For Writers

For Writers: Your work is important to us. We want to see your writing and we want to give you the best opportunity for success. Our requirements are simple. Help us keep it simple and help yourself to a greater chance of Spectacle publishing your work. On most nights you will find us looking for three types of work: fiction novels, fiction short-stories, and non-fiction books. Fiction Novels In round numbers we’re talking about something of about 60,000 – 100,000 words. For works somewhere in this range contact us at The one page query letter is your chance to dazzle us with your writing skill and convince us that we need your book. We want to know a little bit about you: where you’re from, what you like, what you do, and if such things are relevant to your writing. We want to know about your book: what it’s about, what it means, how long is it, if it is finished and why it should be published. All in one page – 300 words. Simply put: the easier it is for us to assess your writing the easier it is for you to have it published. Next, we require an outline. Outline should dictate the general flow of your novel so that we can understand where you’re going with this story. Please attach your outline as a file to your query email. Acceptable file types for outlines are: .DOC, .RTF or .PDF. Please do not paste your outline into the email. Also attached to the query email we want three sample chapters (or 5000 – 10,000 words worth of chapters). The sample chapters can be in .DOC or .RTF file types. Please do not send a .PDF of your chapters. Also, see below for what we expect to see when we open your file. Fiction Short Stories First important note is that we only accept short fiction when we specifically ask. Occasionally, we seek short fiction for various themed anthologies. This is a great way for us to get to know you and perhaps lead to greater things. But, only when we’re actually asking. Short fiction is typically between 2500 and 5000 words. Now, some people don’t care for math, and we know that some stories only need a haiku in order to be told. The numbers are guidelines, nothing more. When we’re looking for short fiction please submit your work to Your email submission will include: your name, a brief biographic summary, and two to three sentences about your story. Attached to the email will be your story in .DOC or .RTF file type. DO NOT paste your story into the email. Please. Non-Fiction Books The guidelines...

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Why Not Self Publish?

Writing. Editing. Publishing. Marketing. It’s easy right? It’s easy to put together thousands of words into a coherent and compelling narrative. Easy. Like staring down Nolan Ryan and thwacking a fast-ball right over his head and into the upper deck. That looks easy too. Perhaps my reference is a bit dated or topically irrelevant for my intended audience–sounds like something an editor might comment about. The joke is often something along the lines of a writer spends months bleeding their soul onto the page and an editor comes along and fixes their spelling. Sure. I’ll fix your spelling. I’ll check your facts. I’ll even explain the difference between an em-dash and an en-dash. But, these things are just a part of the process–perhaps even an afterthought. The main task of an editor is to coax out the best possible version of your story all while keeping keeping the whole thing from jumping the rails and smashing into a propane-pipeline. With self-publishing, vanity-press, a writer is at a fundamental and distinctive disadvantage. Lack of review. In every field, every profession, there is a peer-reviewed vetting process. A scientist’s ideas and conclusions constantly squirm within the crucible of scrutiny from one’s peers. Designers and advertising agencies produce hundreds of marketing ideas before just a single idea makes the cut and gets accepted by other marketers. Think of how athletes are constantly training and conditioning to be better, faster and stronger. The peer-review process, the editorial process, is basically the same as an athlete’s conditioning process. With a publishing company, with an editor, an author has the security of knowing their work is in peak form, and that ol’ aunt Agnes won’t be phoning up in a couple of days to report all manner amateur mistakes. Why do we buy Cheerios? Nike? Coca-Cola? The reason is simple: marketing. Okay, so you’ve gone the vanity-press method: you have a link to your ebook and you paid a hefty sum of money for several dozen print copies, you have Agnes waiting on hold and now what? You’re already down perhaps thousands of dollars, not to mention the time it took you to write the book, and suddenly no one seems to have any interest. Well, the answer is simple: marketing isn’t as easy as it looks and ought to be left to those with experience. When buying a cut of beef I want the butcher’s opinion–not the cow’s opinion. Your book comes from you. No one is going to listen to you mooing all over the place talking about your tasty beef. That’s the butcher’s job, and it’s the job of professional marketing to spread the word about your delicious book. Simply put, this...

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