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Mark Judge: I am speaking with Adam Bellow, who is a well-known editor. He’s done a lot of conservative best-sellers by people like Sarah Palin, Jonah Goldberg, and Dinesh D’Souza. He is currently an editor at St. Martin’s and he has his own imprint there called All Points. He’s also the creator of the website Liberty Island. I’d like to start with Liberty Island. It is a couple years old but you’ve just relaunched it and you have a new look to the website. So tell me what Liberty Island is, its concept, and about the relaunch.

From website to publisher

Adam Bellow: First of all, I’ll say that I was a nonfiction editor on the right—in the conservative intellectual world for thirty years. I’d never published a novel in my whole career but several years ago I noticed that a lot of my nonfiction authors were asking me whether I would be interested in publishing a novel for them. I kept hearing this. I read some of these books and considered publishing a couple of them in the commercial, mainstream publishing houses where I was working, but the feeling was that they were too sectarian, that the audience for these books written by conservatives would not be a broad mass market, and so it was not considered to be a good idea—just did not fit into our business model as publishers. So together with my friend and business partner David Bernstein we launched Liberty Island magazine.

The magazine was at first a digital magazine for short works by right-leaning authors—conservatives, libertarians, anyone concerned with the fate and future of freedom. We published a lot of great stuff. It was really great fun. We got a lot of wonderful material. But soon after launching we began to receive queries about novels. And so we starting soliciting submissions of novel length. And again, although there was a lot of stuff that wasn’t up to our standards as editors, there was a tremendous amount of good quality material in a wide range of fiction genres, ranging from the literary to what we call genre fiction, which includes science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, historical, romance, and other categories.

And so we started publishing novels, but we had some difficulties with distribution. We were operating on a shoestring and it’s hard to put books into physical distribution. So we went through a couple of distributors and then finally we decided to take on distribution ourselves and handle it directly, which is a much more satisfactory arrangement. You have better control over schedules and timing and so forth. We redesigned our website and relaunched it and we are about to roll out a large number of new titles in a variety of genres. We are extremely proud of the books that we’ve selected and have every expectation that they will find their natural readership.

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