Friday, May 27, 2011

with Hartline's heart, Joyce Hart

The Barn Door Book Loft. Free Books! Book Giveaways.

It's Hartline week here at The Book Loft! All of this week's books were contracted by Hartline Literary. Enjoy!

Joyce Hart has been a literary agent since 1992. She was formerly the vice president of marketing of an inspirational publishing company and as the president of Hartline Marketing has nearly thirty three years of successful experience marketing and promoting books. Joyce has been a pioneer in selling high quality fiction to the inspirational market and has built an excellent rapport with leading inspirational publishers. A member of ACFW, and the National Association of Professional Women, Joyce is a graduate of Open Bible College, Des Moines, IA now merged with Eugene Bible College in Eugene, Oregon. Joyce is based at Hartline Literary's Pittsburgh headquarters.

Follow the From the Heart blog here.

Welcome to The Book Loft, Joyce. It's an honor having you.
How did your past prepare you for what you currently do?
I worked for Whitaker House Publishing for 11 years. I started as a secretary and eventually became the Vice President of Marketing. I did many jobs while I worked there, both in sales and in editorial.

Do you have a certain genre or even writing style you like to represent or a sweet spot in the industry that you find yourself returning to?
It seems like romance, romantic suspense, and historical are what I sell the most of. I have always loved fiction and I seem to gravitate to good stories.

What is it in a story that catches your attention?
Usually if I fall in love with the characters, that’s what draws me in. I like unusual settings, but that’s not a main consideration

Are there things you do NOT want to see? How about things you're looking for?
I’m not an expert on fantasy or science fiction. I’ll leave that to the younger generations.
I’m looking for well-written fiction, for non-fiction written by well-known authors.

What's your least favorite and most favorite part of being an agent?
I love working with our clients. It’s exciting to help a first time author sell their first book and it’s exciting to help a well-published author get a really good contract with a publisher that they want to write for.

We all have strengths and weaknesses. What do you see as one of your strengths as an agent?
It would have to be my long term relationships with the editors and publishing houses and my 30 plus years of experience in the industry.

Tell us about the process of how you choose authors to represent.
If their writing or subject matter grabs my interest and I find myself wanting to read more, I will usually contact that author and we take it from there.

Do you have some words for unagented writers? Pointers, tips, encouragement—anything that might help them along their way or make them more appealing to agents.
Attend writers conferences, learn how to prepare a really good proposal, network with other authors. If you are writing nonfiction, develop a strong platform. But most of all- never give up!

Joyce, what led you to start Hartline Literary Agency?
I worked 11 years for a Christian Publisher, then in 1990 started Hartline Marketing and was a Publishers Rep. I began to receive manuscripts from authors, hoping I might help them get published. I became an agent and sold my first title in 1992. That author continues to be one of my bestselling authors and is a very dear friend.

Thank you for being with us today, Joyce, and for your encouragement to never give up.

You can purchase A Writer's Survival Guide to Publication here.

To be entered in the book drawing for A Writer's Survival Guide to Publication, leave a comment on any and all of the Spot on PEAs posts this week. Winner will be announced on June 15th.

If you have trouble leaving a comment, you can email your comment to me at Patty {at} PattyWysong {dot}com.


Meredith said...

I also like unusual settings. I'm not sure I'd enjoy a lot of books set right here where I live!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Dee Yoder said...

Thank you for this interview, Patty! I am a new client to the Hartline Agency and I'm very grateful to be there. I look forward to working with Terry Burns and getting to know everyone at the agency. Can't wait to be entered in this contest, either!

Millie Samuelson said...

WOW -- these Harline Agency interviews are GREAT! I've been awesome Diana's client for several years, so it's been fun to learn LOTS that I didn't know about the agency, the agents, and some of the client-authors! Agency blessings! :-)

Millie Samuelson said...

OH NO -- I misspelled HarTline above! I hope Joyce and Diana don't kick me out. . . :-(

Christine Lindsay said...

Character is uppermost for me as well, but if I find a couple of great characters in a lot of trouble in an unusual setting---I'm doubly excited.

Anonymous said...

Good interview!
I'd like to win this book!

Carrie Turansky said...

I enjoyed learning more about Joyce. She has been my agent for several years, and I've appreciated her wisdom and guidance. Thanks for sharing the cover from my novel, Seeking His Love. That was a fun surprise when I read this post. : )

Judy B said...

Very Interesting interview. Please enter me. Thanks!

Judy B

JoyAveryMelville said...

Hi, Patty.
What a terrific blog posting. It's really more than an interview - spotlight on Hartline is good description. I'm very glad I checked it out.
Please enter my name in the drawing -
Thank you, Patty for teaching the Clearing The Blog Fog class. I've never had any class that taught me so much in such a short amount of time and gives back to me over and over as I practice what YOU preached. ;)
Joyfully blogging because you were willing to answer soooo many questions!
Joy Avery Melville

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