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

Get Attention with the Right Title

 When an agent or her assistant tackles the email slush pile, she sees one subject line after another written by authors vying for attention. Some lines describe the book category, while others make a claim about the author himself. But most include the book’s title. I tell authors not to get attached to titles because all too often, they are changed somewhere between the time the editor takes the proposal to Committee and when the book goes to press. However, putting thought into the title at the proposal stage will help orient us to the book and a really catchy title might excite us enough to open your email proposal right away. Who wants to read a boring book?

Consider these fiction titles:

Rodeo Sweetheart by Besty St. Amant

The Guy I’m Not Dating by Trish Perry

Sketchy Behavior by Erynn Mangum

These titles made me smile and want to learn more.

Non-fiction books work a little differently. Often title is simply descriptive and helps the reader learn right away the benefit the book offers. Some start with a catchy phrase, then use a subtitle to explain the book:

Real: Owning Your Christian Faith by Daniel Darling.

Beyond Me: Living a You-First Life in a Me-First World by Kathi Macias.

Attitude-inize: 10 Secrets to a Positive You by Jan Coates

Notice that the first phrase is a quick reference point for the book’s title, but on its own, doesn’t tell us much about the book. However, the subtitle elaborates on the felt need the book serves.

Another word of advice I give my authors: To avoid confusion, do a search  to see if your title has been used recently. Use the Amazon.com database for a comprehensive history. Then use ChristianBook.com to see what is currently available in the Christian market. In the past, a title used over five years ago was fine to revisit using the same the title (Within reason, of course. Please don’t use something like Harry Potter Got Left Behind).  However, with ebooks never going “out of print,” I have changed my advice. For example, Amazon Publishing recently purchased Avalon Books’s 3000-strong backlist,  meaning many titles will be re-released in ebook form. I’d encourage every author to be as creative and original as possible. Using the heroine’s name in the title often helps for romance, and the hero’s name might save the day for adventure novels.

Having trouble? Ask your critique partners. Poke around the Internet for ideas. Most of all, have fun!

For further help, read Karen Ball’s great three part series on “Finding the Perfect Title.” Part one. Part two. Part three.

Your Turn:

What is your favorite book title? This may or may not be the title of your favorite book.

I can never remember the title, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, by Paul Zindel although I must be alone since this is a famous book and movie. What titles do you have trouble remembering? (Search key words on Amazon to remember!)

Here is a fun list: 276 Best Book Titles. Which titles grab your attention?

Leave a Comment

Kick Discouragement to the Curb

I don’t know about you, but I loved Steve’s blog post on Monday, When the Outlook is Bleak. People out there are HURTING.

I was with a friend a few days ago, a best-selling author who was battling an especially difficult edit. Difficult because the edits weakened the book rather than strengthened it. She’d uttered a series of gut-deep sighs, read me changes that I agreed didn’t make sense, and finally sat there, shaking her head.

And then she stopped. Straightened. Fixed me with a somber gaze and said:

“Today, in this very moment, someone is sitting in the doctor’s office, receiving the worst news of their life.”

I started. “What?”

She drew a deep breath. “At times like this, I have to restore my perspective. I have to tell myself that somewhere, right at this moment, a mother is saying good-bye to a dying child. A family is losing a home to foreclosure or disaster. In light of all of that, what does a difficult edit matter?”

Read More

News You Can Use – August 7, 2012

Are Book Covers a Dying Art? – This article from NPR is frustrating. A book designer actually says that someone will not buy a book on the web because of the cover, unlike what happens in a brick and mortar store. I disagree. Covers, even the size of a postage stamp are still a key component to the sound bite of a book’s content. Go to this link (please click here) to show anyone how amazing book covers in the Christian fiction market can be. Or to anyone who says that all Christian novels have an Amish theme. Clearly that is not the case. Each book at this link are Carol Award finalists this year. (Thank you to Cecelia Dowdy for creating the list!)

Author Fabricates Bob Dylan Quotes – A few weeks ago I did a post asking “Can You Plagiarize Yourself” because of certain discoveries found in the book Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer. Now it has been revealed that the author, Jonah Lehrer, made up quotes and attributed them to Bob Dylan. The publisher has pulled the book from publication (you can’t buy it new from Amazon any more) and will pay the freight for any store to return the books to them. The author has resigned from his position at The New Yorker. A swift crash from the heights of being a bestselling author to humiliation. Every writer who reads this should remember this cautionary tale.

The Origin of the Rorschach Ink Blot Test – More than you ever knew about ink blots! Weave them into one of your novels and see what happens. Oh, by the way, what do you see?

Who Really Invented the Internet?– Contrary to popular culture, Al Gore did not invent the Internet, despite his claim. But this article also says that it was not invented by the government? Gordon Crovitz says that it was a division of Xerox!

HarperCollins Forms New Christian Publishing Division – In case you missed the news last week because you were avoiding Olympic spoilers, HarperCollins has placed Zondervan and Thomas Nelson under a new division. The first step in this new era. It is notable that HarperOne is not included in that division. Likely since they publish titles that cover a wide range of religious perspectives.

Read More

When the Outlook is Bleak

by Steve Laube

In the constant ebb and flow of this industry we have authors celebrating and authors in tears. Ask any agent and you will hear the same. For every author excited about their new contract there is another experiencing bitter disappointment.

And I wish I could fix it.

To hear the anguish is difficult, but to be the one who delivers the bad news is heart-wrenching. Why is it that they seem to come in bunches? So what do you do when you run into the inevitable disappointments the writing experience throws at you?

Read More