Buried in Queries

I’ve been wading through queries lately. I got behind for awhile and I can tell you, I will NEVER do that again. It’s so much easier when I keep up. As a general rule, I’m going to try and empty my query box a couple times a week, but right now I’m in ketchup mode.…
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The Magic: It’s the People

I had a meeting scheduled with a woman to talk about her writing. I’d never met her before. I was stressed and having a rough week, and I’d considered postponing the meeting until a time when I could have more brain space. But it just didn’t seem like the right thing to do. So as…
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Guest Blogger: Mark Adair

A couple of weeks ago we had some rousing discussions about the purpose of “Christian” publishing and the existence of CBA. Writer Mark Adair wrote the following and I resonated so much with what he said that I wanted to share it with you. A few years ago, my wife Stacy and I visited the…
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It’s Not About the Money

Awhile back I received a query from a gentleman who told me a drawn-out tale of his personal tragedy, culminating in the fact that if he didn’t come up with a very large sum of money very soon, he was going to be imprisoned. The point of his query, if I got the gist correctly,…
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Balancing My Work

Great discussion on “balance” in the comments yesterday! Everyone deals with this question and we all have our own challenges. Just to give you a little insight into the life of an agent, I wanted to write about how I try to organize and balance my work itself, separate from family and other considerations. This,…
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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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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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