A Growing Readership

It recently came to my attention that the email list for our agency’s blog has grown by 40% over the last two years. It’s now the size of a small town or a rather large church!

That is only the email list. It doesn’t count those of you who use the Facebook feed, the Twitter feed, an RSS feed, or come to the site directly on a regular basis. That is a pretty big crowd, and it is humbling to say the least.

It does raise a few questions.

Why do you read this blog?

Is it for the ever-delightful Tamela? For the always-fetching Bob? For the fascinating podcaster Thomas? For the curmudgeon comments of grumpy Steve? Or do you only come to watch videos on Fun Friday?

Actually, it is a serious question. We are regularly asking ourselves, “What do we address next?” “What do our readers want to read?” “What do our readers need to read?”

Not fishing for compliments. 🙂 Instead, we’d like to know what’s on your mind. If you’d rather not ask publicly in the comment section, you may write to info@stevelaube.com, which goes to an admin inbox that is regularly sifted. We may or may not be able to answer your questions, but we will certainly listen to them.

Thank you for being a loyal reader. Your involvement makes it seem less like work and more like a privilege.

69 Responses to A Growing Readership

  1. Avatar
    Shirley Brosius August 24, 2020 at 5:40 am #

    Your blog keeps me up to date about the industry and offers tips to improve writing. I need both. Fun Fridays are a nice break that I enjoy.

  2. Avatar
    Linsey August 24, 2020 at 5:48 am #

    You offer value and excellent information on topics I’m interested in reading about. I love that a while ago you asked for questions we’d like addressed and you actually addressed them. Your blog posts are also very relevant. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us! Linsey

  3. Avatar
    Susan August 24, 2020 at 5:49 am #

    One of your writers is really funny, so I like that. Tamela is so interesting. But I never open Fun Fridays because I don’t have time to watch videos.

  4. Avatar
    Angela Van Etten August 24, 2020 at 5:49 am #

    I read the blog because it is teaching me about marketing, keeping a positive attitude, perseverance, and, of course, look forward to fun FrIdays. I have only been blogging for six weeks and launch my book in October.

  5. Avatar
    Glenda August 24, 2020 at 5:56 am #

    Hi, Steve,
    Tamela, Bob, Thomas-

    Why do I read this blog?

    It depends. 🙂

    I find it a refreshing mainstay in the ever-changing publishing world.

    Plus, I like to know what talented writers think.

    Thanks for your sagacious thoughts!

    • Avatar
      Regina Merrick August 24, 2020 at 7:18 am #

      I like ALL! I listen to Thomas as quickly as he can get the podcast up. I look to Steve and Bob for both information and inspiration, and I love Tamela’s take on craft and the writing industry from a different perspective. These, I read, and sometimes pass on to my local writing group. Fun Fridays is just that – FUN – and I don’t always have time to read (or watch). Actually, I’d probably interact more if it weren’t a video, as much as I love an entertaining video. It’s just one more click that I can devote to the next email. All-in-all, I recommend 2 writing blogs – this one, and Edie Melson’s “Posts from The Write Conversation!”

  6. Avatar
    MacKenzie Willman August 24, 2020 at 6:13 am #

    I read these posts because I am checking out you and the agency as I look for an agent.

  7. Avatar
    Jeannie Delahunt August 24, 2020 at 6:24 am #

    I appreciate the information, as I am learning to better hone my craft, and at some point in the near future will be seeking an agent.

    I listen, read, and take to heart everything this blog, and the podcasts, and webinars present.

    This agency, from what I can discover thus far, is one of the few that take the time to share information and insights. I’m deeply grateful. Thank you!!!

