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.
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Our Service Philosophy


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


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.


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

Amazon Rank Obsession

Admit it. You’ve checked your sales ranking at least once since your book was published. You feel the need to have some outside confirmation of the sales of your book. And Amazon’s ranking are free to look at.

I’ve even seen book  proposals where the author has gone to great lengths to include the Amazon ranking for each title that is competitive with the one the author is proposing. A prodigious amount of wasted effort.

Publishers rarely pay attention to Amazon rankings unless yours gets below 1,000 or if you get in the top 100.

I’ve known authors who have gone into deep depression because their Amazon numbers aren’t very good.

Consider for a moment how those rankings are calculated. Amazon is very secretive as to the exact formula (and some have gone to great lengths to figure it out) but consider looking at it as “the number of sales in a given period of time.” Much like the bestseller lists with USA Today and the New York Times a book has to sell x number of copies to somehow “hit the list.”

This fascinating article by Morris Rosenthal guesses that to get into the top 10,000 on Amazon your book needs to sell at least 2 copies a day. And to get in the top 100 you may have to sell 100 copies a day.

I know of a case where a book sold 700 copies with Amazon (based on publisher’s information) in one week and got into the top 100 ranking. So Rosenthal’s guess may not be too far off.

Another author thought that they could make the number jump by asking fans to wait until a specific day and have everyone buy the book from Amazon on that day. Over 100 fans participated. The result was a nice jump but it did not come close to cracking the top 100 sales ranking that day.

It is so fluid that it is hardly worth the obsession. Amazon is only one sales outlet out of hundreds. It doesn’t reflect sales at the local grocery store, the Christian bookstore, the independent retailer in your town, much less sales to Barnes & Noble and other “big box” outlets. In that light consider Amazon as a single snapshot of a single moment from a single sales source.

If you really must track your Amazon ranking here are a couple sites that do the heavy lifting for you:
Novel Rank
Sales Rank Express

To bring levity to the conversation, a husband and wife team created the following  short video that is a hilarious send up on Amazon rank obsession. Make sure you watch past the credits:

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What to do about Morals?

In a post written last weekend Richard Curtis, agent extraordinaire, expressed surprise at a new morality clause that has apparently appeared in HarperCollins’ contracts. Read his post here [warning: there is some Adult content and comments included in the post].

What the general market doesn’t realize is that many Faith-based publishers have had a “moral turpitude” clause in their contracts for a long time. Moral turpitude is well defined in this post on Wikipedia. It is understood in the legal community as actions or activities that can get you fired from your job, deported if you are a foreigner in this country on a Visa, or have your contract cancelled if you are an author.

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Hints for a Great Cover Letter

Here are a few suggestions for you to consider when approaching an agent. Remember to use these as hints…do not follow them slavishly as if a literary agent is going to spend their time critiquing your cover letter.

By the way, we make a distinction between a cover letter and a query letter. A cover letter is what goes on top of a longer proposal and sample chapters. The query letter is a stand-alone letter that goes by itself to the editor/agent without a proposal or sample chapters. We happen to prefer the cover letter along with the rest of the package. Why? Because a query only shows that you can write a letter. A proposal begins the process of showing that you know how to write a book.

Address the letter to a specific person. If sending something to The Steve Laube Agency, simply address the appropriate agent. Every proposal will cross the desk of the designated agent eventually.

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Checked Your Copyright Lately?

Have you checked your copyright lately? I mean, have you actually gone to the US Copyright Office web site and searched for your registration? You might be surprised at what you won’t find. Here is the link to start your search.

Most publishing contracts have a clause that requires the publisher to register the copyright, in the name of the author, with the US Copyright Office. This is supposed to be done as part of the in-house paperwork process.

If you do not find your book, don’t panic.

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