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!

eSPEC BOOKS WEEK IN REVIEWS


This has been a rather good week for discovering reviews. Here are the highlights. To read the full review, click the link. 

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“If you’re a comic fan, this will fit you to a tee, and even if you’re not, this is still a collection of well written and fun stories.” 4 1/2 Stars, David L. Felts, SF Reader.com 

Congrats to Gail Z. Martin, Larry N. Martin, John L. French, James M. Ward, and Drew Bittner for being highlighted in the review.

“Personally I found the Side of Evil stories to be more enjoyable, but that may be personal alignment.” 3 Stars, Danny, Goodreads


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“I tried not to let my personal love of CJ affect my rating here but, thankfully, the stories were all wonderful enough that it becomes a nonissue.” 5 Stars, Joshua Hair, Goodreads


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“I liked this book, and if you are a steampunk or fairy tale fan, this you will probably like it, too.” 3 Stars, Laura, Goodreads


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“This anthology of Fantasy stories is quite excellent. There was not one weak story here.” 5 Stars, Jeff Miller, Goodreads

 

NEW RELEASE – THE SIDE OF GOOD / THE SIDE OF EVIL


 by Rachel Fernandez

lg-book-flip-SoGEWe are proud to announce the release of the highly anticipated flipbook anthology The Side of Good / The Side of Evil. Sure, heroes get remembered, but sometimes the tales and legends of even the darkest villains will never die.

Whether rooting for the courageous superhero or secretly siding with a malicious scoundrel, this epic journey captivates and excites as it delves deep into the perspectives of two classic yet diverging tales of both good and evil, extenuating on the best and worst that über-mankind is capable of.

The collection features original stories by comic book legends and literary masters: James M. Ward, Bryan J.L. Glass, Peter David, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Aaron Rosenberg, Robert Greenberger, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, Janine K. Spendlove, James Chambers, Walt Ciechanowski, Drew Bittner, John L. French, and Kathleen David. This flipbook also includes in an exclusive, never-before-published Furious short story!

Inspiration for this mythological American classic came easily to co-editor and award-winning author and editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail. “I am an idea person, I love to develop themed projects and find all the intricate ways to play to the theme. When someone suggested a collection of superhero fiction the idea for The Side of Good / The Side of Evil immediately came to mind and there was no question that it had to be a flipbook anthology, similar to the classic Ace Doubles from the ’80s. It took me three years to make it happen but the end result is even better than I’d envisioned.”

Now available on Amazon.

NOTE: To get this book in ebook look for the individual ebooks The Side of Good (B016Z5GEF8) and The Side of Evil (B016X95RC2)


PROMO COPY

Everyone loves a hero…but sometimes we can’t help but root for the villain…

Indulge both impulses with this nostalgic flipbook anthology—The Side of Good / The Side of Evil. After all, everyone is the hero of their own story and sometimes a change in perspective can make a world of difference. 

Superheroes inspire us to be more than we can be, and on the flip side, Supervillains are reminders of the potential for darkness within us all. The Side of Good / The Side of Evil looks at the best and worst that über-mankind is capable of.

With stories by comic book and literary masters: James M. Ward, Bryan J.L. Glass, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Aaron Rosenberg, Robert Greenberger, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, Janine K. Spendlove, James Chambers, Walt Ciechanowski, Drew Bittner, John L. French, and Kathleen David this collection is guaranteed to be super…no matter which side you pledge your allegiance to.

Featuring a never-before-published Furious(TM) short story! 

PROJECT UPDATE – THE SIDE OF GOOD / THE SIDE OF EVIL


Good-EvileSpec Books is very pleased to announce that The Side of Good / The Side of Evil has come off the presses and is on it’s way to our hot little hands. We are excited about this project and hope you are as eager to see it as we are. The official release date is December 1, 2015.

If you just can’t wait, there are several things you can do.

First – you can join us at Philcon, a science fiction convention in Cherry Hill, New Jersey the weekend of November 20 – 22. We’ll be launching the book there and will have copies on hand for sale. Our party is scheduled for Saturday, November 21, in the Con Suite, from 7pm to 9pm. Not only will there be food, fun, and PRIZES, but editors Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Greg Schauer will be there, along with authors Gail Z. Martin, Keith R.A. DeCandido, James Chambers, Drew Bittner, Aaron Rosenberg and artists Jason Whitley and Mike McPhail, all of us ready to celebrate with you.

Second – Pre-order the print book on the eSpec Books Store: The Side of Good / The Side of Evil. All orders will be shipped out right after the launch.

Third – Pre-order the ebooks (there are two) on Amazon. They will deliver to your ereader as soon as the calendar flips over to December 1.

SoG6x9The Side of Good with stories by Robert Greenberger, Bryan J.L. Glass, Kathleen David, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, John L. French, Walt Ciechanowski, and James Chambers, (includes an SideofEviloriginal Furious! short story!)

The Side of Evil with stories by James M. Ward, Peter David, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Aaron Rosenberg, Janine Spendlove, Drew Bittner, and James Chambers (includes an original SCPD short story!)

PROMO COPY

Everyone loves a hero…but sometimes we can’t help but root for the villain…

Indulge both impulses with this nostalgic flipbook anthology—The Side of Good / The Side of Evil. After all, everyone is the hero of their own story and sometimes a change in perspective can make a world of difference. 

Superheroes inspire us to be more than we can be, and on the flip side, Supervillains are reminders of the potential for darkness within us all. The Side of Good / The Side of Evil looks at the best and worst that über-mankind is capable of.

