Wednesday, July 31, 2013

God Knows by Diana L. Flegal

In Haiti I learned an expression- Bon Dieu Konae. God Knows.

God knows.

He knows what your heart hides from others. Where it is broken, wounded and hopeful.

He knows of your longing for ...about your desire to write well. Well enough to earn the respect of your peers and a publisher.

Yet sometimes life is like sweeping a dirt floor.  (got this phrase from a blog I like written by Katy Glymph)

Yet, God is aware and keeping track of our lives. He knows our circumstances are hard and He plans days of Joy for us as well.

I think when you live in a place like Haiti where untimely death is a daily occurrence, it sharpens your priorities. Appreciation for each day and thankfulness for each blessing albeit how small is genuine and fresh.

In the evening, my Haitian neighbors sat around and talked after the wee ones were tucked into bed and just enjoyed the night air and one another. They did not ask a lot of God, content with what they had. And it wasn't much.

People ask me why I still talk about retiring to Haiti. It is the simple life that draws me. A loaf of bread, a bowl of red beans and rice, an occasional fish, thick coffee and friends sitting out under the moonlight.

When you are wondering if your published day will come, I can't say. But I can tell you: Bon Dieu Konae.

Be encouraged.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Great American Travel Books by Andy Scheer

I've had a soft spot for nonfiction travel books since I received a hardcover of Kon-Tiki the Christmas I was 10.

I've read and re-read most of Paul Theroux's curmudgeonly accounts of  travels by train. But except for early chapters of The Old Patagonia Express, most of his journeys take place overseas.

I prefer books about domestic journeys--especially this summer as I plan a trip as my father-in-law's co-driver in his 1930 Ford Model A Town Sedan from suburban Denver to Hickory Corners, Michigan.

As I plotted our route across Kansas and Missouri via Highway 36, I've considered the US travel books I've read—and which I might take with me in the Model A. Not owning an e-reader, I want to limit myself to a single volume.

I recently re-read John Steinbeck's Travels With Charley. And not that long ago I read The Home Front, Alistair Cooke's account of driving across America in a Lincoln Zephyr during the early years of the second world war.

Considering our projected route, I'm leaning toward a re-read of William Least Heat-Moon's Blue Highways. Or perhaps River-Horse, his 1999 account of an Atlantic to Pacific trip by small boat. Still, that book's an unknown. Can I trust it to match the quality of Blue Highways or PrairieErth??

I could take a mass paperback of Stephen Coonts's The Cannibal Queen, a highly re-readable account of flying through the lower 48 in a 1942 Stearman open cockpit biplane.

Do you have a suggestion?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Returning From Conference by Linda S. Glaz

Returning from a conference: wonderful people, great presenters, good news and bad news.
While at conference last week, it was such a joy to meet so many wonderful participants. I learned I need to smile more when I first arrive, otherwise I have a scary face! Yikes! Well, here’s the scoop on that. I am petrified when I’m in a new circumstance. So I people watch for a while until I fell comfy. Then I don’t stop smiling, OR talking. But I need to learn to smile while I’m doing the “getting comfy” bit.
Second, I met a few new industry individuals, wonderful folks with plenty to share.
The good news is they are always looking for wonderful new voices and are anxious to look at new authors.
The bad news is, while they are open to newbies, there are getting to be fewer and fewer established houses handling fiction. I learned of another house dropping the fiction line while I was there. And that is so discouraging.
So what does all of this mean to new authors? It means there has never been a time when your writing needs to be tighter, filled with more punch, and ready to go. It means you can’t expect the publishing house to do the work for you. It means…you MUST know your craft like never before.
Is that something to make you sit back and lament your career choice? NO! It is a wake up call. You should be learning and doing what you should have been doing all along—writing a strong novel and writing it well.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Blogging Fluff Isn't Wanted Content by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

#blogging #platform #social media

As a publicist, there is one thing I hear all the time. "I need to build a platform so I need to create a blog. Where do I start?"

Well, you might need a blog, but it may not do you any good. It all depends.

It depends on if you:

  • Have time to blog
  • Have the determination to be consistent and keep at it
  • Have a niche theme that isn't already over saturated in the market
  • Can recognize change in the times and in your audience and be flexible enough to change with it and them
  • Genuinely like to blog

Now that the trend word platform has made significant rounds for several years, and everyone has figured out they need one, social media is exploding, blogs are saturating the web, and podcasts are increasing in quantity like wildfire. The big trend word right now is content--and has been the buzz word for awhile now. In fact, last year I wrote a blog post on Everything is Content. In spite of our ideas of what content is or isn't, we need to realize it takes many forms and isn't just words--images, podcasts, videos are all content.

