Book of the Month – October 2021

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.)

14 Responses to Book of the Month – October 2021

  1. Mary Hampton October 11, 2021 at 6:13 am #

    Such an important book as a history of Christian publishing alone. When you add in Les’ faithfulness and the record of lives touched you get a rare gem of a book. I’m so glad he wrote it. (You, Steve, can write the sequel in 30 years.)

  2. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser October 11, 2021 at 6:30 am #

    Betimes we dine with Giant Men,
    unrealized when first are met,
    and if we’ve luck then we may ken
    a wisdom we should not forget,
    a view unto the long-past years
    and vision of the days to come,
    unmarred by pride, undimmed by tears,
    forever green, forever young.
    They cast a shadow long and deep, yet shining with an inner light
    to wake us from a childhood sleep
    and adolescent night
    to step into the world, full grown,
    known abroad, God’s very own.

  3. Len Bailey October 11, 2021 at 6:45 am #

    Great article! Les was my agent for a while–got me published at Thomas Nelson, and Jenkins wrote a blurb for me for Sherlock Holmes and the Needle’s Eye!

    Len Bailey

  4. Kay DiBianca October 11, 2021 at 7:33 am #

    Thanks, Steve, for letting us know about this book. As I was wondering if I needed another paperback to stuff into my overflowing shelves, I read through the Table of Contents in Stobbe’s book. One chapter in particular caught my eye: “Communicating Heavenly Ideas in Earthly Terms.”

    As a novelist, this is exactly what I strive to do. Fiction writers have the perfect platform to “show, don’t tell” about heavenly concepts.

    So I shoved a few books around and made room for Mr. Stobbe’s wisdom to become a part of my writing world. Can’t wait to dive in. Thanks again.

  5. Warren October 11, 2021 at 7:48 am #

    Les Stobbe participated as faculty at Reg Forder’s American Christian Writers conference in Wheaton, Illinois. My memory of him there includes his venerated position in the mid-80s. I’ve seen him more often now through BRMCWC. I can thank God for Mr. Les’s continued influence as I struggle through this thing called writing.

  6. Wendy October 11, 2021 at 7:50 am #

    It sounds like an inspiring read. Do you know if Les plans to do audio and ebook versions? (I don’t see links, yet, on Amazon.) I’d love to listen to his book while working on my memoir.

    Thanks, Steve, for sharing some remarkable moments in both of your lives.

  7. Patti Wade October 11, 2021 at 8:39 am #

    I am inspired simply by the introduction to this book! Thank you!

  8. Kristen Joy Wilks October 11, 2021 at 9:49 am #

    That story about him voting for the good of the ministry and the loss of his job was just so beautiful!

  9. Leslie H. Stobbe October 11, 2021 at 10:35 am #

    Thank you all for your kind words Once the response has been assessed we’ll determine if an ebook and/or audio book is feasible. Les Stobbe

    • Wendy October 11, 2021 at 11:44 am #

      Thanks for responding, Les. I just purchased the paperback, and I’m looking forward to reading it. If you decide to do an audiobook, I’d love to hear you voicing it; no one can tell a story like the one who lived it. I hope you have much success with your book, and thank you for helping to get the Word to so many people through the years.

  10. Geneva Iijima October 11, 2021 at 10:39 am #

    Sounds like a book I would love to own. I’ll be looking it.

  11. Yvonne Kays October 11, 2021 at 11:04 am #

    Thank you for sharing this! I met Les at the OCW Summer Conference years ago and attend a workshop he taught when I was a fledgling writer. So appreciated his wisdom. So I am excited to hear about this memoir! Must order!

  12. Marsha E Young October 12, 2021 at 10:05 pm #

    I just finished this book. It was a fascinating history of Christian publishing and an encouraging journey of faith. Blessings to its author.

  13. Frenchy Dennis December 6, 2021 at 5:48 pm #

    I met Les at a Writer’s Conference at Master’s University a few years ago. I learned a lot from him. A new book at 91 is wonderful. I can say that because at 82 my first book is being published–for children 6-11. Look for books by Gramma D. People are never too old to be published unless they are too old. If you get what I mean.

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