  8. Avatar
    Lisa Acuff August 24, 2020 at 6:33 am #

    I receive the newsletter in my email box. As a novice author who is (re)discovering her creative joy and writing strengths, this resource is helpful. I appreciate that this information is digestible. It is neither too long nor too short (time matters). The language resonates and makes sense . . . not too technical nor too simplistic. The scope is broad enough to meet diverse needs and situations, yet not so open to lose focus. In general, the topics relate more or less. I love the interaction. I learn both from the original article, as well as the comments (when I find time to browse them). The writing is honest, and I especially appreciate that. The community seems supportive, willing to help one another along.

  9. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser August 24, 2020 at 6:33 am #

    Why do I show up here,
    and stay part of the tribe?
    let me make it very clear:
    you help keep me alive.
    Each post is now a challenge
    to write a fitting sonnet;
    I may not always manage,
    but at least I’m on it,
    and this is motivation
    to rise and face a day
    of cancer’s devastation
    with heart made young and gay
    by a dare to stretch the mind
    and ambience so warm and kind.

  10. Avatar
    Karen Sargent August 24, 2020 at 6:33 am #

    I appreciate many things about your blog, but when it comes to insight into the ever-changing industry, you are my go-to trusted source.

  11. Avatar
    Mary Pat Johns August 24, 2020 at 6:43 am #

    I love your blog and read it regularly for news about the writing industry. Please keep doing exactly what you’re doing and it will be great. Thanks.

  12. Avatar
    Melissa Henderson August 24, 2020 at 6:53 am #

    I enjoy reading the messages on this site. As an author, I am always learning.

  13. Avatar
    Joanie Clay August 24, 2020 at 6:53 am #

    I’ve subscribed to several writing newsletters over the past couple of years in pursuit of learning the craft, but there were only three I consistently looked forward to reading. In an effort to organize my writing strategy I went through unsubscribing to anyone I felt I didn’t gain anything from. Yours made the cut because the helpful content makes the investment of my reading time valuable. You give away a lot of knowledge at no cost which actually led to me purchasing one of the recent courses because I can see your company cares about educating writers. I’m thankful to be able to glean from your team.

  14. Avatar
    Lana Christian August 24, 2020 at 7:01 am #

    I read your blog for its industry insights. You’re living in that world; you have your finger on the pulse of what publishers want. Any chance I have to “go to the source” for reliable information, I will. And one of my top go-to’s is your blog.

  15. Avatar
    Carolyn Knefely August 24, 2020 at 7:28 am #

    You all are on my celebrity list. I’m not a People Magazine follower or Hollywood celebrity tv watcher.
    Nevertheless, I look forward to each post from you and your staff partners. The information is meaty, focused as well as seasoned variety. Publishing and writing were never on my to-do list. I’ve been pushed into this foreign arena. Research and trials of other blogs on the topics in the writing world have caused me to try your blog. Over the years, I’ve found each contributor’s insight and knowledge above average. This had led me to keep you all on my short celebrity list. My trust is in the leading post. Teach on!

  16. Avatar
    Loretta Eidson August 24, 2020 at 7:30 am #

    Ha! All of the above, but mostly for the incredible amount of insight and encouragement offered on this blog. Most of the time you answer questions before I ask or you stir out thoughts that raise more questions. I, for one, appreciate the open opportunity to inquire about writing concerns. Thank you.

  17. Avatar
    Jan Allen August 24, 2020 at 7:42 am #

    I just started reading your blog a week ago. I just finished my book and I was trying to figure out how the whole literary agent thing worked, and I found your site. I prefer educational information on the industry. i.e. How to write a good synopsis. What is a tag line? What makes a good back of the book blurb? How agents get paid?
    My other mission is to look at example blogs. I’ve had a blog for a couple years with great info, but low readership. Probably because I don’t post often. Now that I’ve written a book I want to convert it to a author blog, and I wanted to see what kind of things people post. I noticed that the same person doesn’t blog all of the time. That must be the key to preventing burnout.

  18. Avatar
    Hannah August 24, 2020 at 7:52 am #

    I’ve learned more about the publishing industry through this blog than any other source over four years of research. I signed up for the email list so I could continue to obtain information about what is current in writing and publishing more conveniently when I didn’t have time to peruse the internet at large and sift through for what is of value and what is not.

