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Sparkler Monthly: Issue #029Happy Holidays, loyal readers, whichever winter-solstice-timed ones you may be celebrating. :-) Our present for you this month is an issue entirely jam-packed with exciting new comics content–our first all-comics issue ever! Starting with the conclusion of the Christmas arc in Orange Junk, we also have a thrilling new chapter of Windrose, adorable updates in Magical How?, supreme awkwardness in Knights-Errant, and the beginning of Veolynn’s backstory in Witch’s Quarryafter YOU voted for her in the reader’s choice poll! Our Sparkler Podcast of the month features two of our lovely prose authors discussing their work: Ellery Prime of Gauntlet and Jenn Grunigen of Skyglass. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff in there for both fans and aspiring writers, so check it out!

For those who may have missed the first round, this month we started a (hopefully) regular Sparkler RPG campaign, using an original tabletop RPG system created by the talented Rebecca, GM’ed by Lianne, and featuring Jen Lee Quick, Rebecca, and me as students at a university for people with psychic powers. Expect many shenanigans, and probably a lot of smooching and crying, if Lianne’s past campaigns are anything to go by. You can watch/listen to our character creation session here: http://sparklermonthly.com/sparkler-rpg/ And the next installment (the start of the story) will be streamed live on Saturday, December 12th, at 7:30 PM EST! Join us and contribute to the game through the chatroom!

In the spirit of the holidays, we also have a bunch of new print and ebooks for you all to enjoy…and maybe share with your loved ones! If you like what we do here at Sparkler, the best way to keep us going is to pick up some of our paperbacks (Dusk in Kalevia and Dead Endings are now in stock!!), check out our ebooks on Comixology or in our own shop, or even get some merch like our adorable keychains, so you can have Wil and Oz fight each other on your backpack.

So to further our capitalistic gains, we’re doing a 10% discount in our shop through the end of December with the coupon code HOLIDAY. Time is flying, and you don’t want to miss out!

What’s on the agenda for 2016? You’ll just have to wait and see, but I’m personally very excited for January already, since we’ll have an exciting new short comic series from the fabulous KaiJu, plus the launch of the second volume of Dead Endings, one of our premiere prose series! Have a wonderful close to 2015 in the meantime.

-Lillian, comics editor





Gauntlet Paperback, Cherry Bomb, and merch released!

Gauntlet cover (paperback)

We’re very happy to announce that the Kickstarter rewards have been shipped, and now the Gauntlet paperback is available for purchase! There’s a limited Deluxe Edition available that includes the replica of Clio’s bracelet we made especially for the Kickstarter, along with the super cute Jacks keychain. The keychain can be purchased separately, but the bracelet–in limited quantities–is only available with the deluxe edition of the book.

Also released after the Kickstarter, our newest Cherry Bomb offering: some super hot Gauntlet pin-up prints by series artist T2A. These are our first Cherry Bomb pin-ups, and she did a fantastic job, so feel free to plaster them all over your walls as a perfect companion to the sexy Gauntlet Cherry Bomb story from last year.

Gauntlet Cherry Bomb Prints

To see the entire range of Gauntlet products, see our Gauntlet Shop! And if you order by 11:59 P.M. EST on Dec 31st with coupon code HOLIDAY, you can get 10% off your entire purchase in our store.

Happy New Year~!



The end of the year is upon us…

Happy Holidays from all of us at Sparkler!

Gracing our cover this month are Sadie and Robin, here by popular request for a special holiday sequel to “Before You Go,” one of our short comics series from earlier this year. They’re bringing a touch of winter romance to our pages this month, and we hope you’re all as happy to see them again as we are! ^_^

Also on the comics front is a new installment of Gatesmith, launching a new story arc in the frontier town of Edgeward, plus the first installment (after a terrific teaser in November!) of KaiJu’s new short series Mahou Josei Chimaka, a little Sparkler-style magical woman series.

On the prose side, things (FINALLY!!) take a sexy turn in Dusk in Kalevia, and both the drama and the romance ramp up in Skyglass!

