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!

EARLY WARNING SYSTEM


Our next campaign is about to launch:  

eSpec Books is working in conjunction with The Awakened editor and game designer Hal Greenberg to bring you the first-ever incursion of The Awakened phenomenon in the modern world.  

The sudden appearance of a second moon in Earth’s sky awakens latent abilities in humanity…a link to a familiar, control of the elements, and so much more becomes possible as the second moon takes effect. What impact will this sudden change have on society? Only time will tell.  

Contents  

  • Wolves Run by Night by Ed Greenwood  
  • Little Sisters of the Hourglass by James Chambers  
  • Cold Snap by Ty Johnston  
  • Return of the Devis by Torah Cotrill  
  • Silverback by Hal Greenberg and Ken Shannon  
  • Whiteout by Erik Scott de Bie  
  • Details in Death by Jennifer Brozek  
  • Song of Tyrta by Drew Bittner  
  • Fire and Brimstone by Walt Ciechanowski  

If you would like to check it out, the URL is http://tiny.cc/AwakenedModern  

Best,  

Danielle

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 EVENT – THE SIDE OF GOOD / THE SIDE OF EVIL


by Rachel Fernandez

lg-book-flip-SoGE

The wait is over and it’s time to party! This Saturday November 21, 2015 join us for a pre-release launch for the highly anticipated nostalgic flipbook anthology, The Side of Good / The Side of Evil.

Come celebrate the release, attend panel discussions, and meet The Side of Good / The Side of Evil attending editors and authors, including: Danielle Ackley-­McPhail, Greg Schauer, Bryan J.L. Glass, Gail Martin, Walt Ciechanowski, James Chambers, Drew Bittner, Aaron Rosenberg, and Keith R.A. DeCandido, as well as meet attending artists Mike McPhail and Jason Whitley.

What: Philcon: The Side of Good / Side of Evil Launch Party
Where:  Crowne Plaza Hotel, Cherry Hill, NJ in the Con Suite (suite 823)
When: Saturday, 7pm-9pm.

Can’t make it to the launch? We’re sad to hear it, but you can still get this amazing collection. Pre-order your copy on Amazon.

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

CONVENTION SCHEDULE – PHILCON (NOVEMBER 20 – 21, 2015)


For those attending Philcon (www.philcon.org), here are our current panel schedules:

Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Sat 12:00 PM in Plaza IV (Four) (1 hour)
MODERN MYTH-MAKING
Panelists: Tobias Cabral (mod), Sally Wiener Grotta, Mitchell
Gordon, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Aaron Rosenberg, Gail Z. Martin

How to adapt old myths and create new ones. What makes a belief
system appropriate for a world.

Sat 1:00 PM in Executive Suite 623 (1 hour)
BROAD UNIVERSE RAPID-FIRE READINGS 
Panelists: Elektra Hammond (mod), Danielle Ackley-McPhail, April Grey, Roberta Rogow, Sally Wiener Grotta

Sat 7:00 PM in Executive Suite 823 (2 hours)
“THE SIDE OF GOOD / THE SIDE OF EVIL” LAUNCH PARTY, HOUR 1 
Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail (hostess), Greg Schauer, Mike McPhail, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Gail Z. Martin, James Chambers, Walt Ciechanowski, Aaron Rosenberg, Bryan J.L. Glass, Drew Bittner, Jason Whitley, and Robert E. Waters

eSpec Books editors and authors celebrate the release of this nostalgic superhero/supervillain flipbook anthology

Sun 1:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Three (1 hour)
HOW TO SELL YOUR FICTION
Panelists: Neil Clarke (mod), Alex Shvartsman, Barbara A. Barnett, Hildy Silverman, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Robert E. Waters

So you have a finally finished a story. What are the main markets?Who do you want to avoid?

Any time I’m not on a panel, you can find me in the dealer’s room or hanging out in the public spaces or game room if the dealer’s room is closed.

Mike McPhail

Sat 12:00 PM in Plaza II (Two) (1 hour)
MILITARY CULTURE IN SCIENCE FICTION
Panelists: Mike McPhail (mod), Christopher Weuve, Eric Hardenbrook,
Jack Hillman, John Skylar

How accurately is it depicted in SF literature, and how has it been
extrapolated into future settings? Who is writing it believably

Sat 4:00 PM in Plaza IV (Four) (1 hour)
WRITING IN SHARED UNIVERSES
Panelists: Michael A. Ventrella (mod), Dina Leacock, T. Patrick
Snyder, Mike McPhail, Catt Kingsgrave, Keith R.A. DeCandido

How do you handle building story arcs and developing characters when
you’re not solely in charge of a world? What changes when you’re
working with others at a professional level

Sat 8:00 PM in Executive Suite 823 (1 hour)
“THE SIDE OF GOOD / THE SIDE OF EVIL” LAUNCH PARTY, HOUR 2
Panelists: Mike McPhail (mod), Jason Whitley, Aaron Rosenberg

eSpec Books editors and authors celebrate the release of this nostalgic superhero/supervillain flipbook anthology.

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 – WALT CIECHANOWSKI (THE SIDE OF GOOD / THE SIDE OF EVIL)


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

WaltCiechanowski copy

eSB: Which side are you writing for?

WC: Heroes, although my “hero” doesn’t really feel like much of one.

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

WC: I wanted to strip away some of the typical superhero tropes. Prince Charming (the hero in my story) isn’t buff or handsome. He also has a superpower that isn’t very helpful in supervillain slugfests, so he doesn’t feel like he fits in. Having said that, he is most definitely a hero, even if he doesn’t believe it himself.

eSB: Who is your favorite superhero and why?

WC: The Flash (Barry Allen). I’m not sure why, but I picked him at an early age. I really enjoy time-travel stories, though, so that definitely plays a part in keeping the Flash close to my heart. I’m a huge fan of the new TV series.

eSB: In your opinion, what characterizes a hero?

WC: A hero must be vulnerable – anyone with enough superpowers to avoid being hurt can play at being a hero. A true hero takes risks, often against her own self-interests, to do what’s right.

eSB: In your opinion, what characterizes a villain?

WC: A good villain doesn’t see herself as a “villain;” she’s only doing what she feels needs to be done because she has the power to do so. We’ve all had those momentary impulses where we’ve gotten frustrated and mumbled to ourselves “if only I had superpower X…” Villains have superpower X and follow through.

eSB: What is your viewpoint on Sidekicks?

WC: I like sidekicks – they are sounding boards and help heroes stay grounded and focused on what they are doing and, more importantly, why they are doing it. A good sidekick is a reflection of her hero’s own past and an opportunity for the hero to learn from her early mistakes. She also challenges the hero to remain one.

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

WC: I work in the roleplaying games industry and I’ve worked for several superhero RPG lines, including DC Adventures, Mutants & Masterminds, and Rotted Capes. If we want to lump in pulp heroes, then I’ve also done work on Thrilling Tales and MARS.

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

WC: I mentioned above that I work with RPGs. Recently I’ve done work on the latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons and Doctor Who. I’ve also done work on Victoriana (steampunk fantasy), World War Cthulhu (does that one need explanation?), Dragon Age, and other lines. I’m also one of the Gnomes of Gnome Stew, an RPG blog, and I’ve co-written several similarly-themed books with other Gnomes for Engine Publishing.

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

WC: I have a twitter account with more cobwebs than Spider-Man’s rec room, but I can usually be found under my own name on Facebook.

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.