Book Alchemy
The Secret Library Podcast
Moving from a Big 5 Publisher to a Smaller Press with Judith Lindbergh

Moving from a Big 5 Publisher to a Smaller Press with Judith Lindbergh

Season 10, Episode Eight

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There’s historical fiction, then there’s pre-historical fiction. Judith Lindbergh’s newest book is based in the 5th century BC and she’s masterful at not only researching but connecting the past to her readers today. I’m thrilled to have her on this episode of the Secret Library as she shares her experiences of working with a large traditional publisher, then transferring to a smaller press. Judith is also no stranger to rejection, and she shares how the power of community is the core thing that encouraged her to keep going. Whether you’re wanting to write something that goes against the grain of contemporary fiction, or you are having trouble finding motivation after rejection, there’s so much to learn from this episode. Enjoy!


  • Judith’s story of getting dropped after a really successful first (published) book and how she overcame this

  • Creative ideas for using your advance that isn’t soul sucking and how this has sustained Judith for 15 years

  • The value of community as a writer, especially through the lulls and rejections when you want to quit writing

  • Judith’s current experience with a smaller press after her first publication with Viking

  • How Judith has researched, created, and has begun executing her own book marketing/tour

  • Judith’s inspiration for writing about women warriors and a matriarchal culture and how she uses this to drive engagement to her book

  • Recognizing the different ways we evolve through our writing and how it impacts the stories we tell


About Judith:

Judith Lindbergh’s new novel, Akmaral, about a nomad woman warrior on the ancient Central Asian steppes, is forthcoming from Regal House Publishing on May 7, 2024. Her debut novel, The Thrall’s Tale, about three women in the first Viking Age settlement in Greenland, was an IndieBound Pick, a Borders Original Voices Selection, and praised by Pulitzer Prize winners Geraldine Brooks and Robert Olen Butler. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including in Newsweek, Zibby Magazine, Next Avenue, Writer’s Digest, Edible Jersey, Literary Mama, Archaeology Magazine, Other Voices, and UP HERE: The North at the Center of the World published by University of Washington Press. She also contributed to the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibition Vikings: The Norse Atlantic Saga and provided expert commentary on two documentary series for The History Channel. Judith received a 2024 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She is the Founder/Director of The Writers Circle, a New Jersey-based creative writing center where she teaches aspiring and accomplished writers from ages 8-80.

Connect with Judith:

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Book Alchemy
The Secret Library Podcast
Most people believe that books are created in cabins all alone, where authors pound away on some manner of keyboard. Then they hand this masterpiece off to a publisher and it feels very much like it goes down a tube and comes out the other side as a book. By speaking to authors and other book lovers, I'm diving into the mystery that is the book world today.