Last but not least, our Member Exclusive of the month will be a new podcast, wherein the Sparkler team (and perhaps some special guests!) discuss writing love, romance and sexy stuff for a female audience. *wink* Don’t forget to send us your questions via our social media channels!

And even more important, don’t forget that throughout December you can get 10% off on everything in the Sparkler Shop, including memberships and Distro titles, using the code: HOLIDAY

Among the things that will be available this month are paperback editions of both Gauntlet and a pre-order of Tokyo Demons Volume 2, plus the complete digital edition of Awake, our first original audio drama, which includes an hour and a half of all-new bonus material. Just in time for all your holiday needs! <3

On a more business-like note, we’ve been doing a ton of site upgrades lately–if you haven’t checked us out on mobile recently, our mobile experience is sleeker than ever. You also may have noticed that Sparkler Monthly comes with the comforting green lock to make sure you know that we’re a secure site–we’re excited to announce that this change comes because you can now subscribe to the magazine directing through our site, no PayPal account required! And if you want your local store, library, or club to order any of our books (and quite a few of our Distro books), we just launched our first quarterly catalog. There will be additional changes to the site over the next month or so, so stay tuned for more details!

 



Places to review Sparkler titles!

One of the best ways to support independent creators and small presses is to talk about them! Discussion fuels our creators like nothing else, and they love it when you leave comments in our forums.

In addition, for completed books that we sell through various channels, reviews on product pages and other sites can help encourage new readers to find our stuff. We’ve compiled a list of places (below) where you can review any of our books and comics, if you feel so inclined.

If you have an active review blog–or are an established creator–we’re always looking for more formal reviews of our books and/or pull quotes, and we can provide free review copies. Just contact editorial(at)chromaticpress.com or Tweet us at @sparklermonthly to request!

This list will be updated as needed.

Before You Go
Sparkler Store (minicomic)
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon
Comixology

Dead Endings
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon

Dinner Ditz
Sparkler Store (minicomic)
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Amazon

Gauntlet
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon

Maiden and the Fish
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Amazon

Off*Beat Vol 1
Sparkler Store (paperback)
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon
Comixology
Right Stuf

Off*Beat Vol 2
Sparkler Store (paperback)
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon
Comixology
Right Stuf

Off*Beat Vol 3
Sparkler Store (paperback)
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon
Comixology

Ring of Saturn
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Amazon
Comixology

Tokyo Demons Vol 1
Sparkler Store (paperback)
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon
Right Stuf

Tokyo Demons Vol 2
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon



Brrr!

The days are getting shorter and it’s starting to feel like winter outside, but we’ve got plenty of sizzling stuff this month to keep you warm, first and foremost being an amazing, fiery cover by the fantastic Asia Kendrick-Horton. Things are going to heat up in Skyglass Chapter 6 this month, but Phoenix is always smokin’. *wink wonk*

Gatesmith and Dusk in Kalevia are both taking a month off, but our line-up this month is still super exciting. We’ve got a thrilling new installment of Windrose, the dramatic next section of Tokyo Demons Vol. 3, the start of the brand-new mini-series For Peace from Dinner Ditz‘s Alexis Cooke (featuring lady truckers in loooove!), plus a teaser of a new KaiJu magical-woman mini-series that will launch in our December issue: Mahou Josei Chimaka!

That’s to say nothing of DNA-RW, a dark prose short by two creators we’re happy to welcome to Sparkler: Sarah “Neila” Elkins of Here There Be Monsters, and Ru Xu of Saint for Rent! Nel has an unusual ability–she can copy DNA and rewrite her own DNA to match it. When she decides to use this shape-shifting skill to help find a serial kidnapper, she swiftly finds herself in over her(?) head.

And last but certainly not least, our Member Exclusive of the month will be a behind-the-scenes chat with the actors from Awake, our first original audio drama! Stay tuned for that in Week 3 this month. ^_^ It’s to celebrate the release of the complete Awake series set coming to the Sparkler Shop in Week 4. And speaking of the shop, we recently released a limited run of Sparkler mini sketchbooks that are available now!

