Publishing Model

Writing for Marcher Lord Press

So you think you’ve got what it takes to be a Marcher Lord? Well, here’s your chance to find out.

Marcher Lord Press publishes only the best speculative stories from the Christian worldview.So if you’ve got one you think is amazing, you’re in the right place.

Here is your opportunity to prove that you can take your place beside the stalwart men and women who have gone before you as Marcher Lord Press authors.

But before you go any further, you must understand how Marcher Lord Press is different from traditional Christian publishers.

The Marcher Lord Press Publishing Model

What is it that sets Marcher Lord Press apart from every other Christian publishing company?

If you’re curious about the industry—or you think you might want to become a Marcher Lord Press author—this is an essential question.

The most obvious thing that sets Marcher Lord Press apart is the kind of fiction it concentrates on. No other Christian publishing company is dedicated to nothing but Christian speculative fiction.

What is Christian speculative fiction, you ask? It’s the cool stuff: fantasy, science fiction, time travel, spiritual warfare, alternate history, chillers, superhero fiction, near-future technothrillers, and supernatural thrillers. All the Christian stories that are off the edge of the map. We cater to those who love Christian fantasy and science fiction. The Christians who love Heroes and Battlestar Galactica and Lord of the Rings.

Traditional Christian publishing companies have so many employees and so much overhead that they have to sell at least thousand of copies of any book in order to break even. We are a small press and keep a low overhead therefore need to sell fewer units to cover our costs.

Marcher Lord Press is small and independent and can publish exactly the kind of novels its leadership likes. It is not so big that it is constrained to publish only what the public demands.

All Christian publishing companies of any size are closed to unagented authors. Marcher Lord Press is open to anyone and everyone who 1) has a completed manuscript of appropriate length, 2) writes from a Christian worldview, and 3) has written a story that we would like.

Best of all for the author, Marcher Lord Press has one of the most author friendly book contracts in all of Christian publishing.

The Flipside

But there are other distinctives about Marcher Lord Press that might not be as appealing to aspiring Christian novelists. You need to hear these and consider them before asking to become a Marcher Lord Press author.

First, Marcher Lord Press offers no author advances. Authors receive a much higher royalty rate, but get almost nothing in advance. (Neither do they pay up front—Marcher Lord Press is not a vanity press or self-publishing entity.)

Second, Marcher Lord Press does highly selective, even minimal, marketing of the novels we publish. There will be no multi-city book tours or TV appearances or advertisements in Publisher’s Weekly. (Authors may line up some of these independently, however, and MLP will certainly support those efforts.)

Third, Marcher Lord Press titles will probably not sell in high numbers. A traditional Christian publishing company might sell 7,000 units of a novel and call it an abject failure. Marcher Lord Press might sell 3,000 units of a novel and call it a bestseller.

Fourth, for the previous reason, a literary agent might advise an author not to publish with Marcher Lord Press. The reasoning would go something like this.

Traditional publishers, the agent might say, look at the sales histories of your previous published books. If you publish with Marcher Lord Press and your book sells only 1,000 units, a traditional publisher might say that this author simply can’t sell enough books, so we’ll pass on him or her.

Such a scenario may very well happen, but if you were to explain in your proposal to such a publisher that Marcher Lord Press successfully targeted a niche market and exceeded its sales expectations, most editors will be okay with it. Publishing professionals are supposed to make publishing decisions based on whether or not they think they can succeed with a book, not based on some silly argument like the one outlined above.

But you should know what some people might say if you publish with Marcher Lord Press.

Marcher Lord Press has precisely targeted its market and has positioned itself through pricing and expertise to reach that market and satisfy demand. It is poised to react to quick growth and is equipped to thrive with modest sales. Marcher Lord Press is a small publisher effectively reaching a niche market.

The ideal Marcher Lord Press author does not have stars in his eyes and is not expecting the standard rich and famous contract. Marcher Lord Press tends to attract the mature Christian novelist who has a wonderfully off-the-map story that simply must be told.

If you think that’s you, check out our writer’s guidelines.