THE CRAFT OF WRITING — MAY 2021
THE CRAFT OF WRITING — MAY 2021
I am honored to welcome Steve Laube back to the Craft of Writing blog today.
Steve is president and founder of The Steve Laube Agency and a veteran of the bookselling industry. As president of The Christian Writers Institute, he publishes the annual Christian Writers Market Guide (also available online).
He also wrote and published a must-have work for aspiring authors: Book Proposal Tips and Tricks. In addition, Steve is the owner and President of Enclave Publishing one of the premier publishers of Christian fantasy and science fiction.
Steve Laube, a literary agent and president of The Steve Laube Agency, has been in the book industry for 40 years, first as a bookstore manager where he was awarded the National Store of the Year by the Christian Booksellers Association. He then spent over a decade with Bethany House Publishers and was named the Editor of the Year. He later founded his own Literary Agency, has represented over 2,000 new books, and was named Agent of the Year. His office is in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition, he was inducted into the Grand Canyon University Alumni Hall-of-Fame by their Department of Theology.
***A Conversation with Steve Laube Click To Tweet
Welcome Steve Laube and thank you for joining us!
Can you give us an update on the current state of the publishing industry?
Nothing has really changed in the last year. Great books are still being contracted.
The only pressure, especially in non-fiction, is the need for the author to have a substantial platform from which to launch the book.
The Christian Writers Market Guide is an enormously popular book for Christian authors. When did you decide to produce it?
It has been around for a long time. Originally put together by Sally Stuart, she sold it to Jerry Jenkins in 2010. Jerry produced it for five years, then in 2016 I approached him to see if I could take it over and fold it into The Christian Writers Institute. The timing was perfect. Jerry still provides a new foreword for the book each year.
Tell us a little about the different sections of The Christian Writers Market Guide and what benefits authors can gain from it.
Those sections change with the times. We have one section for traditional publishers and another for independent publishing. That way you can know which are designed for those who self-publish. We also added a section on podcasts that help writers.
There are about 70 pages worth of information on freelance editors who can help writers.
Someone said, “Can’t I just get all that info on Google.” My answer, “Do you trust Mr. Google to have your best interests in mind?” Hah! We, in essence, curate the best options for you so you don’t have to wade through those who spend money to get their listing ahead of someone else’s. We don’t charge to be listed in the Guide. That keeps that motivation out of the equation.
We also have an online version for only $10 a year. (www.christianwritersmarketguide.com) This site is everything you see in the print guide, but is updated throughout the year.
You are also president of Enclave Publishing. Can you tell us a little about that publishing company?
Enclave is a small press dedicated to publishing a dozen new hardcover releases a year. But we only do speculative fiction, meaning science fiction and fantasy.
We have a number of award winning authors who write for us. If you or anyone you know like this genre, ours is a place where you know you will find books from authors who have a Christian worldview.
Our guiding directive is “To publish out-of-this-world stories that are informed by a coherent theology.”
This year we’re looking at the role awards play in an author’s career. How concerned should new authors be about winning an award for their books?
Concerned? No. Happy if it happens? Yes.
The above mentioned Jerry Jenkins didn’t win a Christy award for best fiction for many years after the famous Left Behind books were published. A lack of a prestigious award didn’t hurt sales.
Are awards a way for a new author to be recognized?
It can help. I know I look at those who have won the top level of awards. There are so many that one should know if the award is from a local chapter of six writers who pick the best among their group every year or if it is a national award where the top books in the industry are judged against each other.
What one piece of advice would you give to new writers?
If you think, “I don’t need to take another class on craft” you are probably wrong. Even veterans are looking for that tip that keeps their edge sharp.
If you could recommend one book other than your own on the craft of writing, what would it be?
One that isn’t about craft but is something just as crucial: The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman (University of Chicago Press: 2018)
Where can we find out more about you and your work?
Subscribe to our agency’s blog. www.stevelaube.com. We will put something in front of you nearly each day of the week. You’ll get at least 150 posts a year that you can read about various aspects of the industry and craft. And get to know the personalities of our agents in the agency.
Thanks again, Steve, for being with us.
A Conversation with Steve Laube Click To Tweet