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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

Yes, This Post Is About You

Almost every time we post a story or give a “don’t do this” example, we receive emails and phone calls. “Were you talking about me?”

Why, yes. Yes we were.

Actually, something you did may have reminded us about something someone else did, which reminded us about something else that happened years ago. I’ve been an agent for well over a decade, so I’ve seen lots of situations happen more than once. So I might be inspired to write about an event because the fact it’s happened more than once shows that addressing it will help a lot of people. Maybe even you.

If it makes you feel better, realize it’s a two-way street. People also write about agents. I may read a post and wonder if I’m the particular agent who offended someone. Maybe. Maybe not. But I can learn from reading posts about how I can be a better agent.

Think about your stories. Aren’t many of your characters composites of people you know? What would happen if you had to field phone calls from offended friends and relatives every time a character misbehaved in your book? How would you address an angry phone call from your sister-in-law? Or the dismay of a cousin? I suggest first, thank her for being one of your readers.

But any time you think we may be talking about you and this really bothers you, we don’t mind if you ask us about it. Recently I saw a post (not on our blog) open up communication between two people who went on to reconcile and forgive years-old wounds. But please don’t feel hurt or put upon if you feel we may be using a composite of you and several other people in regards to something such as how to write a letter. We aren’t mad at you. Seriously. We just want to help everyone in the publishing community.

And thank you for being one of our readers.

Your turn:
Have you ever read a post that made you squirm, thinking it may have been about you? Did you ask the writer about it?
Has anyone ever asked you if one of your characters was based on them? What did you do?

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To Conference We Shall Go!


The American Christian Fiction Writers’ conference (acfw.com) is just around the corner (Sept. 18-23 in Dallas, TX), and I’m seeing increasing buzz online about all the fun attendees are going to have. It’s true, too. Writers’ conferences are a lot of fun, especially those focused on the Christian market. In fact, I’ve equated them to church camp because the feel is very much the same. It’s a delight to be with folks you haven’t seen face-to-face for months, even years. And there’s just no joy to compare with being surrounded by folks who love words and writing and reading as much as you do. So it’s little wonder that people are excited. Heck, I’m excited. I’m looking forward to copious amounts of hugs and laughter and coffee shared with those of like mind and heart.

And yet, for all the great fellowship and teaching we’ll find at ACFW and other writer’s conferences, allow me to give two cautions.

First, be strategic. If you wanted to, you could do things from dawn to…well, dawn! Between workshops and teaching tracks, general sessions and panels, spotlight sessions and late-night events, author and editor meetings, brainstorming and marketing sessions…you can find something to fill every moment of every day. I know that’s the temptation, especially considering that conferences aren’t cheap. After all, you want to get your money’s worth, right? As true as that is, you also need to make sure you’re not overdoing it. (Consider reading some of the related posts linked at the bottom of the page.)

Writers’ conferences are among the most exhausting thing I do, and I’m an off-the-scale extrovert! For most of you folks, who tend to tip the chart at introvert with a capital I, writers’ conferences can pretty much do you in. Not only can you end up physically exhausted, but your emotions can run the gamut as well. Hopes rise and fall, dreams come true and crash and burn, and egos are inflated, bruised, and decimated.

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News You Can Use – Sept. 11, 2012

Never Forget – September 11th

Publishers Forcing a New Genre – Books for 14-35 year olds? Mature themes but packaged younger. Thoughts?

How Much Time is Wasted at Work? – This page and infographic should make everyone pause for a moment. The average worker checks their email 36 times an hour…. Astounding. I would have thought it was more. J

Hats Off to Amazon – Read this article! Mike Shatzkin, as usual, writes an insightful article on the strategies of Amazon and the implications of the Department of Justice settlement among other things.

How Bestseller Lists Work…and Introducing the Amazon Monthly 100 – Timothy Ferris takes a stab at unveiling the mystery. You may have seen this in an earlier post.

Sue Grafton Apologizes to Self-Published Authors for Calling Them Lazy – Important to admit when one is wrong and accept the consequences. I would never call any writer lazy…except in your case…yes, you know who I’m talking to… <grin>

Don’t Use Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail for Business Emails – If you are guilty of this, think about a change. I don’t think it is horrible for a writer to do this. But at least change how you are seen by the recipient of your email. It isn’t your email address that shows, it is the identity chosen when you set up the account. I once had an author send me an email but didn’t realize her kids had set up the account. So the e-mail showed in my inbox as coming from “mom.” Or another sent me a note from her account called “hot gramma.” Not very professional.

Mundane Routines Produce Creative Magic – An article length apologetic for working in your bathrobe.

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Do You Have a Backup Plan?

by Steve Laube

The question is not if your hard drive will fail, it is a question of when. At least twice a year I have a client who has lost their hard drive to equipment failure. There was a recent story of an editor at Wired magazine who got hacked via a security hole in his Amazon and Apple accounts. He not only lost data, he lost all the digital pictures of his baby girl. He wrote the article as a cautionary tale. As the editor admits, he knew better, but did not follow his own advice. So my question to you is, “Do you have a backup plan?”

Hit the Save Button Regularly

Many think that just hitting the “save” button is enough. Sorry. That only saves the file to your local computer. And if that computer fails, you are toast. While hitting the save button helps with immediate things it isn’t a long term solution. What if someone steals your laptop while you turned your back to refresh your drink at the coffee shop?

Save to an External or Portable Backup Device or E-mail Service

Keeping your files on an external drive or a USB thumb drive is okay. But what if you lose the thumb drive (they are so small!)? Or what if you forget to take the external drive with you…and your computer is stolen from your office, along with the external drive?

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