Author Steve Laube

Fun Fridays – May 27, 2022

Today’s video left me in awe. Hiromi Uehara takes a familiar melody, Pachabel’s “Canon in D,” but turns it into something breathtaking. It may seem a little strange sounding for the first couple of minutes, but stay with it! You’ll be glad you did.

If you can read music, the transcription score of her performance runs throughout the bottom of the video. Dare you try to play it yourself? (You can buy the score at this link!)

Note the pianist’s sheer joy in playing.
Was this improvisation or practiced “improvisation”?

Our oldest daughter is a professional pianist, and I have had the fun of turning the pages while she plays for the family. Thus to see the score of this jazz rendition was quite entertaining!

It’s worth multiple listens.

(If you cannot see the embedded video in your newsletter email, please click the headline and go directly to our site to view it.)

Leave a Comment

Deadlines and Taxes

Two certainties in the life of a writer. Deadlines and Taxes.

You know what a deadlines is. It has the word “dead” in it for a reason. And intrinsic to the reality of taxes is that April 15th filing deadline.

But what about those taxes?

Many articles appear in early April about taxes when approaching the filing date. But I thought we should explore a couple items now so there won’t be any surprises come April.

First, the obligatory disclaimer. I am not a tax attorney or a tax accountant. I am merely discussing concepts and ideas which you may or may not use in your situation. And, as always, when it comes to your taxes, make sure to consult a professional.

Some of you may roll your eyes and say, “I already know this.” But remember there was a time when you did not. I get many “beginner” questions each year from debut authors who are discovering much of the business side of this industry for the first time.

Read More

Fun Fridays – May 20, 2022

Buddy Greene proves that with enough practice you can play at Carnegie Hall! Sheer brilliance on an unappreciated instrument. It’s great that Bill Gaither showpieced this virtuoso. Hope it inspires you! (If you cannot see the embedded video in your newsletter email, please click the headline and go directly to …

Read More

My Editor Made My Book Worse!

by Steve Laube

You just received a 15 page single spaced editorial letter from your publisher. They want you to rewrite most of the book. But you disagree with the letter and are spitting mad. What do you do?

Or your agent took a look at your manuscript and told you to cut it in half to make it sellable. What do you do?

Both examples are true stories and illustrate the universal challenge of refining your manuscript to make it the best it can be.

In the first example there was great “gnashing of teeth” but eventually my client, the long time veteran author, and the long time veteran editor saw eye-to-eye and made the book great.

In the second example my client Peyton Jones said, “Okay, let’s see what I can do.” He did the necessary work and we sold it to David C. Cook. The revised manuscript is being published in April under the title of Church Zero: Raising 1st Century Churches out of the Ashes of the 21st Century Church.

Calvin Miller once told me that he appreciated a firm editorial hand. He described it as flint striking a rock. Only when they clash is a spark created. I think he was right.

Read More

Fun Fridays – May 13, 2022

Today’s video is a clever way to illustrate a charitable need. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays Vivaldi’s “Spring” but with one-third of the notes missing, thereby showing that 1/3 of all Cancer Research UK’s funding came from gifts. Very clever. It also illustrates something else. When your manuscript seems to …

Read More

L Is for Libel

by Steve Laube

 To libel someone is to injure a person’s reputation via the written word (slander is for the spoken word). I wrote recently about Indemnification but only touched on this topic. Let’s try to unpack it a little further today.

First, be aware that the laws that define defamation vary from state to state, however there are some commonly accepted guidelines. Anyone can claim to have been “defamed,” but to prove it they usually have to show that the written statement is all four of the following: 1) published 2) false 3) injurious 4) unprivileged.

The first is obvious. Posting something on Twitter or Facebook is “published.” And yet two weeks ago a Federal judge ruled that a blogger has the same defamation protection as a journalist. (Read the article here.)

Read More

Fun Fridays – May 6, 2022

Not everything is as it seems. Is there a metaphor in this video for the writing life? Which one is your favorite? Mine is the third one. (If you cannot see the embedded video in your newsletter email, please click the headline and go directly to our site to view …

Read More

Two Mistakes Made in Some Book Proposals

by Steve Laube

Putting together a great book proposal takes a lot of work. I suggest writers look at them as if they were a job application, and they are. You are trying to get someone to pay you to write your book via a stellar “job application” or book proposal.

But every once in a while we get something that is not going to work, for obvious reason. Here are two mistakes:

1. Divine Attribution. Also known as the claim, “God told me to write this.” Recently we received a proposal which claimed, “I literally hear from GOD,JESUS, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.” (Capitalization and punctuation left intact.) One of the most widely read posts from our blog is titled “God Gave Me This Blog Post.” Please read the post and please avoid this mistake in the future.

I also see authors write or hear authors say, “I know you don’t like it when we say it, but I really felt inspired by God while writing this.” Trust me, I understand. In fact I believe you and don’t deny the validity of inspiration. But try not to make it sound like your book idea or sample writing is extra special because of it.

Read More

Fun Fridays – April 29, 2022

Take a familiar song and mess up the words and you get today’s satirical video. Complete silly fun for a Fun Friday! (If you cannot see the embedded video in your newsletter email, please click the headline and go directly to our site to view it.)

Read More

I Is for Indemnification

by Steve Laube

Publishing is not without risks. Plagiarism, fraud, and libel by an author are real possibilities. Thus within a book contract is a legal clause called indemnification inserted to protect the publisher from your antics.

The indemnification clause, in essence, says that if someone sues your publisher because of your book, claiming something like libel (defamation) or plagiarism etc., your publisher can make you pay the fees to compensate for their losses. This is to “indemnify” which is defined as “to compensate (someone) for harm or loss.” Bottom line: The publisher has the right to hire its own attorneys (at the author’s expense) to defend against these claims.

Doesn’t sound like a happy clause does it? But you can understand why it is there. This clause and the Warranty clause are notoriously difficult to negotiate. (The Warranty clause is where the things the author guarantees or warrants are listed; i.e. the book is original, it is not libelous in content, etc. This clause will be more fully covered by me at another time) The language has been written by the publisher’s attorneys and are usually set in stone.

Read More