This brings me back to my title, merely blogging a bunch of fluff isn't what people want. It will be ignored, deleted, challenged, and criticized. So what do people want and what should your blog content contain?

Your blogging content needs to be:

  • Informative - It should not be repetitive or sound like everyone else. Share and teach others what you have learned. This will give you credibility and make others appreciate friending and knowing you. This is what it means for content to have value. 
  • Interesting and entertaining - Include a mixture of images, illustrations and videos to make your point. Be yourself and use your writing voice in your blog. It should not sound like a work report or scientfic study.
  • Full of variety - Take different approaches to your topic and explore ideas and thoughts. You don't know everything, even in your field and niche. Invite other experts and colleagues to guestpost on your blog. In return they will promote their post and you will gain new visitors you normally don't have access.
  • Consistent - People are creatures of habit and like knowing what to expect so they will know how to fit your blog into their reading schedule. If you blog once a month or every couple of months, they will forget about your blog and fill that time with other content. My advice is weekly, post a blog schedule on which days you will blog and stick to it. Keep in mind that it doesn't have to be everyday, but 2-3 times each week.
  • Organized and legible - When someone lands on your blog for the first time, they may want to read more of what piqued their interest and brought them there. Have a good archive system in place. I'm not referring to the auto-archives arranged by months and dates on your sidebar. I'm talking about using static pages on your blog to organize some of your best posts under specific categories. For instance, my blog has specific pages categorized by Writing Tips, Historical Research, and Inspirational Devotions. Also, include a search feature in the sidebar. Make it easy for people to find the content they are looking for. 
  • SEO - It's true that Search Engine Optimization is important and helps in ranking your pages higher on a web search. However, I caution people against writing a bunch of fluff in order to get those SEO words in your title and in your post. Make sure your content is relevant and helpful. This is where less is more and the value of quality is better than quantity. If you can't come up with original content each day, then daily blogging isn't for you. Blog once or twice a week. Your readers will appreciate you not wasting their time and save you from losing credibility and followers. 

Have you ever seen a blog title and clicked to read more, but was disappointed at the content and felt like you wasted your time? Did you take action and leave a critical comment, stopped following, or ignored their next few posts?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Every Writer Wants to be Published by Terry Burns

That's a true statement, right?

I think it is, why would someone spend many months or even years writing a book and not want anyone to see it?

Why indeed?

But if it is true why do people come to appointments at conferences, get a proposal invited on their project, then never send it? Why do they stick them in a drawer and never send them in? I still do think these writers would like to see it published, so what's the deal?

It could be a lot of things. Maybe they don't think it's good enough. Or maybe it really isn't good enough but they aren't taking the steps they need to take to grow their craft and MAKE it good enough. Or maybe they don't do it because they can't or don't want to do the things that would be required to go out and publicize the book if it were to be in print. There are probably other reasons, but these occur to me right off the top.

Probably the biggest one that I hear, however is fear of failure. I can identify with that. There have been times in my life that I haven't tried something because I was afraid I would fail. And if I did? What would have happened, someone would laugh at me? I might lose some money? When I thought it through, the downside was never that big.

But there's another way to look at it. Writing something and never submitting it IS failure. Submitting it and risking rejection is taking a chance on success.

Or maybe the writer HAS tried a couple of submissions and gotten turned down. There surely is rejection involved in submissions, but it isn't something to take personally. Our work either fits an available slot at a publisher or it doesn't. Not only is such a rejection not about us as a writer, it probably isn't even about how good the writing is, but rather about the fit to the market. I don't even call them rejections, I call them a 'negative market reports.'

At any given time our work may only match up with one opportunity in the whole publishing industry. The trick is to find that open window and get our work in it before it closes. Then our work may only fit one other place but now it's a different window that we have to find. I spend most of my time looking for open windows for my clients.

It is true we should not make a submission until our work is as good as we can make it and equally as true that we should continue to grow in our craft until we are a good fit for one of those open windows. But there comes a time when we have to stick our neck out and send our baby out into the world and try for publication.

