Friday, February 18, 2011
Five Steps to Getting Published by Steeple Hill
Good Morning Seekervillians!
It’s great to be here with you today. Since I’ve contracted and/or published four books with Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense in the past 12 months, I thought a good topic today might be “Writing for Steeple Hill.”
When I started writing eleven years ago, the first market I targeted was Steeple Hill Love Inspired. I wrote book after book, hoping to finally write something to catch their attention. Ten years later, I finally did. My first novel with them, Keeping Guard, released this month. I also have another one coming out in September, and two in 2012.
In the time since I’ve started writing for the company, I’ve realized several things about writing for the line, things that might have saved me a lot of time, effort and heartache if I’d known them earlier.
So, for anyone’s who’s trying to write for Steeple Hill, here’s the best advice I can give you.
1. Read ‘em! I know you’ve heard this one a million times, but it’s so true. If you want to write for Steeple Hill (or whatever publisher, for that matter) make sure you read, read, read the books they’re publishing. This will give you a really good feel for what they want. In fact, I still make an effort to read as many Steeple Hill books as I can, especially when I’m writing my first draft. Doing this keeps their style in my head.
2. Pay attention to ‘em! As you study Steeple Hill books, take note of what you’re reading. The hero and heroine almost always meet on the first couple of pages. Steeple Hill wants them to be together as much as possible during the book. They want rising conflict. They want the character’s goal, motivation and conflict to be apparent within the first chapter. We have to understand the market we’re trying to write for. Steeple Hill isn’t the publisher you want if you’re a rule breaker who wants to do your own thing. This isn’t to say your novel won’t be good—it probably just won’t be a good fit for this publisher.
3. Listen to ‘em! The first proposals I wrote for Steeple Hill I received a form rejection letter. Eventually, however, I began receiving personalized rejections. Eventually still, they offered to let me revise and resubmit. I hate to admit this, but there were times I didn’t want to listen to their feedback. I thought my story was great just the way it was. The first proposal I sold to them was one that I revised twice before receiving a contract. So, when the editors offers to let you resubmit, don’t take that lightly. Listen to their advice and you just might land a contract.
5. Persevere ‘em! Sometimes, even when you read the books, listen to revision suggestions, pay attention to the formula and submit to contests, you still get rejected. Do not despair. Instead, keep trying. Sometimes, you may have to try for a couple of years. Sometimes, you may try for a decade. But every time you try, you learn something. And there’s a great chance that you’ll eventually get a contract. So don’t give up!
Thanks for letting me be here! For more information on my books, visit my website at: http://www.christybarritt.com/!