Guest Blogger: Marcher Lord Press Launches!

by Jeff Gerke

Fans of Christian fantasy and science fiction, be encouraged! Whether you read it or you write it–or both–this is an exciting time for you.

Today, October 1, marks the launch of a new publishing company dedicated to the kind of fiction you love. Marcher Lord Press instantly becomes the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction–mainly because it’s the only one to produce those genres exclusively!

Marcher Lord Press is launching with three full-length print novels for Christian adults and older teens. Summa Elvetica by Theodore Beale is a thoughtful fantasy based on a wonderful premise: what if the High Church decided to determine whether or not elves have souls? Summa Elvetica is one part Canterbury Tales, one part Thomas Aquinas, and five parts fantasy fun.

The Personifid Invasion by R. E. Bartlett is action science fiction in a future in which science has allowed humans to transfer their consciousness into artificial bodies, and thus live forever. But certain other spiritual entities, known in the future as Interterrestrials, have also discovered that these artificial bodies make much better residences than the dry and waterless places to which they are accustomed.

Hero, Second Class by Mitchell Bonds is a roast of all the fantasy elements we hold dear. Cyrus wants to be a Hero in a world in which Heroes must pay dues and Villains are allowed only one eclipse per fiscal quarter. Cyrus is training to be a warrior–so what is this magical energy suddenly pouring from him? An Arch-Villain wants to know too–because Cyrus is the only one who can prevent him from assembling his dastardly P.L.O.T. Device.

So the first thing to be encouraged about is that you’re about to get a new publisher dedicated to the fiction you crave. The second reason to be encouraged is that you’re living in the midst of a publishing revolution.

It is my conviction that we are living in the age of the independent press. With the advent of print-on-demand technology and the Internet as a viable sales and distribution channel, everything has changed. No longer will the big publishing companies have a lock on what you can buy in the bookstore and the censorship to determine what does and doesn’t get published.

That will be a good thing for writers and readers of Christian speculative fiction. The novels being produced by Marcher Lord Press, for instance, would probably not have a chance of being published at a traditional CBA house. And yet there they are.

I predict that new publishers will sprout up using models very similar to MLP’s model. Suddenly there will be a dozen small presses wanting your Christian speculative fiction MS that you’ve been unable to sell anywhere. Halleluiah! Now, you might not be getting the standard rich and famous contract you’d been hoping for, but what you will have is publishers interested in getting your story in front of readers eager to gobble it up.

Many other genres will benefit from this revolution. Those who write and read military fiction, men’s fiction, true crime, or any other genre or subgenre that is currently not accepted at CBA houses will see publishers rising up to fill those niches. It’s a great day to be a writer and reader of “obscure” Christian fiction.

Of course there will be some novels that aren’t as good as others, and there will be freedom too for kinds of books that we’re all glad had previously been censored. That’s part of what happens in a revolution. But the market will correct these and, as we’ve seen with YouTube, the products with any excellence will find their way to the top.

So be encouraged, ye longsuffering fan.

To learn what makes the Marcher Lord Press publishing model different from traditional Christian publishing, click here .
To learn what a marcher lord was, click here .
To read more about Jeff, click here .

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  • Susan

    >Fantastic news!

    I love Christian fantasy, and it’s been hard to find.

  • Mike Dellosso

    >This is great Jeff, and congratulations to you and your authors!

    Another publisher out there focusing exclusively on supernatural suspense, fantasy, and science fiction is Realms of the Strang Book Group (my publisher–yeah!) I too hope to see more publishers taking on this kind of work and seeing the validity and need for it.

    Keep the books coming!

  • Gwen Stewart

    >Jeff,

    Congratulations on your launch! All three books sound excellent. I wish you every success and blessing as you begin and continue your new company.

  • lynnrush

    >How exciting. I’ve been watching this and waiting for October 1st to be here.

    God Bless!!!

  • L. R. Giles

    >Rachelle,

    Does this mean you might be looking for Fantasy or Sci-fi in the future? (In your “what i’m looking for” section of the site I believe it says you aren’t looking for work in those genres). Thanks. God bless.

  • Rachelle

    >l.r giles — I can’t see myself actively looking for fantasy or sci-fi anytime soon, but never say never. (I already have one fantasy project on my client list.)

    Mike, you’re right about Strang and thanks for directing readers there. (Jeff Gerke was largely responsible for getting that fiction program launched.)