BTW, if you don’t follow our Tumblr or Facebook, you might have missed that we’ve got a bunch of our comics up on Comixology now, if you like reading things that way. (I know I do! The Ring of Saturn looks particularly great on my tablet. ;-) And if you’re looking for the perfect ebook to curl up with on a gloomy day with your hot beverage of choice, Dead Endings is now up and available in a new complete edition (with a bonus story!) from our shop, or via Amazon!

In other news, Gauntlet has been sent to press, and Tokyo Demons vol. 2 isn’t far behind! We should have those available in spiffy print editions for all your holiday shopping needs before too long. <3



Back to School with Sparkler!

It’s the end of summer, much to our dismay, but you can start the school year off right with some fine original fiction from Sparkler! This month we have the second installments of our two new comics series, Gatesmith and Windrose, plus things get even messier in Kalevia, Phoenix tries her hand at something ambitious in Skyglass…and we reach the emotional finale of Awake!

Our subscriber exclusive for the month will be a podcast with Off*Beat and Gatesmith creator Jen Lee Quick—we’re recording it next weekend, so please feel free to send us your questions for Jen via social media (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, take your pick!) so we can include them in the podcast!

Plus, Gauntlet is now available as an ebook in our Shop—print version coming soon! And later this month, we’ll get the ebook of both Tokyo Demons: Book 2 and Dead Endings!

And thanks so much for your support so far in getting the word out about our Membership Drive! Your help here is invaluable. Keep up the great work on your end, and we’ll be able to provide you with even more great content on our end. As always, your feedback is very welcome as well–this is the second month where we’re releasing all our content at once (minus the member exclusive, which comes on the third Monday of the month), and we’re curious to see what you all think! Plus, we’ve changed our member downloads to have all comics and all prose in a single file (or one giant PDF!), and “series-so-far” downloads for individual series for VIP members. Is this something you’re all using? Are you enjoying it? Let us know what you think and how we can make your experience with Sparkler easier and ever more enjoyable!

<3 The Sparkler Monthly Team

P.S. There are many fine things about living in Southern California, but I really, really miss New England autumns…



Gauntlet ebook (complete) in the Shop!

shop-gauntlet

The complete Gauntlet ebook–featuring revised text from the online serialization, a new bonus story about Britt and Lilah, and some exclusive mini comics–is now available in the Sparkler Shop! If you were one of the Gauntlet Kickstarter supporters entitled to this, check your inbox! You should have a download link waiting for you right now. <3 A paperback version and new Gauntlet goods will be arriving in the next few months.

If that’s not enough Gauntlet for you, don’t forget that Cherry Bomb has an exclusive short story as well. For you Black Jack fans. ;)



Happy Indie Publish–er…Independence Day!

Happy Independent Publishing Compan–I mean… Happy Independence Day, America!

And a belated Happy Canada Day to our friends (and co-founders) up North. I’m celebrating the holidays by going to Anime Expo. ^_^ Nothing says FREEDOM like a zillion cosplayers and a bustling Artist’s Alley!

This month we are thrilled to announce the premiere of our newest comic serial, Windrose, by creative team Studio Kosen! We’ve been huge fans of Kosen’s work for ages, and this we can’t wait to share this swashbuckling tale of 17th Century romance and mystery with you all.

Also this month, rockers rock out in Skyglass, Cailen finds the killer in Dead Endings, rival angels come face to face in Kalevia, and Miriam goes stargazing in “The Ring of Saturn.” We’re also excited to welcome Little Foolery paperbacks into the Sparkler Shop, along with new ebook products for our short stories! From July, the climactic Awake Chap 9 is now free to stream, and did you check our the surprise continuation of Tokyo Demons: Book 2? :)

Plus, you have until Sunday morning, July 6th to send the Sparkler staff your questions for our latest Sparkler Podcast–which will be this month’s Subscriber Exclusive. Tell us what you’ve been dying to know, and we’ll do our best to answer in entertaining and original ways! Submit your questions now on Tumblr or Facebook or email your questions to manager@chromaticpress.com.

