Northwest Christian Writers Renewal with Rachel Hauck
Blythe focuses on the placement of books with publishers, online marketing, and publicity for authors. She helps writers build the right book proposal, conducts publicity campaigns, and has placed clients in a number of major national media outlets. She has worked in publishing for over 20 years, including seven years at Thomas Nelson and then working with New York Times bestselling authors John and Stasi Eldredge, marketing products for their ministry. The agency’s blog network, BlogAbout, creates blog reviews, launch teams, and webinars for new and established authors. They represent bestselling nonfiction authors and new voices in publishing.
What Blythe is looking for: Christian Life, Spiritual Growth, Current Events, Inspirational/Narrative Nonfiction, Business/Leadership, Church Leadership, Marriage, Parenting, Apologetics, Social Issues, Women’s Issues, Cooking and Gift books concepts. Looking at up-and-coming voices that fit these categories: ministry leaders, business leaders, pastors, journalists, counselors, and others who have an established an organization or ministry, or are a part of one. Devotionals: Will look at uniquely themed and creative devotional concepts from authors who have a strong following. Children’s: Looking at picture-book and early-reader concepts that fit the Christian marketplace. Author needs to have a good-sized platform for these books.
In general, authors need to have a platform that spans a readership online. I will meet with writers who don’t have this established yet but am mainly able to help those who have built this type of platform.
Writers need to see if what I’m acquiring fits their genre and book category. If so, I want them to tell me in an “elevator pitch” what their book is about, who the book is for, and how they are connected to the audience for it. I want to see how they are building their audience, even if it is small. We look at blog or website unique visitors per month, e-mail subscribers, podcast subscribers, YouTube presence, online outlets the writer contributes to on a regular basis, social media presence, an active speaking schedule, and your network with other writers and published authors.
Even if you don’t have all of these things but have some of them, show me what you have built and what you have done—not what you are planning to do. I want to see that you have already started this process of building your audience (i.e., gaining new subscribers, building your email list). Doing all of this work ahead of time really puts you at an advantage for having a sellable idea and platform from which to speak on the topic.
Come prepared to talk about what you are saying in your book that no one else is saying. You need to have a distinguishable book hook that is unique and stands out from the same topic written in other books. Do searches on Amazon and in bookstores to compare the topic of your book to others that are already published. There are always at least a couple of similar books, and I need you to have a paragraph of how your book compares to the ones already in print. I need to see how you have developed your concept in a way that makes me say, “I haven’t thought about that before” or “I haven’t heard anyone say it like that.”
At our meeting, please provide a printed book proposal, with your photo on it. I prefer that to a printed one-sheet.
NOT looking for: We are not acquiring fiction, poetry, or short stories. We are reviewing a limited number of Bible studies and devotionals that have a unique twist, a brand new way of presenting the material, and a topic that meets a daily, felt need that inspires the reader (it is not just a teaching tool).
Nick Harrison is a literary agent with WordServe Literary. He has also authored ten books. For fifteen years he served as a senior editor at Harvest House Publishers, acquiring both fiction and nonfiction. Nick has a long history of championing new and unpublished writers. Nick and his wife, Beverly, are the parents of three grown daughters and grandparents to two boys and two girls.
What Nick is looking for: Adult fiction in all genres except speculative fiction. For nonfiction, he will look at self-help, spiritual growth, social issues, women’s books, men’s books, and personal experience books if the lessons from the experience are applicable to a large segment of the population..
NOT looking for: Children’s books, prophecy, poetry, or gift books.
Steve Laube, a literary agent and president of the Steve Laube Agency, has been in the book industry for over 37 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 by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA). In 2003 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 American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). He was also inducted into the Grand Canyon University Hall of Fame by their College of Theology. 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. His office is in Phoenix, Arizona.
What Steve is looking for:
Fiction – I am a very eclectic reader, which reflects my work as an agent. I represent authors who write in the following genres: 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 – Those eclectic tastes are also exhibited by the types of nonfiction books and authors represented: 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. The subjects are vast and the opportunities endless.
