by Patty Smith-Hall
Last week, I received the news that every writer dreads hearing. After ten years and hundreds of wonderful books, Harlequin cut the Love Inspired Historical line. In one brief email, forty-eight spots for historical romance vanished. Veteran authors were suddenly without a home for their books. Talented editors were left unemployed. Worst of all, dedicated readers were left shocked at the demise of a line that was like a member of their family.
It was quite personal for me. For most of my writing journey, writing for Love Inspired Historical was my dream job that became a wonderful reality. I wrote five books for them and had hopes of writing more. After the initial shock wore off, I was left with one question.
Where do I go from here? After a week of prayer and reflection, I’ve come up with four things to do when your publisher closes down your line.
After the news broke about LIH, one of the authors said it felt like a death in the family, and she’s right. For most writers, your editor is a cheerleader, a confidant, a friend. You entrust your ‘baby’ with them, certain they can make your manuscript even better. The shock of losing something that has played such an important part in your writing journey is not only understandable, it’s to be expected. So grieve. Cry if you feel like it. Kick a cabinet or two.
Unresolved grief not only hurts your writing, it hurts you as a person.
2) Turn a negative into a positive.
Instead of focusing on what you’ve lost, try turning the tables on it. It’s easy to lament over the negatives of the situation but looking at it from a different angle will lift your spirits. List all the positives that you see in the situation. Have you been putting off stretching your writing chops because it’s easier to stay where you are? Thinking about indie publishing? Growth always comes out of hardship.
3) Be open to to change.
Change is difficult for most of us, and we do just about anything to avoid it. But change is also inevitable. So look within yourself. What do you envision for your writing future? Where do you see yourself in five years? Now is the time to look at what changes you need to make to get you to that next level.
4) Come up with a plan.
Once you’ve mourned the loss, it’s time to get your head back in the game. Have you got an idea that you’ve had on the back burner, waiting for ‘someday?’ Maybe, now’s the time to dust off that old manuscript and use the tools you’ve learned from your experience? Are you ready to dip your toes into indie publishing? Download some books on marketing and publicity. Talk to indie authors. Soak up as much knowledge as you can. It may take some time for your plan to come together, so relax and enjoy this new direction God has taken you in. Remember–a door may have slammed shut, but a window of opportunity will open.
be available in July on Amazon.