Steve Laube: Eclectic Experience in the Marketplace of Books

by Elizabeth Griffin

Steve Laube is well-known by regular attendees at the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal. A literary agent and president of the Steve Laube Agency, he’s been in the book industry for over 37 years, first as a bookstore manager, then with Bethany House Publishers, and now as an agent. He and his agency have represented more than 1,500 new books. In addition, he is the publisher at Enclave Publishing and serves as president and owner of The Christian Writers Institute and author of The Christian Writers Market Guide and Book Proposal Tips and Tricks.

Of all the roles he plays, Steve loves being an agent most because it involves all the fun of publishing with none of the meetings. Like a parent, he loves working with all of the authors he represents equally and says they are each wonderful in and of themselves. Each project moves along at its own pace, with some taking months to develop a strong proposal and others only days.

Steve will be looking for the following at this year’s Renewal:

  • Fiction – women’s fiction, romance, thriller, suspense, romantic suspense, literary, military, historical (all eras), contemporary, science-fiction, fantasy, supernatural, YA … in other words, every genre published in the industry.
  • Nonfiction – Christian Living, biography, apologetics, theology, Bible study, reference, health, finance, self-help, psychology, grief, suffering, marriage, family, women’s, men’s, philosophy, church life, devotional, inspirational, social issues, politics, parenting, music, and art.

According to Steve, “The subjects are vast and the opportunities endless.”

On a more personal level, Steve has been married for 36 years. He and his wife have three married daughters and one grandson. He lives in Arizona, but enjoys visiting Seattle because his 93-year-old mother lives here. He reads about 100 novels a year for relaxation after work and teaches the Bible in an expositional style each Sunday.

Steve will teach these workshops at the Renewal:

Landmines in Your Book Contract – A look at some of the more egregious things that can be found in your book contract. Contracts are a legally binding agreement. What is signed must be followed. Unfortunately, there are certain clauses that can bite authors if they are unaware of their implications. Using real examples from real contracts, this class will take a close look at clauses being placed in front of authors today. This is a rather advanced topic. Be prepared to wear your lawyer hat!

The Complete Book Process: From Idea to Print – What is the route a book takes while in-house?  How the writer can help or hinder? Discover what happens along the entire process inside a publishing company. From book proposal evaluation to pub board decision making to editorial responsibilities to cover design issues and more, this information is applicable whether one is working with a traditional publisher or is publishing independently.

Writing the Nonfiction Book – There are common elements in nonfiction books that contribute to their success. This class will explore them and help apply the elements to your work. Issues of craft, presentation of ideas, and connecting with the reader will be discussed.

Check out all the workshops being offered this year.To request an appointment with Steve, register soon for the Renewal.

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In addition to writing and editing a monthly lifestyle newspaper for 10 years, Elizabeth Griffin elizabeth_griffin2has published more than 500 articles in newspapers, anthologies, and magazines, along with the books Fragile X, Fragile Hope: Finding Joy in Parenting a Child with Special Needs and Margot’s Story. Elizabeth’s favorite subject matter is true stories of redemption. She loves to speak truth into the lives of others and has been a Bible teacher for 16 years. Her recent adventures include directing communications for an international missions group and public relations for Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, and blogging at Follow the Dots.

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Technology Skills Help Land WriteTech Keynoter New Job

by Diana Savage, director of the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference

Ever since he taught his first web-design class at 16, Thomas Umstattd Jr. has been helping authors conquer the world of technology.

thomas collage 2And he is still proving to the Christian publishing world the value of his technology skills.

The keynote speaker for the January 24, 2015, WriteTech Conference in Kirkland, WA, has just been hired as Sales and Marketing Director for Enclave Publishing. The publishing company, based in Phoenix, Arizona, specializes in science fiction and fantasy for the Christian market.

“Umstattd has been a successful entrepreneur,” company president Steve Laube said in a recent news release. “He founded Author Media in 2008, which became one of the premier web design and technology firms for authors. He is the designer behind MyBookTable, the most popular bookstore plugin for WordPress, and he co-hosts the Novel Marketing Podcast with best-selling author James L. Rubart.”

On his blog Novel Marketing, Thomas says he is excited about his new job because of Enclave’s strong and focused brand, along with the support of passionate fans. However, he is honest about challenges the small company faces, such as a recent name change (from Marcher Lord Press), a limited budget, and never having had a marketing director before.

But Thomas already has a plan of action. He says he will clean up the company’s website, get his WordPress plug-in MyBookTable fully operational, prepare GoodReads giveaways, and set up an e-mail campaign.

Did you notice that all of those tasks require technological skills? Now you can take advantage of Thomas Umstattd’s expertise by signing up for the WriteTech Conference hosted by the Northwest Christian Writers Association (NCWA). This year’s theme is Writing and Technology: Conquering the Digital Divide. And if you register by December 2, you even get an early-bird discount.

TweetLearn from Thomas Umstattd of Author Media and Enclave Publishing at #WriteTech2015

In addition to the keynote speaker, nine other presenters will also give valuable instruction on such topics as blogging, branding, cloud technology, indie publishing, social media, and the word-processing software Scrivener and Microsoft Word, along with voice-recognition software Dragon Naturally Speaking.

Workshop presenters include Lynnette Bonner, Dennis Brooke, Maria Dykstra, Athena Dean Holtz, Marlene McCurley, Gigi Murfitt, Mindy Peltier, Kim Vandel, and James L. Rubart—yes, the same Jim Rubart who co-hosts the Novel Marketing Podcast with Thomas Umstattd Jr. What a great line-up of tech talent!

The good news is that taking advantage of such a wealth of knowledge at this value-packed one-day conference is not just science fiction or fantasy. You may well discover that it’s a writer’s dream come true.

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Diana Savage
Diana Savage
, a graduate of Northwest University and Bakke Graduate University, sold her first article when she was still in college, and she’s been writing ever since. Now the principal at Savage Creative Services, LLC, she also directs the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference near Seattle. Her latest book is 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times.

Zondervan and Thomas Nelson Fiction Merge by Steve Laube

Steve Laube discusses the fiction merger and what it means for writers.

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You may have read about some of the reorganization that has begun after the sale of Thomas Nelson to Harper Collins, which already owned Zondervan. This past week there was a new development that touches the fiction publishing programs. Instead of two separate entities, there will be one fiction division moving forward.

Click here to read more of Steve Laube’s post. Excerpt used with kind permission.

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Steve Laube, a literary agent and president of The Steve Laube Agency, has been in the book industry for over 32 years, first as a bookstore manager where he was awarded the National Store of the Year by CBA. He then spent over a decade with Bethany House Publishers and was named the Editor of the Year in 2002. He later became an agent and has represented over 800 new books and was named Agent of the Year by ACFW. His office is in Phoenix, Arizona. (www.stevelaube.com)