This week Liberty Island charted its new course for the future. Click here to read the press release announcing the new books coming out this year, the new team of editors joining, and that I will now be acting as the company’s President, Editor-In-Chief, and Publisher.

There are 4 main reasons why I decided to accept the opportunity to lead Liberty Island, relaunching it in this, its now fourth publishing arrangement:

1. I believe in our authors and their books.

2. I want to try and build a new, 21st century independent publishing house which is author and editor-centered.

3. I remain a firm advocate of “counterculture conservatism” and seek to collaborate with others who recognize how so-called “counterculture” ideas and so-called “conservative” values can unify to create something new and exciting.

4. I also remain an unapologetic religious fanatic, and am eager to continue Liberty Island’s tradition of publishing religious-themed books from faith-driven authors of diverse religious perspectives.

These four points are of course interrelated and so I will discuss them as one, eschewing the standard list format which was my bread and butter for so many years of online activist editing and ideological troublemaking.

As of this writing here at LI we have a team comprised of twenty authors with 23 books between them so far, and a newly-expanded editorial team of 13, not counting myself, though I will continue to edit novels too. And this is a really wonderful group of people I’m eager to continue working with and whose books I urge you to start exploring.

Now, in promoting this group and their books, Liberty Island has faced a challenge, the same one as the rest of the book publishing industry: the technological advances of the last 20 years with the rise of the ebook, the market dominance of Amazon, the decline of book reviewing, and the destruction of traditional advertising and marketing methods, have thrown the industry into chaos.

The opportunity as I see it, is the realization that the role and powers of publisher are now largely in the hands of those who care more deeply about the book’s merits than just the bottom line it generates: the editor and author who really love it. And the truth is I am still primarily an editor and writer more at heart and thus in relaunching this publishing company have sought to do so creating the company which I would most want to work in in those roles. (My own novel series and nonfiction books are forthcoming…)

In trying to figure out a next generation book publishing company which can thrive in the new Amazon and ebook-centric marketplace, our talk of “counterculture” is more than just rhetoric and fun “branding,” it is the inherent strategy. There are not publishers looking for the sort of fiction we want to write, then we’re just going to go and do it ourselves rather than wasting our time collecting of years of rejections.

And what is our root counterculture model for this? Yes, the ’60s hippie culture has lots that we can draw from and subvert to our own ends, but for me, to really go to the roots of counterculture it means opening up the Bible and in the words of my atheist friend Howard Bloom, looking at something as though you’re looking at it for the first time and then proceeding from there: the Old Testament narratives of the ancient Israelites are the Ur-counterculture stories of Western civilizations, with the New Testament Christian counterculture as its extension to we gentiles.

That’s how I see the Bible – as a collection of stories about outsiders and oddballs, living in opposition to corrupt cultures, striving to pursue holiness and the correct moral and ethical choices. And what’s wonderful is that I’ve found this way of engaging with the Bible, as counterculture manifesto and modern day prophet handbook, can be shared by individuals across faiths and cultures.

So at Liberty Island one does not need to fear that amidst sincere religious writings and faith-based fiction there is some stealth effort to convert to a particular doctrine. As Liberty Island seeks to offer a platform for a diverse range of ideological views to flourish together, so too with faith traditions. A multitude of perspectives analyzing and debating these questions of right and wrong are deeply beneficial.

Thank you for your interest in Liberty Island as we relaunch. Read more about our mission and values here. And click here to read about our editors and to contact us.


Photo by LeandroDeCarvalho (Pixabay)