for last year.

A key person is leaving. Just one key person’s departure may not only affect individual authors, but might even impact the future direction of a publishing house. Knowing personnel changes sooner rather than later will help you stay ahead in the game.

This doesn’t mean agents, even extraordinary ones, are the first to learn every bit of important news — but we are privy to quite a bit. And this does not mean that just because an author is among the first to submit work, that her work will be accepted over proposals arriving later. But being in the know early is still just one of many good reasons to partner with a great agent.

Your turn:

What are some other reasons you think it’s a good idea to partner with a wonderful agent?

Have you ever been able to submit a work early based on your agent’s inside knowledge?

Or do you disagree? Do you think authors are just as effective as agents in learning news early?

Apr

9

2014

Writing That is Powerful, Not Preachy!

by Karen Ball Thanks to Shirley Buxton for asking in the comments of my blog on writing that sings, “Can someone help me understand how to show spirituality without being preachy?” Why, yes, Shirley, I can. At least, I can tell you my perspective. It’s the difference between telling people how they ought to live, and showing them. It’s not…

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Apr

8

2014

What About Medium Stuff?

by Dan Balow Today I stand in support of medium stuff. There is no argument that big important things deserve our undivided attention. There seems to be some disagreement over small stuff…do we sweat it or not? According to the Stan Jantz and Bruce Bickel’s book, God is in the Small Stuff, we probably need to be paying close attention…

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Apr

7

2014

I is for ISBN

by Steve Laube 978-0-310-32533-8 978-0-7814-1042-7 978-1-61626-639-4 No, these are not the plays being called by a quarterback during a football game. They are the ISBN numbers on the back of three different books by three different clients. Kudos to the first person to identify the three titles in the comments below. Origins Back in the mid-60s a major British bookstore…

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Apr

4

2014

Fun Fridays – April 4, 2014

I think we have found the way to save the Book Publishing Industry! Watch carefully.

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Apr

3

2014

Book Proposals I’d Love to See

by Tamela Hancock Murray By God’s will and pleasure, during my career as a literary agent I have been successful in representing authors writing Christian romance, Christian and general market trade book fiction, and Christian nonfiction. My interests have changed very little since my first blog post for The Steve Laube Agency, “Happy to Be Here,” but here’s an update for…

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Apr

2

2014

The Core of Writing Well

by Karen Ball A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I’m trying to learn how to make latte art. I’ve got the moves down…kinda. Hey, I’m a racquetball player—was, in fact, one of the top players in college—so I can do wrist action like a pro. But guess what I discovered? Having the moves doesn’t do you any good without…

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Apr

1

2014

Laube Agency Signs Saul of Tarsus

(Phoenix, Arizona) Steve Laube, founder of the Steve Laube Agency announced today that the agency has signed Saul of Tarsus to write in various Christian book categories starting with his debut release in Fall 2014.  Saul will be writing under the pen name of Paul, a name with special meaning to the author, given him after a dramatic personal experience…

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Mar

31

2014

4 Tips for Surviving a Writers Conference

by Steve Laube I’ve had the fun of teaching at nearly 150 writers conferences over the years. In that time I’ve noticed a number of common things that all writers face. Let’s explore a few tips that may help you survive at the next one you attend. Relax The most common mistake is viewing the conference as a make-it-or-break-it evetn….

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Mar

28

2014

Fun Fridays – March 28, 2014

A delightful performance by a surprise contestant on the Italian version of “The Voice.” To really appreciate what the judges are saying make sure to click the “cc” button (close captioned) for an English translation. (The “cc” button appears after you click play.) The emotional reaction of the first judge and the expression of the singer of why she sings (at the…

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