As longtime Sailor Moonies who are insanely excited about Sailor Moon Crystal‘s debut, we launched our Sparkler Blog today to discuss how Sailor Moon influenced our fujoshi editors. And if you’re at Connecticon this month, come see Dusk in Kalevia author Emily Compton and Sparkler editors Lianne and Rebecca on the Writing Fiction through the Female Gaze panel at 5 pm on Friday (July 11).

Thanks again for all your support in June! We got a ton of great entries for the Sparkler Share Your World contest (we’ll be announcing the winners soon!), and with your help, reblogs and Facebook shares, we completed our Kickstarter for a print-run of Gauntlet. We’ll be sending that to the printer shortly, with Tokyo Demons Volume 2 joining it soon after.

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since we officially launched Sparkler Monthly… We’ve learned a ton and had a great time working with some amazingly talented creators, and we’re going to be putting some of our hard-won knowledge into action next month with a few changes to the site and our format. More details will be coming soon, but we’re looking forward to heading into Sparkler Year 2 with new energy and a whole lot of great stories to excite and inspire!



June is Bustin’ Out All Over!

What a month, guys!

We’ve just released the mind-bending conclusion of Gauntlet (with no paywall), wherein Clio finally figures out how to escape from the bizarre maze in which she’s been trapped…but what does leaving really mean?

On that note, we’re running a Gauntlet paperback Kickstarter to give you the opportunity to pre-order our first complete Sparkler original prose story, plus snag some great bonuses at the same time! If you’d like a hard copy of this awesome novel to go on your bookshelf, help us out and spread the word. And to help support the Kickstarter, *all* of Gauntlet will be out from behind the paywall this month, just to whet your appetite! Which makes this a great time to share the series with any friends who may be intrigued by the story, but don’t have a Sparkler subscription to read all the back issues. ;-)

Speaking of sharing fun stuff with friends, don’t forget about our Sparkler Share Your World contest, which ends on June 3oth! Check out our great entries so far on the Sparkler Monthly tumblr (all tagged “submissions”), and consider sending us an entry of your own! Our top prize includes cash, so it’s a great way to fund some summer fun.

And as one series ends, another begins. This month we launch Skyglass, a brand new prose series by Jenn Grunigan with illustrations by the amazing Mookie. With an eye-searingly awesome cover spot this month, Skyglass is going to knock everyone’s socks off. Featuring space elves, pop stars, and fire elementals, Skyglass is an amazing addition to the Sparkler line-up (although some of you careful readers may have enjoyed our little sneak preview in “Cinderseed” a few months back!). Get ready for a tale that’s out of this world! (Albeit still set on Earth…)

That’s not all we’ve got this month, either! Starting in two weeks is the first installment of a three-chapter short comic from KAIJU. “The Ring of Saturn” is set in a private girls’ school in Great Britain at the outset of World War I. Starring Miriam, a young pianist who excels at playing exciting pieces but struggles with more reflective works, it has the honor of almost certainly being the first comic to feature Gustav Holst. :D Music is one of the hardest things to convey in visual media, and these ladies are really knocking it out of the park on that front. Can’t wait to share it with you all!

Our audio department head Rebecca’s got her hands full in June, with two audio updates and a Sparkler School audio drama how-to as our Subscriber Exclusive for the month. The true story behind the dead body(!) is in the latest installment of Awake, and we reach the exciting finale of Tokyo Demons Audio!

From last month, the adorable comic Dinner Ditz Part 2 (final) is free to read for a limited time, and the Off*Beat Volume 3 ebook will be available in our shop in a matter of days!



