Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an agent?
The circumstances vary. Not everyone needs an agent, however the larger publishers look to the agent as a “talent scout” and place the role of discovering the next best writer on the agent. There are so many willing writers that publishers can get overwhelmed with submissions (see below), thus many publishers will not accept a submission unless it is agented. Remember that getting an agent is not a guarantee that your work will be picked up by a publisher, but it can enhance your chances.
Do you charge a reading fee?
No, not for any reason. We also do not charge our authors for office expenses unless it is something unusual. We make our money through contracted projects not by charging for expenses.
Why is it so hard to get an agent or a publisher?
When I worked for a publishing house we received nearly 3,000 unsolicited manuscripts each year. The company only published about 120 new titles per year, and most of them were from previously published authors. It costs a lot of money to publish and market a new book, thus the publisher must be careful how they spend their funds. An agent has only so much time in their day. Thus we have to be selective with the authors we work with. Which ones have an idea that we can enthusiastically support or whose writing is absolutely stellar? There are a LOT of good writers, but only a few great ones.
How long have you been in business?
We opened our doors officially in 2004. You can see from Steve Laube’s resume that he has been in the industry for a long time and thus has extensive experience in many facets of the business. In that time we have contracted over 800 new books.
What is the best way to contact you?
E-mail with any questions you might have. You can email any of our agents with your proposal. See the Guidelines page for each agent’s contact information.
Submissions via the mail are still accepted by Steve and Tamela. Steve says he will guarantee a response if a postal submission includes a self-address stamped envelope (SASE), otherwise he will only respond if he has interest.
Can I trust your agency?
We would like to think so! Between us we have over 100 years of experience in the publishing industry, in all facets (bookselling, writing, editing, marketing, management and publishing) and have developed a reputation that we work very hard to maintain. We receive occasional inquiries regarding our theological beliefs, if you are interested click here for our statement of faith. We have also added an “interview with Steve Laube” page to our site to give even more details for those who are interested.
What are the rules for quoting other sources in my book?
This is an extremely gray area in copyright law. Visit the U.S. Government copyright website for the official rules of “Fair Use.” A general rule of thumb is to obtain permission for anything not in public domain, directly from the original source or publisher if quoted text is over:
- 250 words quoted from a book
- 100 words quoted from an article
- 100 verses from a single Bible translation (as long as the verses do not constitute a complete chapter or a complete book of the Bible. The rules vary from translation to translation. Some are more strict than others. You do not need permission for any quotation from the King James Version.
However! We know of two publishers that have a much more stringent policy than this. One demands that permission be obtained from any source or quote of over 25 words…not 250. Another requires the author, in a non-fiction book, to obtain releases from every person quoted in the book. This includes spouse, parents, family members, etc. Make sure you know what your publisher requires before you start writing your book.
If you quote the lyrics of a song, no matter how small the phrase, obtain permission. Music lyrics are the most difficult of all to deal with in the world of copyrights. Make sure that wherever you have cited other sources, include an accurate citation of author, title, publisher and page number. Follow the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines for proper bibliographic citation format.