Bring the Books (What Steve Laube is Looking For)

“Bring the books, especially the parchments,” is a sentence in 2 Timothy 4:13 that has teased readers for 2,000 years. What books did the Apostle Paul want to read while waiting for trial? Theology? History? How-to? (Maybe a little escape reading? Pun intended.)

Another writer chimed in a while ago by saying “Of making many books there is no end.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12) And if we read the statistics he wasn’t kidding. 200,000+ traditionally published in the United States alone last year.

And yet there is an allure to the stories of great novelists and a fascination in the brilliance of deep thinkers. It is what drew me to the book industry in the first place having been a lifelong reader and a burgeoning collector of my own library.

I can safely say that the allure and fascination remains unabated. I’ve had and continue to have the honor and privilege of working with some of the finest minds and talented writers in our industry. The photo above is from my office showing every book we have represented. Hundreds of amazing books by amazing authors.

Meanwhile I am still searching for the next great story, the next great concept, the next great writer. So, to answer the question, “What are you looking for?” I will attempt to clarify a few things.

Our Door is Always Open

Unsolicited proposals are always welcome. We sift through hundreds of inquiries every year. My only request is that each person try their best to follow our guidelines on our web site. It would astound you how many fail that simple request.

We Primarily Serve the Christian Market

We make no apology for specializing in books written from a Christian worldview. That means we sell books wherever publishers are receptive to books from that perspective. Usually those are Christian publishing companies. But we can sell books to the general market…if that publisher is interested in the content of the book our client has created.

We won’t represent books that are contrary to a Christian worldview. Recently I  received a proposal claiming their novel included “vivid sex, graphic torture, romance, comedy….” Another proposed a non-fiction book that redefined sin as something that is actually unbiblical and should not be taught. And another that claimed that Moses was “the greatest serial killer of all time.” Obviously these authors had not done their homework regarding our agency.

I’m Looking for Fiction

I am a very eclectic reader which reflects my work as an agent. I represent authors who write in the following genres: Women’s fiction, romance, thriller, suspense, romantic suspense, literary, military, historical (all eras), contemporary, science-fiction, fantasy, supernatural, YA… in other words, every genre published in the industry.

I’m looking for unique storylines with a well refined craft. If something is 80% ready I’ll probably reject it. In school a grade score of 80 would be a low “B.” Our industry is looking for the A+.

I’m Looking for Non-Fiction

Those eclectic tastes are also exhibited by the types of non-fiction books and authors represented. Christian Living, biography, apologetics, theology, bible study, reference, health, finance, self-help, psychology, grief, suffering, marriage, family, women’s, men’s, philosophy, church life, devotional, inspirational, social issues, politics, parenting, music, and art. The subjects are vast and the opportunities endless.

I am looking for unique ideas by great writers. But as the market has changed, so has some of the demands on the non-fiction author. Your project has to be more than an extended magazine article. It has to have something special that will make the major publisher jump at the chance to invest in you and your work. It can be your platform. It can be the power of your idea. It can be that your writing is unique and compelling. And if you can bring all three I’m confident we could find you a publishing partner.

A Limit to My Expertise

I tend to be very limited when it comes to children’s picture books. Yes, I have represented some, but it is not a market in which I claim expertise. I can negotiate the contract, but evaluating whether your material is age-appropriate or if your illustrations are top notch is not where I can serve you best.

Please do not send me your cookbook ideas. I may look like I know how to eat, but it doesn’t mean I know the first thing about cooking.

A Limit to My Exceptions

It is a little aggravating when someone sends me their cookbook with the first sentence “I know you say you don’t want cookbooks, but I think you will make an exception with mine.” (This happens more than you might realize.) Asking for an exception is bold but it is also a waste of time for both the author and for me.

Hard Copy versus E-mail

You can send your proposal to me via email (see our guidelines). But if you send it to me via hard copy with a SASE I guarantee you will get a personal response. The danger of the email inbox is that it gets crowded quickly and your project slowly scrolls off the screen and can very well be forgotten. I try to go through email submissions but hard copy proposals always get reviewed and sit on my desk until I review them myself. I’m aware this is rather old-school, but it works for me. It is your choice of which way you want to send your project to my attention.

However, note that this is unique to me, Steve Laube, at our agency. The other agents are quite comfortable with email submissions.

74 Responses to Bring the Books (What Steve Laube is Looking For)

  1. Avatar
    Diane T. Ashley February 10, 2014 at 7:29 am #

    You’re going to need a bigger bookcase…and soon!

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube February 10, 2014 at 9:27 am #

      So true! Already in the planning.
      And you reminded me of that famous line from the movie “Jaws.” See that clip here:

      • Avatar
        Amy Boucher Pye February 11, 2014 at 12:01 am #

        HIlarious! But who is the shark in this scenario?

