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

Proof-4-5-Clockworkproof-front-sisterlg-book-wwwes-iid-final-proof

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 – DOGS OF WAR


eSpec Books and editor Mike McPhail are proud to announce the reissue of Dogs of War, volume 6 in the award-winning Defending the Future Anthology series. While this is the only existing book in the series that will be reissued, there will be a Best Of collection highlighting stories from the previous five volumes, and future volumes are in the works, including DTF 7: Man and Machine, which will be launching via Kickstarter later this month.

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BACK COVER COPY

Animals have fought for us for centuries, not because of the ideals of service to King and Country, but out of unwavering loyalty and devotion to their human Masters.

The future, it would seem, is no better than the past, as some animals become expendable weapons or augmented semi-machines, while others receive the honor and dignity of being treated as fellow soldiers.

In tribute, we bring you seventeen stories of our animal comrades-in-arms.

Includes stories by Brenda Cooper, David Sherman, Bud Sparhawk, Eric V. Hardenbrook, James Chambers, Peter Prellwitz, Janine K. Spendlove, Judi Fleming, Tony Ruggiero, Edward J. McFadden III, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Patrick Thomas, Jeff Young, CJ Henderson, Robert E. Waters, Christopher M. Hiles, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.

The Kindle edition is currently available on Amazon, with the print book soon to follow.

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.

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! 

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – JANINE K. SPENDLOVE (THE SIDE OF GOOD / THE SIDE OF EVIL)


eSpec Books interviews Janine K. Spendlove, contributor to The Side of Good / The Side of Evil, a Superhero Flipbook anthology, http://tiny.cc/SoGSoE.

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eSB: Which side are you writing for?

JKS: Officially the Side of Evil… but my “villain” does not think they are the “bad guy”….

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

JKS: The ability to teleport. I hate having to commute places. SO. MUCH. WASTED. TIME.

eSB: Who is your favorite superhero and why?

JKS: It’s almost impossible to pick just one. Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel both get top billing with me – both of those ladies are amazing. But if I HAVE to pick a favorite, then I’d go with Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan). She’s a Pakistani/American Muslim teenage girl in New Jersey just trying to get through high school… and suddenly gets some pretty awesome super powers, and gets to join the superhero ranks, and is over the moon about it. In her teamup with Wolverine she makes him take a selfie with her, and when she meets Spiderman (in another teamup), she freaks out and tells him how much she ships him & Captain Marvel, and just… she’s just so adorable and genuine and I love her.

eSB: What is your favorite superhero movie and why? –

JKS: Currently Wonder Woman… OH WAIT.

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

JKS: I’ve got superhero stories in “Heroes” (He Was a Marvelous Man) and “A Hero By Any Other Name” (Stupendous Sparkle)

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

JKS: Captain Marvel or Ms. Marvel for the reasons stated above.

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

JKS: I love them both for very different reasons!

eSB: Do you have any news you would like to announce?

JKS: YES! This fall I’ve got a Star Wars tie-in story coming out in issue 161 (October) of the Star Wars Insider. It’s specifically a Battlefront tie-in and I’m super excited!

eSB: Please let us know where you can be found on social media.

JKS: I can be found as either JanineSpendlove (twitter) or JanineKSpendlove (instagram, tumblr, etc) just about anywhere

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.

Good-Evil

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.