Author Steve Laube

The 2020 Christian Writers Market Guide Is Here

The one constant about publishing is change. Each year, dozens of agents and editors move from one company to another and others retire while new editors take their places. Magazines rethink their content focus. New freelance editors hang out their shingles. Sending your query to the wrong person at an agency or a periodical or a publishing house is not the path to success.

So what do you do?

The answer is The Christian Writers Market Guide 2020 Edition. It is packed with more than 1,000 updated entries about publishers, agents, editors, and other industry professionals. You have no idea how many publishing options there are until you hold all 512 pages in your hand (or search the information in the online version of the book).

The 2020 edition is carefully curated to help you advance your writing career. I’ve heard some writers say, “I can get any of this stuff on the internet!” My reply is quite simple: “Do you trust Mr. Google?” We strive to make sure our information is accurate and usable and not left to the algorithms of a search engine.

We have also included throughout the print edition more than $500 worth of coupons for courses in The Christian Writers Institute related to the section of the guide where the coupons are found.

See a sample section from a previous version of the Guide. (The layout is still the same, but the information is updated.)

The official publication date is today, December 16th. We are providing a link to for your convenience. Hopefully you can find a copy of the book at any of your favorite retailers.

Don’t miss the special price for the online edition below.

HUGE Price Reduction of the Online Version – only $9.99 for a full year

For 2020 we have decided to reduce the price of the annual subscription from $25.00 to only $9.99 for the online edition. Every bit of information in the print edition is on the site, but the advantage of the online version is that it is updated regularly throughout the year. Plus you can save your searches for later access. Click the image to the right to sign up today!

The annual price works out to less than 85 cents a month.


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How Do You Measure Success?

by Steve Laube

A few years ago while talking to some editors they described an author who was never satisfied (not revealing the name of course). It this author’s latest book had sold 50,000 copies the author wondered why the publisher didn’t sell 60,000. And if it sold 60,000 why didn’t it sell 75,000? The author was constantly pushing for “more” and was incapable of celebrating any measure of success.

Recently there has been much ink spilled on whether Indie authors are better of than authors published by traditional publishers. Pundits have laid claim to their own definition of a successful book using number, charts, and revealed earnings. Following this dialogue can be rather exhausting.

I understand the desire to measure whether or not my efforts are successful. It is a natural instinct. If it is any indication, one of our most popular blog posts has been “What are Average Book Sales?” with thousands of readers.

In one way this is a wise question so that expectations can be realistic.

In another way it is unwise in that the cliff called “Comparison” is a precipitous one. I’ve talked to depressed authors who are wounded by numbers. I’ve talked to angry authors who are incensed by a perceived lack of effort by their publisher. I’ve talked to highly frustrated authors who wonder if it is all worth it.

Ultimately I can’t help but think this is all an exercise in determining a definition of success for the individual author. If you can measure it you can define it. That is as long as we know what “it” is.

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Fun Fridays – December 6, 2019

Today’s video is a long one (11 minutes) but is the perfect break from your busy day … to learn how this man folds amazing paper airplanes for world records. You finished your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. You finished NaNoWriMo (if you are a novelist). You deserve a …

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Never Burn a Bridge!

The sale of Thomas Nelson to HarperCollins and last week’s sale of Heartsong to Harlequin brought to mind a critical piece of advice:

Never Burn a Bridge!

Ours is a small industry and both editors and authors move around with regularity. If you are in a business relationship and let your frustration boil into anger and ignite into rage…and let that go at someone in the publishing company, you may end up burning the bridge. And that person who you vented on might someday become the head of an entire publishing company.

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A Personal Thanks

Since this is the week when those of us in the United State celebrate Thanksgiving, I thought Iā€™d take a moment to say a few words of gratitude. To Tamela and Bob Tamela Hancock Murray and Bob Hostetler are two of the finest literary agents in the business. It is …

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Fun Fridays – November 22, 2019

I totally would have done this to my daughters if I had thought of it. It is also a bit of a metaphor for clarity in our writing. If the reader misunderstands it whose fault is it? The reader? The writer? Or simply blame the editor, that nameless person who …

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What Caught My Eye

Last week we talked about the hook, the sound bite, or the ability to “say it in a sentence.” One reader asked for examples so I thought I’d give you a few.

Below are the short pitches of proposals that have caught my eye over the years from debut authors. Please realize that the sound bite is only one of many factors that goes into a great proposal. Ultimately it is the execution of the concept that makes for a great book. For example, The Help by Kathryn Stockett would not have succeeded as a word-of-mouth bestseller if the writing did not support the story. (No, we did not represent that title, I’m only trying to make a point. :-))

Your challenge will be to see if you can identify which books these sound bites are pitching. Each one has been published. One is obviously non-fiction, the other two are novels. The answers to each of these will be provided later this week in the comments section. along with a link to the title so you can see it in its final form.

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Fun Fridays – November 15, 2019

This video gives mind-blowing facts about linguistics. In particular, how pronunciation has changed over time. Thus, if you are writing a historical novel, be careful in assuming the words you use meant the same in your era and that they they were pronounced like they are today. Made me think …

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