May Things Be Awesome

It seems like every month is a busy month for us at Sparkler, but this May is extra exciting! And I’m not just saying that because of the super-hot cover art we got this month from the always-amazing HamletMachine (NSFW) of Starfighter! *huff huff*

First up, a good portion of our crew will be at the Toronto Comics and Arts Festival (TCAF) on May 10th and 11th, with books and merch to sell, plus print copies of our two latest short comics, Before You Go, and Dinner Ditz! Creators Denise Schroeder and Alexis Cooke will be there as well, so stop by our booth and maybe you can get them to sign a book or two for you! The festival is free to enter, so if you’re in the area, we hope you stop on by. (It’s a fabulous event, not just because of Sparkler’s participation! ^_^)

We’re also pleased to announce that we’re running a contest for the next two months that we’re calling Sparkler Share Your World:

sparklershareyourworld-contest

Primarily hosted on our tumblr, we want you to send us artistic depictions (illustrations, comics, songs, stories, you’ve got a lot of options!) of how you share the stories you love with the people you love–for a chance to win a little corner of the internets, plus some pretty swank prizes (including cash!). You can find all the relevant details here, or on the Sparkler Monthly tumblr! You have until June 30th to get your entries in, and we can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

(Speaking of contests, congrats to Petrograd, Christian B., and Marina S. for winning wonder1440’s Off*Beat contest!)

And that’s not even counting all the great new content we’ve got for you this month! The second chapter and conclusion of Dinner Ditz will go up after TCAF (so attendees will get to read the exciting end first!), there’s crazy stuff going on in Dead Endings, a key part of the mystery unravels in Awake, Gauntlet heads for the finish line, the plot thickens in Kalevia, and last, but certainly not least…it’s the exciting finale of Tokyo Demons, Book 2! Whoa, how’d we get here already?! And what will happen to our heroes next?!

Plus, our Subscriber Exclusive for May is the first episode of our new Sparkler Podcast, featuring all the Sparkler team talking about our backgrounds, our goals, and just shooting the breeze about fun, exciting, female-oriented content!

We hope you enjoy!



March-ing Onward!

Here at Sparkler we like to think that March not only comes in like a lion, but it goes out with a roar! We’ve got some really exciting stuff coming up all month, so there’s a lot to look forward to, not in the least because we’re officially getting close to the grand finale of not one, but TWO Sparkler series. This month we’ve got the almost-penultimate chapter of Gauntlet–and in honor of our first Sparkler-original prose series wrapping up, ALL back chapters of Gauntlet will be out from behind the paywall for the next two weeks!

And as hard as it is to believe, we’re actually getting to the long-awaited conclusion of Off*Beat! This month will feature the first half of Chapter 18, which means next month we’ll be finishing up the series with the second half of 18, and…a little epilogue. ;-) And just to whet your appetites a little more, Tory and Colin will be our cover models in April, as well! Eeee!!

Also, we’ve got our first one-shot comic launching this month with Denise Schroeder’s “Before You Go,” on March 14th! Plus, there will be new chapters of Dusk in Kalevia and  Tokyo Demonsboth audio and prose.

In more general news, the March fanart prompt is up in the forums! There’s no prize this time around, but we still love seeing what you all come up with! http://sparklermonthly.com/forums/topic/monthly-prompt-challenge-3-march/

There’s still another 48 or so for anyone who wants to send us an audio pitch! The submissions deadline is Sunday, 11:59pm EST: http://sparklermonthly.com/forums/topic/february-is-audio-month/

And last but not least, Cherry Bomb, our 18+ line, launches this month as well, and just wait ’til you see what we’ve been cooking up for you!

Hopefully the polar vortex has done its worst for the year, but if not, feel free to hunker down with Sparkler to keep you warm! I’ll be hanging out here in Los Angeles, knitting hats for all my poor frozen comrades back East…



First Sparkler contest–in our forums!

In addition to posting the new section of Dire Hearts (Chapter 2, Part 2; a shorter chapter than usual to wrap up Chapter 2) and our special bonus Sexy Guys of Sparkler Pin-Ups to subscribers, we’ve also announced our first contest: for every five posts in the forum, a user will be entered in a raffle for a number of prizes! You can be entered as many times as you want. Read the rules here. And remember that anyone can post in the forum as long as she/he has a free (or paid) subscription to the site, as you can see here.

