Today I was going to continue my series on how I write and publish a novel. Ironically, that might be changing in the next couple months since my publisher, Marcher Lord Press, was just purchased.
There has been a lot of different reactions to this change ranging from shock, to cautious hope, to anger, and even a hint of betrayal. Fans are known to be passionate, and that passion is definitely coming out now.
I thought that by sharing my own thoughts as one of MLP’s authors I might assuage some of the fear and wondering out there.
First, let me assure you there has been a lot of prayer over this decision. Lots and lots of prayer. I was one of the people praying. Nothing was done in haste or in greediness, but in what was best for Marcher Lord Press.
Because there was so much prayer involved, it saddened me to see that no one commented about God’s involvement in this decision when the news broke. Many people reacted, but I think people forgot that God is over everything, even this. There is no need to fear. God will accomplish what He will accomplish, even in the area of Christian speculative fiction.
Because God is sovereign, I believe we should hope, not in the “Gee, I hope this turns out well” but in the “I believe it will”. I believe Marcher Lord will continue to do what it does best: produce great speculative novels with a Christian worldview. Not because of anything we do but because God can do it. And I believe He will.
So my thoughts? I am excited to see what God is going to do. I am looking toward the future in a positive way. Is it a little scary to be in the midst of a transition like this? Yes. Especially since I still have one more book in the Follower of the Word series contracted with Marcher Lord (which I have been assured will be published).
I have also spoken already with Steve Laube, the new owner of Marcher Lord Press. I’ve known about Steve for a long time and have greatly admired him. As Jeff has shared elsewhere, Steve has been a champion for Christian speculative fiction a lot longer than Jeff. I’m excited about the things Steve hopes to bring to Marcher Lord Press.
On that note, pray for this transition. Pray for Jeff Gerke as he leaves Marcher Lord to pursue other areas God has called him to. Pray for Steve Laube as he steps into this new position. Pray for Marcher Lord Press. Change is never easy. But prayer can ease the transition.
Here is the link to the official press release: Steve Laube Buys Marcher Lord Press
*The Q&A with Steve Laube is now live.
32 thoughts on “My Thoughts on the Sale of Marcher Lord Press”
Thanks for posting your thoughts, Morgan. I really think the web needs more people who are actually involved in this development, one way or another (I consider lifting it in prayer “involved”) having their say. It makes me sad to see people lashing out over it.
Blessings on the inevitable shifts that will happen in how work gets done around MLP.
Thanks, Becky. I thought I should say something and remind people God is involved in all of this. I even needed to remind myself a couple times the last few days lol.
Well said, Morgan. Very well said. And I stand with you in prayer for Jeff, Steve, and Marcher Lord Press, its authors and all the readers it has touched. I agree that God’s hand is on this and it will turn out well for all involved.
Thank you, Henry 🙂
I really wish I had heard the news FROM Jeff Gerke. That, to me, was what made it so shocking. I am on at least two different MLP mailing lists and both have been silent. I would have thought that would have been the first place it was announced and it wasn’t. I did see Jeff trying to reply to folks who were taking about this on FB, way after the fact, but I would have liked to see Jeff’s perspective FIRST. I believe you if you say this was prayed over and I don’t doubt God’s direction, but one of the reasons people may have doubts is that they haven’t heard Jeff’s side. Thank you for your perspective, Morgan.
Caprice, I can understand that.
I literally gasped out loud when I saw your post come into my inbox because I’d spent the afternoon writing a similar post of my own (scheduled for tomorrow) with almost the exact title! I thought mine had posted early, LOL. Even a few things you said were similar (only yours are better stated.)
I forgot at first to think of God’s hand in this but, when I remembered, all fear and anxiety disappeared. I’m very excited for the transition and am praying right along with you. Thank you for sharing this. It’s such a blessing to see the same mindset from a fellow MLP author who’s been in this publishing world a lot longer than I have. 🙂
Good. I think more posts pointing people towards God and hope in all of this, the better 🙂
You’re right. My initial reaction was not so good, but God has a plan.
Dawn, I was shocked at first, like someone was going to jump out and say, “April Fool’s”, and I knew more about what was going on than most people. But after I recovered, I could totally see God’s hand in this. It truly is a great thing for MLP.
Well said, Morgan. None of us like change, but it’s the only constant in publishing these days. I’m currently going through a similar situation as the publisher of my fantasy series– NavPress–transitions into an alliance with Tyndale. Like you, I’ve been reminded that God is in control in all things, even this. And a few months into my own change, the one thing I’ve realized is that all the people involved here love books, love authors, and are committed to doing the best job possible regardless of the circumstances. It’s a lot less scary with the perspective that we’re all in it together, which I’m sure will be very much the case with the MLP purchase. Blessings!
Carla, thanks for the reminder that yes this happens quite a bit in publishing. I think because MLP is a large fish in a small pond, there was a bigger rippling affect.
Super post, Morgan. We’re all in this together, praying and trusting that when God changes things, it’s good. And wishing the best for Jeff, for Steve, for you and me and all the other MLP authors, and for the many fans of Christian speculative fiction!
You are right. I did not see ANY mention of God, or prayer, or any indication that God’s will was sought in this process. Just one day I open Facebook and see that Marcher Lord Press was sold, and we should all be happy about it. Was a complete shock to me, and yes I was one of those who felt a hint of betrayal and some abandonment. I’ve been working on a book (series of books) that was a topic challenge given by Jeff Gerke that is taking me a lot longer to finish than I ever intended (because it’s longer than I imagined it would be!). It’s heavily Christian, chock full of prayer, and scripture, and angels and demons, and all that. But it’s also very far from mainstream, very speculative, and I don’t think any other publisher will consider it, if not Marcher Lord Press. So I thank you for writing that there was at least some prayer involved, though God was not acknowledged in the announcement and that deeply concerns me. If the new owners are not putting God first and at the center of the business, then there is going to be a serious vacuum here that will invite some dangerous forces to have influence over the company instead. We don’t need money worshipers to take over any more areas of God’s influence in the world. This article helped some, but I am still concerned and still discouraged.
That is understandable. Our emotions are not light switches that we can turn on or off (as much as I wish otherwise). So it is not bad that there is a mixed bag of thoughts and emotions on this move. Everyone will process this news in their own way. Take the time you need to digest this news. And if there is anything I can do to encourage you, both with the MLP sale, or even with your writing, just let me know.
I was startled by the news until I saw that Jeff had sold Marcher Lord Press to Steve Laube. I can think of no one else more suitable to take the reins. Much success..
I agree, Janalyn.
Steve Laube is an excellent agent. I can see him taking Marcher Lord Press to a new level. Congratulations, to Jeff, and Steve, and all the authors at Marcher Lord Press who make it worth buying.
I believe Steve will.
Thanks so much for sharing your perspective as an MLP author involved in all this. My first thought was shock (Jeff is synonymous with MLP in my mind), and then excitement that the new owner was Steve Laube. And then I thought, “He’s gonna need prayer!”
It’s difficult enough to start up and run a small press like Jeff did — and now Steve has the challenge of transition, proving that MLP still stands for great Christian spec fic, and growing the business. From what I know of Steve, he’s got a plan and he’s got a faithful heart. Whether or not MLP keeps going in the direction Jeff was taking it, I pray that God’s purposes for the publishing house is accomplished! I hope others will hold fast their hope and join us in praying God’s will be done.
Teddi, you’re right. It is hard to start and run and small press. I think most people have no idea the sweat, time, commitment, and sacrifice it takes. And it can take its toll.
Very good article Morgan, although I must say I was most excited just to find you on wordpress. Keep up the good work.
Thank you, David 🙂