FROM THE PUBLISHER – STATE OF THE ‘SPEC 2019


Hard to believe we have been at this for five years, come October. That is a lot of blood, sweat, and cuss words…let me tell you! We have learned a lot and we have grown. We are making a name for ourselves and doing what we love. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like we are making too much progress, but then we look back and think “Damn!”

I did that today. My entire day has been nothing but entering and calculating data to see exactly what it is we’ve accomplished, by the numbers. So! Here it goes…

  1. We’ve published nine titles in electronic format only.
  2. We’ve published 39 titles in both print and electronic format.
  3. We have eight titles currently under review or in production.
  4. We have originated three imprints: eSpec Books, Paper Phoenix Press, and AGM Publications.
  5. We have three staff members: Danielle McPhail (publisher), Mike McPhail (art director/graphic designer), Greg Schauer (editor).
  6. Eight times out of eight times, we have paid out royalties either early or on time.
  7. We have zero company debt.
  8. We have a positive balance in each of our company accounts.

Those last three fill us with the greatest sense of accomplishment.


All-Time Top Bestsellers

  1. The Clockwork Witch by Michelle D. Sonnier
  2. The Sister Paradox by Jack Campbell
  3. The Weird Wild West
      edited by Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Margaret S. McGraw
  4. Issue in Doubt by David Sherman
  5. In All Directions by David Sherman
  6. Gaslight and Grimm edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Diana Bastine
  7. Dragon Precinct by Keith R.A. DeCandido
  8. The Best of Defending the Future edited by Mike McPhail
  9. Goblin Precinct by Keith R.A. DeCandido
  10. Unicorn Precinct by Keith R.A. DeCandido

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In All Directions 2 x 3G&GRed-Gold Leaf-150Proof-DragonPrecinctNew-Proof-DTF1b

Goblin Precinct 2x3Proof-UnicornPrecinctproof-iwhk-coverproof-tbobaf

All-Time Highest Grossing

  1. The Sister Paradox by Jack Campbell
  2. The Clockwork Witch by Michelle D. Sonnier
  3. The Weird Wild West 
        edited by Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Margaret S. McGraw
  4. Issue in Doubt by David Sherman
  5. In All Directions by David Sherman
  6. Gaslight and Grimm edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Diana Bastine
  7. Dragon Precinct by Keith R.A. DeCandido
  8. The Best of Defending the Future edited by Mike McPhail
  9. If We Had Known edited by Mike McPhail
  10. Best of Bad-Ass Faeries edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Highlights of the last five years:

  • One title made it to the Bram Stoker Recommended Reading List.
  • Four titles were finalists for awards.
  • Two of those titles won those awards.
  • We have funded twelve successful crowdfunding campaigns (including one that is running right now – Defending the Future: In Harm’s Way.)
  • We have had the honor of publishing Faith Hunter, Jack Campbell, Brenda Cooper, David Sherman, Jody Lynn Nye, Jonathan Maberry, Bud Sparhawk, James Chambers, Jack McDevitt, Robert Greenberger, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Jeff Young, Michelle D. Sonnier, Bernie Mojzes, Aaron Rosenberg, Peter David, John C. Wright, Eric V. Hardenbrook, Christopher M. Hiles, Patrick Thomas, CJ Henderson, Judi Fleming, John L. French, Christopher L. Bennett, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, Misty Massey, Mike McPhail, John G. Hartness, RS Belcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Misty Massey, James R. Tuck, Robert E. Waters, David Sherman, Tonia Brown, Liz Colter, Scott Hungerford, Frances Rowat, Ken Schrader, Bryan C.P. Steele, Wendy N. Wagner, Christine Norris, Danny Birt, Jean Marie Ward, Elaine Corvidae, David Lee Summers, Kelly A. Harmon, Jonah Knight, Diana Bastine, Brian Koscienski & Chris Pisano, Adam P. Knave, Jesse Harris, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, John Passarella, Jeffrey Lyman,  L. Jagi Lamplighter,  James Daniel Ross, DL Thurston, Lee C. Hillman, NR Brown, John A. Pitts, Jennifer Brozek, Ronald T. Garner, Nancy Jane Moore, Maria V. Snyder, Lawrence M. Schoen, Andy Remic, Charles E. Gannon, John G. Hemry, Ian Randal Strock, Peter Prellwitz, Drew Bittner, Ty Johnson, Torah Contrill, Walt Ciechanowski, Hal Greenberg and Kenneth Shannon III, Erik Scott de Bie, Ed Greenwood, Christopher J. Burke, Jim Knipp, Herika R Raymer, Anton Kukal, Marie Vibbert, CB Droege, David Bartell,  Rie Sheridan Rose, Jean Buie, David M. Hoenig, Jamie Gilman Kress, Jean Rabe, David Boop, Leona Wisoker Robert M. Price, Leona Wisoker, Edward J. McFadden III, Tony Ruggiero, Janine K. Spendlove, Bryan J.L. Glass, James M. Ward, Kathleen David, and Vonnie Winslow Crist
  • We have projects in the works by Robert E. Waters, Christopher L. Bennett, Michelle D. Sonnier, James Chambers, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.
  • We have anthologies in the works with stories by Gordon Linzner, Lisanne Norman, Dayton Ward, and  Russ Colchamiro.