    Also, just in case anyone is interested, a few of the publishers ARE now saying they’ll look at fantasy. It doesn’t mean they’ll publish a lot of it, and considering the number of people writing it, your fantasy novel will really have to be excellent to compete. But it means your book may not be automatically rejected based on genre alone.

    There are also agents interested in representing it.

  • Pam Halter

    >AMG has a fantasy line, too.

    I’ve already been to Jeff’s site and bought the two fantasy books. Such easy Christmas shopping! And I may *carefully* read them before I give them. :)

  • Timothy Fish

    >Marcher Lord Press has some factors that favor success, so don’t think I am predicting Jeff’s failure when I disagree with his belief that “Suddenly there will be a dozen small presses wanting your Christian speculative fiction MS that you’ve been unable to sell anywhere.” I am a small press, but I don’t want your manuscripts. The two types of work I am willing to publish are books I believe are profitable and books about which I am passionate.

    Jeff’s potential for profitability depends on the untapped talent in Christian speculative fiction being profitable. That requires short body talent, but his statement implies a drive to sign long tail authors. No small press can make a profit signing a long tail author. Because of their high overhead, small presses are unable to keep quality talent. For a small press to be profitable, it must be much more selective in all aspects of the business, from author selection to editors or printers.

  • Inspire

    >I’d like to add that Summa Elvetica won third place in the Stepping Stones Magazine for Writers book cover contest.

    http://www.freewebs.com/steppingstonesforwriters/index.htm

  • Marla Taviano

    >Interesting.

  • Matthew C Jones

    >Congratulations, Jeff! We all look forward to toasting your success.

    All the best,
    Matt Jones

  • Kim Kasch

    >Good luck Jeff! I think this is a great idea.

    I’m pleased to see the Christian market expanding.

    Plus, as soon as I’m finished reading the three books I’m reading right now: The Shack, On Writing and Masquerade, like Arnold, “I’ll be back” to buy one off your list.

  • Lea Ann McCombs

    >I am not a fan of either of those genres, but I am delighted that Christian fiction is expanding its borders, and in doing so will attract an even wider base of readers of all generes.

    Perhaps one reason Christian fiction is often overlooked by the mainstream public is its lack of variety. Too many of the books are far too predictable and if you’ve had your fill of historical romances or the good-marriage-going-bad-but-they-all-end-up-OK theme, you go elsewhere.

    Three cheers for broadening our options in Christian reading!

  • Courtney Walsh

    >Congratulations to you, Jeff! I know of at least one man (my husband) who will be very, very excited to see more books in this genre! :)

  • XDPaul

    >I ordered the three books at midnight last night, and have just received my two free e-books this morning.

    The e-books are spectacular, and only available for free TODAY, so get ‘em while they are hot. And Free! (You only need to order two of the three books to get both the free e-books.)

  • Jessica

    >wow, a publishing revolution? This is so interesting as there seems to be many changes in our world lately.
    Your books sound fascinating.

  • Anita Mae

    >Congrats, Jeff. I saw you at the ACFW conference and remember your aura of excitement.

    Your passion for your chosen genre is contagious.

    I wish you’d been around 15 yrs ago when we were back-sliders and my non-believing teen gobbled every fantasy book within her grasp.

  • Kat Harris

    >I’m glad to see MLP has “seen the light.”

    And not that they would listen to a lowly blog commenter, but these guys (and everyone who likes Christian fantasy — or regular fantasy for all that matters) should seriously consider checking out JC Lamont’s WIP.

    It’s worth a look.

  • Jennifer AlLee

    >Jeff, you’re one step closer to literary world domination… Mwahahaha!

    Seriously, big congrats to you and everyone involved in MLP. I’ll do what I can to support it and keep the dream alive :+}

  • Merrie Destefano

    >Fantastic post, Rachelle! I can’t wait to see what happens with Marcher Lord Press and Jeff’s vision.

    I am really excited about this new venture and plan to order one of each book.

    I’m looking forward to reading each one.

    Thanks again, Rach!
    Blessings

  • Jefferson Scott

    >Thanks, you guys!

    Launch Day went great, and I’m eager to see people think of Marcher Lord Press for their Christmas shopping…

    Jeff

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  • Joe Bigliogo

    Christianity itself is fantasy.

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