What Do You Read to Stay Informed?

by Steve Laube

Someone asked me to list the magazines, newsletters, and blogs I read to stay informed (and from which I derive our weekly “New You Can Use” post). It was a good question. But when I started compiling the list I realized how ridiculously long it is. Therefore I can only list selected highlights by type of media.

Unless you get the wrong impression, realize I’m an eclectic reader who skims the surface of the waters gleaning information quickly. Occasionally I will dive deep for real food, but mostly it is a thin sampling. Five miles wide and two inches deep is one description. I estimate that I read/skim at least 200+ pages each week of Industry related material, just to stay on top of this ever changing profession.

Note the intentional diversity of perspectives. I believe it is important to read widely to stimulate your thinking.


Topic: Publishing Industry

Publishers Weekly
Christian Retailing
CBA Retailers+Resources
New York Times Book Review
Book Business
Romantic Times Book Reviews
RWA Journal
Writers Digest

Topic: Christian Worldview

Christianity Today
Christian Century
Worship Leader
Modern Reformation

 Topic: Business/Finance

Bloomberg Business Week
Fast Company
Smart Money

Topic: Miscellaneous

BBC Music magazine (the classical music world)
Consumer Reports
PC World

E-Mail Subscriptions – These are the newsletters that arrive periodically in a separate inbox reserved for this kind of information. These are not RSS emails, they are email newsletters; some are paid subscriptions. In no particular order:

Publishers Lunch
Publishers Weekly Daily
PW Religion Bookline
Shelf Awareness Pro
ECPA – Rush to Press
Christian Retailing Update
CBA Industry Brief
Author Guild
The Foster Letter – Religious Market Update
Social Media Newsfeed
Publishing Perspectives
Family Fiction
Advanced Fiction Writing E-Zine
Para Publishing
John Kremer’s Book Marketing Tip of the Week

Blogs – I use Google Reader as the main source for over 300 RSS subscriptions. On my iPad I use the FeedlerPro app to help read these feeds each day (part of my morning routine after reading the morning newspaper). The app allows me to scan the headlines quickly and send ones I want to read more carefully to Evernote, Instapaper, Readability, or as an email. These RSS feeds are grouped into eleven categories for ease of organization (Publishing, Marketing, Theology, Technology, Blogging, Clients, etc).

In addition there are 27 blogs I have set up on my desktop Google Chrome browser to view at some point during the day at my office. I right-click an icon and all 27 open as separate tabs for quick review. The most intriguing articles I send to Evernote using the Chrome plug-in for that program. I also have bookmarks, on my home page, to a half dozen sites that I visit regularly. And I rely on my MyWay.com customized homepage for world news updates.

I subscribe to far too many blogs to list here (and you really don’t want to follow 300+ blogs, you have better things to do). Below is a sample of which blogs I try to read regularly.

Publishing / Marketing

Mike Shatzkin
Rachelle Gardner
Seth Godin
Michael Hyatt
Chip MacGregor
Richard Curtis
Books and Such
J.A. Konrath
Author Marketing Experts
Alan Rinzler
Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Joe Weikert

Writing Craft

Cec Murphey
Novel Rocket
Randy Ingermanson


Tim Challies
Scot McKnight
Justin Taylor
Randy Alcorn
Roger E. Olson
Trevin Wax
First Thoughts

From this plethora of information I draw down to a select few pieces each week for the News You Can Use post.

There you have it. A ridiculous list of information. However, to do my job effectively I need to keep on top of what is going on. Yes, I have read Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains It is a terrifying read due to its insight and accuracy, but I know no other way to keep abreast of our industry.

Your Turn – Is there another source you would suggest or blogger I should be following?


9 Responses to What Do You Read to Stay Informed?

  1. Diana Harkness July 30, 2012 at 5:21 am #

    I try not to suggest what others should be reading. I have little time to read, so I try to read literary journals (Ploughshares, Ruminate, Kenyon Review, Books & Culture), listen to NPR, and wade through my stack of books. I check a local newspaper for news and also check out Christian Science Monitor and New york Times on occasion. I prefer to be informed deeply rather than wade continually in the shallows.

  2. Terry Linhart (@TerryLinhart) July 30, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    As an information junkie, I love posts like this Steve. Thanks for posting these – found a few gems here that I didn’t know before.

    - TL

  3. Jeanne July 30, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    I am amazed at your list, Steve. :) Your job requires you to be well read, but I had no idea of how well read/”skimmed” you are. :) I don’t have time to skim nearly the amount of blogs/resources you do. :) I’m impressed.

    I can’t offer any in addition to what you’ve mentioned, but I’m taking notes though, for when I have a little extra time to become a littler more well-read than I am right now.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  4. Sundi Jo July 30, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    Thanks for sharing these. Some of them I’d never heard of and I’m excited to start reading.

  5. Scott Newport July 30, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    Hey Steve, I’ve always been a slow reader and gain more info by listening to video’s on the web. I guess my biggest source of info comes from listening to folks talk in person and also reading them. I guess that why I find story to be the most fascinating thing and that alone gives me the passion to write everyday. Don’t know much about current events in the news. Maybe that’s why I don’t do well in big groups

  6. Erin Taylor Young July 30, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    This is why your “News You Can Use” posts are so helpful.

    I think I have a headache.

  7. Heather Day Gilbert July 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    Sounds like you’re very busy! Just curious as to whether agents follow writer’s blogs? Or do you primarily follow the writers you represent?

    • Steve Laube July 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm #


      Yes agents to follow other writers. I have about 50 Christian writers I follow who are not clients. (Donald Miller, Kevin de Young, Pete Wilson, Skye Jethani, etc.)

  8. Peter DeHaan July 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    I read Steve Laube’s blog! He sifts through a minutia of information and shares the important stuff with me. This saves me a lot of time. I should probably put him on a retainer, but so far he’s not asked.

    (Thanks, Steve)

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