  19. Avatar
    Sharon K. Connell August 24, 2020 at 7:53 am #

    I read the blog to learn, Steve. A writer is never finished learning about this craft. The articles you and others have here always instructive in one way or another, like going to a free writing class. 🙂 Thank you.

  20. Avatar
    Chris Wells August 24, 2020 at 8:09 am #

    Thanks for asking. 🙂

    Your agency came to my attention through Edie Melson’s “Write Conversation”.

    Working on my first Biblical fiction novel, I like to read blogs that give me bite-sized, daily help learning about writing and publishing.

    Congratulations on your increased readership!

  21. Avatar
    Kim August 24, 2020 at 8:19 am #

    Trying to keep up with our ever-changing publishing industry keeps me plugged in. Plus, I actually know and appreciate each one:)

  22. Avatar
    Martha Rogers August 24, 2020 at 8:21 am #

    I get notices by email and always check the blog because of the great information to be found here. Sometimes it doesn’t really pertain to me, but the information is helpful to so many. Each blogger is unique and it’s fun to see what they have to offer each day. Fun Fridays are just that . . . fun. Thanks for all that you do to give us the info we need. Exciting to see how many are being reached.

  23. Avatar
    Deb August 24, 2020 at 8:35 am #

    There’s a certain age when you realize you’re coming late to the party, so I was glad to find a source of information and education on writing that sugar coats nothing, but is incredibly helpful for anyone willing to do the work. My favorite – hands down.

  24. Avatar
    Lester Bauman August 24, 2020 at 8:46 am #

    I watched Bob’s keynotes at the Kentucky Christian Writer’s conference and appreciated them. I’m interested in practical helps in building realistic characters and plots. I see a lot of conflicts that deal with feelings of unworthiness and some dealing with independence. Also some writers weave in some simple apologetics. I’d be be interested in some plots/conflicts with more depth and complexity. I’d appreciate posts that help with that.

  25. Avatar
    Michael Jack Webb August 24, 2020 at 9:04 am #

    Enjoy the variety! Appreciate the informative and diverse articles. Like to keep up with what’s happening in publishing, etc. Appreciate your team’s commitment to excellence! 🙂

  26. Avatar
    Karen Blackwell August 24, 2020 at 9:05 am #

    I would like to learn more about how to find a literary agent. I have tried for years with no success.

  27. Avatar
    Janet Ann Collins August 24, 2020 at 9:07 am #

    I read this blog to keep up with what’s happening in the Christian publishing industry, to get information that helps me improve my own writing, and because I admire Steve Laube.

  28. Avatar
    Kay DiBianca August 24, 2020 at 9:12 am #

    I love reading this blog for the instruction, insight, and humor it offers. It also gives us all an opportunity to develop relationships with other authors as well as the contributors.

    And I am in awe of Andrew’s ability to produce poetry every day!

    Thanks for all these gifts.

  29. Avatar
    Kristen Joy Wilks August 24, 2020 at 9:31 am #

    I come to hang out with writer people! I never watch the fun Fridays. I don’t read the show notes on the podcast, but if I’m working in the kitchen and the topic catches my eye, I’ll occasionally play the podcast while I work. I want the insider industry info and lean more toward the information heavy posts than the contemplative ones. Thanks for what you do everyone!

  30. Avatar
    Sonja Anderson August 24, 2020 at 9:33 am #

    I love the blog and the podcasts. I’ve tried similar podcasts, but they often make me wade through half an hour of chitchat before getting to the point. Thomas is professional AND personable, but his podcasts always focus on the topic first.

    Like others who have responded, I don’t click on the videos on Friday, either. I’m sure they’re great, but I hardly ever click on videos.

