I must admit that I was so startled by this rumor that words nearly failed me.
“Where did you hear that?” I exclaimed.
“Oh it was at a recent writers conference and folks were talking, and your name came up.”
At the risk of sounding defensive, let me set the record straight. While there is no question that the publishing industry is in a mode of risk management, our agency is very healthy. We have the privilege of representing a large number of highly successful authors whose books are selling and whose new books are being contracted. Plus we have recently placed some first time authors and added some new veteran clients to our roster. In fact, if my projections hold true, we will break our single year sales record by the end of this calendar year. As of April 7, 2010 we have already contracted 29 new books. And we continue to have a lot of great new books being published.
In other words, The Steve Laube Agency is alive and well and is not having to scramble to survive.
Which brings me to the larger issue about rumors. After questioning this editor a little further it became evident that they had either misheard or misunderstood what was said. I am grateful that this editor asked me directly or I would never have known what was being said. Please don’t think that what I write next is directed at this person. Instead I’m addressing the issue of rumors and gossip in general.
Why is it that some people tend to believe gossip over actual truth? And then why do they spread the “news” to others without verifying the facts? These rumors can take a tragic turn. I know a friend whose career was nearly derailed by a nasty rumor. It took that person years to recover their reputation. Another example was last July when Michael Hyatt had to quell rumors being spread about Thomas Nelson Publishers. As it has been said, “Some bring oxygen and others expel CO2.”
The publishing community is a small one. And the Christian publishing industry is even smaller. I try, albeit imperfectly, to verify a rumor before ever repeating it. This is the right thing to do. Stop gossip before it starts. It may be that we “like” to hear bad news (why do we slow down to look at the accident on the freeway?). And good news sounds like bragging. In fact the above paragraph about our agency will come across as braggadocios to some.
Let us endeavor to keep our own counsel. And undergird all matters with a Christ-like spirit. Celebrate each others victories and pray for each others miseries. We all have both. But rumors and gossip have no place in either.