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October 2011

Reporter: Elaine Baldwin

Elaine BaldwinElaine Baldwin is new to the world of novelists, agents and publishers, but not new to grand adventures and tales of conquest thanks to the gift of story from authors old and new. She looks forward to learning and honing the craft and adding her own adventures to the world of stories.

Editor: Janny Butler

Janny ButlerA popular speaker, workshop teacher, and writing coach, Janet W. (Janny) Butler is a Golden Heart winner, author of the “best little book no one’s ever heard of,” ACFW member, and book project editor for the nation’s largest nonprofit Catholic publisher. She blogs at Catholic Writer Chick at Large! and Hoosier Ink. Visit her here.

Spotlight On: Marcher Lord Press

Marcher Lord Press logo“Marcher Lord Press is me,” said Jeff Gerke, founder of the three-year-old publishing house. But don’t let the one-man-operation model fool you. Since its establishment in 2008, Marcher Lord Press books have been nominated for 10 industry awards. This is an achievement Gerke is quick to credit to his team of authors, including two-time Christy Award winner Jill Williamson and Carol Award winners Kirk Outerbridge and Marc Schooley.

Gerke’s enthusiasm for speculative fiction permeated the room. When asked to give his definition of speculative fiction, he said, “Anything weird.”

How it started…

Jeff GerkeMarcher Lord Press was born out of a dozen years of Gerke’s frustration in trying to successfully publish quality speculative fiction with the traditional publishing-house model. The a-ha moment came when he realized fiction readers walking through the doors of Christian retailers were looking for bonnet-and-buggy covers, not vampires and aliens. (Photo: Jeff Gerke, Jill Williamson, and Marc Schooley at the 2011 Carol Awards Gala.)

By contrast, MLP model has been to release three books in each six-month season, targeting internet sales for both print and ebooks. Gerke has used a brick-and-mortar store only once, and that was in Australia.

This innovative model has proven successful—so much so that Gerke is expanding into the YA market. He was proud to introduce his newest author, John Otte, who has written a YA superhero novel, Failstate, which will release in April 2012.

…And how it continues to grow

Gerke also announced MLP’s expansion to five books this fall. Two of the books are previously published classics he bought the rights for and is re-publishing in expanded editions. The Restorer by Sandy Hinck includes bonus scenes, recipes from foods found in the book, and even a section on how to host a Restorer party. Oxygen by John B. Olson and Randy Ingermanson is being re-published as a “writer’s journey” version, also with bonus content.

Marcher Lord Press rounds out their fall releases with three new books. Wind and Shadow by Kathy Tyers is the previously unpublished fourth book in her Firebird series. Gerke also has republished Tyers’s three book Firebird series in an annotated format. Kerry Nietz’s book Freeheads is part of his far-future Dark Trench trilogy. And Steve Rzasa’s Broken Spirit hails from the same universe as The Word Reclaimed.

Want to grow with Marcher Lord Press?

Speculative fiction writers hoping to join Gerke’s winning team may submit their work by following the guidelines on his website.

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