Author Steve Laube

Fun Fridays – October 16, 2020

Considering the wild and whacky year we’ve had I thought today’s video was perfect. We all just need to do a little more yodeling! And when your teacher is named Sourdough Slim, you can’t go wrong. I wish I had a camera to watch you try to sing along. Too …

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What if You Get a Book Deal on Your Own and Then Want an Agent?

One of our readers asked this via the green “Ask us a question” button.

What happens if you get a book contract before you have an agent? What if, by some miracle, an editor sees your work and wants to publish it? (1) would having a publisher interested in my work make an agent much more likely to represent me, and (2) would it be appropriate to try to find an agent at that point (when a publisher says it wants to publish you)? My fear is that querying an agent and receiving a response could take several months, but I’d need to accept a potential contract with a book publisher right away (I would think). Is it appropriate to ask the editor to speak with an agent on your behalf to speed the process?

This is a great topic but there are a few questions within the question. Let me try to break it down.

Many times have had authors approach us with contracts in hand and seeking representation (happened just last week). Of course this will get an agent’s attention immediately. But there are caveats:

a)      Who is the publisher? There is a big difference between a major company and your local independent publisher. Not all publishers are created equal (see the Preditors & Editors warnings).

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Fun Fridays – October 9, 2020

Is this a video of me when visiting a bookstore? Maybe it is a video of all booklovers? Substitute paint samples with books, and the face will look the same! Enjoy! [If you cannot see the embedded video in your newsletter email, please click the headline and go directly to …

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476 Ways to Avoid Writing “Said”

The folks over at ProofreadingServices.com created the incredible infographic below. Four hundred and seventy-six alternatives to the word “said.” Take care not to use all 476 in your manuscript! Very often “said” is all that is needed. In fact, overusing alternatives can weigh your manuscript down unnecessarily. However, I do …

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Fun Fridays – October 2, 2020

You thought the Lang Lang piano video was amazing the other week? Watch this one by Denis Matsuev. I’m exhausted watching the inhuman speed with which he plays. The sheer muscle memory is breathtaking since I’m not anyone who could actually think that fast to make their fingers become a …

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Diligence Is Rewarded

by Steve Laube

The ease of today’s social media communication brings a casual layer to the task of writing. Careful composition is trumped by the need for speed. For most “throw away” emails and posts that is the new normal. But it should never leak into the business of writing, either in craft or in delicate communication.

The other day I received an email query/proposal. There was a very large file attached and the body of the email read, “Here is my book. Please take a look.” No signature line, that was it. At least it rhymed. This was not a friend, a client, or someone I had ever met. But the casual, even flippant, nature of the note all but says, “I’m not serious about the craft or business of writing.”

The best writers are those who take their ideas and their words and run them through a gauntlet of critique and reformation. They pour their words into a garlic press and slice and dice them into bits that can flavor their entire book.

This takes time. This takes hard work. And it is a process that seems endless.

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Fun Fridays – September 25, 2020

I cannot claim the below hilarity as my own. I found it years ago, floating around the internet without attribution. If you know who wrote it, let’s applaud them for creativity! Happy to add attribution or take this down if so asked. Enjoy this clever take on the word “canon.” …

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Check Your Email ID

When you receive an email from someone, the “from” column in your inbox indicates who sent it. In that column is the person’s email ID. Seems simple right? You might not realize is that your email address may not be the ID that is seen by your recipient. The ID …

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