And of course, last week’s chapter of Gauntlet (Chapter 4) is now out from behind the paywall for a limited time, so read it for free while you can!

See you next week for more goodies in our action-packed November. <3



Issue #004 and new site design!

Welcome to our new look at Sparkler Monthly! Based on the original design by Jordan Acosta, this reboot is courtesy of Lissa Pattillo, the newest member of the Sparkler staff (although really, she’s been doing great work for a long time…she designed the new Off*Beat Vol 1-2 covers, among other things). Big round of applause for our tireless web staff!

We’re going to be fixing bugs and tweaking this design all month, so if you spot any problems or want to make  suggestions, just leave a comment here or contact us through our Chromatic Press contact page. We want this place to be a real playground for you, so don’t be shy!

We’re going to be rolling out a lot of new stuff throughout November, including work by a writer and two artists new to Sparkler, our first contest, and submissions updates–so be sure to check our updates every Friday for our usual content and more surprises! (Five Fridays in November, which makes November EXTRA SPECIAL. :D) Oh, and we just added a bunch of new products to our Shop, including merch for Dire HeartsGauntletand Awake.

Have fun~! <3



Issue #003 launches, Bandcamp, paywall tweaks

Our third issue is now live! Gauntlet Chapter 3 and our subscriber exclusive this month – an Off*Beat mini comic about Paul – are up for subscribers. Check them out! As mentioned earlier, all chapters in an issue are spread out across the Fridays in that month, so stay tuned for more content every week! For this issue, that includes Dire Hearts Chapter 2, a week from today. <3

We’ve also tweaked our paywall, to keep things clearer – instead of a chapter going up on Friday for subscribers and Monday for the rest of the public, the chapter will be opened up to the public the following Friday (in other words, the initial subscriber paywall stays up for a week). This is to keep all of our updates on Fridays, to avoid the confusion of the Monday updates. After that one-week paywall, the chapter is free to read until the next chapter is released to subscribers (usually 3 weeks, unless the creator is taking a month off). That general structure hasn’t changed.

However, in the case of the audio department specifically, we’ve decided to allow extra time for free listening. :) For both Awake and Tokyo Demons Audio, once the one-week paywall is down, streaming will remain free for all the chapters until the book is complete. (Downloads will be available for a charge.) This is so that more people can enjoy our audio series in Year 1 of the magazine; we’re especially excited about the work coming out of that department and want to spread the joy far and wide! We’re doing the majority of our streaming through Bandcamp now. For a list of all available Sparkler audio tracks, check out our new Sparkler Bandcamp page.

Oh, and our yearly memberships (now called “Year+” instead of “Launch”) will stay at $60 for 13 months indefinitely. Some of you have been asking for gift subscriptions, and those should be available in a week or two – we’re still ironing out the final wrinkles in functionality. Sorry for the delay!



Issue #002 begins, changes to the site

Issue #002 is live! As we’ve mentioned in the newsletter and on Twitter, every issue starting with #002 will have its releases spread out over the course of the month: basically, each series is assigned one of the four Fridays in a month, and on that Friday, the chapter goes up for subscribers. That Monday, the chapter is released for free reading until the NEXT chapter comes out for subscribers (except for the Tokyo Demons prose and audio, which will stay free). This way, the first AND current chapter of every serial will always be free to read, and anything in-between will go behind the paywall for paying subscriber eyes only! *James Bond music* We have a handy chart on the paywall redirect to lay this out:

Publishing Schedule for Sparkler Monthly Issue #002, Sept 2013

Content
Available to Subscribers
Available Free to Read
Gauntlet Chap 2
Friday, Sept 6
Monday, Sept 9
through
Thursday, Oct 3
Interview with Christy Lijewski (creator of Dire Hearts
(subscriber exclusive)
Friday, Sept 6
subscribers only
Tokyo Demons Audio Book 1: Chapter 7, Part 2
Friday, Sept 13
Monday, Sept 16
and forever after
Off*Beat Chapter 14
Friday, Sept 20
Monday, Sept 23
through
Thursday, Oct 17
Tokyo Demons prose Book 2: Chapter 5, Part 2
Friday, Sept 27
Monday, Sept 30
and forever after
Awake
Friday, Sept 27
Monday, Sept 30
through
Thursday, Oct 24
Dire Hearts
(creator month off)
Sparkler Issue #003
Sparkler Issue #003

