What to Sell?

Recently I had a conversation with a friend who shared this trick question:

What do you sell to your customer? What they want or what they need?

I answered, “Hopefully, both!”

The answer?

Neither. You sell them what you have.


Now to connect this question to the art of writing:

If you have an outstanding project but are hesitating to submit your work to our agency, don’t. Because the market has been challenging, we may need to decline your exceptional work. We refuse works of excellence every week. However, neither of us will ever know if we could have had a successful partnership if we didn’t have a chance to review your manuscript. 

Our agency is never desperate for submissions, nor have we ever been closed to submissions. We always enjoy reviewing proposals from authors who want to partner with us in what we all hope will be the next step to success in publishing.

Once we have your submission and agree to work together, we can pitch your work to editors. We expect the editors to decide that they want and need to publish your work.

We look forward to seeing what you have to say!

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Publishing in Generalities

While agents and publishers accept book proposals because they contain a number of specific things they like, most book proposals are turned down because of a general reason. For example, refer to the “Who We Are,” section of this website. Each agent has a set of filters we use to …

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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.

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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 …

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The Writers Conference Bell Curve

I’ve attended and presented at Christian writers conferences for more than three decades. (I know, I don’t look anywhere near old enough to make that claim, and thank you.) I’ve sometimes served on faculty at as many as a dozen conferences in a given year. (I know, it’s hard to …

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The Conference Appointment

If you’re preparing to go to a writers conference, here are a few tips based on questions authors have asked over the years about agent and editor appointments: 1. What do I wear?  Each conference has its own personality. Visit the conference website to glean information concerning accommodations and weather. …

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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.

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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 …

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Does Faith Limit Creativity?

No, it doesn’t. Look at nature or biology or astronomy and see how creative our God is. If anything, a Christian can see things clearer and be inspired to even greater creativity than someone who is not a Christ-follower. But, I think writers of Christian books have limited their vision …

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