If you’ve made it all the way to the end here, thank you. It’s a lot of content but we are covering five years 😉 We’ll be making periodic posts throughout the year up to the anniversary. Thanks for joining us on this adventure!

NEW RELEASE – THE WEIRD WILD WEST


by Rachel Fernandez

STRATFORD, NJ (December 2015) ― eSpec Books and editors Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Margaret S. McGraw are proud to announce their newest release, The Weird Wild West, a triumphant collection of riveting tales that will instantly transport you to the western battleground of frontier land. This title is available on NetGalley for review through January 31.

The ebook is now available on Amazon and the print book will be available by the end of December.

TW3-COVER-REVAMPThis speculative collection includes a multitude of thrilling stories by both best-selling and award-winning authors such as Jonathan Maberry, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, John G. Hartness, R.S. Belcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Misty Massey, James R. Tuck, Robert E. Waters, David Sherman, Tonia Brown, Liz Colter, Scott C. Hungerfold, Frances Rowat, Ken Schrader, Bryan C.P. Steele, Wendy N. Wagner, and a bonus story by New York Times bestselling-author, Faith Hunter.

Artist Jason Whitley returns with nine stunning illustrations.

“[In The Weird Wild West] eSpec Books has pulled together a fine collection of tales with just enough weirdness, fandom is bound to enjoy every page.” Ricky L. Brown, Amazing Stories.com

The west is a place where gallant trailblazers either ride off into the sunset or crumble beneath the hardships they face. In the fine tradition of media frontiersmen such as Bret Maverick, Cat Ballou, Kwai Chang Caine, and James West the characters in The Weird Wild West take on the unknown and encounter unconventional challenges that test their strength and character.

eSPEC BOOKS WEEK IN REVIEWS


As we get ready to run off to our final convention of the year (DerpyCon) this has been a week of running around scrambling to get things done. In the midst of all of that reviews of our newest releases have started popping up.

We’d like to share with you some of our favorite blurbs. Click on the provided links to read the full reviews.

Congrats to all our authors for jobs clearly well-done!

TW3-COVER-REVAMP“[In The Weird Wild West] eSpec Books has pulled together a fine collection of tales with just enough weirdness, fandom is bound to enjoy every page.” Ricky L. Brown, Amazing Stories

“[The Weird Wild West] is a show of skill by the authors who wrote short stories with skill and flair.” Ailyn, Good Reads

“[The Weird Wild West] takes the grit and glory that epitomizes the old west and gives it many delightful speculative spins.” Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Good Reads

 

Good-Evil“[The Side of Good / The Side of Evil] is a very highly entertaining book and a very enjoyable read.” Sam Tomaino, SFRevu

“In The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, villains get their time in the sun and are also painted with more depth and humanity than usual.” Meredith, Good Reads

“[The Side of Good / The Side of Evil] is definitely a keeper, and worth making into a doujinshi/ comic.” Ailyn, Good Reads

Our thanks go out to all the reviewers not only for liking our books, but for taking the time to tell the world.

SNEAK PEEK – ABISHAG MARY BY FRANCES ROWAT (THE WEIRD WILD WEST)


TW3-COVER-REVAMPAn excerpt from Abishag Mary by Frances Rowat, from The Weird Wild West, edited by Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Margaret S. McGraw

A pirate finds herself lost in a sea made of dust and still in possession of a treasure she’s determined to protect against every danger.  Is it worth the effort to return to the ocean she left behind, or has she been brought across the world to become something greater than she ever expected she might be?

The pirate made landfall at midnight in the dry stretch of the midwest, and staggered forward until dawn. The sun rose behind her to gild the land, and she followed her shadow forward, more or less, until it puddled at her feet. The air was crisp with heat, and the uneasy weight of the treasure she had stolen dragged at her heart.

Each step she took left a wet bootprint on the ground. When she stopped to gather her bearings, judging the sun or the wind or the lay of the land, a puddle would begin creeping sulkily out from under each sole.

Her name was Abishag Mary, and she walked into an idea of the West.

