Marcher Lord Press sold

Marcher Lord PressThe Christian Speculative Fiction community is a-flutter today over news that Jeff Gerke, founder of Marcher Lord Press, sold the five-year-old company to Steve Laube.

Laube is a literary agent with an appreciation for Christian Speculative Fiction, having represented Bryan Davis, Sharon Hinck, and Tosca Lee. Gerke intends to focus on freelance editing and book production services. Continue reading

‘Publishing 3.0’ — what is is and why it matters

Over at TechCrunch, author James Altucher has written an excellent article about the process of self-publishing his book Choose Yourself.choose yourself

Every entrepreneur should self-publish a book, because self-publishing is the new business card. If you want to stand out in a world of content, you need to underline your expertise.—James Altucher

A while back I said there are two kinds of publishing: Author Pays and Someone Else pays. Altucher has a different take on it. What he sees is Professional Publishing and Unprofessional Publishing, and he argues that some of the latter is being done by the big houses. I can’t refute that. Continue reading

Invisible book sales

book sales

Books sold at unusual venues like outdoor fairs often go unreported.
Photo by Maridav, iStockphoto

There’s a problem with “best seller lists” that people in the industry talk about amongst themselves, but I’m not sure whether the general public is aware of it.

Vast numbers of book sales don’t get counted by the compilers of those lists, mainly because the books are published by those outside the Big Six Formidable Five, and also because a lot of those sales don’t happen through regular retail channels. Continue reading

Small Presses: The Alternative to the Big Six

Companies that are not part of the Big Six labyrinth are a vital part of the publishing business. The Big Six may dominate the bestseller lists and the giant book stacks at Barnes & Noble, but small presses, also known as independent publishers, foster creative innovation by serving niche markets.

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When your agent is your publisher

Many people say the new publishing landscape makes agents irrelevant. I’m not sure that’s entirely true, but it certainly seems that, except for those able to represent the biggest best writers to the biggest best publishers, agents have a hard time justifying their role. Agents often won’t take on new and unknown writers, because the big publishers only want big-name authors with big platforms. Publishing is a gamble, and they are trying to reduce their risk.

The best agents provide more than contract negotiations. They provide coaching and administrative support—what some call literary management. That’s one way some agents are answering the charge of irrelevance. Another way is by going into publishing. Continue reading