A Tiny Step — Better Than None.

October 17, 2009
Marcher Lord Press Announces Marcher Lord Select
(Colorado Springs, CO)–Marcher Lord Press, the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction, today announces the debut of a revolution in fiction acquisitions.
"Marcher Lord Select is American Idol meets book acquisitions," says publisher Jeff Gerke. "We’re presenting upwards of 40 completed manuscripts and letting ‘the people’ decide which one should be published."
The contest will proceed in phases, Gerke explains, in each subsequent round of which the voters will receive larger glimpses of the competing manuscripts.
The first phase will consist of no more than the book’s title, genre, length, a 20-word premise, and a 100-word back cover copy teaser blurb. Voters will cut the entries from 40 to 20 based on these items alone.
"We want to show authors that getting published involves more than simply writing a great novel," Gerke says. "There are marketing skills to be developed–and you’ve got to hook the reader with a good premise."
Following rounds will provide voters with a 1-page synopsis, the first 500 words of the book, the first 30 pages of the book, and, in the final round, the first 60 pages of the book.
The manuscript receiving the most votes in the final round will be published by Marcher Lord Press in its Spring 2010 release list.
No portion of any contestant’s mss. will be posted online, as MLP works to preserve the non-publication status of all contestants and entries.
Participating entrants have been contacted personally by Marcher Lord Press and are included in Marcher Lord Select by invitation only.
"We’re also running a secondary contest," Gerke says. "The ‘premise contest’ is for those authors who have completed a Christian speculative fiction manuscript that fits within MLP guidelines and who have submitted their proposals to me through the Marcher Lord Press acquisitions portal before October 29, 2009."
The premise contest will allow voters to select the books that sound the best based on a 20-word premise, a 100-word back cover copy teaser blurb, and (possibly) the first 500 words of the book.
The premise contest entrants receiving the top three vote totals will receive priority acquisitions reading by MLP publisher Jeff Gerke.
"It’s a way for virtually everyone to play, even those folks who didn’t receive an invitation to compete in the primary Marcher Lord Select contest."
Marcher Lord Select officially begins on November 1, 2009, and runs until completion in January or February 2010. All voting and discussions and Marcher Lord Select activities will take place at The Anomaly forums in the Marcher Lord Select subforum. Free registration is required.
"In order for this to work as we’re envisioning," Gerke says, "we need lots and lots of voters. So even if you’re not a fan of Christian science fiction or fantasy, I’m sure you love letting your voice be heard about what constitutes good Christian fiction. So come on out and join the fun!"
Marcher Lord Press is a Colorado Springs-based independent publisher producing Christian speculative fiction exclusively. MLP was launched in fall of 2008 and is privately owned. Contact: Jeff Gerke; www.marcherlordpress.com.
I received the above press release from Jeff via email, along with an invitation to participate in the premise contest. It’s not the main contest, but hey, an opportunity is an opportunity, right?
So now I have 12 days to once again sweat, cry and bleed over my premise and submit it. Also, if you’d like to participate as a voter (please, please, please do!) click on the Anomoly forum link above. I may also post my premise here in the next few days so you can give me ideas on how to improve upon it. I could use all the help I can get.

6 thoughts on “A Tiny Step — Better Than None.

  1. With voting shows for singing, dance, and design and comedy out there, I was wondering when they might find a way to do a contest for writing in a similar way.
    Kinda exciting!
    Best of luck to you! Are you using “A Reason to Hope”, or your other full novel?


  2. Kara!
    How’ve you been? I suppose I could have kept up with your blog to find out,
    It is kind of exciting. The hard part will be making sure people vote on the
    writing and not the person. I’d hate for it to end up being a popularity
    contest. Luckily the publisher is aware and is looking for ideas on how to
    prevent it.
    To answer your question, I’ll be submitting my other novel.


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