Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Few Housekeeping Comments by Joyce Hart

I’m trying to decide how to write what I want to say without sounding like a cranky lady.  And then probably the ones who need to see what I have to say won’t see this blog. I’m talking about queries and proposals I get via e-mail.  Probably 70% of the queries we receive are not suitable for our agency.   I write back and say “have you looked at our web site?” or “did you know that we are a Christian agency?”  Most would answer no to both those questions.

On our web site we have listed our proposal guidelines and the genres’ we represent and the ones we do not want to see.  Yet many inappropriate proposals come to us. Others come without headers and without the pages numbered.  I even write back and request those two items be added; explaining for them to use the insert tab to place the page numbers and put the name of the book/author’s name on every page.  And I get them back without either the header or the pages numbered.  Am I the only agent who wants these on the proposal pages?  

Maybe it’s because today so many people read on the computer, their iPad or another reader, but sometimes I still like to read from hard copies and if the proposal pages get mixed up, it’s hard to find my place.  I have to admit I’m doing more reading online than I used to.  I ordered an Ink Toner yesterday from HP - $149.00.  I probably should not take the time to read any unsolicited queries or proposals, but it’s hard for me to hit that delete button.

It really helps when writers go to conferences and learn how to put their work together so it’s easy for the agents & editors to read them and made a good decision.  There are many good conferences coming up.  Check out the Christian Readers Market Guide for dates & places.  The more professional your work looks, the more apt we are to take it seriously. Writing is a business and the competition is stiff.  

We’re here to help you get published and we love doing that.  We’ll look forward to hearing from you, just please do your homework before hitting that send button.

God bless you abundantly,


P.S. check out this interview with one of our authors, Jane Kirkpatrick.  It’s terrific! 


Linda Glaz said...

So irritating, and yes, some horribly inappropriate submissions with or without the page numbers!

Bonnie Engstrom said...

I am thrilled to be accepted by Hartline's Terry Burns! I thought I had done everything right when I sent my proposal to him, but I had trouble getting the page numbers in the header. While I had a friend trying to teach me how, Terry did it for me. Now, I know how, but no thanks to Windows 7!

Still, this is an excellent article Joyce, but, as you indicated, you are probably preaching to the choir.

I am very blessed to have Terry as an agent and a prayer warrior. I would never have guessed that, but am grateful we have that kind of relationship.

You have good people on staff, Joyce. Thank you for that.

Bonnie Engstrom

Joyce Hart said...

Thanks for the kind words Bonnie. Glad you are a Hartline author. I'm especially happy about the "prayer warrior" comment. Our agents do pray for our clients, that's an important part of our job.

David B. Smith said...

I appreciate this gracious reminder: follow the guidelines! Many of us in the teaching profession can point to twin factors in landing that dream job: the Lord's gracious leading . . . and then a carefully honed resume that diligently hewed to the exacting standards in a college district's web site. Just last week our school's grant writer described a federal blast of money that was offered within a tight 17-day window. One reason for the exacting turnaround was simply to weed out the applicants who could jump through hoops from those who couldn't. A very timely post - thanks.