Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Do I only represent Christian Writers?

Well now, that's a good question.

I'm not sure, because I don't ask people about their faith in the submission process. I suspect since people can clearly see that this is a Christian agency (even though we do work in the secular market as well) that they would probably be comfortable with that if they were going to submit to us.

But I don't ask.

I do know one thing, an atheist or non-Christians might be decidedly uncomfortable in my client group. You see, I require all clients to be in a private online group which gives me the ability to contact them all at once. The group offers three options, priority messages only (I'm the only one that can send a priority message), on digest, and on full access where they can talk directly not only with me but with other clients as well.

I do watch what the group talks about and do participate, maybe more than I should. Once the group was set up another interesting aspect came out. They turned out to be an amazing group of prayer warriors who genuinely care for each other and pray for one another with great effectiveness.

See why I think a non-believer would probably not be comfortable in the group?

Then there is the fact that I am drawn to content that has a good faith message. Yes, that narrows the possible places it can be submitted but that is after all why I decided to start doing this. Will I represent something that does not have faith content in it? Sure, we need good family entertainment as well as Christian books. Saying that you can tell I don't park my beliefs and morals at the door even if I am doing general market books.

My mother has passed on now, but she is still my measuring stick for projects. If it is something that would have offended my mother then it isn't something I want my name associated with. It's a measuring stick that I'm comfortable with and I don't mind if people shake their head and say I'm giving up sales. Of course I am, but they aren't sales I want to make. There are plenty of agents that do those, they don't need me doing it.

But I'm taking the long road around the mountain answering the question. Do I only represent Christian authors? Probably. Is it intentional? No, I just think all of my clients are Christians, and whether I actually ask someone or not, that is who I am likely to end up with.


MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA said...

Terry, thank you for this insightful post. Your comment about your mother's being your "measuring stick" reminded me of what my father used to say to my siblings and me as we were growing up: "If what you're doing you wouldn't do in front of Mom and me, then don't do it." Good advice while growing up. As an adult, I now ask myself if what I'm doing would please Jesus. After all, I am always in His Presence.

Thanks again for another thoughtful message.


MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA

Deborah Dee Harper said...

Great post, Terry. I agree that we need good, clean entertainment as well as Christian books, but most likely, if any of your clients wrote a book that wasn't specifically Christian, it would still resound with Christian values. That's who we are. It's a part of everything we do, say, think, or write--and in your case, represent and sell. Keep on doing what you're doing, Terry. The world needs more agents like you. I'm sure your mom is smiling down at you from above, proud to be your yardstick.