Kind. Positive. Encouraging. Skilled. Adjectives such as these cross my mind when thinking about Karen Neumair. Though we’ve never met in person, I feel like I know her to some degree due to our e-mail interactions. She’s a blessing.
God has used Karen’s words to assure me, grant me another perspective, and prompt me forward in my writing projects. I can count on hearing back from her in a timely manner, and I benefit from her thoughtful insights. Karen’s professionalism coupled with her genuine kindness have enabled me to trust her. Over the past year, I’ve developed a very high regard for Karen Neumair. It’s an honor to share this interview.
Please join me in welcoming Senior Literary Agent and the COO of Credo Communications, Karen Neumair, to Writers Connect.
Karen, when and how did you come to know the Lord as your Savior?
Karen Neumair: I am tremendously blessed to be able to say that I do not remember a time in my life without Christ as my Lord and Savior. I’ve heard it said that for some the Gospel must first be bad news—you can’t save yourself—before it becomes Good News, but it has always been Good News to me; I cannot do this thing called life without Jesus!
What is your primary role in the writing community, and how did you achieve this position?
Karen Neumair: I currently serve as the Chief Operations Officer and a Senior Literary Agent at Credo Communications LLC, a literary agency located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As an agent, I represent authors and present their book ideas to publishers. Most literary agents start out as book editors in a publishing house and step back to become an agent, but I am one of the few who stepped straight into agenting after an intership with Credo Communications in 2008.
What brings you the greatest joy in your work? Why?
Karen Neumair: First, I find the greatest joy in matching authors with just the right editorial and publishing team, where they then join forces to create a strong message to best reach the world with the heart of God. God’s guidance and provision is always crystal clear in the end, though the journey may look nothing like we expected at the beginning.
Second, there is nothing quite like holding an author’s book in my hands for the very first time. Hours of hard work, dedication, and prayer go into every project I represent, and it is truly beautiful to see it all come together.
What do you recommend to writers who are looking for a literary agent?
Karen Neumair: First and foremost, do your homework. Know what agents and publishers expect from authors, have a stellar book proposal ready, and learn as much as you can about the publishing industry. When you are ready for representation, here’s how to find an agent:
By Referral. The best way to secure an agent is by referral. Ask author friends which agency they are working with and whether they would be willing to make an introduction. (If you do not have any published friends, you may not be ready for representation just yet.)
Writer’s Conferences. Attend as many writer’s conferences as you are able. There you will have the opportunity to meet with literary agents face to face, and you will also have the opportunity to network with fellow authors and industry experts. If you aren’t able to attend a conference due to the time and financial commitment, study the faculty lists at the largest conferences to see which literary agencies are present. They attend by invitation, so you can rest assured that they are some of the best in the industry. (For a “writer’s conference in a book,” my colleagues have also put together this excellent resource:Christian Publishing 101: The Comprehensive Guide to Writing Well and Publishing Successfully—For New Authors, Editors, and Students.)
How can we pray for you?
Karen Neumair:Pray that God will continue to pair my team at Credo with just the right authors as we seek to grow His Kingdom. May God give us guidance as we work alongside of our authors to shape their projects and pitch them to publishers. Please pray that the words of these writers will be God-honoring and winsome, cultivating faith and transformational spiritual growth in the lives of our readers.
Karen, thank you so much for participating on Writers Connect. I’m grateful the Lord connected us. Your expertise in the industry as well as your Christlike attitude honor our great God. “May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge” (Ruth 2:12, NASB).
Dear Readers ~ Thank you for taking time to get acquainted with Karen—I trust you’ve been blessed. Please visit the Credo Communications website and Facebook Page. Also, please pray with me for Karen’s work, her team, their authors, and God’s work in their readers’ lives.
In Christ’s Love,
Karen is a Senior Literary Agent and the COO of Credo Communications, where she assists authors with their book proposals and connects them with potential publishers. For the past decade, she has worked alongside nonfiction authors who write about Christian Living and Spiritual Growth, as well as topics geared toward women and families.
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