Author Steve Laube

Fun Fridays – October 20, 2017

A change of pace today.

Do yourself a favor. Set aside 10 minutes. Turn up your speakers. Quiet your mind and heart. Close your eyes. Then play this video. The song “Alleluia” by Eric Whitaker is performed. (There is nothing to watch, only the album cover is displayed.)

While you let the music wash over you, pray.
Lift your burdens before the One and Only One who can help you carry your burdens.

Martin Luther wrote, “My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “Music… will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.”

In our world aggrieved by turmoil, tragedy, evil, loss, and pain it is my prayer that for these few moments your spirit can find comfort.

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Grammar and the Singular “They”

Yesterday I opened a can of worms. There were many worms in the can; some male and some female. I discovered that a few of the worms were married to each other. One couple was having a marital disagreement. They were arguing about grammar, of all things. The fight was about the proper use of gender pronouns. Here is the sentence under dispute:

“When a spouse greets a partner with derision because of an opinion, what should be ___ reaction?”

Fill in the blank. Should you use his, his or her, or their? This is a grammatical conundrum. Your choice will determine whether you will be categorized as “sexist,” “tiresome,” or “ungrammatical.”

Our vernacular has changed over the past years due to our sensitivity over the generic “he.” For some it is a matter of being politically correct. For others it is merely a way of being inclusive of both genders in their writing. In addition it can be simply a matter of using the common language of everyday speech.

So what is correct?

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Fun Fridays – October 6, 2017

“Destroy a Book Title with One Word” A fun game to play today! This hilarious pun-related exercise has been around for years but thought we might have fun with it today. Below are some Christian book titles which either have a word added, a word changed, or a letter added …

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When Does a Book Become Public Domain?

Writers frequently ask about whether they need permission to quote from another book. The answer is usually yes. But if the book is in the public domain that permission is unnecessary. I don’t want to tackle the issue of “Fair Use” today, but instead provide a few links that you can use to find out if a book is in the public domain, or not.

First, use this form (http://www.scils.rutgers.edu/~lesk/copyrenew.htmll).
This form searches the U. S. copyright renewal records database. Any book published during the years 1923-1963 which is found in this file is still under copyright, as are all books published after 1964 (although until 1989 they still had to have proper notice and registration). Books published before 1923, or before Jan. 1, 1964 and not renewed (in the 28th year after publication), are out of copyright and therefore in the public domain. The form only searches books, not music, etc.

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Fun Fridays – September 29, 2017

Every. Single. Action movie trailer in one short visual instruction kit. While hilarious in it’s send up of cliches, it should make every author think of how they are pitching their current book to an agent or a publisher. This “formula” is a form of your competition for people’s attention. …

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Tamela Hancock Murray Named Agent-of-the-Year

We are very excited to announce that during the recent ACFW (American Christan Fiction Writers) annual event, Tamela was named Agent-of-the-Year! ACFW has the largest gathering of Christan fiction authors in the country. I can personally attest to Tamela’s abilities and her success. She is an extremely hard worker who …

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Marketing vs. Publicity

by Steve Laube

Recent I have run into a common misunderstanding. Some writers use the words “marketing” and “publicity” (or P.R. “public relations”) as synonyms when actually one is a subset of the other.

There are marketing departments that have a publicity division or a marketing department that outsources their publicity. The two go hand in hand and should compliment each other.

The best way I can define it is to say that:

Marketing is all about creating multiple impressions.

This can be through ad placement, in-store displays, banner ads, reviews, contests, etc.

Publicity is all about meeting the author.

This is done through radio and television as well as through all forms of social media.

The difference is that author “feels” publicity because they are involved. They do not “feel” marketing, per se.

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