2012 – A Year in Review

by Steve Laube

happy new year illustration with counter


With today being New Year’s eve we have a chance to evaluate and celebrate the events of this past year.

Our agency was extremely busy this year closing on 118 new book contracts covering nearly 200 new books. That meant we averaged a new contract every two business days. Amazing. What makes this exciting is that, despite dour predictions, publishers are still acquiring great content. We are privileged to work with some of the best writers in the industry.

In the fourth quarter we saw the official merger of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan under the Harper Collins Christian Publishing Division. It is still new to everyone and flexibility will be the key going forward as changes will be inevitable over time.

The general market was shaken by the proposed merger of two of the “Big Six” with Penguin to combine with Random House. 2013 will see that event play out once it gets approved.

Heartsong Presents made a seamless transition into the Harlequin universe and carved out its own Christian romance niche alongside their Love Inspired cohorts.

Tamela, Karen, and I wrote nearly 240 blog posts and had over 217,000 visitors to our web site. We hope that our efforts have helped each of you along this journey inside the labyrinth called Publishing.

I spoke at four writer’s events around the country plus one in Canada and also attended my 31th consecutive ICRS convention in July.

On a personal note my father passed away in September at the age of 91. Having the extended family gather from multiple states made for some special times as we celebrated his life. An online memorial can be found at this link (http://bit.ly/QCg6tc). Included there is a full obituary and a “more photos” section. I found myself affected much more deeply than I expected and at the most unexpected times. We love you Dad.
We also lost our family cat, Pawlie, after sixteen years. “She died as she had lived, in absolute love and infinite devotion.” (adapted from The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell)

For those of you who have experienced a loss of some kind may God grant you a full measure of peace.

Here is wishing you all a happy new year!


4 Responses to 2012 – A Year in Review

  1. Rick Barry December 31, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    Steve, I’m curious: How many total proposals did all of you have to sift in 2012 in order to find the 118 projects that reaped contracts? (Not counting pitches in elevators, restrooms, taxi cabs, etc., unless you want to guesstimate that number. 🙂 )

    • Steve Laube December 31, 2012 at 9:23 am #

      That question would be impossible to answer with precision. With email submissions, once they are declined they are deleted and no one counts them. And since we are in three different cities we do not have a central clearing house.

      In addition we do not count existing clients as a “submission” to sift through. They become part of our regular daily work and are not in the “slush pile.”

      Best guess is that we sifted over 2,000 queries and proposals from the unsolicited bunch.

      Over 90% of the proposals we show to publishers are contracted. It is a major disappointment to have something remain unsold. That is one reason why we are so picky. We want our authors to be successful with their ideas.

      Hope that helps.

  2. Rebecca DeMarino December 31, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    Thank you Steve for the look back both for the industry and your agency! Your blogs, along with Karen and Tamela, have been inspiration and informative and I know have always been of value to me. Thank you for being such a mentor!

    I was touched that you included a personal note about your dad. My mother passed away in 2005, 3 months short of my parents 60th anniversary. I know what you mean by unexpected moments. I think at first they are painful, but God heals the hurt and leaves us with the warm memories. I still miss her so much, but when I bake, I feel her near.

  3. Carrie Turansky January 5, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    Hi Steve, this was so interesting to read. You’ve had a great year! I am very thankful for the wisdom you, Karen and Tamela share on this blog and to me personally. I feel very blessed to be one of your clients. Thanks for all you do for me and for Scott.
    Happy New Year!

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