October 31, 2009

Like American Idol -- without Simon Cowell

Marcher Lord Press, which publishes Christian speculative fiction, is putting a new spin on publishing.

"Marcher Lord Select is American Idol meets book acquisitions," says publisher Jeff Gerke. About 40 completed manuscripts will be presented, and readers will decide which one should be published.

The contest will proceed in phases. In each subsequent round, voters will get larger glimpses of the competing manuscripts.

The first phase will consist only of 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.

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 winner of the final round will be published by Marcher Lord Press in Spring 2010.

Marcher Lord Select begins Nov. 1, 2009 and runs until January or February 2010. All voting, discussions and other Marcher Lord Select activities will take place at The Anomaly forums in the Marcher Lord Select subforum. Free registration is required.

Contestants are admitted by invitation only, but anyone may register to vote for the winner.

"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!"

Fair disclosure: My book is entered in this contest. Gerke encourages authors to direct as many people as they like to the contest, as long as they don't campaign for their books in the forums.

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