With stories by comic book and literary masters: James M. Ward, Bryan J.L. Glass, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Aaron Rosenberg, Robert Greenberger, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, Janine K. Spendlove, James Chambers, Walt Ciechanowski, Drew Bittner, John L. French, and Kathleen David this collection is guaranteed to be super…no matter which side you pledge your allegiance to.

Featuring a never-before-published Furious(TM) short story! 

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – JAMES M. WARD (THE SIDE OF GOOD / THE SIDE OF EVIL)


eSpec Books interviews James M. Ward, contributor to The Side of Good / The Side of Evil, a Superhero Flipbook anthology, http://tiny.cc/SoGSoE.

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eSB: What drew you to this project?

JMW: A friend of mine suggested I give it a try.

eSB: Which side are you writing for?

JMW: Lol, side? I wouldn’t put it that way. I am writing about a young villain with some problems.

eSB: What got you interested in superheroes/villains?

JMW: I’ve always loved the comics and especially Jack Kirby stories and art.

eSB: Please tell us a little bit about the inspiration for your story.

JMW: The idea was suggested to me that I do a story about a young villain who has problems being a villain.

eSB: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would it work?

JMW: I would love to be able to write 5,000 solid words a day. It would work so that I would be able to pay all of my bills every month.

eSB: What would your weakness be and why?

JMW: My weakness is currently getting distracted filling out questioners.

eSB: Describe your ideal super suit.

JMW: Super suit, hmmmmm. Well it must be red. As I have a big belly it should be lose fitting. I would like an artificial intelligence worked into the weave. Probably should be bullet proof. It also should be unusually stylish and attract favorable attention from the ladies, even though I have been very happily married for 44 years.

eSB: Who is your favorite superhero and why?

JMW: Gold Keys Mighty Sampson. I wrote the first apocalypse role-playing game called Gamma World. Mighty Sampson would fit well in that world.

eSB: Who is your real-life hero and why?

JMW: I have the utmost respect for my three sons, Breck, Jim, and Theon. They are all better fathers than I ever was.

eSB: Who is the villain you love to hate, and why?

JMW: It must be the Joker. He is so capricious.

eSB: In your opinion, what characterizes a hero?

JMW: Situational awareness is vital in a hero. He can’t accidentally hurt a child or bankrupt a store.

eSB: In your opinion, what characterizes a villain?

JMW: Wild selfishness.

eSB: What is your viewpoint on Sidekicks?

JMW: I use them all the time.

eSB: What is your favorite superhero movie and why?

JMW: I am a huge Thor fan so his two movies are at the top of my list.

eSB: What other comic or superhero-related work have you done in the past?

JMW: My company, TSR had licenses to do comics and I help write reviews in those comics.

eSB: What was your most exciting moment working in the comic industry?

JMW: Meeting Vampirella  (sp) was unusually cool. I worked on the Buffy CCG and meeting the cast was great fun.

eSB: If there was one comic franchise you could work on, which would it be and why?

JMW: I have always loved the Gold Key Magnus Robot Fighter storyline.

eSB: Fiction or comics, which is your favorite medium and why?

JMW: Sorry, it’s fiction. There is no why, I just like to read fantasy and science fiction novels.

eSB: Please tell us about your non-comic related work.

JMW: I have been working in the hobby industry since 1976. I wrote the first science fiction role-playing game in Metamorphosis Alpha. I wrote the first apocalypse game in Gamma World. Besides over a hundred role-playing product I designed Spellfire and Dragon Ball Z the CCGs. You can buy lots of different games and novels of mine on Amazon. I’m currently working for Eldritchent.com.

eSB: Thank you for allowing this glimpse beneath your alter-ego. We’re looking forward to more super heroics and evil geniuses to come.

THE SIDE OF GOOD / THE SIDE OF EVIL – A SUPER FLIPBOOK ANTHOLOGY


Good-EvilEveryone loves a hero…but sometimes we can’t help but root for the villain… Indulge both impulses with this nostalgic flipbook anthology —The Side of Good / The Side of Evil —launching on Kickstarter today. After all, everyone is the hero of their own story and sometimes a change in perspective can make a world of difference.

With stories by comic book and literary masters: James M. Ward, Bryan J.L. Glass, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Aaron Rosenberg, Bob Greenberger, Gail Z. Martin, Janine K. Spendlove, James Chambers, John L. French, and Kathleen David this collection is guaranteed to be super…no matter which side you pledge your allegiance to.

Featuring a never-before-published Furious(TM) short story!

With artwork by Angela McKendrick (Cuddles With Cats), Jason Whitley (Under Currant Art), and Mike McPhail (McP Digital Graphics).

SNEAK PEEK – THE SIDE OF GOOD / THE SIDE OF EVIL


Here is a sneak peek at The Side of Good / The Side of Evil, edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Greg Schauer.

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It is a superhero/supervillain flipbook anthology featuring James M. Ward, Peter David, Keith DeCandido, Aaron Rosenberg, Robert Greenberger, Gail Martin, Janine Spendlove, Kathleen David, Walt Ciechanowski, John L. French, James Chambers, and Neal Levin, with artwork by Angela McKendrick (cover) Mike McPhail, and Jason Whitley (interiors).

The campaign goes live on July 7th. Let us know what you think! If you REALLY like it, there is a button that lets you set a reminder for when the project goes live.

We are looking for venues interested in featuring the project in a promo spot. If you have an opportunity we can pursue, please let me know.

Also, this volume is invitation only, but if we hit the right stretch goals there are two proposed companion volumes that will each have 6 open submission slots.