Sunday, August 25, 2013

The passing of client Dianne Price

Client Dianne Price went to be with the Lord last night. She is enjoying a joyous homecoming but our thoughts and our prayers are with her family. My entire client group and myself have committed to getting the word out on her delightful WWII romance series and we will be honored to follow through on that committment. She passed on just a week shy of being able to hold that first book in her hand but content in the knowledge that her publisher is going to publish the entire six book series and her friends and fellow writers are going to see that people find out about them, You may leave messages to her family at

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Meet you in Atlanta?

Will be on the road headed to the "Catch the Wave" Christian Writer's Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference is August 22-24th at the Lodge at Simpsonwood and is put on by the Christian Authors Guild. I've been there once before and it is a beautiful facility and a great place for a conference.

I have a little more expanded role this time as I'm going to set the tone for the conference in an opening talk on "Just Say Yes." Decisions that we make take on a whole new meaning when we realize that there are only two answers when we come to realize that the Lord wants us to do something, yes or no. Later, maybe, I'm not qualified, I can't do it, are just forms of saying no. We'll talk about what this means for writers . . . and just for Christians in general.

I'll be doing appointments, of course, and doing a workshop on "Developing a writer's persona" as well as one on "Agent and Editor pet peeves." I'll be speaking in the closing session as well, talking about, talking about "Why do we write?"

Hopefully there is something in these for everybody and the remainder of the conference content is very strong with presenters like Cindy Sproles, cofounder and Executive Director of Christian Devotions Ministries, Faye Lamb, acquisition editor for Pelican Book Group, and Stacy Robinson of the Robinson Talent Agency. Others are bestselling author Lynette Easton, publicist and media specialist ReAnn Ring, and Pix-N-Pens publisher Tracy Ruckman.

The conference is very affordable and a great opportunity to network and learn, particularly convenient for those who live in the Southeast. I hope I get the chance to meet you there.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Why do I insist on email subissions?

The quick answer is that I do almost all of my work online and very seldom have a need for a hard copy print out these days. A hard copy manuscript is practically useless to me. Besides that I tend to lose them. I toss them in the inbox in the study along with a bunch of junk mail, and they can get away from me. I seldom work there, mostly I work wherever my computer is, so I don't get in there to dig them out and deal with them often. I don't feel all that bad about it because our submission guidelines say I don't take hard copy submissions at all. Authors should NEVER submit without checking submission guidelines, so if I get one, I figure I'm dealing with someone that doesn't follow instructions anyway.

Most editors I'm working with prefer to work electronically, so I need clients that will work with me in that manner. A person that tells me they don't know how to do attachments or they seldom email might as well be telling me they deliver handwritten manuscripts. I need people who are keeping up with the changing technology of the industry. A contract for one of my clients calls for delivery of a hard copy manuscript. That client is ready to send the final manuscript but when I checked with the editor to be sure, she said even though the contract calls for hard copy, she'd rather have it electronically. Exactly what I'm talking about, I want to see how well a submitting client handles the technology.

A lot of editors and agents don't want any attachments to an email. Some want electronic submissions but want it all in the body of the email, no attachments. Others, like me, don't want hard copy submissions and do want them as an attachment, not in the body of the email. Some will take hard copy submissions and some, like me, don't.

These differences point up why it is so important to check the submission guidelines before we send to anybody. Those who don't want attachments probably are concerned about them containing viruses. I understand that. I have massive virus protection and several layers of backups, but understand at some point that I will have a problem. It's a cost of doing business.

A proposal in the body of an email is not a virus threat either, but I prefer them attached as a single word or .rtf file because I like to see if the writing is properly formatted, and if it's a project I like it is easier for me to use it as a base to build an agency proposal on. I actually am evaluating the proposal, whether it provides what we ask for in our submission guidelines at and whether we can see how well it would give us what we need to market the project as much as we are looking at the writing itself.

So often at conferences I hear people say "I don't see why they ask me to submit like this, or any reason a proposal needs to contain that, or some other facet called for in guidelines." We ask for a little more in a proposal than some others but we would rather have something and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Other Hartline agents (and other agents in general) may accept things differently. I can't say it enough, we should never submit to anyone without checking their submission guidelines to see if we are sending what they would like to have in the manner they would like to see it.