Posts

The Work-Life Balance

Several people have asked me to blog about how I balance work and family, but I’m NOT an expert in this. In fact, I feel like a failure at it almost everyday. Today, for instance. We’re on a family vacation but I’ve put in work time every night (not easy after a long day of…
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The Purpose of Christian Books

Today I want to talk about a set of questions I often hear, which usually come across as a criticism of the Christian publishing business (CBA) in general: What good is it for us to be writing just to other Christians? Shouldn’t we be reaching out to nonbelievers? Shouldn’t we be writing with the purpose…
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Why Does CBA Exist?

One of the primary areas of questioning about CBA is why it exists in the first place. Many are concerned that it means Christians are trying to stay “set apart” rather than “in the world.” Others wonder about the value of “preaching to the choir” when perhaps we should be out evangelizing to non believers…
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Blog Celeb

So, here’s something weird. Lately I’ve met some new people. And several of them, the first thing they said upon meeting me was, “I feel like I know you—I read your blog.” Hmm. I know I set myself up for that, but it feels weird. Like I’m suddenly at a disadvantage everywhere I go—people know…
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Switching Agents

I know a lot of you who read my blog are already agented. (Some of you by me, go figure.) So here’s something I want to say. Please, please please. If you are unhappy with your agent, and if you are thinking about making a switch: DON’T talk to a bunch of people about it,…
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Wanna Make More Money?

I’ve noticed there’s a perception among writers that if you want a bigger advance, you need to go ABA (as opposed to CBA).* Sometimes when I’m talking to possible clients, they ask me if I think maybe their book should be shopped with the NY publishers. When I ask for their reasoning, it’s usually to…
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Ask the Agent: Earning Our Keep

How do agents earn their 15% commission? Ah, how do we earn it… let us count the ways. 4 An agent can often use their negotiating skills and knowledge of the marketplace to secure an advance that’s at least 15% higher than you could have gotten on your own. It’s nice when they pay for…
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Ask the Agent: Christian Worldview

“You’ve said you’re looking for books with a Christian Worldview. Why do you say that, and what does it mean?” First, almost all agents specialize in a particular type of book they represent. (I am talking about the entire universe of U.S. literary agents, both ABA & CBA.) Some represent mostly romance. Some specialize in…
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Writers Beware – Don’t Try This At Home

Sometimes my in-box turns up the most interesting things. For example, this query I received: r It showed over a dozen agents’ email addresses in the “to” line. r It was addressed to “Dear Sir/Madam.” (I don’t answer to either.) r It was not even remotely related to “Christian worldview” which is our agency’s specialty.…
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Why Are We Doing This?

My writer-friend Richard wrote poignantly last week about the pain of repeated rejections, and how it sometimes makes it hard to stick with this gig. Why do we keep writing? Why do we stay in this business? If you’ve started submitting your work to agents and/or editors, then you’ve probably joined the ranks of the…
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The Glut of Children’s and YA

I’ve mentioned in several places that I’m seeking to represent some YA and middle-grade fiction. But holy cow, I didn’t realize that would open the proverbial floodgates. My inbox is bursting at the seams with childrens and YA, especially fantasy. I’m not seeking to represent children’s books, and I don’t intend to make YA the…
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You Be the Judge

Okay, I’m opening myself up to criticism here. You may already know that I sometimes have a hard time holding myself back from ranting about things that bug me. This holds true even when I’m responding to email. Sometimes I find myself getting a little testy. Then after I hit “send” I experience some regret…
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Going Postal (About Shipping & SASE’s)

Today I went to my P.O. box and found a bunch of manuscripts I’d requested. And as always, a couple of them had been sent Priority Mail or even Express. Here’s my advice: Don’t waste your money! Only send it Priority if the agent or editor has asked you to. Otherwise, sending it Priority is…
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ASK THE AGENT: How I Get Clients

“How do you get most of your clients?” As you know, I’m in a “building” phase of this agenting gig, actively looking for clients. It’s been about three months and I’ve brought 16 writers into the agency. I thought you might find it interesting to know how I got each one. Obviously a great deal…
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I love words.

I love books and publishing and talking incessantly about them.

I love authors and all the intricacies of managing a writing life.

I sell. I negotiate. I coach. I brainstorm.

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