The Gatecrashers Podcast

Amanda Luedeke and Charis Crowe

STORM THE GATES OF PUBLISHING with VP and literary agent Amanda Luedeke and novelist Charis Crowe.

Teaming up to talk about both sides of publishing (self-publishing and traditional), Amanda and Charis share their combined twenty years of experience in the industry from both sides of the desk. They offer a glimpse behind the "gates" as they share the realities, opportunities, and difficulties of the publishing world.

All Episodes

The Gatecrashers discuss three different approaches to book-release marketing, as originally presented by Elana Johnson at the 20Booksto50k conference. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Nov 29

8 min 54 sec

Charis discusses her main takeaways from the 20Booksto50k 2021 indie publishing conference in Vegas. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.  

Nov 22

9 min 56 sec

Slow and steady book sales are better than that two-day spike on Amazon. The Gatecrashers discuss why. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Nov 15

14 min

What are your strengths as a writer? The Gatecrashers discuss six common strengths and how to spot them in your writing life. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Nov 8

16 min 14 sec

What are your strengths as a writer? The Gatecrashers discuss six common strengths and how to spot them in your writing life. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Nov 1

14 min 32 sec

Part 2! What if your manuscript isn't the problem? What if it's you? The Gatecrashers discuss six common flaws that they see in themselves and other writers. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Oct 25

18 min 6 sec

What if your manuscript isn't the problem. What if it's you? The Gatecrashers discuss six common flaws that they see in themselves and other writers. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.  

Oct 18

16 min 32 sec

Supply chain shortages, holiday shopping concerns, and a flooded audio market. The Gatecrashers discuss how COVID-19 is currently affecting book publishing. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Oct 11

18 min 32 sec

How do you fix your writing life? Sometimes you just have to throw out the rulebook. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Oct 4

11 min 59 sec

Is your manuscript the problem? Or are you the problem? The Gatecrashers discuss what it takes to face your flaws as a writer. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Sep 27

15 min

Is it even possible to have a 15,000-word writing day? Is it realistic to write while juggling a career and family? The Gatecrasher say yes!  Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.  

Sep 20

18 min 42 sec

Sell your books and make money using live events! Listen in as Ben Wolf dishes on how to be successful hand-selling your books and your brand. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Aug 30

42 min 40 sec

Sell your books and make money using live events! Listen in as Ben Wolf dishes on how to be successful hand-selling your books and your brand. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Aug 16

39 min 20 sec

New York Times bestselling ghostwriter and collaborative writer David Thomas shares what it takes to make a living on telling someone else's story.  Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Aug 2

24 min 54 sec

When trying to figure out how to land a job in publishing, Patnacia Goodman Googled it. Hear about her journey into Christian nonfiction and her perspective on the market. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Jul 19

35 min 10 sec

Each author's journey is a bit different. Meet Kaira Rouda. The bestselling novelist who self-published, genre-hopped, and worked with a few agents before finding her stride. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Jul 5

26 min 18 sec

You sign with an agent. They shop your book. Then they drop you. Is your book dead in the water? Are you "unpublishable"? The Gatecrashers discuss this unique listener-submitted situation. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Jun 28

15 min 46 sec

You sold your book to a publisher, but years have passed and it's not selling. So now what? Is the book stuck forever?  Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Jun 21

17 min 57 sec

The Gatecrashers discuss literary fiction and what it takes to work in that part of the industry. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.  

Jun 14

16 min 13 sec

Ask an editor what type of project they want to see, and they'll be vague and unsure. But ask them what type of book projects they're tired of seeing, and they could write you an entire bulleted list. Listen in as the Gatecrashers share exactly what's on those bulleted lists. These are the projects that editors in the romance genre are sick of seeing. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Jun 7

10 min 58 sec

When a bunch of publishers want the same book, it goes to auction. The Gatecrashers talk about the ins and outs of the book auction process. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

May 31

13 min 15 sec

From writer retreats to the super-secretive publisher retreats, the Gatecrashers discuss the various industry getaways and whether or not they're worth it. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

May 24

14 min 28 sec

Ask an editor what type of project they want to see, and they'll be vague and unsure. But ask them what type of book projects they're tired of seeing, and they could write you an entire bulleted list. Listen in as the Gatecrashers share exactly what's on those bulleted lists. These are the projects that Christian nonfiction editors are sick of seeing. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

May 17

15 min 32 sec

Ask an editor what type of project they want to see, and they'll be vague and unsure. But ask them what type of book projects they're tired of seeing, and they could write you an entire bulleted list. Listen in as the Gatecrashers share exactly what's on those bulleted lists. These are the projects that nonfiction editors are sick of seeing. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

