As a reader who became a writer, I can certainly say God has sparked a flame in my heart for the written word, specifically His Word. In learning to study the Bible, line by line and verse by verse, I felt completely consumed with wanting to know more. Seventeen commentaries, five new notebooks, a pack of brand-new markers, and a Rubik’s cube later, I have discovered Bible study for me is a full-contact sport. Out of the ardent study of the Word, I found myself curating expositional studies for women and books designed to share the military community story.
Ultimately, this journey has brought the opportunity to serve as a literary agent. Now, I’m a reader who became a writer, who also reads the writings of others. For me, it’s a joy to help more readers become writers. Make sense?
One of the first questions I’m asked is, “What is it you are looking for?”
First, I am interested in representing Christian authors.
I am looking to work with authors who hold a Christian worldview, can wholeheartedly agree with this agency’s statement of faith, and desire to create content and publishing projects with gospel-centricity. However, if a Christian author is writing a book for a general audience, this agency does have the ability to sell books to the general market.
And I’m not interested only in military-affiliated authors or books.
While I am enthusiastically searching for authors in the military and veteran community space, I am open to exploring Christian books targeted toward a wider audience.
What types of books am I interested in?
I am interested in nonfiction books. Specifically, I am most excited about pursuing projects in Bible study, reference, theology, Christian living and devotionals, spiritual formation, the integration of work and faith, marriage and family, church life, ministry, leadership, evangelism, and missions.
While these topics vary, there are three principles and concepts I value in a person or project.
When we believe we are called to serve the Lord through writing, we also accept the calling to handle His Word with responsibility, care, and stewardship. What this means is that the authoritative teachings in any Christian book should be firmly rooted in Scripture–taught in the proper context, understood in its original intent, and crafted or explained in the correct contemporary application. We must take the charge seriously to handle the Word and teach it well (James 3:1). Additionally, I greatly appreciate authors who have invested the time in continuing education or biblical certification in order to share the whole counsel of God.
So many times, today’s communicators are caught up in the current influencer culture. Looking for quick validation or adoration, heaps of content created for today’s audiences lack authenticity or realness. I am looking for authors who teach through the cracks in their lives, offering real encouragement to readers with real problems.
One of the most important skill sets I look for in potential authors is their ability to understand and relate to their audience well. These are the essential questions I think authors should be able to answer about their readers:
Who am I writing for and why?
What is my reader’s greatest challenge or fear?
What is the answer my reader is looking for from me and why?
I am not interested in fiction or children’s books.
The Process: It is slower than you think.
For authors just starting out, the process looks like developing your concept. Brain dump, mind-map, and research. Do your homework. Really invest the time to develop your idea and complete all the work in creating the pitch assets you’ll need: a proposal and sample chapters (please follow the agency guidelines!). And the process of learning the practical craft of writing and sharpening one’s creative skills is no easy or quick task. It’s not for the faint of heart. Depending on how far into the process you are, this could take a while. Agents are usually looking for authors who have mastered the craft of writing and communicating. If your sentences don’t have subjects or you have 97 Oxford commas, you might want to go back to the drawing board for a bit until the craft writing is sharp.
When the proposal is complete, you might want to get a second set of eyes on it before submitting it. Agents are looking for clear, concise, and compelling ideas. The writing should be your very best. Any grammatical errors, spelling issues, or fumbled wording can send your proposal into the dreaded “to be rejected pile.” To submit a completed proposal, please email email@example.com. Every submission received is reviewed, and I will attempt to respond. Please allow up to 12 weeks for a response, although the typical response time is less.