If you take four women with a few things in common and sit them around a breakfast table on New Year’s Day, what are the chances they’ll decide to start a publishing company together? The chances probably aren’t very good, but that’s what happened to us. This is our story.
The omelets and bacon and hashbrowns weren’t the center of conversation that New Year’s Day morning in 2014. No, even as we slathered jam on our toast, we recognized that we were discussing something impossible.
Start a publishing company? Were we crazy? Looking back, maybe we were, but I don’t believe insanity played any role in our decision to start Crosshair Press. Maybe the four of us didn’t have a lot of business sense or money or time, and we certainly had no idea what we were getting into. But there was one thing we knew for sure—there was a need, and God had given the four of us a desire to do something about it.
So when He told us to take the leap, we did, and none of us have looked back yet. Honestly, we still marvel about how much fun we’re having. With all the crazy stress and ridiculous things that have happened in the last year, you’d think we would have felt like throwing in the towel at some point. But instead of wanting to bail on our fledgling independent press, we actually are more and more excited for all God has for us.
Where we are now
Crosshair Press wants to provide excellent stories full of action and adventure, all written from a biblical worldview. At first, we only wanted to offer speculative fiction, because that’s a genre all four of us really love, but after consulting with a true industry expert (the incredible Mr. Jeff Gerke), we decided to spread our bets a bit and diversify, if you’ll pardon the over-used cliché.
In 2014, we released two titles, Overcomers and Nameless: The Destiny Trilogy, Part One.
Overcomers didn’t get a lot of fanfare, even though it was technically our very first release (November 2014). Overcomers is an ironic book. We never planned to get into children’s fiction, but the Lord opened a door for us to do something awesome for one of His precious children.
Overcomers is a book of short fiction for tweens (ages 8 to 12). It’s probably best suited for girls, but boys might enjoy it too. It has everything—sports and spaceships and everyday life. But the best thing about Overcomers? Crosshair Press doesn’t make a dime on it. All profits from Overcomers go directly to Team Mallorie, the support group behind a girl who was diagnosed with leukemia at age 11.
Seven published authors, including several from Focus on the Family, donated their work to make the book happen. A fantastic graphic designer donated the cover. So far, Crosshair Press has been able to give Team Mallorie more than $400. And that’s in the same year that we started our small press and were paying back our start-up costs. If that’s not a God thing, I don’t know what is.
Our second title, Nameless, was released through our mature reader imprint, Steel Rigg. Nameless (December 2014) is the first book in an epic, gritty space opera. In six months, Nameless has racked up nearly 20 4-or-5 star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, a spectacular review in Publishers Weekly, and a thrilling endorsement by New York Times Best-Selling Author Tosca Lee. The book paid for itself in its first print run. We’re overwhelmed by its popularity and the incredible support from our awesome fans.
Our most recent release, Finding Fireflies (February 2015, is a laugh-out-loud romantic comedy set in Kansas, featuring a perpetually single, 30-something church secretary, an engineer, and a prostitute. Funded primarily through a crowdfunding campaign on Pubslush.com, Finding Fireflies made a huge splash—but not for the reasons we expected. The book was intended to entertain people. Quite frankly, the four of us at Crosshair designed it to fund our science fiction habit, as we like to call our other works.
But Finding Fireflies has ended up becoming a vehicle to talk about an issue every major U.S. city struggles with—sex trafficking. It’s an issue every city faces but nobody knows how to stop, and it’s central to the storyline in Finding Fireflies. The reviews are in, and it’s already generating conversations.
What’s next for Crosshair Press?
After a successful 2014 and a great start to 2015, we have more great stories on the way. In May or June of this year, the world will get to experience one of the most exciting adventures we’ve ever come across, a brand new series called The Katiller. It’s action/adventure at its very best, packed with bright characters, snappy dialogue, and questions that challenge the way you think.
Then, what everybody has been asking for! The sequel to Nameless hits the shelves in December 2015. Namesake picks up where Nameless leaves off, with Xander and the valiant crew of the Prodigal poised to attack the flagship of the Knightshade Syndicate. All we can say, folks, is buckle your seatbelts and have your tissues ready.
2016 is wide open. Crosshair plans to open for submissions in January, and we already know 2016 will bring the conclusion of the Destiny Trilogy as well as the introduction of an epic urban fantasy series for young adults, 25 years in the making. We’ve already started pre-production work on it, even though it’s not slated for release until early 2016. It’s that huge.
The future is bright, and the four founders of Crosshair Press are more excited today than we were a year ago when we were just starting out. At least one of us will be at Realm Makers in St. Louis this year, and if you want to hear more about our awesome God-story, please come track us down.
It’s His story, after all. We’re just along for the ride.