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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

Will You Vouch for Me?

As part of my continuing series on proposals, today I’ll talk about endorsements. This element can cause anxiety, so I hope this post will ease your mind.

When to Ask for Endorsement

Some writers tell me, “I’ll get back to you on that list as soon as I talk to the authors.” Or even, “I’ll let you know as soon as the authors read my manuscript and get back to me.” In reality, neither time is right to ask an established author to endorse your book. The time to ask is when you already have a contract and the publisher is almost ready to send advance copies to potential endorsers. Then the publisher can offer a deadline for the endorsement and the endorser can verify whether or not he has time to read and endorse the book.

No One Is Giving Blood

One big fear of listing friends for endorsement is that after you have promised they’ll come through, the pressure is on and you might lose friends. This is a very real fear. The last thing we want to do is ruin relationships. Know that the endorsement list is not a promise, but a list of possibilities. You are telling the publisher that you know certain key people well enough that you can contact them for endorsement. That’s all.

Publishers understand that popular authors are asked for many more endorsements than they can give, and that they are writing their own books and must schedule their time wisely. So no one should be embarrassed if a certain author can’t come through for you when your book needs to be read for endorsement. Take a deep breath and go ahead and list your friends.

Emphasis on Friends

Sometimes I see lists where I sense the writer has thrown in a couple of fantasy names — superstars writing in the genre. If you indeed know these superstars, it’s fine to note that. Otherwise, I don’t recommend writing a wish list of authors you hope will pay attention to you once you get a contract. Popular authors already have writer friends, and those relationships will take priority over a request from someone they don’t know. Since you have been writing long enough to submit proposals, then you have probably cultivated friendships with like-minded published authors you admire. Include them on your list instead.

Which Author Friends to Include 

The ideal list cites authors writing books similar to yours. You may be best friends with an author of women’s fiction, but if you are writing historical romance, choose those authors instead. This applies no matter how famous the author is. Stephen King is a famous author, but his endorsement wouldn’t be as powerful for historical romance as it would for horror.

I’m Friends with my Pastor

I often see lists in which the author assures me that her pastor loves her work, and this means a lot since she goes to a large church. Indeed, it’s great when your pastor supports your work. However, the circumstances in which your pastor can be a powerful endorser for your work are rare. So unless your pastor/professor/father-in-law is a nationally recognized expert on your topic with his own platform and you think he’s keen to endorse your work, I recommend staying with fellow authors on your formal endorsement list.

No Problem! Fifty Authors Will Endorse Me!

That’s also wonderful! However, contrary to some of the lists that cross my desk, I don’t need to know about all fifty authors. Cull the list. Then cull again. Cull until your list is comprised of three to five meaningful potential endorsers. That’s all we need. If we end up going through all five authors and they can’t come through at endorsement time, you then have the nice circumstance of knowing forty-five others who might be able to endorse you.

Wish I Had that Problem — I Don’t Know Anyone!

No worries. The best thing to do is join organizations such American Christian Fiction WritersFaith, Hope, and Love special interest chapter of Romance Writers of America, and/or other local and national writers groups. You’ll naturally gravitate toward and make friends with writers who share your interests and then you can build relationships. In the meantime, if you can’t provide a meaningful list of endorsers, go ahead and submit your proposal to agents. When your writing generates enough interest for an agent to follow up, the two of you can discuss endorsements at that time.

Again, no worries! Enjoy the process, and be grateful that we work in an industry where we truly can, and do, help one another.

Your turn:

What has been the best way you have found to make friends with other authors?
Can you recommend any organizations and/or internet loops for authors to interact?
How much do you think endorsements help?
Do you buy books based at least partially on endorsements?

 

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A Bit of Blogs, Just for You!

I’ve recently discovered a couple of new blogs that I really like, so I thought I’d share them with you.

The first is by Jeff Goins, at http://goinswriter.com. I like his perspective on writing, not just the craft, but the work of it. And he has a sense of humor, too. That’s always nice.

The second is The Creative Penn, by Joanna Penn. I love the diversity of topics she addresses, and her knowledge of publishing is really broad. Plus an added bonus: she’s got a lovely accent!

Last but not least, here’s a blog on, you guessed it, blogging! Anytime you’re struggling with keeping up with the bloggers, or if you want to feel as though someone is walking the blogging road with you, just hop on over to Successful Blog (http://www.successful-blog.com) with Liz Strauss. She’s got great counsel and ideas that can help not just with blogging, but with your writing as well.

How about you? Any blogs you can’t get through the day without reading? Well, other than the Steve Laube Agency blog, of course! (And those already recommended in the right hand column under “Industry Blogs.”) But share your discoveries so we can all benefit.

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News You Can Use – June 19, 2012

IVP Takes a Book Out-of-Print Because of Errors – This is an impressive (and expensive) response by a publisher. A review by Carl Trueman detailed numerous factual errors, typos, and mistakes for an academic volume on the Reformation. IVP correctly responded by removing the book from circulation and will fix the errors …

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Inside a Publishing Company

by Steve Laube

I just returned from three days at the Write! Canada writers conference outside Toronto. During my time there I presented a six session lecture series on the Complete Publishing Process: From Idea to Print.

When the entire process is compressed into a short series like that it becomes evident how many people are involved in the publishing of a book at any given publishing company.

Recently Random House did a 10 minute video interviewing a number of key people in-house who are involved in the acquisition, editing, design, marketing, and sales of a book. Having worked for a publisher (Bethany House Publishers) this video made me smile as I remembered many of the great people I was privileged to work with (many of whom are still working there!).

What thoughts does this video invoke for you?

If you are self-publishing, how much of this are you doing yourself?

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Fun Fridays – June 15, 2012 – Weird English Language Quirks

Fun Fridays – June 15, 2012

Weird English Language Quirks

What is another word for “thesaurus”?

Have you ever run into someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable?

If a book about failures doesn’t sell, is it a success?

Did you know that “verb” is a noun?

If a word is misspelled in a dictionary, how would we ever know?

Why isn’t phonetic spelled the way it sounds?

Have you experienced requited love?

Why is the word abbreviation so long?

How can you look up words in a dictionary if you can’t spell them?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

If two mouses are mice and two louses are lice, why aren’t two houses hice?

If Webster wrote the first dictionary, where did he find the words?

Is there another word for a synonym?

Have you ever said, “The present is a good time to present the present?”

Shouldn’t there be a shorter word for “monosyllabic”?

Why can’t you make another word using all the letters in “anagram”?

Why do fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?

Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?

Why do people use the word “irregardless”?

We say something is out of whack. What is a whack?

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