I’ve known Les Stobbe for well over 30 years. And here he is, at age 91, publishing a new book! God Moments in My Publishing Life: The Making of a Writer and Publisher was just released by EABooks Publishing. I want to recommend it to all of you.
I had the honor of endorsing this book and wrote, “It is important to hear the stories of our industry’s history. Our confidence in God’s divine guidance for the present and for the future is enabled because we can point to His faithfulness in the past. Thank you, Les, for taking us on this fascinating journey.”
Each chapter is a snapshot of an incident in his publishing experience where there was clear evidence of God’s blessing. Everything from working on early versions of the The Living Bible with Ken Taylor to talking to Charles Ryrie at a booksellers convention about what became the The Ryrie Study Bible to working alongside Bill Bright and Campus Crusade (now called Cru) and Here’s Life Publishing, these stories are breathtaking in their scope.
So often we focus on the author or the author’s book and have little concept of those who have helped bring that author’s work to the forefront. I wish there was an index of names in the back of the book to get a sense of the vast number of amazing people Les had the privilege of contributing to their publishing success.
Back in the late 80s Les asked me to be a part of the board for Here’s Life Publishing (the publishing arm of Campus Crusade). I was a “kid” sitting alongside some rather impressive board members, and they were so patient with my “youth.” Les wanted a bookseller’s perspective, and I learned a lot about the inside business of publishing. In 1992 we had to vote on whether to accept the offer from Thomas Nelson Publishers to buy Here’s Life. I watched as Les voted to approve the sale, knowing it meant the loss of his job. But he knew it was the best thing for the ongoing ministry of Crusade. The organization used the proceeds from the sale to open a Bible training facility in Eastern Europe. Only someone with great integrity would vote that way without hesitation.
As a bonus to you readers, the last five chapters (out of 29) are full of tips for writers on how to become published. He even included one of his more popular presentations called “Earning the Right to Be Published.” In it, he looks carefully at Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles as an example. You owe it to yourself to read that chapter.
If you are wondering, yes, this is the same Les Stobbe whose literary agency we purchased back in 2017. (News release of that event can be found on our blog–link here.)