      • Avatar
        Kathy M Storrie July 3, 2017 at 11:36 am #

        Dear Mr. Laube, the “Jaws” clip is gone and I can’t remember the famous line! I have been lost at sea for 7 years looking for a down-to-earth agent, catch. I found your site, and I don’t think it was by accident because I’ve learned a lot already. Your list of authors is impressive and the Guidelines are reasonable. Are you still accepting the “hard copy” SASE Proposal? If so, do you need 2 or 3 chapters of my novel? And, do you accept book series? Thank you!

        • Avatar
          Steve Laube July 3, 2017 at 11:48 am #


          The guidelines have not changed. I accept hard copy proposals or email proposals. Note the difference in the guidelines.

          Also need three chapters.

          Series are fine.

          • Avatar
            Jason Beavers May 15, 2018 at 12:03 pm #

            Is the 50 page limit a hard limt? Or do you want 3 complete chapters, even if the page number hits 51 or 52?

            • Avatar
              Eileen Shutok-Cutright July 4, 2020 at 9:36 am #

              Steve, thank you for your personal and detailed article. I really appreciate you, your faith, and your experience.

              My book is about Spiritual Senses and how to Develop them and Use them under the Leadership of the Holy Spirit.

              I am now encouraged to send you a proposal. So helped by you! Go bless!

      • Avatar
        Steve Laube July 3, 2017 at 11:46 am #

        “We’re gonna need a bigger boat”

    • Avatar
      cyndi mosteller July 27, 2015 at 7:08 am #


      If we have a book (under 45 minute read) for 10-20 years olds, their parents and professors (yes, an unusual age range, but the book works it!), to whom would you suggest it be sent? Do you have a division for such an age group?

      Xn Thanks –

  2. Avatar
    Ann Shorey February 10, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    Love the bookcase, Steve! Informative post–thanks.

  3. Avatar
    Terika Farmer February 10, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    Good morning Steve:

    Thanks for another great post. I have two questions:

    1. Firstly, would you mind writers sending a certified SASE submitted manuscript? Sending it through mail, I would just want to ensure that your office actually received it and that it didn’t get lost in the mail or something. So for mail tracking purposes, I’d prefer to send certified, if I opted to send a hardcopy. At the same time, I wouldn’t want it to come off as too pushy of me by asking someone from your office to sign for it.

    2. Secondly, you commented that you won’t represent books that are contrary to a Christian worldview, and you stated that you recently received a proposal where the writer indicated the novel included vivid sex, graphic torture, romance, and comedy. I wanted to ask your opinion about the topic of prostitution, where you might have a heroine starting out in the novel (completely lost in sin), but over the course of the book, she gets introduced to Christ and then converts. Do you think this is a hard topic to sell in the Christian book publishing industry or one that you or another literary agent from your agency would be willing to represent, if it is a well refined craft and not graphic? I am thinking more along the lines where the story is not so much about explicit sexuality and love scenes but rather an eye opening story focused on faith and redemption. I recently read a book entitled “The complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Christian Fiction” and it has been extremely helpful in explaining to writers the craft of writing on certain topics, without it being offensive to potential readers (no cursing, vivid sex scenes, drinking, dancing, smoking, gambling, etc.). I know prostitution and topics alike, are very tough topics that some people simply don’t like to talk about or have it mentioned, so I was just wondering what your opinion is on the likelihood of a novel being successful on the topic………crafted in a way it would be acceptable from a Christian’s perspective. I do know of one great book “Redeeming Love” written by Francine Rivers, but I was just wondering what your opinion is from a market perspective and if you think it can be done, if well crafted.
    Thanks again for this post and all of your posts. I have an email notification letting me know each day, you’ve posted a new one. I read them all and I am learning so much about your expectations as a literary agency and more about how the publishing industry works.

    Thanks so very much.

    Terika Farmer

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube February 10, 2014 at 9:36 am #

      Two answers.
      1) Sending something certified mail is perfectly okay. If you want the security of knowing it has been received.

      2) I don’t like to say “no” unless I’ve seen it. When I was an editor for Bethany House I told an author that a book like you describe would have a tough go of it in our market. That unpublished author wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. She got that book, SHADOW OF DREAMS, published elsewhere (in 2001). And now Eva Marie Everson is a highly successful novelist and the director of the Florida Writers Conference. She has the talent to make a story like that palatable for a wide readership. And that is the key.

      • Avatar
        Terika Farmer February 10, 2014 at 10:23 am #

        I really appreciate your response.


