2013 – A Year in Review

by Steve Laube Businessman on a ladder ticking boxes showing opinion terms on grey background What a year it has been. I’m tempted to write that sentence and leave the rest of this page blank. It would be easier than to remember and recite all that has come to pass. But it is a healthy exercise nonetheless.

Agency Business

The biggest news of all was adding another agent to our group. This past Summer we welcomed Dan Balow to our ranks. He is a fabulous addition and is already making his “agenting” mark. Just don’t talk to him about Cheez-its.

Despite some sudden changes in our industry (see below) we continue to secure publishing deals for our clients. The good news for writers is that content is still king. Without great content there would be no commerce.

The forecast continues to be sunny at our Agency.

The Industry

Random House officially merged with Penguin to form Penguin Random House. Most of the infrastructure changes that would affect us have been completed.

The merger of Thomas Nelson with Zondervan to form Harper Collins Christian Publishing (HCCP) has also settled. The biggest change we saw was the full merger of Zondervan fiction with Thomas Nelson fiction. This bodes well for authors within that new group (better team synergy), but the implication is that we lost another major place to shop a new novel.

Summerside Press was shut down by Guideposts. We had some contracts cancelled due to that decision. And as of this writing there has not been a buyer to swoop in and rescue the backlist titles.

B&H Publishing shut down most of their fiction program, retaining properties that tie into their burgeoning film endeavors. As with Summerside we had some contracts cancelled.

Each change was dictated by different circumstances, but the net effect was a loss of about 30 annual new book slots. This creates much more intense competition for the remaining places.

We have seen changes like this before. Maybe not quite as many in as short a period. And the market tends to level out over time. As mentioned above, great writers will still find a place. I truly believe that will never change. It may not be easy, but when has publishing success been “easy?”

Personal

We lost some dear family members and friends this year. It is always hard to say goodbye especially to those with whom you have shared so much love.

I was honored to be the MC for the 2013 Christy Awards. It was especially a privilege to be a part of honoring Lee Hough for his Lifetime Achievement Award. So glad we were able to do that before he passed away. Congratulations also to Karen Hancock and Lynn Austin for being inducted into the Christy Award Hall-of-Fame.

It was an honor to be inducted into the Grand Canyon University Hall-of-Fame by their Department of Theology in a ceremony held in February. I still find that to have been a rather surreal experience.

But the highlight of the year was the marriage of our oldest daughter in the Fall. The ceremony was a marvelous worship service, a real blessing. (And now for the obligatory picture of our family.)

Kear-273

9 Responses to 2013 – A Year in Review

  1. Mary Hunt December 30, 2013 at 5:04 am #

    Congratulations, Steve on another great year and a beautiful family.

  2. Peter DeHaan December 30, 2013 at 5:55 am #

    Thanks, Steve, for posting this overview — and for sharing your family photo! May you have a wonderful 2014!

  3. Rick Barry December 30, 2013 at 7:19 am #

    Enjoyed reading your Year in Review. I wish you more blessings in 2014. Although I’m represented elsewhere, your agents are among those for whom I pause to pray from time to time. Keep following the Lord!

  4. Carrie Turansky December 30, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    It was great to read about your year in review. There have been many changes in publishing in 2013, and I am very glad to work with you through them. Congratulations on the marriage of your daughter. I loved seeing the photo of your family from her wedding. Happy New Year!

  5. Ronie December 30, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    What a beautiful family! Congratulations to all on the nuptials. Praying their married life is full of blessings and joy!

  6. Ane Mulligan December 30, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    Your family is lovely. How you won your wife must be a good story! ;o) And thanks for being a special contributor to Novel Rocket, Steve. We appreciate you!

  7. Martha Rogers December 30, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    Thanks for the review, Steve. I was one of those affected by B&H, and your agency handled it beautifully for me. Great looking family. Congrats on being “Father of the Bride.”

  8. Patti Jo Moore December 30, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    Thanks for sharing the overview of this year (I’m still amazed at how quickly the months have flown by).
    I enjoyed the wedding photo–such a special time for your family. And I LOVE that shade of blue some of the ladies wore!
    :) Happy New Year!

  9. Laurie Myers January 1, 2014 at 8:46 am #

    Enjoy your blog – always interesting.
    All the best in 2014!

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