2014 – A Year in Review

Another year has passed. Another year full of thrills, chills, and bills. Like in past years (2013, 2012, 2011, 2009) I’d like to take a look at what has transpired and put things in perspective.

The Agency

Another stellar year for our agency. We finished with nearly 100 new contracts which include over 150 future books. It is exciting to note that eleven of those contracts were for debut authors!

In mid-year we redesigned this web site to be more multi-screen friendly so you can read it on any device. It was a major overhaul of the site and we hope you have enjoyed the changes. Thank you for being a faithful reader!

It was exciting to have clients win various awards: The RITA award to Carla Laureano. Another Christy Award to Susan May Warren. Patrick Carr won his first Carol award. He also won the Clive Staples Lewis Award for best speculative fiction. Jennifer Sienes won the Genesis Award. Renee Andrews won the Reader’s Choice Award from RT Book Reviews. Both Ronie Kendig and Margaret Daley won a Lime Award in their respective categories from The Christian Manifesto.

A number of clients made a repeat appearance on the bestseller lists (Cindy Woodsmall, Lynette Eason, Susan May Warren, Kim Vogel Sawyer, and Ronie Kendig). Others made their first appearance (Sarah Ladd, Pam Hillman, and Chuck Black). In addition, Margaret Daley and Pamela Tracy were part of a group of authors who combined forces to create an indie novella collection that hit the USA Today bestseller list!

I have been so pleased with the work of Tamela Hancock Murray, Karen Ball, and Dan Balow throughout the year. We have found a camaraderie and a unity in our approach to this business. I am truly blessed to have such a strong and veteran team on board. With over 200 authors under our collective care it is a privilege to be a partner in the business of changing the world word by word.

The Industry

2014 was another year of change. If nothing new happens in 2015 we will know something odd is going on. That is because change is Normal! We see favorite editors lose their jobs only to see them resurface at another publisher. We see more publishers drop a fiction line and yet we still sell a lot of fiction projects. We have detailed all these major changes throughout the year on this blog. Each squeeze makes the job that much harder but we are confident that in the end it will make us all better.

This year saw a surge in authors either going 100% Indie or doing the Hybrid method of mixing traditional with Indie efforts. Many discovered it is hard to find that pot of gold with either method simply because there is a plethora of books available online either in ebook or in print. Others have found a comfortable place using either method and are making sure the industry knows how much work it takes to be successful. The word “discoverability” went from a fresh new term to a cliche. But it still describes the challenge all authors and publishers face with both their new books and their backlist.

Enclave Publishing

January 1, 2014 I bought Marcher Lord Press from Jeff Gerke. I have long been an advocate of Science Fiction & Fantasy written by authors with a Christian worldview. This opportunity was a chance to get my hands messy and continue to build on what Jeff had begun. I began the lengthy process of rebuilding its infrastructure and rebranding the company into Enclave Publishing with a new website, new accounting systems, new marketing director, a new assistant, and acquiring a bunch of new authors.

We released five new books in October and plan for twelve more in 2015. It is a fun challenge in many ways and has provided tremendous insight into the production, marketing, and sales process that every traditional publisher faces.

I have worked diligently to keep the Agency and the Publishing ventures separate so that neither feels any lack of attention.

The Future

Where will it all go in 2015? To risk a cliche, “everything will remain the same, but will be different at the same time.” Great stories and Great ideas will be sought after projects. Readers still want impact books…that has not changed and will never change. What has changed, to a certain extent, is who produces the great books. Traditional publishing still carries that banner, but the Independent authors have begun to take their turn.

I, for one, am looking forward to an exciting year.

Let’s make great books together.

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