Diana Flegal has been an agent with Hartline Literary Agency for eleven years. She represents mainstream and inspirational titles, fiction and nonfiction, but nothing that conflicts with the Christian worldview. She is currently looking for nonfiction authors who have a substantial platform, as well as outstanding contemporary women’s fiction, issue fiction, and formula romance. When she is not reading submissions or stealing away with a recreational read, she is hiking in the mountains or kayaking the many lakes of her home state, North Carolina.
Please bring to your appointment:
Steve Barclift, managing editor at Kregel Publications, has been involved in Christian publishing for more than 30 years. He was the founding managing editor of Christian Parenting Today magazine before accepting a book-editing position with Questar Publishers in 1989. (Questar eventually purchased Multnomah Publishers and took on Multnomah’s better-known name. Multnomah is now part of WaterBrook Multnomah, a division of Random House.) Steve was a senior editor with Questar/Multnomah for several years and has been managing editor at Kregel Publications since 1997. A children’s-book author, Steve received an ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) Gold Medallion Award for The Beginner’s Devotional. He recently was awarded the 2017 Golden Scroll Nonfiction Editor of the Year by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA). Steve and his family live near Grand Rapids, Michigan.
What Steve is looking for: Works that address a popular audience by relating the Bible to everyday life. Prominent on this list are works for moms and women; Bible studies or other books that relate truth to life; fiction, particularly historical fiction; and books for young readers. We’re also looking for books that will help 20- and 30-something Christians and “seekers” relate to the culture around them.
A category that does particularly well for us is self-help. Two examples of books that are selling well are Hope After Betrayal by Meg Wilson, which deals with a husband’s sexual addiction; and Autism’s Hidden Blessings: Discovering God’s Promises for Autistic Children and Their Families by Kelly Langston.
Fiction should be fresh, have a believable story line, and feature characters who engage life realistically and biblically. Susie Finkbeiner’s A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression and her recent bestseller, A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era, are examples of fiction that sells well for us, as are Mercy’s Rain: An Appalachian Novel and Liar’s Winter: An Appalachian Novel, both by Cindy Sproles. In something of a departure for us, we also are looking for historical fiction that features a romantic element. Carolyn Miller’s Regency Series is selling very well. We also will consider romantic suspense. We aren’t actively looking for contemporary fiction, although I might be persuaded to consider a contemporary novel that deals with an important social issue (or issues).
While it would need to be exceptionally strong, we are willing to consider fiction for older teens and young adults.
For our Kregel Ministry line we are looking for works that facilitate the study and teaching of the Bible. These books should reflect the needs and interests of a broad evangelical audience.
NOT looking for picture-book proposals unless the author also is the book’s illustrator.
Prior to becoming a literary manager, Adria Goetz fostered her knack for developing creative work during her three years as an intern and assistant at Martin Literary & Media Management with Sharlene Martin and Clelia Gore.
Adria is a 2016 graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, a six-week intensive course on all aspects of book, magazine, and digital media publishing. She is a graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle with a BA in English, with a creative writing emphasis. Adria also worked for the Pierce County Library System for two years. She lives in an old Victorian home in the Seattle area with her high school sweetheart husband, Alex, and their two darling kittens, Maple and Mulberry.
What Adria is looking for: Books that delight readers, that help inspire wonder and imagination, that foster deep empathy and compassion for our fellow human beings, that provide rich character representation of marginalized people groups, that explore issues of faith and how to apply Christ’s teachings to our own life, that celebrate women and the female experience, that ask nitty-gritty questions and don’t settle for easy answers, that make readers laugh hard, that make people disappointed when they have to close the book and go to bed, and books that add a touch of magic to readers’ lives. She is currently accepting queries for picture books, middle grade, young adult, as well as Lifestyle books, quirky gift books, Christian Living titles, and everything else under the Christian umbrella. She is looking for work featuring diverse characters, nontraditional family structures, and character-driven narratives. She is also looking for lifestyle books that feature accessible recipes, craft tutorials, gardening basics, with quirky lists or other interactive elements.
For more detail on what Adria is and isn’t looking for, check out her wish list.
Thank you for helping us make this a fragrance-free event out of respect for those who have chemical sensitivities.