That's what writing is all about, isn't it?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Just a Click Away by Diana L. Flegal

I have a cookbook collection but most days I now google my recipes. That way I can copy them to a file. So much easier.

When my son and I are in a debate about this or that- we sometimes sit side by side searching online for an article that backs up our side. Or we cut and paste our arguments and share them via FB private message.

Search engines have changed my life and I know the lives of writers.

There is not anything it seems that is not online. But I caution you to check more than one source for your historical research or current event. Spin doctors are hard at work to change your mind. And companies pay marketers big bucks to convince us that a piece of plastic that can provide us hardboiled eggs without the shell is the newest 'must have'.

Just today I found out:

100 years ago on this day is the hottest day on record.

There is a new app called Time Hop that can show you what you did last year this day.

I can look at photos of what happened on this day 5 or 10 years ago.

Perhaps one of these can offer you a writing prompt or a scene in your story.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Specific Words by Andy Scheer

An hour after I edited an article by novelist Brandilyn Collins about using what she called “compression,” my lunchtime reading brought me an example of its effectiveness.

Collins advocated not merely writing that was lean, but writing built around words that evoke specific images and carry strong connotations.

Rather than have a character sit in a chair, Collins says, show the character's attitude by having her slouch or perch. The right verb eliminates the need for a sentence telling about the character's attitude.

Time for lunch. I opened to page 181 of William Dietrich's light historical adventure The Barbed Crown. As mortar between two scenes leading up to Napoleon’s coronation as emperor, Dietrich supplied this bit of exposition of a Paris street scene:

Commoners buzzed like an agitated hive. People sensed that history had turned a page and something glorious and terrible was about to be commemorated. They would tell their neighbors, in the momentous years to come, that they’d witnessed the beginning. Hawkers sold coffee and rolls. Enterprising merchants nearby charged two francs to use their privies. The most tireless prostitutes assembled, at nine in the morning, under paper Chinese lanterns strung along an arcade, to advertise their wares. Farmers from the countryside gawked.

Considering Collins's advices about compression, I dissected that paragraph. Take a look at Dietrich's use of nouns.

Commoners buzzed like an agitated hive. People sensed that history had turned a page and something glorious and terrible was about to be commemorated. They would tell their neighbors, in the momentous years to come, that they’d witnessed the beginning. Hawkers sold coffee and rolls. Enterprising merchants nearby charged two francs to use their privies. The most tireless prostitutes assembled, at nine in the morning, under paper Chinese lanterns strung along an arcade, to advertise their wares. Farmers from the countryside gawked.

Now look at his verbs.
Commoners buzzed like an agitated hive. People sensed that history had turned a page and something glorious and terrible was about to be commemorated. They would tell their neighbors, in the momentous years to come, that they’d witnessed the beginning. Hawkers sold coffee and rolls. Enterprising merchants nearby charged two francs to use their privies. The most tireless prostitutes assembled, at nine in the morning, under paper Chinese lanterns strung along an arcade, to advertise their wares. Farmers from the countryside gawked.

Finally, his phrases.
Commoners buzzed like an agitated hive. People sensed that history had turned a page and something glorious and terrible was about to be commemorated. They would tell their neighbors, in the momentous years to come, that they’d witnessed the beginning. Hawkers sold coffee and rolls. Enterprising merchants nearby charged two francs to use their privies. The most tireless prostitutes assembled, at nine in the morning, under paper Chinese lanterns strung along an arcade, to advertise their wares. Farmers from the countryside gawked.

All this in a paragraph of exposition. No wonder he's had readers follow the adventures of Ethan Gage through six hardcover releases.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pitches are great...What now? by Linda S. Glaz

Last Monday we worked on 25-30 word pitches, and you folks did an amazing job. Almost ready for conference now? Well…almost. So, what else do you need to walk into your appointment and wow them? Let’s see what you should take with you:
-have your pitch already to go, never know when an elevator will stand you next the agent/editor of your choice
-first few pages of your novel
-one-sheet, I’ll discuss this more later
-synopsis, a one page synopsis and a very detailed one, 5-6pages
-your bio and info on what you plan to do to market, in other words, have your platform fine-tuned to sell yourself. Don’t hold back, don’t wimp out. SELL YOURSELF!
-biz card or bookmark to remind them who they spoke to

A one-sheet (sell sheet) should include information about you, a teaser about your work, and any other info you deem absolutely necessary to sell yourself and your work. It isn’t called a sell sheet for nothin’!
Your platform. Don’t leave out a single thing that you have accomplished within the writing industry. Have you done reviews? Have you volunteered in any positions within the industry? Reviewer, editor, influencer, etc. Don’t leave out a thing. Have you written for local papers, magazines, online sources? Do you blog and tweet? Have a website?
I recently had a client tell me she was just waiting for a contract to set up her website.
Waiting!?!?!?!?!? Don’t wait, get it going right now. Build your followers so that you can show numbers to the publishers.
Platform is nearly as important as the good story in today’s tight race for a contract.