    • Avatar
      Cindy February 11, 2017 at 10:42 pm #

      Hi Terika

      I like the redemptive stories of lives — look at who Jesus had as disciples, who followed him, who doubted, betrayed — and even though they believed. Jesus turned water into wine, not grape juice, and how condemning for someone who drinks a glass of wine (and maybe one too many once) to read such perfect Christians, and it is rampant. Someone’s “great sin” is like, ‘oh I got really angry at so-and-so.’ And what about backsliding? Who of us have not — at least once, fallen into sin — no matter what? So, I agree with you, your message of redemption of each person no matter the situation is a much welcomed idea. Sin is sin. Paul reminded the church to talk with the person who had fallen into sin, then on up to the pastor, and no change? Out, til they repent. St Paul was quite cognizant of backsliding, poor judgment and used it in his letters. I know and read an Indie author who has multiple novels regarding these same things, and she’s been on TV interviewed for her books, and one going to a Hallmark show. Keep on writing. And all God’s children said, amen.

  4. Avatar
    Jeanne Takenaka February 10, 2014 at 8:36 am #

    Love those book cases, Steve. What a testament to your agency—filled with authors you folks represent!

    I appreciate hearing what you prefer fiction and non-fiction. Thanks for sharing your likes and dislikes, as well as the fact that you prefer hard copy.

    One question for you that I’ve been pondering. What makes a story unique, in your opinion?

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube February 10, 2014 at 9:41 am #


      What makes a story unique? I can only answer with the non-answer of “I know it when I see it.” What is one man’s treasure is another man’s throw-away. Thus is the subjective nature of this industry.

      Recent examples of “unique” books by first-time authors that I was able to place include CHURCH ZERO by Peyton Jones and UNTIL WE ALL COME HOME by Kim de Blecourt and CAST OF STONES by Patrick Carr. (One non-fiction, one memoir, and one fantasy novel.)

  5. Avatar
    pamela black February 10, 2014 at 8:47 am #

    STUCK? CHASE! I had no idea you represented Jennie Allen! Her books have changed my life. I am in the middle of RESTLESS right now and I can say I have cried with her through this book more than ANY bible study I have ever done. She is real. I love her. I have reread page 76 so many times. Her love bleeds off that page. I love her.
    THANK YOU for your part in bringing her words to my heart.
    What amazing things she is doing in the body. I’m trying to find a way to get to the If:gathering. Again, thank you for all you do where God has placed you.

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube February 10, 2014 at 9:45 am #

      I had the privilege of discovering Jennie Allen at the Mt. Hermon writers conference a few years ago. I was able to sell her first two books and her DVD Curriculum titles, like STUCK and CHASE, to Thomas Nelson. However, as part of her need for a different type of representation, to help with her recent IF: GATHERING conference which was held last weekend, she moved to a different agency.

      • Avatar
        Laura Loveberry May 17, 2016 at 12:16 pm #

        Steve Laube,

        Hhhhhmmmmm. We may be a fit if you are looking for another speaker who wants to impact other women with the written word as well. As a inspirational speaker for the last 15+ years while teaching 40 hours, I have stepped out to go full-time speaker/writer. I am told my style is a more jazzy Jennie Allen x 10 with over-the-top energy, bling and humor packed messages based on applying Scriptures (“Queen of Quite a Lot” is one my newest messages based on Esther and the unexpected zig-zag life).

        I have a third book inside me relentlessly begging me to share our family special-need adoption story with raw reality and hilarious, you-can’t-make-this- stuff-up humor to encourage the wiped-out warrior women readers. I can see a women’s study on the back side.

        And yes, I need major proofreading because my out-of-the-box inspirational speaking is my more my strength, although I write for a couple regional magazines, and have 2 self-published books and DVD’s I make available when I speak. I am comfortable self-publishing, but your blog comment above is drawing me to check out the possibility of lining up an agent who would be a natural fit to finding me a publisher. Hhhhhmmmmm. Perhaps I need to send in a submission.

        Laura Loveberry,

  6. Avatar
    Erin Taylor Young February 10, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    What I wanna know, Steve, is whether the rest of your office is as neat and tidy as those bookcases. : )

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube February 10, 2014 at 9:47 am #


      Parts of the office are immaculate. There are nearly 5,000 books in my office/library. But my desk is a place where I work out of piles instead of files. It is an abject disaster.

  7. Avatar
    Thomas Allbaugh February 10, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    Steve, on the first interesting point you raise in this blog, I’d like to add that I think there’s plenty of evidence right in his letters that he read Plato and pagan poetry. I think that in addition to being an Old Testament scholar, he knew Greek culture pretty well. That was his ministry, of course.

