What Am I Looking For?


I started in Christian publishing in 1983 working in the telemarketing department for David C. Cook Publishers when they were located in Elgin, Illinois.   As a young guy working for a company that had been around for over 100 years, I was in awe.

Starting to work for Steve Laube and with professionals like Karen Ball and Tamela Hancock Murray, I am stunned once again.  We combine for over 100 years of experience in Christian publishing…but at least it is spread around to four people!

My years working in the industry not only have taught me the nuts and bolts of publishing, but also how to treat people.  We are people with specific strengths, gifted by God and passionate about communicating God’s grace and truth to the world.  I am excited to begin the journey.

What am I looking for?

Fiction and non-fiction with a core of great story.  Story is not limited to fiction, just as teaching lessons isn’t limited to non-fiction.   My early days were spent in advertising learning that the best advertising was engaging and interesting…not just information.  So, I have spent a lifetime being affected by stories…and feel that books need to have that element.

While I personally read biographies, history and business books for enjoyment, I know the Christian market reads more than that…not to mention that the majority of buyers are not boomer males just like me!

So, what am I looking for?

  1. Books that have an obvious Christian message – Everyone wants a “cross-over” best-seller, but honestly, the best selling Christian books in the general trade have had a blatant Christian theme.
  2. Non-Fiction and fiction with themes that support orthodox theology – new theology or new revelations are not true.  If it’s true, it’s not new and if it’s new, it’s not true! (Credit to Greg Laurie)
  3. Authors that are thinking about marketing – forgive my roots.  As an old marketing guy, that’s how I think.  Authors with an audience, a platform, a passion…we can talk about it.

Just like you, the agents with The Steve Laube Agency have gotten to this point in our lives by exercising our gifts, dealing with disappointment and learning to trust God more and more each day.  May God grant me the wisdom to serve wisely.

Proposals can be sent to an assistant’s address: vseem@www.stevelaube.com.


24 Responses to What Am I Looking For?

  1. Anne Love July 23, 2013 at 4:16 am #

    I hope to meet you at ACFW in Indy this year. Will you join the fun there?
    Love your comment credited to Greg Laurie, and the encouragement to have a clear theme of the good news of the Gospel.

  2. sally apokedak July 23, 2013 at 5:35 am #

    If there is going to be an obvious message, then let it be an orthodox one. I’m glad this is what you’re looking for. We’ve got far too much stuff in the Christian bookstores that isn’t orthodox.

  3. Danika Cooley July 23, 2013 at 6:23 am #

    Mr. Balow, I appreciate that you are looking for orthodox fiction and non-fiction with a message. Are you willing to look at works for children as well as for adults?

    Thank you for your time!
    Danika Cooley

    • Dan Balow July 23, 2013 at 8:26 am #

      Re: works for children, I guess “never say never” is appropriate, but at this time, I’d say no. That market for Christian products is very thin right now, large percent of sales to a few products, so most publishers have limited slots for it.

      Hope that helps!


      • Dan Balow July 23, 2013 at 8:27 am #

        I meant to say Christian products for children…make it clear. Hey, I’m new…(I’ll use that excuse for quite a while yet)

      • Danika Cooley July 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

        Alright! Thanks for the reply. 🙂

        ~ Danika

  4. Rachel Muller July 23, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    Congratulations on your new position with the Steve Laube Agency! It’s nice to “meet” you and I wish you well.

    This agency has been a great help to me and I think all the agents involved are wonderful people.

    Best wishes and I look forward to reading more of your articles in the future. 🙂

  5. Meghan Carver July 23, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    I will add my agreement about your desire to see orthodox theology. Bravo! It is absolutely shocking to me the twists and turns that Christianity is taking. Thanks for your efforts here, and I look forward to more of your posts in the future.

  6. Stephen M. Miller July 23, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    Hi, Dan.

    Welcome to Steve Laube’s team.

    About that Greg Laurie note: “If it’s true, it’s not new and if it’s new, it’s not true!”

    That sounds like something the pope would have said to Martin Luther.

    Some old church traditions have died because they were not true. Those traditions gave way to something new and true.

    I love Isaiah’s quote, from chapter 43:18-19:

    Don’t think about the past.
    I am creating something new.
    There it is! Do you see it?

    Our understanding of the Bible isn’t stuck. It’s on the move.

    I know you’re talking about keeping your books orthodox. But though truth doesn’t shift, our perception of what it is certainly does shift.

    I think Greg’s quote is too general and, at times, not true.

    I try to stay open to the possibility that some long-held interpretations of the Bible might be as wrong as I think Catholics were to insist that people confess to a priest or go to hell.

    In the 1500s, Martin Luther’s rejection of that was new and true. At least Protestants would say that.

