Ann Byle began her career writing book jacket and catalog copy for Moody Publishers, then spent eight years on the copy desk and as book review editor for The Grand Rapids Press. From there she wrote marketing copy for Our Daily Bread Ministries before beginning her freelance career in 1997. She currently writes for Publishers Weekly, Grand Rapids Magazine, and other publications.
She freelanced for The Grand Rapids Press from 1997 until Feb. 1, 2012, and she has been writing for Publishers Weekly for close to 15 years covering religion publishing. One four-year-long monthly feature for Grand Rapids Magazine allowed her to write 48 pieces on local non-profit organizations.
Ann also writes and co-writes books. She’s written with one-armed surfer Bethany Hamilton (Soul Surfer Devotions), a former gang-banger turned hip-hop pastor (The Edge of Redemption: A Story of Hope for Rescuing the Unreachable), and a woman who was a victim of prostitution for 20 years (When Angels Fight). She has also helped Bethany Christian Services director Bill Blacquiere (retired) write Called to Care: Opening Your Heart to Vulnerable Children—through Foster Care, Adoption, and Other Life-Giving Ways (2019). Other projects include helping Amish cookbook author Lovina Eicher create stories for her cookbook Amish Family Recipes (2020).
Ann is author of her own books as well. The Baker Book House Story, a history of Baker Publishing Group, released in 2014; Christian Publishing 101: The Comprehensive Guide to Writing Well and Publishing Successfully—for New Authors, Editors, and Students in 2018; and The Revell Story: Offering Hope and Help to Readers for 150 Years in 2020. She and three other freelance writers are authors of the 2020 e-book The Joy of Working at Home: Embracing the Freedom, Avoiding the Pitfalls.
Ann has interviewed hundreds upon hundreds of people over the years, from bestselling authors to business owners, from doctors to poets and beyond. Highlights include Ann Patchett, John Grisham, Fr. Richard Rohr, Seamus Heaney, Beth Moore, Diana Butler Bass, and Karen Kingsbury. She has also spoken at numerous Christian writer’s conferences and writing events, and has been an adjunct professor in journalism.
She is a cofounder of the Breathe Christian Writers Conference, which completed its run after 15 years. What began with 25 people in the end hosted 150 each year, with past keynotes including Lynn Austin, Steven James, James Scott Bell, and Gary Schmidt. She is also a cofounder of the Fiction Readers Summit sponsored by Baker Book House.
Ann lives in Grand Rapids with her husband, Ray, a high school science teacher, and their husky/hound brown/blue-eyed dog/hellion, one crabby cat, and four chickens. Their four young-adult children are in and out regularly. She loves to read, write, thrift, and puzzle.