  8. Avatar
    Gail Helgeson February 10, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    My dream…My book on that shelf one day!

    Back to work on it now.

    Good day to you.

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube February 10, 2014 at 9:51 am #


      That would be fun.
      It is really quite extraordinary to have those books lined up together. And then to consider that over 11 million people have bought these books over the last ten years. It is both my prayer and my hope that the ministry of these words continue to impact the lives of their readers.

      • Avatar
        Terika Farmer February 10, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

        This is my dream too.

        Best wishes on your writing endeavors.


  9. Avatar
    Martha Rogers February 10, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    Love the bookcases. Wish mine were so well organized. This is a great article to share with those who are wondering about getting an agent. Confession: I’ve been in awe of you since we first met at a ACW conference in Houston years ago. You took the time to really talk to me and gave me sound advice.It’s a great privilege to be represented by your agency and Tamela.

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube February 10, 2014 at 9:53 am #

      You are too gracious. Way back in those beginnings you took the time, risk, and investment to go to a conference and lay your ideas in front of a stranger who worked for a publishing company. That step is one of many you took, following the urging of the Spirit, along the journey toward publication. Ultimately you connected with Tamela and history was made. Well done.


  10. Avatar
    Lisa February 10, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    I just love bookshelves, everyone I’ve ever seen. I’m growing closer to querying for the first time. Being patient for it has been hard, but I’m thankful for all God has done in my writing and laying the foundation for future publication- God willing.

  11. Avatar
    Nick Kording February 10, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

    Love the insights. Hate to ask for more when you are giving us so much info, but I have two questions.

    1. Do you consider co-written works (I co-wrote a Christian living book with our pastor).

    2. You said you’re looking for fiction and non-fiction, so:
    A. Non-fiction: does that include studies or just Christian living?
    B. Fiction: what about Christian thrillers?

    Okay, that was really three. Thanks in advance!

  12. Avatar
    Rose McCauley February 11, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    I love the neat bookcases, too, and hope my next book will soon be displayed there. May you continue to fill many more bookcases and many more minds with God’s truths.

  13. Avatar
    Ronald F. Bradford February 24, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Brother Laube,
    I currently have four books published through self-publishing.All four are through My first was published through Xlibris as a self puplished work. I republishe it with a new ISBN as a second edition through the folks. If I send already self-published works to you that I have already been trying to self-market, would you consider those or would I need to put them back into a double-spaced manuscript prior to sending? The other three books make up a trilogy of about 940 pages. The genre is historical fiction in all my books written with a flavoring throughout with a Christian slant.

    Thanks for considering my work.
    I have been attending writers conferences and workshops for three years now and have learned that to have any chance of expanding beyond my own reach, I need help. (All who have read my works have thoroughly enjoyed them)

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube March 8, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

      I’ll write a blog about how to submit a self-published book. Thank you for the suggestion.

      In a nutshell? I suggest acting like the book doesn’t exist. Instead start fresh with the proposal materials and the sample chapters. That way it is the words on the page that you are selling and there is no influence, good or bad with the finished product.


  14. Avatar
    RAYMOND A HEDLEY March 8, 2014 at 3:45 am #

    Brother Steve – It is refreshing to read of the many of Christian writers you have helped along the way. I’m a christian writer – mainly screenplay and films – as a Cecil B. DeMillie type – as a storyteller for the Lord God Almighty the great 3 – in one Godhead of the Father – Son – and His Holy Spirit – you mentioned sending hard copy by mail or emailing – where do CD’s fall because that allows you less paperwork and able to look at on you computer with less clutter. Will you still be able to respond back personally in this format?

    Works are already 2x copyrighted – Lib of Congress Wash DC and WSGR of Hollywood. Would love your feed back – written as non fiction action adventures of the jouurney of real lives of Biblical people – by much – prayer and fastibg – to share and tell of the changing power of God in their lives and in our own if we will surrender our will over to HIM or THEM – the TRINITY. Shalom. R A Hedley

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube March 8, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

      A CD is not something I like to work with. Either send the proposal as an attachment to an email (following the guidelines) or send a hard copy as mentioned above.

      A CD is like an attachment as I still have to have it printed out to get it reviewed properly in-house.

      But I can say that a “non-fiction” action adventure of Biblical people would not be of interest to the publishers we work with.

      And we do not work with screenplays. That is a highly specialized discipline with the need for a different network than we have.

  15. Avatar
    Jim May 27, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    Hi Steve – does the novel (chapters) sent to you in the proposal need to be professionally edited first?

