Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hot news for writers targeting Steeple Hill Books

Here's a heads-up for romance writers who are targeting my publisher, Steeple Hill Books: Yesterday morning Executive Editor Joan Marlow Golan e-mailed Steeple Hill's authors and agents to announce three big changes at Steeple Hill. I don't have permission to quote from the e-mail, but here's the gist of it, with my comments:

1. As many of you know, Senior Editor Krista Strover left SH a couple of weeks ago to work at another Harlequin line. Effective September 15, Melissa Endlich will be promoted to Senior Editor, Steeple Hill Love Inspired and Steeple Hill Love Inspired Classics. ("Classics" are reissues of old Love Inspired novels.) Also effective September 15, Tina Colombo will come on board as Senior Editor for Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical and Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense.

2. In July 2009, Steeple Hill Love Inspired will begin releasing six titles (up from four) each month. Friends, the editors will have to begin filling those extra slots immediately, so this is a great time to submit to LI. (No changes were announced for LI-Suspense, which releases four titles each month, or Love Inspired Historical, which releases two.)

3. Also in July 2009, Steeple Hill's single-title program will cease publication. SH plans to focus on its enormously popular series romance books.


Brittanie said...

Does number 3 mean that they will only pubish books that are in a series? I personally think that would stink because there a lot of great books out there that are not in a series. I love series too though. I am not a writer just a reader. :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome. Thanks for the info....any idea what prompted the changes?

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed about the loss of the single-title program, not only because any books I'd ever target to Steeple Hill (I've only sent them one so far, which was rejected) would more likely be in that category than in series romance, but also because most of the SH books I've enjoyed reading have been single titles. Oh well, such is the publishing biz ... not every change is going to be to a writer's, or reader's, taste. I do kind of wish I had a MS ready to send them right now though!

Brenda Coulter said...

Brittanie, in this case, "series" refers to a numbered series of books released at regular intervals. For example, Steeple Hill's Love Inspired series releases four new books each month. My September book is number LI-417, which means it's the 417th book published by Love Inspired.

The numbers are important to collectors who want to assemble complete sets of the books. I have met two people who have all of the Love Inspired books ever published. (You can see that list here.)

Lynn, frequent editorial changes are par for the course at Harlequin. They like their editors to be well-rounded, so they can be shuffled whenever somebody gets promoted or one line has a hard-to-fill vacancy or new lines are opened, and so on. Most people don't realize that the editors of a given line under the Harlequin umbrella are always working with authors in two or three OTHER lines. For example, a Love Inspired editor might handle 20 authors, only 15 of whom actually write for LI. The other five might write for Harlequin Historical and perhaps one of the Silhouette lines. Harlequin really likes to mix it up.

The increase in the number of monthly offerings in the Love Inspired line is a response to the popularity of that line. (Woo-hoo!)

As for the single-title program (this is for you, too, Trudy), those books just never sold very well because Harlequin's business model is more conducive to selling lots and lots of series romances. As you can attest, Trudy, the quality of Steeple Hill's women's fiction has been top-notch. But selling those books requires different marketing strategies, so SH has simply decided to put all of their eggs back in a single basket.

I think it's a smart move.

The Time Mistress said...

Hey, great information, Brenda! Thanks! I have to finish a single title for my own publisher, but was then planning on submitting to SHLI in January or February! I just love SHLI!!! I can see why they are making the changes.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I finally remembered the other question I wanted to ask (while wandering through the bookstore yesterday) -- are they keeping Steeple Hill Cafe, or is that part of the "single title" line that's being dropped? I really like SHC, and would probably have submitted something to them for that line.

Brenda Coulter said...

Trudy, the letter didn't mention Steeple Hill Cafe, but the single-title books began to fizzle out a while back and have recently been published as Love Inspireds. I've seen the "Cafe" banner on several LIs, but I can't tell you if that will continue or not. All I know is that after next July, Steeple Hill won't be publishing ANY single-title books. Period.

Time Mistress, this is a great time to submit to LI. Hope you get some good news from them.

Anonymous said...

A quick note to let you know how much I've enjoyed your most recent books. (I can't say about former ones as I've not read them yet.)
I also want to thank you for posting the comments about SH and the future.
Amazingly enough, I got a telemarketing call from SH to get me to try another line from Harlequin (I'm in SH bk clb) anyway, the man who talked to me told me that in a recent meeting he was told that they are open to new authors as they are seeking to fill a need due to the 'boon' in sales. I didn't know if he was just trying to get me to buy more because I'd told him I am writing a novel, but it did strike a note with me and now that I've read your comments, I'm inclined to allow myself some excitement. The novel was finished many years ago, but was quite a few years ahead of it's style. I'm in the process of rewriting and updating the book with the help of one of my former high school English teacher. (I won't tell you how many years ago she was my teacher, but she's since retired and she was a very young teacher.) :D She's been working the grammar angle and reading to be sure my timing is consistent.
Thank you again for your own work that has been an encouragement to me and thank you, too, for putting this information out there.
Schoolcraft, MI

Brenda Coulter said...

Joy, thank you so much for letting me know you have enjoyed my books.

Yes, Steeple Hill is buying new authors. This is a great time to submit to them!

educateme77 said...

I am curious about the Steeple Hill Cafe label. I've enjoyed these books in the past but have been hard-pressed to find them recently. Any ideas on when/if they will be releasing more?