Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Change of Plans

Erica Here:

In the 10+ years I have been a part of the Christian Publishing world, I've learned one basic truth:

Nothing moves as slowly or changes as quickly as as the publishing industry.

On Monday, the Christian publishing industry saw this in action when Harlequin, a division of HarperCollins Publishing, sent out an email to their authors announcing the closing of FIVE separate lines of Harlequin books.

Included in the closures was Harlequin Love Inspired Historical which will end in June of 2018.



The line for which Gabrielle Meyer and I write.

So many authors instantly and without warning effectively lost their jobs.

Shock, dismay, uncertainty, frustration, anger, denial....all the emotions. Something we thought was a steady certainty with a very loyal reader base, something we thought would always be there...suddenly wasn't. Isn't.

I wish I could say this was the first time something like this had happened to me. Several years ago, I experienced the same shock when Barbour announced it was closing the Heartsong line. Heartsong was where I got my start in traditional publishing, and one day it wasn't there.

I wondered if my career was over.



Turns out, it wasn't. But it wasn't what I thought it would be either. I thought I would publish lots of books with Heartsong, but the number was nine. I thought I would publish lots of books with Love Inspired Historical, and the number was three. (The third comes out this November.)

Monday's news was an unpleasant surprise, and my heart goes out to the LIH authors, the editorial staff, and especially to the readers who enjoy these stories each month. Right now, there are a lot of authors wondering if their careers are over, where should they turn now, and what does the future hold.

All I can say is, God is faithful. He is neither surprised nor dismayed by this news. I know from my own experience that publishing lines close, editors leave, agents change careers, contracts fall through, bookstores close, companies declare bankruptcy...and much more...and through it all, God is faithful.

We need to be faithful, too. If we are called to write and share stories, God will open the doors.

I ask for your prayers, for the authors who are grieving, for the editors who will have to be making changes, and for our readers. Pray for peace, for direction, and that no matter what, we will seek to glorify God with our words and our attitudes.





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43 comments:

  1. I had heard that and a fellow reader asked if writing and complaining would help, if enough did. What worries me is if it's a trend toward the Christian fiction in general. The world is changing sadly. Erica and Gabrielle I have confidence that as well as you write something even better will come along. Hang in there!

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  2. I will be sad to see LIH go, but, it is so true...God is faithful. For this I say AMEN! I will pray for all those affected and those who make decisions. I will continue to pray that you and Gabrielle will be given more opportunities than you know what to do with. 😊

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    1. Thank you so much, Donna. We appreciate your prayers...and thank you for being such a loyal reader and supporter!

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    2. It may not make a difference for the publisher. They have to look at the bottom line and when numbers fall you look at making changes. Romance has been one of the best selling categories in the publishing industry, but Christian romance is a niche, and Christian historical romance is an even smaller niche.

      Anyway, the publisher migjt not notice, but the authors will and we'll be encouraged by the support of our readers.

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  3. This truly saddens me. Change does happen and sometimes we lose things we love because of it. I will be praying that y'all find another place that will publish your historical fiction books, because I truly do enjoy what you both write.

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    1. Thank you, Joy! We'll keep writing, and we'll be trusting God to hep us get our stories to the folks who need them.

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  4. I'm still in shock, and probably will be for quite some time. I have a manuscript for LIH with 5,000 words written that I was literally working on when the email came through. I closed down the file. But--two years ago, when God opened the door for me to write for LIH, He knew all along what would happen. And even now, as I sit here a bit baffled, He's got this, too. He gave us stories to tell and He'll make a way for us to tell them, of that I'm certain.

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    1. Amen. And we'll keep reminding each other of that truth. :)

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    2. AMEN! I truly believe that something better will come along for the both of you! Just keep writing for the glory of God and all will fall into place.

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    3. Praying for both of you (and the other authors affected) - for peace, for comfort, and for direction. Love you both!!

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  5. I am so upset about this news. I love the LIH series.