  16. Avatar
    Monica May 30, 2014 at 12:30 pm #


    Thank you for the informative article. I am in process of writing a testimony along with a devotional. I would like to know what format you would recommend for a testimony. A similar story to mine is “Scars and Stilettos” by Harmony Dust, but my writing is far less graphic, intended for a wider audience. S&S is almost 200 pages and I am wondering if this would be too short for your preference. Your input would be greatly appreciated.


  17. Avatar
    Brian June 10, 2014 at 6:35 am #

    Hello Mr. Laube,

    I have written a short-story, fantasy, for the teen/pre-teen reader. It’s about 9,400 words and I was just wondering if you have represented short-story fiction writers? I believe the story is sound from a Biblical standpoint and message.

    I’m new to this arena and don’t know if the short-story is a valid entry point, or if I will have to go the self-publishing route instead.

    Thank you in advance for your response,


  18. Avatar
    Melany Holton November 6, 2014 at 10:38 am #

    I wrote a fantasy novel for children with 80,000 words. It is not a Christian book, but there is no sex, no bad language and very, very mild violence. I am looking for a Christian agent because I want to keep it clean that way. I have been a Sunday School teacher for almost twenty years now and it mortifies me of some of the books our youth are exposed to. My book has been self-published and is selling quite well. Even our pastor bought one for his son. It is pure fantasy with a lot of imagination and full of twists and turns. I have been getting many calls from the local schools, libraries and even our local book club to speak about my book and talk to kids and adults on how to write novels for children. I don’t even belong to a book club. They are calling me. The librarian wants my book in the AR Renaissance program (I have never heard of that before she recommended it to me) because she believes that there aren’t many clean books for YA out there any more. But I need an agent in order for that to happen.

    My question is: Even though this is not a Christian book, but written by a Christian, would your agency still consider reviewing it?

  19. Avatar
    David Nees December 15, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    I just stumbled on your site; it is very interesting. I am nearly finished with the final polishing of an action/adventure novel. It is set in a post apocalyptic near future (believable premiss–not zombies or such). It is not overtly Christian but the hero, while involved in intense fighting, is a moral man and reflects many Christian values, standing as a figure for good while society breaks down.

    Is such a story too vaguely reflective of Christian principles to fit in your agency? I appreciate your thoughts. (Not trying to sneak in a query here, just in need of feedback).

  20. Avatar
    Kim Geier July 12, 2015 at 3:15 pm #


    You said that hard copy proposals are always reviewed by yourself but I am under the impression (perhaps erroneously) that my (hard copy) query was only reviewd by your staff since you were very specific that you were passing along other people’s observations.

    For me, the observations did not ring true One commenter believed I had not captured the era but given the hours of research, and that every reader commented that I had really captured the era and place, this observation left me stumped.

    Some time later, I queried Tamela. She said that she “liked the spirit” of my writing and also liked that the story was set in her hometown but believed that publishers are not interested in the time period.

    Given that one of your agents liked my writing and that the manuscript appears to align with what you are looking for (i.e., any historical period), I was wondering if it might be worth querying you again? I don’t want to waste your time (and personally don’t need another rejection) but I thought it was worth asking.


  21. Avatar
    Lauretta Kehoe September 24, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    Hi Steve,

    Wondered about your looks for fiction. You state you are looking for fantasy but I also read your interview where you said that there wasn’t really a market for that genre. I have already submitted my proposal to you, it is a dark urban fantasy with a faith based message of love and sacrifice but wanted to get your take on this kind of book in the Christian market at all. I’ll hopefully hear positively on mine but would like to know your assessment of the market now with authors like Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti being so successful. Is it something Christians can accept?

  22. Avatar
    Polly Stubbs January 4, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    Thank you Steve, for this nugget of encouragement! For fear of sounding too trite, I love God inspiring me to write, and I carry a notebook about with me, which I started doing after counselling in 2014 and then a Values course at our church last year.

    I sort of freestyle, I suppose- does that sound weird? I use photos that I’ve taken or my late mum’s artwork, and add words to them- I love the visual appeal of a piece, the way the words inspire me to find the right picture/photo or, most recently, as I flipped through pictures on the pc, particular ones would jump out at me and it went from there. I know you can’t publish loads of pictures, so I do know the words work without the pictures!!

    I’ve had huge problems trying to get my freestyle poetry published- sometimes, it sticks by the rules, then it doesn’t…they’re about heartache, be bullied, love, healing, grief and then some. Sorry for the long post- just so happy to have found you!

  23. Avatar
    Jacqueline Hearns January 22, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

    Hello Steve,

    Just curious, but what is the method behind the books on your bookshelves? Why are some books horizontal and some vertical? Does that mean anything? (Maybe the horizontal books are your favorite or the books you haven’t read yet). Just wondering.