May 10

12 min 28 sec

Receiving a one-star book review can feel like someone just called your baby "ugly." Still, it's something every author needs to navigate. The Gatecrashers discuss how authors can learn to rise above the one-star and negative reviews and come out unscathed. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

May 3

11 min 54 sec

Type B authors tend to be easygoing, go-with-the-flow people. While these traits serve them well in book publishing, they can also cause problems. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Apr 26

15 min 57 sec

Type A authors are go-getters who aren't afraid of conflict and push for what they want. While these traits serve them well in book publishing, they can also cause problems. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Apr 19

18 min 8 sec

Is it ok to cosplay? Is it ok to wear jeans and a t-shirt if it fits your brand? Is it better to dress up or down? The Gatecrashers discuss book publishing's unspoken dress code. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Apr 12

14 min 3 sec

The Gatecrashers discuss Facebook's recently announced publishing platform, which should offer newsletter services, superfan subscription services, and more. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Apr 5

13 min 32 sec

The Gatecrashers discuss the difference between traditional book marketing and self-published book marketing. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Mar 29

12 min 9 sec

Every author needs a break now and again. Here's how to make sure that break effectively sets you up to get back in the game when it's time. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Mar 22

14 min 53 sec

What do book editors REALLY think? We asked them. Hear the things that editors wish they could tell their authors (but can't) in this episode of The Gatecrashers Podcast.  Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Mar 15

15 min 24 sec

How do you figure out what kind of people are reading your books? The Gatecrashers have some ideas. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Mar 8

14 min 21 sec

What do book editors REALLY think? We asked them. Hear the things that editors wish they could tell their authors (but can't) in this episode of The Gatecrashers Podcast.  Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Mar 1

9 min 47 sec

The Gatecrashers give an update on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting book publishing. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Feb 22

20 min 42 sec

We writers have a tendency to be verbose. But that doesn't always give us the results we want and need. From marketing copy to career updates, the Gatecrashers talk about when less is more. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Feb 15

16 min 25 sec

The Gatecrashers discuss the three things that traditional publishers look for before signing a self-published author. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Feb 8

16 min 49 sec

What do book editors REALLY think? We asked them. Hear the things that editors wish they could tell their authors (but can't).  Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Feb 1

12 min 50 sec

If you ever feel like you're out of your league and don't belong in the writing world, you're not alone. The Gatecrashers talk about imposter syndrome...how to overcome it and even welcome it. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Jan 25

15 min 4 sec

What do book editors REALLY think? We asked them. Hear the things that editors wish they could tell their authors (but can't).  Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.  

Jan 18

14 min 47 sec

What do book editors REALLY think? We asked them. Hear the things that editors wish they could tell their authors (but can't) in this episode of The Gatecrashers Podcast.  Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Jan 11

14 min 22 sec

Authors! It's time to stop apologizing for self-promotion. Here are ways that you can think differently about promoting your book. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Jan 4

12 min 9 sec

Every agent needs to start somewhere, but not every agent will excel at their job. The Gatecrashers discuss how to spot which newbie agents will learn and grow and which ones will bring more harm than good to your career.  Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Dec 2020

19 min 17 sec

What's the best use of your book marketing dollars? The Gatecrashers weigh in. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Dec 2020

12 min 46 sec

How should you market your book? The Gatecrashers discuss new and out-of-the-box book marketing ideas that you probably haven't tried yet. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Dec 2020

23 min 54 sec

What happens when authors or publishers get sued? The Gatecrashers discuss the various circumstances that typically surround author courtroom drama and who wins ... and who loses. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Dec 2020

14 min

Everyone uses launch teams (or street teams) to promote their new books. And almost everyone does a poor job of managing these groups. The Gatecrashers talk about how to run a successful launch team and get the results you need. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.  

Nov 2020

18 min 35 sec

Publishers expect you to use influencers to help promote and market your book. The Gatecrashers discuss what that looks like and how to get the best results from your influencers' efforts. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Nov 2020

12 min 39 sec

As an author, most of your book endorsements will come from people you know. But it's possible to get endorsements from people you don't know! Listen in to hear all about endorsement etiquette and how to go about asking for endorsements from outside your immediate circles. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Nov 2020

14 min 23 sec

What is the difference between book endorsers, book influencers and launch teams (or street teams)? The Gatecrashers unpack these three vital roles and how to determine who goes where. Amanda Luedeke is literary agent and Vice President at MacGregor & Luedeke, where she has agented since 2009. Charis Crowe is a marketer and freelancer who spent nearly ten years at the gates of publishing before deciding to launch her own self-publishing career.

Nov 2020

17 min 16 sec