Are you a writer? Or do you know someone who is? If so, here’s your chance to pick up eleven books in one bundle that teach how to be a writer and to build a writing career. Books written by established pros, best sellers, and award-winners. And you can also get a 40% discount on Jutoh, the best software available today for producing professional quality ebooks, the tool used by the top indie authors.
For a limited time, StoryBundle is offering “The Write Stuff” ebook bundle, curated by the award-winning, multi-genre author and editor, Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
The price is right, too. You only need to pay a minimum of $5 to get the initial set of six titles in The Write Stuff bundle: The Novel Writer’s Toolkit by Bob Mayer, Writing Into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith, , Playing the Short Game by Douglas Smith, Making Tracks – A Writer’s Guide to Audiobooks by J. Daniel Sawyer, Rejection, Romance & Royalties by Laura Resnick, Business For Breakfast – Vol 1: The Beginning Professional Writer by Leah Cutter
If you pay at least $15, you’ll get another five books, plus the code for 40% off Jutoh: Break Writer’s Block Now! by Jerrold Mundis, Writing Horses – The Fine Art of Getting It Right by Judith Tarr, The Write Attitude by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Pitfalls of Writing Fantasy by Vonda N. McIntyre, 30 Days in the Word Mines by Chuck Wendig,
And don’t worry about what kind of ebook reader you need–you get multiple DRM-free formats (both .epub and .mobi) for all books.
The Write Stuff bundle is available for a very limited time only. This offer expires at midnight on June 4, 2015. So go to http://storybundle.com/writing right now to get this bundle and kick start your writing career.
Plus, Douglas Smith is offering a free copy of the bundle to a lucky On Spec subscriber. Just tweet about it (with the StoryBundle link above) and include our twitter handle (@OnSpecMagazine) and Doug’s too (@smithwritr), and we’ll draw a winner from tweets over the next week.
New Ways to Get On Spec
In our constant search for ways to remove impediments between our desire to sell you an amazing magazine, and your desire to buy said amazing magazine, I’m happy to announce two new methods for acquiring both digital and hard copies of On Spec. Both have been added to the subscription page, but here’s the details:
Kobo – We’ve teamed up with Kobo to offer both digital subscriptions and single issues of On Spec. The single issues go all the way back to 2009, so that is plenty of stories for you to catch up on. Plans are in motion to expand our offering of back-issues as well, so you may see more issues offered as time goes on.
Variant Edition – Edmonton has a brand new comic store, Variant Edition! Besides carrying an amazing array of comics, VE has made the sage choice to not only carry hard copies of On Spec in-store but also to offer them digitally through their site. Just scroll down until you see the On Spec Magazine button, and click through to add it to your cart. And the added bonus of buying On Spec through Variant Edition? Supporting a cool new comic store in Edmonton!
Tell your friends! Tell your neighbours! Tell enemies you want to confuse with kindness! We’ll keep finding ways to make buying On Spec easier, because we want to keep putting amazing sci-fi in your nerdy little hands.
It’s finally here, gentle readers: the On Spec Contributor Gallery! Take a walk through the gallery and see all the wonderful writers, artists, and poets who have contributed to our twenty-five year history, as well as current contributors.
As well as the gallery, every week we’ll pick a contributor at random to feature here in the blog. We’ll give you a little more detailed look at what they’re up to, maybe even a short interview. So stay tuned for that.
If you are a past or present contributor to On Spec, please send us a picture of yourself, preferably holding your issue(s) of On Spec, along with a short bit about what you’re up to now. Include a link to your site if you have one. Pics and bios can be sent to email@example.com.
In Memoriam: Terry Pratchett
Yesterday the sad news broke about the death of beloved author Terry Pratchett, at age 66. On Spec wishes to extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Pratchett’s friends, family, and colleagues.
Terry Pratchett is perhaps best well-known for his series of Discworld novels, encompassing one of the most unique settings in fantasy literature, with a cast of characters to match. More than that, Mr. Pratchett used his world to turn a critical eye on our own. His work was skilfully rendered satire, drawing our attention to some unfortunate facet of society.
I’ll leave you with my favourite passage from Terry Pratchett’s Men at Arms, by my favourite character, Sam Vimes. Best speed, Mr. Pratchett; I hope you’ve found your Discworld after all.
“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”
Locus’ Obituary for Terry Pratchett
Neil Gaiman’s Article, “Terry Pratchett isn’t jolly. He’s angry.”
