I’m a writer. An author. But I’m also a reader.
I’m a reader primarily of science fiction and fantasy. But I’m also a Christian.
Why mention the above? Because this is a list of reasons I think supporting the Fall book releases of the “premier publisher of Christian fantasy and Christian science fiction” (as their website proclaims) is something you might consider.
This is a list for READERS.
This is a list for AUTHORS.
This is a list for CHRISTIANS.
If you are none of the above, feel free to skip this post.
1. Solidarity with Other Creatives
I love supporting Kickstarter campaigns and other ways that my fellow creatives are producing and distributing their art. It’s a bonus that these are fellow Christian authors who are salt and light in the entertainment world, producing quality work from a Christian worldview.
2. Belief in a Vision
Enclave Publishing is the new name for Marcher Lord Press, which is the premier (largest, most well known) indie publisher of science fiction and fantasy written by Christians.
(No disrespect intended towards other fantastic Christian indie publishers — there are some great ones out there, and they may yet overtake Enclave’s lead. However, for the moment, everything I’ve seen indicates that Marcher Lord Press has been and is currently the biggest of the indie fish in the Christian speculative fiction pond.)
They want more Christians to read speculative fiction. They want to get more spec fic on the bookshelves of Christian retailers. They want to publish more fantastic Christian authors who write speculative fiction.
This is a vision that I can get behind. These are things I want to see. More on that below.
3. They Take All the Risk, We Still Benefit
Enclave Publishing has a vision that includes some risky and bold ventures into the network of established Christian publishers and retailers that most of us (Christian authors and indie publishers) do not have the contacts, experience or knowledge to reach.
If they succeed, it could open doors to all of us that we could not have opened by ourselves or even working together. We just don’t have the kind of insight and industry savvy that Enclave’s new owner Steve Laube brings to the table. Whether you know and trust the guy or not, whether you like what he’s doing with the company or not, it would be wise to support his efforts in whatever way we can.
Why? Because like it or not, Laube is the guy at the helm of our flagship indie publisher. Even if he fails, we gain from watching the process and from whatever awareness is raised while he tries. That may sound callous, but I’d like to think I’m just being pragmatic.
I’m really hoping — for all our sakes — that he succeeds.
A friend of mine on Facebook objected, “The only people who like this idea are authors, and it’s because they want to be published with Enclave someday.” Well, sure. But what’s wrong with that? It’s a great reason to consider supporting the campaign! (Although I disagree that only authors will benefit, as shown below…)
Are you a Christian author of speculative fiction? Even if you never, ever intend to submit your manuscript to Enclave Publishing, if they succeed in exposing more Christians to speculative fiction and get more Christians and Christian retailers interested in buying this kind of book, you benefit from that.
Even if you write stuff that they’d never publish (due to “mature content” or some such) and their primary target audience wouldn’t want, there will be other Christians who get wind of this surge of Christian speculative fiction. And the Christians who find Enclave’s catalog too tame for their tastes might want your stuff.
Raising awareness among Christians about speculative fiction benefits all of us who write it. tweet this
Personally, I don’t have anything on my current project list that would fit Enclave’s vision or submission guidelines. But maybe someday I will. If they continue to grow (or even continue the success that they’ve had so far), they will continue to be a great place for Christian authors to submit and get their books in front of Christian readers.
And now, on a more altruistic note…
5. Love for Jeff Gerke
Come on, guys. Do we really want to let Jeff’s baby die just because she was adopted by a grumpy old miser who changed her name and — oh, wait, some of us don’t even know the guy. Maybe he’s NOT a grumpy old miser. And even if he is… I’m gonna support Jeff’s baby because I love Jeff, no matter what her new name is.
(Actually, I have spent some time with the new guy, and Steve Laube is a great big, lovable teddy bear under his razor sharp, pull-no-punches publishing agent surface. He is both a keen businessman and a man of Godly integrity. My personal assessment is that he has a passion for speculative fiction and a pastor’s heart for writers. But ssssshhhhhh! That’s just between you and me!)
6. Love for the Authors
Enclave is putting out new books by the (previously Marcher Lord Press) authors we already know and love, and they’ve found some wonderful new voices. If you have a chip on your shoulder regarding the change of ownership, don’t let it get in the way of supporting these fantastic authors. Check out the full list of Enclave authors — aren’t they wonderful? If you haven’t read their books, check them out!
7. Love for the Stories
This is related but separate from our love for the authors. This is about being a reader who likes great books.
There are some seriously cool stories coming out in Enclave’s Fall release. Supporting the Kickstarter campaign can bag you a significant discount off the retail price of the books. And you get an early release of the ebooks. Sweet deal, if you ask me.
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Some of these reasons are more altruistic (getting more Christian authors and stories out into the world, encouraging more Christians to read these great genres) and some more self-serving. If one or more of them resonate with you, this is your chance.
Here are two things you can do to help: support the Kickstarter or share a tweet about it to spread the word.
Whether it is a $1 gift or you decide to pounce on the entire Marcher Lord Press / Enclave Publishing catalog, including the new releases, for $225, you have a chance to grow this genre and support this indie publisher. I don’t get anything out of promoting them. I just believe all the reasons above.
UPDATE 7/21: They have met their goal in the first week! However, don’t stop sharing now. Those discounts will be gone once the Kickstarter is over. It is still the best way to get a deal on those books and the more support they get, the more social proof they have to show Christian retailers that there’s a readership out here that wants these books. So keep supporting and sharing until the campaign is over!
UPDATE 7/25: Ben Wolf, founder of Splickety Magazine and speculative fiction writer, just published his Five Reasons Why Supporting Enclave’s Kickstarter is a Good Idea. His thoughts are a bit different than mine, so check them out!
And if you don’t support this Kickstarter, keep your eyes open for a chance to support one that you DO believe in. Crowd-funding is such a fun way to participate in creating the products and services you want to see in the world. Go forth, and make things happen!