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube January 22, 2016 at 1:36 pm #


      It’s simple. I ran out of room. I have to add another bookcase soon.

      Stacking vertically with the larger spaces added room on the shelf.


  24. Avatar
    Jonathan Pressley March 13, 2016 at 5:23 pm #

    Hi Mr. Laube,

    I have a quick question for you. When looking over your submission guidelines for a writing sample, I read that “the sample should be the first three chapters or fifty double-spaced pages, printed single-sided and unbound”. The book I’m considering submitting, however, is a chapter-less short story of fifty-seven double-spaced pages. When submitting the sample then, would you prefer that I submit the entire manuscript, or stick to the first fifty double-spaced pages?

    Any response would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Jonathan Pressley

  25. Avatar
    Hannah April 1, 2016 at 5:07 pm #

    So enclave publishing accepts historical novels?

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube April 1, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

      The Steve Laube Agency is a completely separate entity and company from Enclave Publishing. Agents from the Steve Laube Agency have to submit proposals to Enclave just like anyone else.

      Thus the needs of the agency are not the needs of Enclave Publishing. Enclave is a Science Fiction and Fantasy publisher.

      The Steve Laube Agency represents all genres, fiction and non-fiction, that come from a Christian worldview.

      It just so happens that I, Steve Laube, wear two hats. By “day” I am a literary agent who owns and runs The Steve Laube Agency.

      As a side job, because I love the genre and have been invested in it for decades, I work with Enclave publishing opportunities.

      Please do not mix the two.

      Steve Laube

      • Avatar
        Hannah April 1, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

        Ok sorry about that

  26. Avatar
    SHELTON R. ROSEBORO April 8, 2016 at 10:54 am #

    Greetings Mr. Laube. I recently read the book entitled “Book Proposals that Sell: 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success” (co-authored by yourself) from which I gleaned an enormous amount of directive and introspective information regarding writing a”sweet” book proposal. Just wanted to thank you in advance for your contributions to my manuscript that is on it’s way to your agency. Thanks again.

  27. Avatar
    David Englund May 6, 2016 at 1:41 pm #

    I read your blog entry that discussed word count for fiction books. What about for nonfiction? I am preparing a proposal for a nonfiction book of 135,000 words. Is that too long to merit consideration by an agent or a publisher? I’m willing to be flexible in order to get published, but I don’t want to cut it arbitrarily.

  28. Avatar
    David Englund May 9, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

    A clarification question: Does the “first three chapters” guideline apply to nonfiction proposals as well as to fiction? I believe there are other chapters that are more representative of the book as a whole (number of such pages total less than 50), but if you want me to send the Introduction, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2 as the sample chapters, that’s what I’ll do. I appreciate the clarification.

  29. Avatar
    Ruth T. July 18, 2016 at 7:02 pm #

    My heart skipped a beat when I read that you’re looking for romance as well as thrillers since my genre is Romantic Thriller. I didn’t request an appointment with you though since I didn’t see this on the agent appointment page. I’d go in to change my appointment request if I weren’t 100% sure all your slots were taken soon after registration opened. 😉 Oh well, I know the Lord will connect me with the right people to move me forward. My goal is 2017 publication – unrealistic, but I’m not letting it go!

  30. Avatar
    Cindy Mahoney July 23, 2016 at 4:18 pm #

    OK. Thinking my cover letter et al ready, I read ‘proposal’ and ‘synopsis’ in the same sentence. I have … both. Could you clarify before I send cover letter, proposal, synopsis, and sample chapters or first 50 pages … ?


  31. Avatar
    Cynthia Mahoney August 17, 2016 at 10:54 am #

    Oh, my. What could rival the synopsis? Nothing! Worst of all is that synopsis, and how true your words. I am on my fourth? Fifth?

  32. Avatar
    Mark Birtles August 24, 2016 at 8:43 am #

    Dear Steve –

    I greatly enjoyed meeting you at Realm Makers. I gave you a brief overview of my project and you asked me to send a proposal.

    I’ve read the guidelines on your webpage and this raises a question. Your general submission instructions, written in 2011, say you’re not interested in any “end-time narratives.”
    Your more-recent posts, including this one, say you’re open to “all genres.”

    My story does contain elements of end-time narrative, particularly in the last volume of the trilogy. Is this something you’re still not representing, or has that changed? I don’t want to waste your time.

    Thanks for your response.

  33. Avatar
    Cynthia Maohney September 6, 2016 at 1:30 pm #


    Dear Steve,

    Synopsis writing is the worst writing I’ve ever tried to accomplish. Oh, wait. You said that in Guidelines . . .

    I aim for perfection in three pages. Ha!

    Cindy M.

