Pretending to Be Random House

June 2004
by J R Lankford

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It’s been an amazing year at Great Reads Books LLC since I and the nine men who put up money to publish The Jesus Thief released it as our first title.

After all, our company came into existence almost by accident.

Band of Angels

In 2001, I’d self-published my third novel–a mystery-thriller called The Crowning Circle–to get a reality check from actual readers. Was I on the right track? Should I have quit my job in 1993 to write novels, in fulfillment of a childhood dream? My husband believed in me from the first, but it had been eight years.

I anxiously watched the book’s pages on and pages and was thrilled to see strangers posting five-star reviews and asking when my next book would be out. One man e-mailed, asking why it wasn’t in bookstores yet.

We struck up a correspondence, and when I told him about my newest novel, The Jesus Thief, he asked to read it. It’s a biomedical thriller about a Jew raised as a Christian who tries to clone Jesus using DNA stolen from the Shroud of Turin. My new fan gave comments and encouraged me as I sent it off to my agent. Then 9/11 happened. I told him the bad news: only books about terrorism had a chance, according to my then-agent. It wasn’t my first disappointment. I had a number of rejection letters full of raves from New York.

I began to think out loud about a self-publishing arm for, an…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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