The Steve Laube Agencyis committed to providing top quality guidance to authors and speakers. Our years of experience and success brings a unique service to our clients. We focus primarily in the Christian marketplace and have put together an outstanding gallery of authors and speakers whose books continue to make an impact throughout the world.
Authors we represent
How to send your proposal
learn about the publishing industry

Our Service Philosophy

CONTENT

To help the author develop and create the best book possible. Material that has both commercial appeal and long-term value.

CAREER

To help the author determine the next best step in their writing career. Giving counsel regarding the subtleties of the marketplace as well as the realities of the publishing community.

CONTRACT

To help the author secure the best possible contract. One that partners with the best strategic publisher and one that is mutually beneficial for all parties involved.

Recent Posts

Books, Hooks, and Good Looks

I love hooks.

As a writer, I work hard on my hooks. When I was a magazine editor, the hook was often the best way for a writer to make a good first impression on me. And now, for me as a literary agent, the hook is the first and one of the most important criteria I use in evaluating a book pitch, proposal, or manuscript. A good book hook will often prompt me to give a project a more careful, hopeful look.

But some people really struggle with hooks. Some don’t even fully understand what a hook is. And that’s often not their fault, as hook is a fairly flexible term in the writing and publishing world. Editors, agents, and writers often use it to refer to several similar but different things.

Briefly, hook can mean:

  • The overall unique appeal of an article or book
  • The short, punchy summary of a book idea in a query or book proposal
  • The first page, paragraph, or sentence of an article, story, or book

So, to illustrate the first definition: You meet a big, fancy, famous editor at a baseball game; and when she finds out you’re working on a book manuscript, she asks, “What’s your hook?” You say, “It’s an Amish romance in which the male protagonist is a zombie.” That’s a hook. It may not be a good one, but it’s a hook.

In the second case, it’s usually only a few sentences (or even a few words) that compellingly crystallize your book. I like it when the hook is at the very beginning of the proposal, and I also like it when it sounds like a movie trailer: “One woman. One man. Unforgiving wilderness.” Okay, so that may be a bit cliché; but you get the idea.

Finally, you read the third kind of hook all the time. For example, the first line of 1984: “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” That’s a hook. Or the first paragraph of Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life: “When you write, you lay out a line of words. The line of words is a miner’s pick, a woodcarver’s gouge, a surgeon’s probe. You wield it, and it digs a path you follow. Is it a dead end, or have you located the real subject? You will know tomorrow, or this time next year.”

See? A hook is called a “hook” because it hooks the reader like a fish and reels him or her in. It captures interest and compels him or her to keep reading.

And, for writers who can deliver on the promise of the hook, it often leads to fame and fortune.

Leave a Comment

The Writer, Alone in a Village

Writing is a strange pursuit. A writer works endless hours in solitary, personal work then, after what seems like an eternity, takes their work out to a world of editors, agents, critics, and readers. Even if you self-publish and desire to skip any outside editorial input, your work will be …

Read More

Where Christian Publishing Came From with Leslie Stobbe

Have you ever wondered where Christian publishing came from? I sure have. In the olden days, there were only publishers. But then Christian publishers started to emerge. Why did that happen? What caused it?  To find out, we have a special guest who has worked in the publishing industry for 65 years.   He is the […]
You can listen to this episode Where Christian Publishing Came From with Leslie Stobbe on Christian Publishing Show.

Read More

God Gave Me This Blog Post

God gave me this blog post.

By invoking divine inspiration I have guaranteed that you will read this post and possibly give me money to read more.

Sound like a stretch? Then what if I just wrote or said:
“God spoke to me”
“I was led to write this”
“God revealed this to me”
“I have been called to write this”
“I believe this is an inspired post”

Read More

Fun Fridays – September 24, 2021

Today is National Punctuation Day! In celebration, take out a comma.

Or at least visit the official site: www.nationalpunctuationday.com.

Recently I walked into a church classroom to find a list of the 10 Commandments on the board. The first line read “No other God’s.”
Sigh.

If you want to read a fun book on grammar and punctuation I can recommend Mignon Fogarty’s Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.

So while you take a moment to appreciate the need for precise punctuation enjoy this delightful five minute repartee between Dean Martin and Victor Borge singing with Phonetic Punctuation.

Read More