Endorsers. Have you a published author within your circle of friends who might be willing to read your novel and offer an endorsement?
Endorsements are GOLD!

Fine tune and get your presentation all ready to walk into your appointment and sell yourself. Don’t sell yourself short. Sell long! If you don’t believe in your work—who will?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Meet Terry's client Dianne Price

Dianne is a great author of the “Thistle Series,” a six book historical fiction series set in Scotland against a backdrop of WWII American Air Force pilots. She has been Terry’s client for about a year but when they recently found that she is losing her battle with cancer, things kicked into high gear.

In stepped Christina Tarabochia, publisher of Ashberry Lane Publishing. Christina had already edited Dianne’s books and loves them. She immediately offered a contract and has put everything aside to get these books to press. The first title is “Broken Wings” and will be releasing soon.

Terry’s client group rallied behind Dianne in a strong outpouring of love, prayers and support. They are poised to jump in and help promote the book as soon as it releases. This blog repeats on facebook and twitter, and I know there are a lot of other people who know and love Dianne and will jump in and help give this book an amazing launch. Dianne has strong faith and is very comfortable about her situation but we are all strongly committed to seeing her realize her dream beginning to come about while she can enjoy it. I’d love to see a groundswell of word-of-mouth support.

And the books deserve it. Beautifully written and edited, “Broken Wings” cover copy reads as follows:

A tragic childhood has turned lukewarm believer American Air Forces career officer, Colonel Rob Savage, into an outwardly indifferent loner who is afraid to give his heart to anyone.

RAF Nurse Maggie McGrath, a mature Christian, has always dreamed of becoming a nurse, falling in love, and settling down in a thatched cottage to raise a croftful of bairns. She is living the first dream, but the war has taken her far from Innisbraw, her tiny Scot’s island home.

Hitler’s bloody quest to conquer Europe seems far away when Rob and Maggie are sent to an infirmary on Innisbraw to begin his rehabilitation from disabling injuries. There, they find themselves caught in a battle between Rob’s past, God’s plan, and the evil some islander’s harbor in their souls. In Satan’s world, which will triumph?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Life Happens by Diana Flegal

This morning, early, the fog obscured the mountains. I knew they were still there, but I could not see a bit of them. Here in Western North Carolina our Mountains are big, solid, and surround me and my home. Yet wispy fog that I can wave away with my hand up close, blocked them totally out of sight.

Life does that at times. Personal sickness, a loved ones cancer, an adult child's struggle with daily tasks,   a husbands infidelity- obscures the love of God momentarily.  We know He is there but our faith is tested. Doubt enters, and the foundation we stand on doesn't seem as solid.

Authors, agents and Pub House editors are people. Human beings. Life happens to them. To us. Sometimes when it does, in the chain along the way of your books representation or publishing, someone drops the ball.

Stay in touch. Pray for one-another.

Publishing is a business- but it takes human beings to get the job done.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Editor's Choice by Andy Scheer

“Don't make the editor's decision for her by not submitting.” I thought of that quote from Victoria Janssen this past Wednesday as I read an editor's email.

“I’m the new editor at [XYZ Publishers],” she said, “handling [Jane Doe’s] former responsibilities. … We would like to circulate this manuscript to our publications committee to take a look at it. Is there a full manuscript available?”

I'd almost not sent the proposal to XYZ. None of the previous proposals I'd sent them had generated any kind of response, even an acknowledgment they'd been received.

But when I considered the houses to which I might send a proposal for this client's project, XYZ came to mind. Still when I initially tried to send it, my email bounced back as having a bad address. So I checked with my Hartline colleagues.

Their response wasn't encouraging. Like another few editors at other houses, Jane Doe had a reputation as a correspondence black hole. Nevertheless I tried an alternate address.

