Thursday, July 28, 2011

This week Barbour Publishing announced the company had decided to discontinue their Heartsong Presents Romance line. Editor Becky Germany broke the news to authors who are currently writing for the line or who have written for it in the past.

In her email she said:
In October 1992 a wonderful thing was born – Heartsong Presents Inspirational Book Club. I joined the team the very next year and have seen numerous outstanding authors hone their writing skills and build their readership through this series.

Now, with nearly 1000 books in print and within a changing publishing climate, Heartsong Presents is no longer reaching the readers like it once did so well. Committed book club members are harder to find and more expensive to keep. So Barbour Publishing has decided to close the club at the end of 2011.

And with those words came the realization that the line which launched many of the best-selling authors in today’s Christian fiction market is about to pass into history. Heartsong’s dedicated readers who love a sweet romance with a happy ending will now have to look elsewhere for the stories that have touched their hearts for years.

Along with the announcement that the line was closing came the additional news that Heartsong editor JoAnne Simmons who has been with Barbour for six years will be leaving the company. This news made me especially sad because I had the privilege of working with JoAnne as she guided me through three historical romances and a three-in-one in the Brides Series for the line. However, I know the Lord has great things in store for her.

The good news is that there will still be many opportunities at Barbour for writers of Christian fiction. Becky ended her announcement by saying:

The good news is that fiction remains a strong focus at Barbour Publishing including these lines:
Trade fiction (lots of romance)
Romancing America – romance story collections from both Heartsong Presents and newly written novellas
Bride and Wedding titles set in small American towns
Love Endures – Grace Livingston Hill classics

In 2012, I’ll be ready to look at new proposals, and I will consider Heartsong Presents authors even if you aren’t currently with an agent.

With the renewed emphasis on e-books, I suspect this news from Barbour may only be the beginning of more changes from other publishers to come. The world of publishing is in an upheaval right now, and authors are going to have to adjust to all the changes in the wind if we are to survive.

How do you feel about the demise of Heartsong? Leave a comment and let us know.


  1. Aw, I'm sorry to hear that! :( As I'm hoping to get a job in the publishing industry (as well as to be a published author someday), all this change is a bit scary, but as you noted, there are still many opportunities available, even if some of them are different routes than before. :)


  2. Thank you for sharing this news with our readers, Sandra. I can't help but feel for those Heartsong authors impacted by the change. I felt their remorse just a few months ago, when Heartsong Presents Mysteries, and then Hometown Mysteries, went the same path as the Heartsongs.

    Added to that, I can't help but feel that Barbour is losing a quality editor in JoAnne Simmons. Her love for Christian fiction shone through the books she chose to publish. I wish her all the best.


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