When her shadow was starting to bleed out behind her again, she crested yet another hill and stumbled down towards a cabin, although not the kind she was used to. Despite the distance she’d walked, she hadn’t found her land legs, but that was part of the curse; the sea was always and ever two steps behind her, waiting to fill the air with roaring wet breath. So Abishag Mary was a stranger to land, and when she saw a small square block with no deck or hull below, it took her a minute to find the word ‘cabin’.

She’d had a better cabin, once. The windows had been larger.

A woman came out, cast-iron pan in hand, frown on her sun-weathered face. She stopped when she saw the pirate, and the two women stood that way a long moment; Abishag Mary with her feet planted wide and her hands a little akimbo for balance, and the woman with the frying pan half-raised as if a shield, staring frankly over the round black circle of it.

“Where did you come from?” the woman said after a moment.

“The sea out east.”

The woman’s eyes were storm-brewing grey. They measured out Abishag Mary, weighing her white-as-salt hair against her walnut-shell skin, all rumpled and weathered by years at sea and now dried into something that’d never be smooth again. They took in the salt-stained boots and the travel-grimy clothes and the wide hat. And the saber on one hip, balancing out the pistol on the other. It was a very odd pistol to see in the West, a great thing of black iron and redwood chased with bright brass inlays.

They weren’t sharp enough to see the treasure Mary carried, and that suited Mary fine.

“You mean me harm?”

“No ma’am.” Abishag Mary was no saint of any kind, but she was footsore and hungry and not minded to start a fight. And the woman’s eyes were less like clouds brewing a storm and more like the sea under those clouds, and it touched something in Mary’s heart to see them.

“Well,” the woman said, “suppose you can visit, then. I’m Grace O’Regan, and this is my home.”

The inside of the cabin was neat and dim, floored with split planks. Mary’s boots left footprints, but not wet ones. Only setting foot on land proper could bleed away the sea creeping up towards her heart.

“You often get people stopping by?”

“Not like you,” Grace O’Regan said. “But I prayed for help, and I guess you’ll do.”

Mary looked out one of the windows. The gold and brown land was as wide as any sea she’d seen, and on the horizon were low rising foothills, blue with distance.

“Well,” she said, “I could stand to do a little good, measure of my deeds. Afore we turn to what help is it you’re needing, where the hell am I?”

“New Mexico.”

Mary blinked and stared out of the window again. She’d been many things, but landlocked hadn’t ever been one of them.

Still and all, perhaps it wasn’t the worst place to be, given how she’d left things with the sea. They were on bad terms.

PROMOTIONAL COPY

The untamed frontier is a challenge, a test of character, a proving ground for the soul. It’s a place where pioneers rewrite their future, or end their days…for better or worse. In the spirit of Bret Maverick, Cat Ballou, Kwai Chang Caine, and James West, The Weird Wild West blends western grit with the magical and mysterious unknown that waits beyond the next horizon.

With thrilling stories by Gail Z. Martin, John Hartness, RS Belcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Misty Massey, James R. Tuck, Robert E. Waters, David Sherman, Tonia Brown and many more, you’ve hit the Mother Lode!

UPDATE – THE WEIRD WILD WEST


eSpec Books is proud to share with the Table of Contents for The Weird Wild West (final order yet to be determined)

  • Diana Pharaoh Francis – Grasping Rainbows
  • James Tuck – From Parts Unknown
  • John Hartness – Redemption Song
  • Gail Z. Martin and Larry M. Martin – Ruin Creek
  • Tonia Brown – Frank & Earnest
  • R S Belcher – Rattler
  • Jonathan Maberry – Son of a Gun
  • Robert Waters – Mungo Snead’s Last Stand
  • David Sherman – Rocky Rolls Gold
  • Liz Colter – Sundown
  • Scott C. Hungerford – Fifteen Seconds
  • Frances Rowat – Abishag Mary
  • Ken Schrader – Haven
  • Bryan C. P. Steele – Via Con Diablo
  • Wendy N. Wagner – Blood Tellings
  • Misty Massey – (As Yet Untitled)
  • SUPER SECRET SURPRISE!

Congrats to everyone, this is going to be one hell of a book!

Based on the current progress, the book is scheduled to release sometime in October.

We also have a few surprises up our sleeves…but we are not at liberty to let those cats out of the bag yet!

PROJECT UPDATE – THE WEIRD WILD WEST


I was waiting to share this with you until I had the full Table of Contents to present, but there has been a delay in my receiving that information and I did not want to hold off on this announcement too long.

Congratulations to the following authors who will be fleshing out The Weird Wild West!

Liz Colter – Sundown
Scott C. Hungerford – Fifteen Seconds
Frances Rowat – Abishag Mary
Ken Schrader – HAVEN
Bryan C. P. Steele – Via Con Diablo
Wendy N. Wagner – Blood Tellings

The editors are currently working their magic to polish and put together the manuscript. Once we have the production schedule set I will let everyone know when the book is expected to release.