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

Where to find agents

If your goal is to be published by one of the major houses, you’ll need an agent. Writer’s Market lists agents on its website, and also publishes a Guide to Literary Agents. The Association of Authors’ Representatives, the main professional organization for agents, maintains a directory of its members. Check agent websites to ensure they’ve been in business for a while, and that they handle books in your topic area or genre. Approaching an agent who specializes in contemporary Amish romances with your bodice-ripping historical novel is Not Recommended.

The same way you would review resumes if you were hiring, or the way you would investigate companies if you were looking for a job, you must examine agents and publishers to find those that are the best fit for your topic area and personality. That’s one of the reasons conferences are a great way to find an agent. 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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Who the Big Six are and why it matters

books in bookstore

Without a Bix Six publisher, you’re unlikely to see your books stacked in the local store.
Photo by Bitterfly Media Inc.

Publishing pros often speak of the “Big Six,” that is, the top companies currently dominating the business. Each of them encompasses many subsidiaries, and each subsidiary may have a large number of imprints. Altogether, the Big Six encompass dozens, if not hundreds, of imprints. Getting published by any imprint at one of these big houses usually requires an agent. The exception would be if you met an editor at a conference. Or if you’re already famous. Continue reading

What’s traditional about publishing

Since the earliest days of mechanized publishing, when Herr Gutenberg was putting ink to paper in what for the time was a staggering pace, there have been printers and publishers and, as noted earlier, these were usually two different people. The publisher paid the printer to produce the book, and the publisher made his money on sales of the book. If the author was lucky, he got a cut, too, but for a long time, especially in the states, this was iffy. No one likes to admit it these days, but a big portion of the profits of publishers in the 19th century came from bootleg copies of books by British authors like Charles Dickens. Continue reading