True to form, XYZ gave no response to my initial inquiry. Other houses did. They said nice things about the concept and the proposal — and that they were either full in this category or had given up on it because for them it didn't sell.

Time passed. I checked with the houses that had not yet replied, including XYZ. A few more responded, some with compliments, but all with rejections. But from XYZ, only silence.

Until Wednesday. As I sent the editor the full manuscript, I reflected on the reasons I'd included XYZ on my list — against strong evidence to the contrary.

In the end they may still say no. But at this point they're the only publisher saying yes. Good thing I decided to leave the decision to them.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Let’s Have at Those Pitches! By Linda S. Glaz

Okay, I have a few pitches to start it off.
Remember, only 25-30 words.
Grab our interest.
Make us want to read on.
Cause us to go, “Whoa, now that’s a read I wanna have.”
I’m going to start you off with a few pitches for you to think on, and then let you brave souls share your own one-liners with the rest of us. The rules are, there are no rules…NOT!

Here you go:
--you can’t critique if you don’t give us your one-liner
--when you critique, you must do it constructively. Let’s help each other improve.
--no nasty, harmful comments allowed. I WILL take them down.
So let’s help each other be all that we can be.
(Yes, I stole that from the Army, so shoot me!)
Anyway, here are a few that I picked for all diff reasons. What do you think of them?
Following each is the word count.
One: When her family and livelihood are taken away, can Payton survive without marriage to the master of Kent Hall?   (19)
Two: Little girls are disappearing from birthday parties; will Torey's older sister discover how before more girls are forced into human trafficking?   (21)
Three: Can a conservative talk show host anger a listener enough that he attempts to shut her mouth for good?  (19)
Four: In spite of her legal blindness, Kelsie Patterson searches for the stranger who suffered a head wound while protecting her during a mass shooting at her local mall.  (28)
Five: During these uncertain times, what people need most is a good laugh. “The Sense of Humor” will put you on a fast track to healthier, happier living. 
Six: A secret from a grim page of American history threatens to destroy thousands of innocent lives.  (16)
Seven: In A Ton of Gold, a long forgotten folktale leads to murder, arson, and kidnapping.  Can Crystal Moore save her only remaining family?  Can she save herself?  (27)
Eight: She's a social coordinator from New York City; he's a Texas bull rider. He thinks she's too polished; she thinks he's insane.  (22)
Nine: How often must an undercover agent die in order to stay alive? (only 12, woot!)
Ten: A heavy equipment operator must overcome rumors to help battered women, even if it means losing her job and the respect of the man she shouldn't love. (27)
Eleven: A young teen struggles to understand his mother's rejection until he discovers it was for his own protection.  (18)
Twelve: An unexpected friendship with a needy young woman and a midlife romance surprise an Iowa Gold Star mother amidst post WWII challenges. (22)
Give us your genre(if you want) and your one-liner!
Let's help you make it stronger.
Okay, here goes. Who is brave soul numero UNO?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Twitter Has More Value Than U Realize! by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