  34. Avatar
    Nkem Okemiri October 25, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    Dear Steve Laube,

    Thank you for so openly communicating your heart about submitting proposals to you or your agency. I needed something as clear as you made it. I can certainly connect with it.

  35. Avatar
    Cynthia Mahoney February 9, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

    Hi Steve,

    I’d sent my cover letter, proposal, chapters in September, and thought, okay, I have to redo. I did, then received an email that mine had been lost in the email.

    I rewrote the cover letter, proposal and fiddled with the manuscript since then.

    EEK. Should I resend?


  36. Avatar
    Larry March 6, 2017 at 12:43 am #

    Steve, I just discovered your name and agency web site tonight while researching The Shack. I just want to say, I believe strongly that the holy spirit led me here for a very specific reason. I’ve been on the site now for well over an hour, and I am simply astonished by everything I have read, but mostly, by your generous spirit. Regardless of your profession, it is evident to me God is using you to touch people beyond the world of book publishing. Thanks kindly for your outstanding witness and may God bless you always.

  37. Avatar
    Susan Count Hastings March 16, 2017 at 8:11 am #

    I used to see your comments on a writers Facebook group, but you seem to have slipped away. I ‘d hoped to submit my middle-grade fiction to you, but you don’t even list it as a genre 🙁 If your agency doesn’t represent middle-grade, could you suggest an agent, please. With a touch of faith, I’m thinking the book would not be welcomed by mainstream publishers.

    Inserting the hook and the blurb to give you an idea of who you might be able to refer me to. Thank you kindly.

    Lost in a Texas forest, two adventurous cousins are inspired by a magical encounter to save the world – one firefly at a time.

    Their hound dog takes off and the coyotes are tracking them. Then a mysterious swarm of lights surround Davy and Anderson after the boys accidently stumble into the fireflies’ hideout. Distressed by the recent destruction of their habitat, the fireflies respond to the intruders as a threat. A mission to save the fireflies is kindled as friendship replaces rivalry between the boys.

    When a fire erupts in the forest, the cousins rise to the challenge. They try to help the fireflies by helping the fire-fighters save the habitat, but the situation for the fireflies plummets from grim to dire.

  38. Avatar
    Tyler L. Jones January 10, 2018 at 5:15 pm #

    Hey Steve, my proposal was delivered to your office on Monday, and I’d just like to mention how much I appreciate your author-friendly attitude and policies. You’re the first agent I’ve found that has any way at all of a guaranteed response. That means even if you reject my proposal, I’m going to get something that’ll be helpful to me. I know your open policy means you have to wade through a lot of trash from people who refuse to follow guidelines, yet you still remain open, so thank you. In fact, your helpful attitude is why I wanted to submit to you! Favor and blessings on you and your agency/ministry. 🙂

    Tyler L. Jones

  39. Avatar
    Victoria Riollano March 27, 2018 at 10:19 am #

    Mr. Laube,

    Can you describe how long the proposal should be? (Not including the sample chapters)

  40. Avatar
    Claire O'Sullivan March 27, 2018 at 11:28 am #

    Hi Tyler, Susan and Victoria

    The process of synopsis, proposal, cover letter can take you longer than the writing of the book… I believe on the SLA website it says the length of proposal, cover letter and synopsis.

    And the slush pile is where one bites the nails. The professional readers go through the chapters, proposal, synopsis first, and it is passed onto the agent you have picked.

    Okay, so I am not agency savvy, but I am 99.5% this is how it flows. The wait for a response can be 3 months. Or more. Then, if the interest is high enough, the agent requests the full manuscript. Another read through, and the agent reads if the manuscript makes it to his/her desk.

    Three months later… you may receive feedback on edits on content. And… I might add, each agent has their own process so timing can be different for each. Also, manuscripts you may receive a call right away. You may have to wait. All depends. There are so many circumstances.

    Agents go through a lot of phone calls, proposals that hit their desk, emails, conferences (and I think they have a regular life in there too), that ‘it all depends.’

    Their feedback is great. Accepted or rejected. I wander the SLA website often and find something new, interesting, informational each time. Many times when I have a question, I find the answer on their site.

    I don’t know if that helps at all.


  41. Avatar
    Allison Tebo July 24, 2018 at 7:40 pm #

    Hello Mr. Laube,

    On ACFW’s website, it mentions that you are interested in seeing a writing sample and a book proposal during a querying session.

    Would the manuscript in question need to be completely finished in this event?

  42. Avatar
    Samantha September 5, 2018 at 8:34 pm #

    Do US Christian publishers accept manuscripts from Scotland?

