by Steve Laube 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.
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.
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?”
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.)