    WHAT I WISH WAS AVAILABLE ON THE BLOG AND/OR PODCAST: Someone who is just as knowledgeable on the publishing industry for CHILDREN’S LIT! I will often hear advice and think, “Yes, but that doesn’t work for children’s lit,” or “Yes, but what do I need to do differently for CHILDREN’S LIT?”

    I go to conferences, I belong to organizations like Children’s Book Insider and SCBWI, and I have been published by small publishers, but becoming a successful Christian children’s author is still a mountain I’m climbing. Would love more specific help on that by you wonderful people who I trust so much. (I actually believe Thomas will get there as his children grow up and he reads more children’s lit, because he’s already posted a bit on this, but would love more help in the meantime!).

    • Avatar
      Shulamit August 24, 2020 at 10:14 am #

      Hear, hear, Sonja.

    • Avatar
      Lynda August 24, 2020 at 2:32 pm #

      Yes, I would appreciate more for Children’s writers, as well.

    • Avatar
      Kristen Joy Wilks August 25, 2020 at 8:43 am #

      Yes! I’ll second this. I also write for children and would love more specific info for that audience.

  31. Avatar
    Thomas Womack August 24, 2020 at 9:44 am #

    Thanks for asking, Steve. Always eager to hear about the latest helpful resources you may have come across for authors, whether for the content development side of things or the getting-published side. There’s a lot out there, but it can be daunting to sort through it all and evaluate. Always good to know the evaluative opinions on these things from frontline publishing professionals like you and your team.

  32. Avatar
    Janet Pierce August 24, 2020 at 9:57 am #

    I look forward to reading the helpful hints about writing and trying to get an agent and trying to get published. Keep up the good work.

  33. Avatar
    Lisa Fowler August 24, 2020 at 10:10 am #

    Love it all, but especially the Podcasts. The one with James Scott Bell was extremely helpful. I enjoy that I can listen to the Podcasts multiple times if I don’t “get something” the first time. However, I must say that I would love a transcript of the Podcasts because occasionally I’m not where I can listen but could read.
    I love the helpful tips and timely posts from all of the agents even though some of them are “repeats.” It never hurts to read helpful information again and again. Thank you for all you do to help us!

  34. Avatar
    Bryan Mitchell August 24, 2020 at 10:29 am #

    I learn so much from this blog. I was clueless about the business of writing beforehand. I’ve taken helpful classes and joined different writers group that I was clueless about before following your blog.

  35. Avatar
    Lois Keffer August 24, 2020 at 10:53 am #

    How do you write a great bad guy? The most arresting scenes in books I love feature an unexpected sympathetic look at how bad guy got to this point—a previously unknown insight into terrible pressure he’s facing, blackmail, imminent death, revealing a hidden identity, paying a longstanding debt, admiration for his genius or colliding with a point of redemption. I recognize these possibilities but have hit a wall in making it flow from these fingers. I’ve made him fairly disgusting and I don’t even want to be around him. So, how do I love my bad guy as myself?

    • Avatar
      Andrew Budek-Schmeisser August 24, 2020 at 6:04 pm #

      Lois, I’m far from expert in creating characters (the expression ‘stick-figure’ comes to mind to describe my efforts), but may I point you to the 2007 remake of “The 3:10 To Yuma”?

      Ben Wade, the ostensible villain (so ably portrayed by Russell Crowe) is a complex mixture of malevolence, honour, and kindness. There are a lot of subtle, nonverbal ‘tells’; it’s definitely a film worth studying.

  36. Avatar
    Cindy Fowell August 24, 2020 at 10:57 am #

    I look forward to reading this blog everyday. I’ve learned about publishing, marketing and craft along with the different perspectives on simular topics.
    I’ve been helped spiritually and learned how to pray as a writer. I’ve also learned agents and editors are people just like me.
    The wit and humor shared brighten my day.
    Fun Fridays start off my day and weekend either in laughter or awe.
    I also enjoy read many of the comments and poems and learn from those as well.
    Thank each of you for being a part of my writing journey.