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    1. Thank you, Connie. It's been a shock. I am hoping something can be done to make the line viable over the next year, or that the LIH authors will have doors open to other opportunities. In the meantime, we'll keep writing and praying. :)

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  6. Erica and Gabe, I was so sorry to hear this news and immediately thought of you ladies. Thank you for the beautiful perspective, I'll be keeping all of you in my prayers.

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    1. Thank you! I'm excited to see what God has in store.

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  7. I was sad to hear the news. Praying for all of you that are dealing with this. I did post on their Facebook page how unhappy I was after hearing the news.

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    1. Thank you, Cheryl! I hope your recover is going well!

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  8. I'm so sorry! How frustrating! :(

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    1. :) It can be frustrating. There's so much in this business we can't control, but we have to work on the things we can, our attitudes and writing the stories.

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  9. Erica,

    Well said. I'm looking forward to the new doors God has for you and Gabe!

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  10. Praying for you and all involved. I know the feeling when you get that e-mail, but I've also watched God prove His faithfulness as the dust settles.

    He's got this. Just watch. <3

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    1. :) Thank you, Rachel. We've been through this before, haven't we?

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  12. Such a sad,shocking blow to both authors and readers! Will pray for you,Gabrielle,and all the other LIH authors that you will all find publishers for your stories!

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    1. Thank you, Lynne! Thank you for reading our work and supporting us!

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  13. Hello, ladies. As a writer for the contemporary Love Inspired line, I want to add my feelings of shock and heartache over the sad news. We are like a little family within Love Inspired and we've suffered a huge loss. I'll be praying for all of the writers and editors. My hope is that your beautiful words of faith will continue to shine a bright light in the writing world. Wishing you blessings and peace.

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  14. My heart is hurting for all the authors of LIH and the other lines. These closed doors hurt. And it's difficult to find other doors. But...God is faithful. Praying for you.

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    1. Thank you, Jill! We'll figure it out with God's help. :)

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  15. GREAT attitude everyone. WTG! And God-honoring as well.

    Don't know if it might be a possibility but others who've done well and have well known names have started publishing their own genre. Just a thought.

    If you have a good following and band together, that could be a real possibility.

    Might have to hire a biz manager/CEO type, but...

    Anyway - just tossing that idea out, for when y'all recover a bit.

    So sorry to hear but as you say, God isn't surprised in the least and has something better for those who love Him.

    Stay the course! Keep the faith!

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    1. Thank you so much! We'll be exploring all our options in the coming days, and indie publishing is definitely on the table. :)

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  16. I had a similar thought--all the LIH authors ' editors could form your own publishing company & you could each have. Portion of your own company...just a thought.
    Vicki

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    2. That's an idea. I'm sure lots of LIH authors will be publishing their work themselves in the coming months.

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  17. I'm so sorry Erica and Gabrielle. I was so saddened by this news. LIH was my favorite. I know God has a plan for you to get your stories to the world. Just be sure to let me know when and where. I'll read them! I'll shout from my laptop about how good they are. Much love and prayers to you both and all the others affected by this news.

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    1. We so appreciate your support! So encouraging! Thank you!

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  18. Erica and Gabrielle, I was stunned and saddened by the news of LIH closing. I'm grateful for the opportunity they gave me to see my stories in print. I'm waiting for God's direction and praying for the editors, authors and readers.

    Hugs, Janet

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    1. :) God's going to do something great through all of this, I'm confident! We'll be praying for the editors, authors and readers, and then we'll keep doing the work! Blessings to you, Janet!

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  19. "...and that no matter what, we will seek to glorify God with our words and our attitudes." A beautiful goal and prayer at such a difficult time, Erica. I was so sorry to hear this news of the closing of the LIH line. As you say, it's alarming to think that so many authors depending on that income just learned that it will abruptly end. But thank you for reminding us that God is faithful! He is always good and will bring something awesome out of this for all who live and work for His glory. I will pray for you and your fellow authors from LIH. God bless.

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