  43. Avatar
    Michael D. Rourke December 7, 2018 at 9:56 am #

    Hi Steve,

    Self-publishing my non-fiction with Westbow Press in December 2013 is still a joy to recount. Going from Schenectady, N.Y. to North Hollywood, Ca. and back was a twelve year pilgrimage.

    What started from a forty year compilation of 260 diaries with the intention of being a personal testimony ended up being two volumes. Glorifying God’s gift of salvation and repentance is a powerful event to elaborate. The books were a first step to build a platform of original material praising Lord Jesus.

    My pre-conversion mission as a lyric writer seeking collaboration and steady work became like an frontal assault on the music industry. Trying to break into the business is akin to digging a hole in the Rock of Gibraltar. Fortunately my being a Lyricist also went under the transition form being lost to saved.

    Including some lyrics in the books helped explain my need to express my feelings. But those pages added length which added to the cost.

    By 2016 I began producing songs working with two recording studios in Nashville, TN. This time, my second attempt to penetrate the music business took a different approach. Producing music videos, I entered them into worldwide Film Festivals, in the Music Video category. Bingo, surprise. Both of my videos were selected in a few Christian festivals. In the International Christian Film and Music Festival, The Threshold, was nominated for Best.
    Here I am, with two legs of a stool supporting original Christian books and songs looking for the third leg.

    With so many outlets for visual media I’m looking for an inroad to have a screenplay written and shopped for a movie. There are no more pennies in in pocket to pay talent to write a script. Of course good writing is worth many dollars but all I have to offer is a percentage of speculation.

    Since I’m waiting for God to open another door, if He so chooses to so, I’m curious and seeking good advice. With patience, I will begin addressing your proposal approach. I would like an Agent to represent me. Will you be so kind, as to offer me some good advice as to how I should proceed?

    Please keep an eye open for the hard copy I’ll be sending your way.


    Michael D. Rourke

  44. Avatar
    Tammy Arlene April 16, 2019 at 7:50 pm #

    Hello Mr. Laube,

    Would you consider a proposal for a trilogy, where the first book is already self published? I own the rights to the work.

    This may be wishful thinking – thought I’d ask anyway.

    Tammy Arlene

  45. Avatar
    Lynn Potter May 14, 2019 at 5:13 am #

    Mr Laube,

    Would you consider a proposal for a book that has been self-published with KDP?

  46. Avatar
    TJ Marquis July 2, 2019 at 2:00 pm #

    Mr. Laube,

    In preparing my hard copy proposal package, I encountered some confusion over how many components you actually want to see in a fiction submission. The basics seem obvious, but I clicked through to the series of Mrs. Murray’s blog posts about proposals, and she’s got suggestions for elements that don’t seem to be covered in the main guidelines or on your personal guidelines. For example, a blurb about series potential.

    I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask! Thanks!

  47. Avatar
    Tammy Arlene July 4, 2019 at 9:51 am #

    It appears that Mr. Laube does not respond to posts on this thread. The last reply I see is 2016.

    • Avatar
      TJ Marquis July 4, 2019 at 10:08 am #

      Yeah, I figured I’d try though. Spent enough time mining the site for details, so a few minutes to leave a question didn’t seem entirely pointless. Either way, it took me to the blogs, which have a lot of great material, so hooray!

  48. Avatar
    Adam December 3, 2019 at 11:18 pm #

    Hi, Steve. I hope you are well. I have three questions for you.
    1. I don’t just have a manuscript. I have four self-published, hard-copy books on and I am writing a volume five. All four completed books are part of a series and fiction. Would it be okay to send you a copy of volume 1? Or would you prefer just three chapters of volume 1?
    2. The series is a fictional epic fantasy with many Christian undertones, but it is not straightforward. Is that okay? In other words, I don’t mention God or biblical ideas point blank. They are manifested into the message of the story.
    3. The basis of my series is good vs evil, superheroes vs villains, fighting to defend, or end the world. There is a lot of martial arts. Some might consider it violent. The series is ages 8+ in my own writing opinion. Is this acceptable?

  49. Avatar
    Roy & Julia Burger March 22, 2020 at 6:13 pm #

    Is the hard copy the copy of the book? We can send you by mail a hard copy of the our book. What does SASE mean?
    Thank you

    Roy & Julia Burger

  50. Avatar
    Kerkula JT Pehlke July 8, 2020 at 9:15 pm #

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for the clear directions when sending you a book sample. I have a question regarding content. You mentioned that books including violence were not acceptable. I am curious what qualifies that? I am writing my memoir to help answer the question, ‘Where is God in our pain?” I grew up in the Liberian Civil War, and unfortunately, violence is very much a part of the story. Is this something that you would consider reviewing or is it out of your literary scope of what is acceptable? Thanks so very much. Blessings to you.

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