  37. Avatar
    Lila Diller August 24, 2020 at 11:08 am #

    I come for writing advice, as well as insight into the traditional publishing world. I sometimes listen to Thomas Umstadt, Jr (is that spelled right??) on the podcast, if it’s an interesting topic or an author I know. I always come for every Fun Friday. 😉

  38. Avatar
    Brennan S. McPherson August 24, 2020 at 11:51 am #

    To keep a finger on the pulse of the trad Christian publishing industry.

  39. Avatar
    Roberta Sarver August 24, 2020 at 12:52 pm #

    You all offer so much helpful advice. I don’t usually listen to podcasts due to a lack of time, but I can speed read the rest and digest the advice in print. I like the variety of topics you address, especially what agents are looking for these days. Thank you for opening a window to your minds and letting us peek inside. And I am another who enjoys Andrew’s sonnets.

  40. Avatar
    Diana Derringer August 24, 2020 at 1:30 pm #

    I look forward to the balance of timeless truths, ongoing changes, and current expectations in the writing world.

  41. Avatar
    Steve Laube August 24, 2020 at 1:49 pm #

    Thank you all for your comments and thoughts. Add that to the group that sent their questions via the email address and we have quite a collection of thoughts.


  42. Avatar
    Kathy August 24, 2020 at 2:06 pm #

    I follow and read this blog, because you give up-to-date and helpful information on the publishing industry, marketing, and the craft of writing. Thank you!

  43. Avatar
    Lynn August 24, 2020 at 2:09 pm #

    Learning the mind if the publisher is what you bring. I am interested in what you’re interested so I may understand what you look for in a manuscript.

  44. Avatar
    Megan Schaulis August 24, 2020 at 2:09 pm #

    I found the blog while researching literary agents seeking Christian YA fiction, a sadly short list.
    At first, I read your wish lists, the book proposal series, and related articles on submitting to agents. Now, I read daily (by visiting the site directly) for tips and encouragement. It’s delightful to see each of your personalities shine through and to see you all share your faith without compromising your professionalism.
    I also love the sense of community. I’ve never followed a particular blog before and have never been one to read comments. With these articles, I find I get just as much out of the comments/group discussion as the article itself.

  45. Avatar
    Jennifer Saake August 24, 2020 at 2:13 pm #

    I’m a never-agented, previously published author (who didn’t know anything about the field, even that agents existed, when my first book was picked up by a publisher). I’m now subscribed to a few different agent blogs as I write, getting to “know” some of you, as I prepare my next manuscript.

  46. Avatar
    Deena Adams August 24, 2020 at 2:15 pm #

    I enjoy reading the articles on the writing craft and how to best connect with agents, editors, and publishers. I love Bob’s humor. I don’t normally watch the Fun Friday videos because I have to click to another window to watch. I know, terrible excuse. The ones I have watched were enjoyable. 🙂

    Thanks for offering such a variety of content and such helpful advice.

  47. Avatar
    OLUSOLA SOPHIA ANYANWU August 24, 2020 at 2:19 pm #

    I thank God for this blog. I actually look forward to it every day. I love to hear from Steve, Tamela and Bob. I have learnt so much in the last three or four months that I joined. I have been schooled on this blog and my writing skills and awareness have definitely been made sharper.
    May God continue to bless the Steve Laube Agency and all its staff in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.

  48. Avatar
    Norma L. Brumbaugh August 24, 2020 at 3:02 pm #

    I started reading your agency blog to become familiar with your agency, literary agents, writing industry insights and standards, become a recognized member of the Christian writing community, and to possibly gain representation with one of your agents. The reality has been somewhat different. Now I read mostly to know, not to be known. I have gained a lot of knowledge over the duration. Thank you for providing this service.

  49. Avatar
    Dave Gudgel August 24, 2020 at 4:41 pm #

    I value the insights you all pass along. They are almost always worth my read. :}

  50. Avatar
    Richard New August 24, 2020 at 4:58 pm #

    I continue to receive emails from your office in hopes of learnig something from the grumpy curmudgeon–Steve.