I would guess that 80-90% of my Facebook friends, including real life face-to-face friends, believe that Facebook is more valuable than Twitter--especially to their business and book sales. 
I used to be one of them. 
Until I took a year and truly immersed myself into Twitter. And honestly--it took a year to REALLY understand it. People use Twitter differently and for various reasons and so you will get millions of opinions on the same topic when you start searching for info. There are many Twitter apps. Some are great, others ok, and some not worth the time. It took an entire year to try them out for myself, see what worked for me, and how it could benefit my work, and how best to implement it. 
For any author who is developing an author platform, Twitter is indispensable, as long as you understand it and use it in a beneficial way. 
For instance, at the time of this writing, out of the 3,502 people following my Facebook author page, only 1,158 are Facebook friends. The other 2,344 are mostly from Twitter at roughly 67%. I would have never had any access or connection to these valuable people, without Twitter. In fact, Twitter was also the channel for pushing the last 20-30 blog followers to my personal blog. I'm not sharing these numbers to boast about my efforts since there are many others who have much higher rankings and followers, but to show you the value of Twitter in case you are not utilizing it to its full potential. 
The Don'ts of Using Twitter
Newbies like to use Twitter like a megaphone, spamming links to their books, website, blog posts, and sales on Amazon. In fact, I wrote a blog post awhile back on A Lesson On Spamming. Like Facebook, Twitter is a social platform, and while it is different from Facebook, it must be treated as a social platform. It will cause you to lose followers, get blocked (and you won't know it), and lose credibility among those who continue to follow you--they've just gotten really good at ignoring you, are doing the same thing, and therefore, neither of you are hearing each other, or they are no longer active. Other newbies don’t know what to do or give up altogether. 
Twitter has evolved over the years and has become a valuable breaking news source and evens the playing field giving us commoners access to big name stars and athletes. For businesses and others, it eliminates the middleman or the gatekeepers. Authors can have REAL conversations with readers without having to spend thousands to travel to a local book signing, it gives people a chance to express opinions on products, services, or actions of others. It allows people to spread info about things that are important to them and make things go viral without spending millions in marketing efforts. While some of this also happens on Facebook, it seems to spread faster through the Twitter sphere. 
Want to Better Understand Twitter?
Take the time to read through their HELP section. It’s full of helpful tips, rules, explanations  and how-to’s. Ask people for their opinions, offer your blog to other authors, run Twitter contests for readers. Facebook is NOT the only place for contests. Learn by watching others, pay attention, read and educate yourself, and then do it. The best way to learn is by doing it. 
Google websites by your friends and people you admire, appreciate, or trust in their knowledge. On their website, click their Twitter buttons and follow them. You will learn best through friends, competitors and READERS. You have readers and potential readers on Twitter. Don't ignore them. Several of my Twitter followers have TOLD me that they don't even have a Facebook account. Therefore, Twitter is the only place I CAN connect with them--unless we connect elsewhere. These readers are already talking about their favorite books by retweeting their favorite authors, posting campaign hashtags, and posting links to their reviews, but you cannot be included if you don't have a Twitter presence--or at least an active Twitter presence.  
Don't overlook the value of Twitter, by spending all your social media time on Facebook!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Do I only represent Christian Writers? by Terry Burns

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.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hartline welcomes new agent- Jim Hart/ interviewed by Diana Flegal

It is my privilege to interview and introduce to you all, Jim Hart, Joyce Hart’s son and Hartline’s newest agent. We are thrilled to have Jim on our team.

Jim Hart is a musician/songwriter/worship leader with an ever-growing library of fictional titles, as well as books on Christian growth, ministry, and biographies of the Heroes of the Faith.

Jim, what are your first memories of books and their influence in the Hart home?

Books have always been scattered about our home growing up. All of us have a love for the written word. I remember my mother having stacks of romance novels in the living room. My brother and I used to pick up the books and read the last page to her. 

Ha, I would have loved to see that Jim. Your mom’s red hair is a good heads up she can get excited!

What do you recall of your Mother starting Hartline or getting into the publishing arena?

I was about 17 or 18 when my mother started working at Whitaker House. It was shortly after that that Mom started Hartline Marketing. I was already out of the house and married by then. I did come on board as an agent for a short time when she began Hartline Literary Agency and succeeded in selling one title. I enjoyed it but with a wife and then a young son, I took a full time position outside our home and am just now returning to agenting.

What is that you personally bring to Hartline Jim?

As a singer songwriter, I understand the creative process and how much courage it takes to put your-self out there. I have my own file folder of rejections. J As an avid reader, I know what I like, what I have seen on the bookshelves of the big box stores and with the agency’s  support, I am learning the markets and establishing myself once again with the editorial markets within the various publishers. It is a huge advantage that I can pull from our agent resources and from my mothers wealth of experience. I know it is a great advantage and blessing.

What are some of the things on your ‘to-do’ list right now?

I will be attending the Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference the end of this month where I will be taking my first author appointments and meeting with a few publishing editors. My mother and I will be traveling and visiting a few publishers in the next few weeks as well. I am also looking at next years conference schedule, seeing what ones I might attend and teach at. Building my workshops on several subjects I am comfortable with.

What is it that you are going to be looking to acquire at Hartline?

I am looking for authors who can write unique and engaging fictional suspense, romance, women’s fiction, spiritual warfare, YA, and some sci-fi. I have a passion for non-fiction regarding church growth, Christian living, and self-help. Of course I have to keep in mind that non-fiction topics require a certain level of credentials, experience and expertise. Unfortunately that can eliminate many good titles.

Jim, thank you for allowing me to speak with you today. We all here at Hartline look forward to working with you.

Readers, please check out our submission guidelines and feel free to contact Jim if you think you have written a title he would be interested in reviewing.

You can read more about Jim at www.Hartline