Interview by Brock Eastman
Featuring the Marcher Lord Press
Brock: Do you enjoy Sci-Fi as much as I do? Or how about speculative and fantasy fiction? You may not have heard of the recent acquisition of Marcher Lord Press by Steve Laube, and you may be wondering why it matters to you. Well, Marcher Lord Press has produced many award winning books over the years and even launched several authors specifically in the genres I mentioned above. Genres, I love, genres I write about. So I wondered why Steve, who also has a literary agency, found Marcher Lord Press such a prize to be had. What did he see in these genres that made him feel this was good investment of his resources? This question gave me hope. He must know that these genres are often overlooked by the industry; from his experience of placing his authors in contracts. So I asked, “Why did you (Steve) acquire Marcher Lord Press?”
Steve: Jeff Gerke, who I have known for many years, had asked me for some advice about his company. In the course of the conversation I wondered if he had considered selling Marcher Lord Press. That led to a series of questions and my interest was piqued.
I’ve long been an advocate of the Speculative genre. So the idea of taking over Marcher Lord Press felt like a God-directed opportunity. My passion for this genre has never wavered. It has been a privilege over the years to work as an editor and as an agent with some of the best this genre has had to offer in Karen Hancock, Kathy Tyers, Chuck Black, Patrick Carr, Randy Ingermanson & John Olson, Lisa Bergren, Donita K. Paul, Carla Laureano, Tosca Lee, Bryan Davis, Sharon Hinck, Jared Wilson, and others. My hope is to continue those efforts as a publisher and build upon what Jeff Gerke created these past few years.
Brock: What is your outlook for the genres Marcher Lord Press will serve?
Steve: The Speculative category has three umbrella genres that MLP will serve. Fantasy, Science-Fiction, and Supernatural (or what some call paranormal). Each of those umbrella genres have a multitude of different stories within them. For example within science fiction we have time travel, space opera, first contact, military, space exploration, and more. If you go to a general market bookstore and look at that section you will find the wide spectrum of genres available.
Brock: Any new releases planned or on the horizon?
Steve: New releases will start late Summer or early Fall. As of this interview there are 4 or 5 new releases planned for that season.
Brock: Are you currently seeking new projects for Marcher Lord Press?
Steve: Absolutely. And always will be looking for the very best writers with the very best stories.
Brock: Will you keep the name intact?
Steve: Yes. Jeff Gerke built Marcher Lord Press into a strong brand. It is common for MLP titles to be a finalist or win a number of prestigious awards. You can see the nearly 40 titles we have already and sign up for a monthly newsletter @ www.marcherlordpress.com.
Brock: How will Marcher Lord Press fit into your agency?
Steve: Marcher Lord Press is a separate company from the agency. As such it is run in a way that all authors and agents, including those with The Steve Laube Agency, must submit proposals to MLP for consideration.
Brock: What advantages do you see to having an agency and a publishing house?
Steve: An excellent question. There is much about the publishing business that goes on behind the scenes and can be somewhat mysterious or difficult to get specific answers; questions concerning sales channels, metadata issues, piracy, managing print and distribution costs, etc. All of it is usually proprietary information and is not readily shared. By entering the publishing side of the equation it will provide insight into what works and what doesn’t in marketing, work-flow efficiencies, acquisitions, and a host of other things.
Brock: I want to thank Steve for taking the time to answer my questions. As a reader and author of Speculative Fiction, I am encouraged by his outlook and excitement for the genre. Be sure to stay tuned for many great things from MLP.
Steve Laube, a literary agent and president of The Steve Laube Agency (www.stevelaube.com), has been in the book industry for over 33 years, first as a bookstore manager where he was awarded the National Store of the Year by CBA. He then spent over a decade with Bethany House Publishers and was named the Editor of the Year. He later became an agent where he has represented nearly 1,000 new books and was named Agent of the Year by ACFW. He was also inducted into the Grand Canyon University Hall-of-Fame by their College of Theology. In addition, he is the president and owner of Marcher Lord Press (marcherlordpress.com). His office is in Phoenix, Arizona.
Note: After buying the publishing company, Steve Laube changed the name from Marcher Lord Press to Enclave Publishing.