Yesterday, an official announcement went out stating as of the end of 2011, the Heartsong Presents book club will cease to exist. The book club is being canceled. After nearly 20 years and over 1,000 titles released, this club will see its last shipment in December of this year.
To say I was stunned when I heard this doesn't even begin to describe the feelings I've been experiencing. Not only does it mean book club members won't be receiving those wholesome romances they love (both to read and pass on to friends or young female readers), but it means I have to find another publishing house for my books and writing. Two of my books promised for contract are now not going to be contracted.
A lot of big-name Christian fiction authors got their start by writing for Heartsong Presents. Authors like Tracie Peterson, Colleen Coble, Kristen Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter, Mary Connealy, Judith Miller, Donita K. Paul, and at least 20 others. I just can't think of their names right now. :)
I can't say I'm surprised, as I've seen the club numbers dwindle over the past 3-4 years. The world of publishing is changing, and unfortunately, this book club no longer fits the needs and buying habits of the average Christian romance reader. Mass-markets are going the way of the dinosaur, and those looking for value-priced books are migrating to e-books by the thousands!
I joined this club in 1992 when it first began, and this club gave me my first publishing contract. It is with bittersweet fondness that I begin the process of saying goodbye.
At least the 4-in-1 novella collections will continue. And they are going to continue doing the repacks of Heartsong books until they have released ALL Heartsong titles in a 3-in-1 repack. Barbour Publishing will also continue with the Romancing America line with the novellas, and they have trade-length BRIDE/WEDDING single title romances coming out starting this year. This is in addition to their standard trade-length single titles in the romance genre. Romance is still strong with them. It just won't be through Heartsong Presents anymore.