The Publishing Life

Got Questions?

The intent of our blog and podcast is to help writers understand what they need to know about the publishing industry and to hopefully succeed with their books. Everything from craft to conferences to proposals and even to ISBN numbers.

We’ve been attempting this for nearly 10 years and yet many writers still have questions. Some are answered in our archives; but it isn’t easy to search for those topics, especially if they are rather specific. If you have one that is pressing on your mind, please take a moment today and ask. I’ll try to answer as best I can. If I am unable to do so today, your question may be used as a topic for everyone in a specific future blog.

If your question is in the comments below, please remember that you are in a public forum where anyone can see both your question and my answer. If you’d prefer, please click the button below and use the subject line “Question for the Blog” and it will come to the agency via email.

It’s not an opportunity to pitch your book, but rather to get clarity on things that might feel confusing. Or let us know if there is a topic you wish our agency could talk more about on the blog.

This is your chance! Please comment below, or click the big orange question mark to send an email.

Leave a Comment

The Quest for Originality

Are you tired of being told by a publisher “We simply don’t do books like that”? or “Yours is certainly out of the box, but is not what we are looking for at this time”? What’s the Deal with Boxes? In general all books are sold under a category. Be …

Read More

One Agent’s Rearview Mirror

Since I was nineteen years old (yes, I was that young once, smart aleck), I’ve set goals every January instead of making resolutions. I set one-year, three-year, five-year, and lifetime goals in six categories: spiritual life, physical/health, intellectual/educational, marriage/family, financial/household, and professional (writing, speaking, agenting). Yes, I am a tad …

Read More

A Year in Review – a Look at 2018

It is a good thing to periodically take a look at the past, especially as a way to count our blessings. Here are some thoughts on the last twelve months. The Industry The publishing industry continues to pursue the best content possible. Market forces continue to press for the need …

Read More

Read Old Books, Write New Books

C. S. Lewis (maybe you’ve heard of him) famously commended the reading of old books: Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our …

Read More

Lessons Learned As a Literary Agent

Dan is leaving the agency at the end of this month to focus his attention on the work of Gilead Publishing, the company he started in 2016. Here are some parting thoughts. _____ I’ve been a literary agent for about 2,000 of the 13,000 total days spent working with and …

Read More

Of Making Many Books There Is No End

This past week Bowker, the company that issues ISBN numbers for published books, released their annual statistics. They broke out the numbers for self-published books and revealed a stunning statistic. (If you want the history and explanation of the ISBN, read my scintillating post on the topic here. Each country …

Read More

Competing for Attention

Everything in our world is competing for our attention. Where you finally give your attention is a combination of what you want to pay attention to and what caught your eye at the moment. No matter how you publish your book, either through a traditional publishing method or through some …

Read More

The Myth of Foolproof Publishing

To be honest, it is a myth. There is no such thing as foolproof book publishing. In fact, publishing content of any type—books, Bibles, audiobooks, music, magazines, Gospel tracts or anything else—contains a level of risk, both financial and response wise. While there is no guarantee of publishing success, there …

Read More

Rumbles in CBA

News broke late last week that key staff people in CBA (aka Christian Booksellers Association) are no longer working for the association. In what appears to be a purge, Curtis Riskey, president for 11 years, is no longer working there. Other key people are either no longer with the organization …

Read More