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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

Ready, Set…WAIT!

Ah, New Year’s. When hearts soar with best intentions and resolutions tumble around us like snow-melt waterfalls. Our hearts and minds surge with all we want to be, all we hope to accomplish, all we regret and want to change…

Okay, now, show of hands: How many of you make New Year’s Resolutions?

Again, show of hands: How many of you KEEP them??

If you were here, watching me, you’d notice my hand is down. I’ve made hundreds of resolutions over the years, and I’ve broken almost every one. It took me a lot of years to understand that this fact doesn’t make me bad or weak-willed or a failure. It took me several more years to realize that the new year isn’t, for me, about resolutions. It isn’t about saying what I will and won’t do.

It’s about listening.

Each year for the last 8 years or so, I spend the time leading to the new year listening. To God, first. In prayer, in the Word. To friends and family, second. Those who know—and, by God’s grace, love—me best. And then to the other voices/influences floating around out there, be they on the internet, on the radio, in overheard conversations, or where ever. I just keep my ears open…and listen.

For what, you may ask? Guidance. For that one word, phrase, thought, Scripture that God wants me to “get” in the coming year. When this guidance comes, I usually haven’t a clue what it’s about. And as often as not it’s not really something I want to do. Need to do, yes. But want? Yeah, not so much. Which isn’t to say God is making me suffer or anything like that. Just that each year, the word/phrase/Scripture has been about refinement. And drawing closer to Him.

For example, last year, it was “Be prepared.” Everywhere I turned, the phrase was there: in conversations, in sermons, in what I was reading and studying. Even in the books I was editing. With each confirmation, I felt it deeper in my bones: a change was coming. And I needed to prepare.

Boy, howdy, was that on target. Just look at last week’s blog for some of what we in the Ball-Sapp (Sapp is my maiden name, no jokes, please! Trust me, I’ve heard ‘em all!) household faced this last year. But through prayer and preparation, God’s grace overflowed in the face of it all. Didn’t make things easier, but it tenderized my heart to trust and endure.
So here I sit, at the dawn of yet another new year…listening. I don’t know what God will speak to me yet. But I’m ready. Waiting–

Oh. Wow. That’s it.

Okay, you may not believe this, but it just came. God just whispered to my heart, and now I know. That’s it.

Wait.

Not just that, but wait…patiently. Two things I am NOT good at. Waiting. And patience. And even as I ponder it, I know. It’s about trusting Him. About not striving and trying to make things happen in my will and power, but trusting His guidance and provision.

It’s about doing what I know to do, but with a heart filled with trust, not fear.

It’s about the very things my hubby and I read this morning in Hebrews 10:

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus… And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. …Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promises.”

Okay, so I’ve got my marching—or, more to the point, waiting—orders. How about you? Whether you’re a resolution person or not, I encourage you to take time this year as never before to listen. Listen for His whisper. Seek His guidance, in your life, in your relationships, in your career. Listen for His leading as you consider what to write and why. As you are pulled in one direction, then another…as you hear all the voices telling you what you have to do to succeed… as you weigh the many decision that will face you in this crazy, ever changing industry….

Listen.

Yes, now more than ever, publishing rests on shifting sands. But we, my friends, do not.

Listen. Hear His voice. Then, and only then, act as He leads.

I can tell you, “with heart fully trusting Him,” that He will speak.

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News You Can Use – Jan. 3, 2012

Publishing Predictions for 2012 – Various industry insider look into the Crystal Ball. Including Randy Ingermanson, Julie Gwinn, Steve Laube, Jeff Gerke, Chip MacGregor, Mary DeMuth, and Thomas Umstattd. Save this link and see who was right 366 days from today.

Update the Copyright on Your Web Site – A good reminder!

Christian Publishers Anticipate Global Growth in 2012 – Don’t forget that books sell around the world! Click through to read more.

Lack of Snow Get You Down? – Click through to make your own Star Wars snowflakes

What is the Magic Price for E-Books? – Insightful article on the history of e-book prices and a bit of the economics that influence pricing.

Lagging Movie Sales a Lesson for E-Books? – Fascinating parallel from some observations by Roger Ebert.

QR Codes are soooo last year…. – Richard Curtis predicts 2012 will be the year of the “Snap Tag.” How many of you were just starting to notice QR Codes? And they are already passe?

Why You Still Don’t Have an Agent – Jeff Rivera on the query letter. Then note his web site: HowToWriteaQueryLetter.com.

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2011 – The Year in Review

It is a good exercise to reflect on the past year. Count the blessings, reflect on the hard lessons, and remember the good times.

The highlight was bringing both Tamela Hancock Murray and Karen Ball into the agency in late May. I was and continue to be very excited about the talent and work these two are doing on behalf of our clients.

That hard work had visible results as we secured sixty-four (64) new book contracts that will cover 113 new books. That works out to a new contract every four business days.

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A Year to Remember

Anyone following this blog or who knows me personally realizes this was a very exciting year for me on a professional level. After ten wonderful years with Hartline Literary Agency, this summer I joined The Steve Laube Agency. I am thrilled to be working with Steve as my new boss and Karen Ball as my colleague.

Although I kept the same title of literary agent and both agencies are headed by Christians, they have different personalities and styles. The transition has been challenging but rewarding. I extend my gratitude to my faithful clients who remained with me through this time of change, and can’t wait to explore the many possibilities ahead for their careers. I am enthusiastic about forming new relationships with beginning and established writers. I see God’s hand in my career as He gave me the leaders I needed at the time I needed them. Joyce Hart gave me chance when I first moved from being an author to an agent. Steve Laube is working with me to help me reach my full potential as a literary agent. My excitement about being part of this great agency has not diminished one iota since I wrote my first post for this blog, Happy to be Here! My esteem for Steve Laube has only grown and over this past year we have formed a solid relationship based on mutual respect and trust.

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