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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.

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ICRS Report 2012


 This was my second ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) as an agent with The Steve Laube Agency. Once again, the show proved to be a marathon of information, entertainment, new connections, and strengthened friendships.

On a personal note, this year marked my younger daughter’s eighteenth birthday so our family devoted Sunday to her celebration. Armed with a new camera, she took many photographs at the Harry P. Leu gardens in Orlando.  These gardens are gorgeous!

The bulk of the show is condensed into Monday and Tuesday since the floor closes in mid-afternoon on Wednesday. Our schedule was packed on both days, and once again I enjoyed attending meetings with Steve Laube. To combat hot and humid weather, our hosts plied us with soda, tea, and water. I told Steve that Christians have added new meaning to the term “social drinking!”

The people we spoke with agreed that the floor seemed more sparse than usual, and some publishers occupied smaller booths than in the past. However, most of the best and brightest publishers were represented, often by their executives and owners. Amid hugs and laughter, Steve and I gleaned information we will use as we strategize how to present properties that best fit their current needs and interests. We were glad to have our first face-to-face time with Daisy Hutton, the recently-appointed Vice President and Publisher of Fiction at Thomas Nelson Publishers. She had already signed one of my clients before the show, so it was great to meet her in person. She will be the ideal successor to Allen Arnold’s excellent work.

I didn’t expect to learn much on Wednesday, but Steve and I spent most of the day in scheduled and impromptu meetings. I enjoyed the latter part of the afternoon with a couple of my authors. And with the this blog post coming to an end as I compose it the evening before I leave Orlando, I am shutting the lights on another wonderful, exhilarating ICRS. Next year, won’t you meet me in St. Louis?

On a note close to my heart, on Monday, during the convention, the finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards were announced. Please join me in congratulating my client Connie Stevens for being a finalist in the short historical category with Revealing Fire! Congratulations also to her editor at Heartsong Presents, Rebecca Germany (who is a finalist for five books that she edited!). Our agency has a total of four finalists this year. The winners to be announced in September.

Carol Award Finalists from our agency:

Long Contemporary Romance: 

My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren (Tyndale – Karen Watson, Editor)


An Accidental Christmas from A Biltmore Christmas by Diane T. Ashley/Aaron McCarver (Barbour Publishing – Rebecca Germany, Editor)

Romantic Suspense:

Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig (Barbour Publishing – Rebecca Germany/Julee Schwarzburg, Editor)

Short Historical:

Revealing Fire by Connie Stevens (Heartsong Presents – Rebecca Germany, Editor)

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In Search of Ideas

Authors, I’m guessing you’ve heard this question over and over: “Where do you get your ideas?” I know I’ve heard it more times than I can count. Now, if you’re like most writers I know, ideas for possible stories come fast and furious—most of the time. But what to do when you feel as though the idea well has run dusty and dry?

Well! Let me share a few standards that I, and other authors I know, rely on:

The Media

That old saying that the truth is stranger than fiction has stood the test of time for one reason: It’s true! I’ve discovered that the news, whether on TV or in a paper or online, is a veritable mine of ideas just waiting to be…well, mined.

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News You Can Use – July 24, 2012

You Might Get Sued for Using that Photo! – Bloggers beware. That photo you snagged for your blog may not be yours to use. This article is a cautionary tale. (Beware, the author writes romance novels for the general market and her book covers are prominently displayed.) Our blog uses and for nearly all our photos. The licenses cost between $1 and $4 for each photo…

7 Ways to Sell Your Books on Pintrest – Beth Hayden offers some creativity!

Life Below the “Fold” – Common wisdom in home page design is to have everything important fit on the screen so readers don’t have to scroll. This article suggests otherwise. Agree or Disagree? (I think too much text is a design killer on the web. That opinion coming from a fellow who is known for writing epic length blog posts.)

Understanding the Harlequin Lawsuit – If you don’t think this lawsuit applies to you; think again. A similar suit change music contracts.

Reviewing Your Reviews – This is a tough thing to grasp for every author. Reviewers can be harsh. And even if the review is positive there is likely a negative comment or two. Nancy Mehl provides some excellent advice with this article.

Grilled Cheesus – Yes, this is real. In an October 2010 episode of the TV Show “Glee” had a poke at strange Christian products exclaiming “”It’s a Grilled Cheesus!” Then in 2011 some folks, who had been working on the idea for a couple years, raised money through and actually created it. (Click here to see that they raised over $25,000) The product was found for sale on the convention floor of the ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) last week.

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ICRS 2012 – Observations

By Steve Laube

This year’s ICRS (International Christian Retailing Show) was a great time of celebration and doing a lot of business.

First I have to celebrate with Four award winning clients!

AWSA (Advance Writers & Speakers Association) Fiction Book of the Year

Susan May Warren – Heiress (Summerside)

The Christy Awards

Ronie Kendig – Wolfsbane (Barbour) – best Contemporary Romance

Ginny Yttrup – Words (B&H Publishing Group) – best First Novel

Lisa Bergren – Waterfall (David C. Cook) – best Young Adult

I am so honored to represent such wonderful writers! It is especially meaningful having traveled the journey of each book with each author. Ask the authors for the story behind their story!

As for business, we had a lot of great meetings with publishers, editors, and authors. Tamela Hancock Murray and I had over 20 scheduled appointments on Monday and Tuesday. It meant flitting from place to place in record time, especially since some appointments were on the convention floor and others were at one of the main convention hotels. (See Tamela’s post later this week for her perspective on the event.)

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