About Steve

Over the course of his career, Stephen Hines has published eighteen books with over 600,000 copies in print. Using his skills as a literary prospector, Hines has researched and developed four bestsellers: Little House in the Ozarks, (1991; 206,131 printed) “I Remember Laura,” (1994; 106,928 printed), The Quiet Little Woman (1999; 215,000 printed), and Laura Ingalls Wilder: Farm Journalist (2007; 3,500 books sold).

Little House in the Ozarks was a Publishers Weekly bestseller, and The Quiet Little Woman landed on the USA Today and Publishers Weekly gift book lists. (The University of Missouri considers Farm Journalist to be a bestseller from the standpoint of its being an academic title.)

Hines spends his time in magazine and reference archives, on the Internet, and in university libraries to do his research. His Ozarks book republished over 140 forgotten columns of the famous children’s author Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was the first time a large total of these columns had been published in book form. It was also a major Christian Booksellers Association title, though most of the sales were in general trade stores.

The Quiet Little Woman was a significant success for Honor Books. These Christmas stories by Louisa May Alcott reintroduced the nineteenth century’s most popular writer for children to a whole new generation of readers and led to the publication of two more books: Kate’s Choice (2001) and Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas Treasury (2002), a book I sell personally.

The year 2007 saw the release of his complete collection of all of Mrs. Wilder’s writings from the old Missouri Ruralist farm paper for the University of Missouri. These writings were training for Mrs. Wilder’s magnum opus the “Little House” on the Prairie series of books, and Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farm Journalist published her work just as it appeared in the original paper, retaining Mrs. Wilder’s unique spelling and grammar.

Hines’s eighteenth book was Titanic: One Newspaper, Seven Days, and the Truth That Shocked the World and memorialized the 100th anniversary of the sinking of RMS Titanic on the night of April 14/15 of 1912. The title found a home in museums and libraries across the country.

His nineteenth book will be Treasures of Heaven, a devotional to be published by HarperChristian Publishing. It should appear in the next few months.

As a graduate student at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, Hines started his career by editing and writing for the Indiana Oral History Newsletter.  After graduation, Hines moved to Asheville, North Carolina, to work as a copy editor for The Presbyterian Journal, now called World magazine.

From Asheville, Hines and his family moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to work for Thomas Nelson Publishers where he eventually became managing editor. After several years at Thomas Nelson, he went to work as editor for Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, then he was a project editor for the American Association for State and Local History, and then he went to M. Lee Smith Publishers. Now he writes and edits from his home.

Over the years, Hines has also had published:

  • James: A Faith That Works by David C. Cook, 1987
  • Granmother’s Precious Moments™: Special Memories for My Grandchild, with Gwendolyn Hines, by Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990
  • Words From a Fearless Heart by Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995
  • Saving Graces: The Inspirational Writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Broadman & Holman, 1997
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Fairy Poems by Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1998 (30,000 copies in print)
  • The Quiet Little Woman (for young readers) by Honor Books, 2000 (40,000 copies in print)
  • The True Crime Files of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Berkley Books, 2001, with Steven Womack
  • The Christmas Treasury of Louisa May Alcott by RiverOak Publishing, 2002
  • The Abbot’s Ghost and The Baron’s Gloves were his newest Louisa May Alcott discoveries and were published by Thomas Nelson in October, 2005.
  • Ben Hur by Lew Wallace abridges this beloved masterpiece to update it for the modern reader. Thomas Nelson was the publisher in 2005.
  • Blessings of Heaven compiled by Stephen W. Hines. Thomas Nelson published in 2014.

Hines has also appeared on the ABC Family Channel, CNN, and the Governor David Patterson radio show from New York. He has done radio interviews from the Yukon in Canada to Tampa in Florida.

5 thoughts on “About Steve

  1. Steve,

    My name is Aaron Kerr, and I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I enjoy classic books and am fascinated by the undiscovered gems that exist in the public domain from so many great authors. I have built a business in the past two years around this type of publishing.

    I’ve discovered several of the books you published and have been trying to get in touch. Would you be willing to dialog via email? I would love to talk to you.

    Thanks,
    Aaron

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    • What do you have in mind? I have concentrated most of my research around Laura Ingalls Wilder because of a natural interest I have in her. I have had some successes and many failures, which is about par for the course.

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      • Steve,

        Much of my interest and passion for classic books started when my wife began reading the Little House on the Prairie series to my daughters. I have four daughters, ages three through ten. We are on our third or fourth set of Laura paperbacks. The girls read them so much and take them everywhere; the books eventually fall apart.

        We took a long road trip a few years ago to Pepin, Wisconsin where Laura Ingalls Wilder was born. They do a Laura Days festival that celebrates Laura’s life and writing. It was a fantastic trip for our whole family.

        My interest in reaching out was two-fold. First, I am fascinated by the work you do to research and discover older, forgotten writings. This is something I would love to learn more about. Have you done any writing about this work and the process you follow?

        Secondly, I’ve noticed that several of your previous publications which did very well — some of the successes as you called them — don’t exist in a digital format. Kate’s Choice, The Quiet Little Woman, Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas Treasury, and others don’t seem to be available for Kindle.

        I’ve managed to find some of these titles through our local library. From my own publishing experience, I know there is a MASSIVE demand for these types of works in digital form. I believe releasing them digitally could help them be rediscovered all over again.

        Do you have any interest in publishing these for Kindle and other digital formats? If you’d like to talk outside of the blog comments, feel free to email me: aaron (at) timelessreads (dot) com

        Thanks so much for your time,
        Aaron

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  2. Aaron: Thanks so much for your persistence. I am indeed considering what to do with the titles you have mentioned. At one time my agent felt he could get Christmas Treasury and The Quiet Little Woman back in print, along with “I Remember Laura”; but I need to recontact him. Basically, if you wanted to try Wilder research, there is information in books written by William Anderson that states both Carrie Ingalls and Mary Ingalls did some writing. Mary for the Congregational Church, and Carrie through her work in journalism. This may be an area you want to look into. I have gone on to other projects. Basically, there is no one method for rediscovering valuable material; you have to pursue your interests. I own quite a few old reference books. These books help me review what was once popular with an idea of putting it back into print. I would look for famous authors who may have started their careers in obscurity, and then look to see if they published anything early in their career that may have been overlooked. Mystery writer Rex Stout did a few early novels that have been brought back into print. I think there copyright may have lapsed. Do write to the US Copy Right office and ask for some of their bulletins. This will help you know what is in the public domain and what is not. (I believe, though don’t quote me, that anything published before 1923 is in the public domain in the US.) All good wishes, Steve

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    • Steve,

      Thanks so much for sharing some ideas. I will definitely take a look at some of the ideas and resources you mentioned. I am constantly amazed at the treasures that exist, largely forgotten. I have 5 little ones at home now, so I have an interest in children’s books. I’ve recently discovered a fantastic illustrated series which is no longer in print and hasn’t been done well digitally. I’m in the process of bringing those to Kindle.

      I started my publishing company, Timeless Reads, two years ago. In that time, I’ve done over $200,000 in sales on titles published $2.99 and below. I believe I’ve learned a lot about how to help get exposure to classic works. If you are ever looking for a partner to help release your titles digitally, please let me know. I would love to talk.

      Aaron

      Like

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