    Fun Friday videos are entertaining.

  51. Avatar
    Victoria Anderson August 24, 2020 at 8:13 pm #

    Dear Steve,
    I greatly admire and appreciate your devotion to giving Christian authors a chance for publication. More than ever before in this current crises we need to have access to Godly insights for direction, Godly encouragement to maintain our passion to spread the Gospel truth in the face of so much opposition and the misunderstanding of the scriptures plus the information you provide on how to write a good story.
    Thank you!

  52. Avatar
    Lewis H. Seaton III August 25, 2020 at 3:29 am #

    What things make for platform besides a blog or twitter for a non-fiction writer? I have written a gust blog post and an article for creation.com. Do I simply keep seeking to increase the list until I’ve got enough for my book, or what?

  53. Avatar
    Pearl Fredericksen August 25, 2020 at 7:16 am #

    I like that your daily articles are short and helpful and light. You are a great team.
    I’m still self-editing my first manuscript of a WF with a critique team. One of my critics said that QNIDs and usage of italics for thoughts are no-nos these days. However I see them in novels I read, such as Robin Lee Hatcher’s and Wanda Brunstetter’s. I like that style and have been using it.
    What are your thoughts?

  54. Avatar
    Elizabeth August 25, 2020 at 8:05 am #

    Thanks for all the work you put into the blog. I’ve heard you (Steve) mention overwriting several times. Could you explain that a little more and give us some examples? Thanks!

  55. Avatar
    Karen Ingle August 25, 2020 at 8:49 am #

    I look forward to opening your posts in my email each day because I know they serve up helpful information on the writing craft and the publishing industry, seasoned by the unique voice/experience of each team member. (That potent blend is rare, in my online searching.) Please keep sharing your industry insights as well as particulars about how styles change–e.g., the italicized thoughts question, above. I appreciate the varied formats, including podcasts and Fun Friday videos, though I sometimes have to save the latter to savor later.

  56. Avatar
    Tim Eichenbrenner August 25, 2020 at 9:20 am #

    I pick and choose what to read, but I do read most of what’s sent. I particularly enjoy Thomas’s entries.

  57. Avatar
    Deetje Wildes August 25, 2020 at 1:29 pm #

    What’s on my mind? Poetry and Fun Friday. ?

  58. Avatar
    Dawn Shipman August 25, 2020 at 9:50 pm #

    I listen in/read because the Laube agency has its foot in the door on Christian publishing. It helps me to be “in the know.”

  59. Avatar
    Ann L Coker August 26, 2020 at 12:28 pm #

    Why do I read the Steve Laube e-news? I appreciate the honest and experienced approach of each piece from each agent. I get an inside look at the publishing world and that makes me a better writer. And I do like Fun Friday.

  60. Avatar
    Nancy Bailey August 27, 2020 at 12:06 pm #

    Steve, I teach a writing class of home schooled, Christian children. We cover many genres, including essays. It is an incredible blessing. I work hard to help them build from a firm foundation. I read your blogs on a regular basis and use some of your teaching, as well . . . always giving credit where it is due. I would love to see more ‘foundational’ blogs to help them master their skills. Yes, I realize many of that type float through on a regular basis, but if you were teaching such a class, what would you want them to know? I would love to use your thoughts, and again, giving you or your other writers credit. Thank you so much! God bless you!

  61. Avatar
    Christian W. Mosemann September 2, 2020 at 9:37 am #

    I’m reading because I want to learn as much as I can about what makes an article and book marketable.


  62. Avatar
    Kathleen September 14, 2020 at 1:22 pm #

    I love to read about the publishing industry and find I am encouraged by all of you to keep writing! I don’t typically click on videos or podcasts, I prefer reading and appreciate the perspective that each agent writer brings.

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