    I know that in a sense what Luther said was old and true, because it was based on the Bible. But the point I’m trying to make is that some teachings in the church today may well be out of sync with God and perhaps with the Bible as well. And I think it helps us recognize that, if we’re open to the possibility that sometimes, new is true.

    With apologies to Martin Luther and to Greg Laurie if I took his quote out of context, I welcome you to the world of blogging.

    • Dan Balow July 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

      Thanks for the note Stephen. I should have been more clear that I was referring to Apostle’s Creed-level stuff.

      I love blogs…

      • Stephen M. Miller July 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

        Cool. Most Christians could live with that. Very basic teachings.

        Some Christians I know doubt the Virgin Birth, though.

        But I don’t think they’d suffer eternal damnation for that. Maybe just a kick in the keister at the Pearly Gates.

        Peace to you.

      • Jerry File Jr. September 1, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

        Stephen Miller, Whoooooaaaaa, did you really write out loud that you don’t think Christians who doubt the Virgin Birth of Christ would suffer eternal damnation; rather, maybe a kick in the keister at the Pearly Gates?

      • Stephen M. Miller September 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

        Hey there Jerry File Jr. What’s on your “passport to heaven” checklist? I kinda like John 3:16.

      • Jerry File Jr. September 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

        Stephen M. Miller,
        Can one embrace John 3:16 and discard, for example, Isa 7:14, and/or Matt 1:22-23?

        Interestingly, Isa 7:14 says, in relevant part, “…Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name, Immanuel.” The Jews forgot what Isa had written, all the way to demanding Pilot to switch Immanuel for Barabbas.

        Custance pointed out, “Job had already established the fact that one cannot bring a clean thing out of an unclean (Job 14:4), and therefore the question arose, How can one hope to find a redeemer born of woman who is not himself already under condemnation as unclean therefore unfit to act as substitute.”

        If one cannot rely on Isa 7:14, or Matt 1:22-23, can he rely on John 3:16?

        So, the conundrum is that if a man throws out or has not faith in Isa 7:14 or Matt 1:22-23, wouldn’t he be lost?

      • Steve Laube September 1, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

        This blog is not the forum for theological debate. Please move your discussion to Stephen Miller’s blog at http://stephenmillerbooks.com/blog/.

        Thank you.

        Steve Laube

  7. Debbie Lynne Costello July 23, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    Welcome to the agency! Very exciting to see another agent on board. It’s a great agency.

  8. Jenny Leo July 24, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    Dan is my former boss, so I can say with certainty that if you get a chance to work with him, you are blessed. Dan, which conferences are you planning to attend this year? Please say ACFW and/or OCW.

  9. Tammie Edington Shaw July 25, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    Welcome, Dan to a great agency. I see you worked for David C. Cook. How long were you there? I came in 1988 until they went to Colorado, then didn’t make the move. A great place to work for me. Best in your new position.

    • Dan Balow July 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

      I was there in 1983-1984…so I was long gone!

  10. J Messer August 3, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    Dear Dan,

    How dare you use the word “blatant”!

    Honestly I am ever so glad that you did… I agree.

    I have to ask in the area of marketing… how does a person market themselves without sounding all self-important and puffed up?

    It seems to me that all these books which seem shallow… or not important to me…. people gush over… these “blatant” top sellers.
    They have great sales based on marketing instead of content!

    But what advice would you give someone like me who is a hobby writer who likes being in the back ground. And I use the term “hobby writer” in the lowest form meaning I can put a thought or two on paper.

    So by reading everything that you read in the “how to” world of publishing do I market myself?

    You quoted “ If it’s true, it’s not new and if it’s new, it’s not true! (Greg Laurie)

    Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us.


  11. Dan Gray September 29, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Dan, it was nice meeting you at Maranatha Christian Writer’s Conference, even if it was to shake hands. A little while ago I searched Linkedin for my name and I got over 300 Dan Grays, already on the site. That was a little depressing.

  12. Michael Dreher April 18, 2014 at 9:55 pm #


    I was wondering what you are looking for in terms of a proposal? I have a completed manuscript that I would like to submit. At the same time I am a new author and am not sure where to begin. Thank you in advance for any advice or direction you can provide me.


    Michael Dreher

  13. Hoy Hughes October 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    Dear Dan:

    I have two questions.

    The first concerns Orthodoxy. One of the themes of my book is that the Rapture does not take place. My book is written from the Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Methodist (and other’s) perspective which agree with this view. Is this too controversial for you and too far away from your view of Orthodoxy?

    The second concerns writer’s conferences. My travel is restricted due to my health so I can only attend a few Writer’s Conferences. Is there anything that I can do to make up for this deficit?



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