In Memoriam: Leonard Nimoy
Yesterday morning, the world became a little less bright with the passing of beloved actor, director, and artist, Leonard Nimoy. Or, as I and many thought of him (with his encouragement), Honorary Grandpa Leonard.
I speak for the entire On Spec team when I say our hearts and thoughts go out to his friends and family, and we join millions of fans world-wide in sharing this loss.
There are going to be many, many tributes to Leonard Nimoy in the next little while, by people who knew him better and are much more qualified to speak to his impact on the world. And if I’m honest, I’m still processing the loss and can’t really think of what to say myself.
So I will simply say, from everyone here at On Spec: Live long and prosper, Grandpa Leonard. You’ve returned to the stars.
Welcome to new followers
Welcome to those of you who have chosen to subscribe to our blog! Your interest is appreciated.
Our new issue has just been printed and is in the mail to subscribers. The digital version will also soon be available. We look forward to your feedback.
We’d also like to know what you’d like to see on our website to enhance your experience. Send us an email or use Facebook for your comments to I Read On Spec.
Also, the Patreon campaign continues, and we will need your support to get through the coming year. Every dollar counts toward the goal of sustaining On Spec.
Message to Writers
This is an update to our most recent fiction submission period. Some of you have been asking (and rightly so) about the status of your stories. While you can log in to Submittable and see the latest information, including editor comments on declined stories, you were promised a response by the end of November.
In a perfect world, that would be so. We accepted submissions of stories for our regular issues as well as for the upcoming theme issue of “punk” stories. With the few resources we have, we chose to concentrate on the punk submissions first, and so those ones have been selected. We will now move on to read the submissions in the other batch of manuscripts we received.
Each story can take 20 minutes to half an hour of an editor’s time, just for the first reading. And we have approximately 200 stories to read. That’s a lot of person-hours. So we appreciate your patience as we move through this long process.
Best Wishes for 2015!
As 2014 comes to an end, it is time to reflect on the highs and lows of the past year, and to look ahead to a fresh year, with so many possibilities. I’m pleased to report that we have achieved some form of financial stability in spite of the drastic cut to our 2015 grant funding, and we are grateful to those sustaining patrons who sent us money, and to those who continue to donate. With careful management, we can get through the coming year. And remember how easy it is to donate through Patreon and show your support.
We want to continue to bring our readers even more challenging and interesting fiction, art and poetry, and to show the world that Canadian writers thrive. Speaking of the world, please support us by subscribing to the digital version of On Spec, and do let your friends and family in countries outside Canada know just how easy it is to be reading On Spec within a few seconds.
In the coming months, we’ll be making further enhancements to the website, and adding new and engaging content. If you are interested in volunteering for On Spec, we hope to have a new database set up, so prospective volunteers can send us their information, and we can put them to good use. We will also be looking at new stories to develop for the On Spec Teacher Toolkit Series. If you know a teacher, let them know about our comprehensive teaching aid for “Space Monkeys”, a story that appeared on the pages of On Spec. Other projects will be announced as the year progresses.
We’ll be at several conventions and book events in the coming months, and as always, we look forward to meeting with our authors, artists and readers. Also be sure to look for our friends and colleagues with Tyche Books, and buy a copy of the On Spec 25 year anthology.
My deepest thanks to all my On Spec family–editors, staff, proofreaders, designers– and to all the creative artists who have placed their work in our hands over the years. I wish you all success and good fortune in the coming year.
You might find more than you bargained for the next time you buy a magazine.
Speaking of, do you have a sci-fi lover among your family or friends? On Spec subscriptions make a great gift they’ll enjoy all year (but sorry, you’ll still have to get them a birthday present).
When you think of Holiday gifts, think of On Spec
The editors and staff of On Spec are gratified by the show of encouragement from our readers and friends in the months since we learned of our current financial difficulties. The good news is that, for now, we are on an even keel, and we’ve been able to reduce spending and increase savings in a few strategic areas, without sacrificing the quality of our magazine or its contents.
On Spec will continue to publish.
Grants are never assured, and we have been fortunate until now. But grants are not enough. It’s the ongoing support of our readers that keeps us going. So at this time of the year, when you are looking at your holiday shopping list, please consider a gift of a subscription to On Spec for the readers in your family or in your circle of friends.
You can buy a paper subscription, or a digital one, and it really is a gift that continues to give pleasure to everyone who reads it.
Monthly contributions to our Patreon sustainability campaign will always be most welcome.