It’s time for another #RealmMakers2018 Faculty Spotlight. This gentleman has been around Realm Makers since it’s second year, and his knowledge and wisdom have been invaluable to us as a conference and as an individual. We are so blessed to welcome back Mr. Steve Laube.
Here’s his bio from his website:
Steve Laube, president and founder of The Steve Laube Agency, is a 37 year veteran of the bookselling industry, 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 by AWSA. Fifteen years ago he became an agent where he and his agency have represented over 1,500 new books and Steve was named Agent of the Year by ACFW. He was also inducted into the Grand Canyon University Hall-of-Fame by their College of Theology. He is married with three grown children and one grandchild.
Steve has very eclectic interests. He has represented everything from the sweet romance to the systematic theology. His clients are equally divided between fiction and non-fiction writers. (For a complete resume of his past work and editorial experience click here.)
In addition he serves as the Publisher for the Enclave Publishing imprint of Gilead Publishing.
Welcome to the Realm Makers blog. Tell us a little about you and how you got into the publishing world.
Back when the aliens were visiting the Aztecs and the Egyptians I was a college student who regularly visited a Christian bookstore located a block from campus. One day the cashier asked if I was looking for a job because I kept bringing her mispriced and misplaced books. That week I interviewed with the manager and started as a part-time shelf-duster. Thirty-seven years later I still dust shelves.
What makes you most passionate about writing/publishing?
Books changed my life. And they can change yours too.
Recently I heard a fascinating interview with Michael Di Fuccia regarding the debate about Imagination between Owen Barfield and C.S. Lewis. (Link here) At one point it was said that imagination is a spiritual discipline. I had to pause the audio and contemplate that concept.
The truth of this idea dawned on me. We could classify it as the process of sanctifying our imaginations. To imagine the possible or the impossible. To explore the heights and depths of the creativity that God provides to us. And thereby we can grow in our relationship with God through our imagination. It is a wonderful gift.
What is one very important piece of advice for writers these days?
Grow a thick skin. Criticism in the form of critique, rejection, or bad reviews are part of the writing process. If you let any of these destroy you emotionally then the Enemy has won a victory. Take each as a learning opportunity.
If you weren’t a writer or involved in the publishing world, what would you do?
Donut taster at Krispy Kreme.
What are you teaching at Realm Makers this year and why should attendees check it out?
I’ll be revisiting a class taught three years ago at Realm Makers. We will explore Philosophy and Theology as Found in Science Fiction. A look at the attempts in the genre to answer the big questions of life.
See #4 above. I hope to practice for my alternate career.
If you are an agent/editor who is taking appointments, what are you looking for this year?
Technically I’m both an agent (for The Steve Laube Agency) and an editor (for Enclave Publishing). This can confuse those who are new to the business. Let me take a moment to clarify.
I am first and foremost a literary agent. The agency is highly successful and diverse. We have four agents and represent over 300 authors in both fiction and non-fiction. We negotiated over 1,000 book contracts.
I personally represent a number of clients who publish in the Speculative fiction category. For example: Patrick Carr, Karen Hancock, Chuck Black, Lisa Bergren, Ronie Kendig, Jack Cavanaugh, Kathy Tyers, Nadine Brandes, Morgan Busse, Gillian Bronte Adams, and Sharon Hinck. I’ve also had the privilege or working in the past with Tosca Lee, Donita K. Paul, and Bryan Davis. As such I’m always looking for new talent. I’ve long been an advocate for Speculative Fiction in our market.
At the same time I serve as the acquisitions editor for Enclave Publishing. I’ve placed some of our clients at Enclave, but not all. In addition, this past year we helped Nadine Brandes and Morgan Busse, who are Enclave authors, find new contracts at Thomas Nelson and Bethany House respectively.
So while I acquire Enclave titles, I’m also looking at the entire market. Enclave is a great publishing imprint, a division of Gilead Publishing. They do between 10-12 top drawer Speculative novels each year.
If I find a project that is great for Enclave I might also represent that author. It doesn’t have to work that way, but sometimes it does. Enclave works with many agents and their clients.
If you are still confused? It’s okay. I’m not. These waters have been easily navigated for many years. If there are concerns, ask the authors who write for Enclave. We are a strong family who don’t argue at Thanksgiving.
Meanwhile, pitch me your ideas. I pledge to tell you the truth…no matter how hard…but with a tincture of hope mixed in.