For those series that are still on a lag (basically anything other than Gauntlet), keep in mind that this lag will only last for a few more weeks; once the last Friday of Sept rolls around, all the serials will be locked into their new schedules, and new chapters will come out every 4 weeks (unless the creator is taking a month off). Sparkler will always have a minimum of 5 new chapters per month + one piece of subscriber-exclusive bonus material. Woo! Oh, and for you Dire Hearts fans, that series has been assigned the second Friday of every month, the same day as Tokyo Demons Audio.

We’ve also started our Sparkler Monthly Back Issue Downloads with Issue #001. Subscribers always have free downloads of all current chapters, but once a chapter is no longer “current,” it will become part of its Back Issue in the shop, where the entire issue can be downloaded for a flat fee of $5. Gauntlet Chapter 1 is the only chapter that has been kicked to a Back Issue Download exclusively (subscribers can download Chapter 2 for free now instead). And if you were looking for downloadable back chapters of Tokyo Demons (which was folded into Sparkler after it started running), you can get those through our two recently updated products: Book 2 ebook Subscription and Audio .mp3 Set.

Baby announcement!

We’re happy to report that Jen Lee Quick (Off*Beat) had her first child a few weeks ago! And because she’s awesome, Off*Beat is still running this month. (Whoa!) Read more details and leave her a message here!

See you next Friday for a new chapter of Tokyo Demons Audio!



Store and membership bugs fixed, now shipping all products, submissions update

Off*Beat Chapter 13 (Vol 3, Chap 1)

After our soft launch last week, we’ve been fixing the little bugs that popped up as soon as we went live. Now we’re happy to say that any store bugs (like not allowing orders from all countries) have been fixed, all backlogged orders of physical products have been shipped, and our shipping staff is back in the office, so all physical products will be shipping at a normal schedule now (usually within 2 business days of an order). For those of you who already purchased from the Sparkler Shop, thank you for your support! And for the rest of you who were waiting for us to get our act together, now the process is smoother than ever. :D

Signing up for a free membership is fixed as well. Either click the “register” button on the righthand column of the site OR on the “memberships” button on the top menu. You’ll be asked if you want to subscribe to the free Sparkler newsletter, which will start this week. And next week – forums!

Since some people are confused about what chapters are available to read right now, here’s some clarification:

Issue #000: This is the preview issue posted right now. Anyone can read the first chapter of Off*Beat, read/listen to all of Tokyo Demons that’s been released over the past two years (much is still hosted on tokyodemons.com), read a preview of Gauntlet, and check out some write-ups/art/character profiles for Dire Hearts and Awake. If you want to read Chapters 2-12 of Off*Beat, which are the rest of Volumes 1-2, you can purchase them as ebooks or paperbacks (which also contain exclusive bonus material). You can also buy the ebook or paperback of Tokyo Demons: Book 1, also with exclusive bonus content, and the first Tokyo Demons Audio set (as a download or CDs).

Issue #1: This will be released in late July. It will be free to read forever, and will contain the following: Off*Beat Chapter 13 (the first chapter of Volume 3), Tokyo Demons Book 2: Chapter 5, and the first chapters of Dire Hearts, Gauntlet, and Awake. This is when we’ll open up paid subscriptions, which are $5 a month and will give you 3 downloadable ebook versions of all written serials (.pdf, .mobi, and .epub) in that month’s issue, and will open up the paywall that hides extra read-only content: like Chapters 2-12 of Off*Beat, a bonus article, and hidden forums. As time goes on, back issues of the magazine and the pile of hidden subscriber exclusives will form a  mountain of treasures.

Also new this week: we’ve opened a new page for anyone who wants to submit fiction pitches to our magazine. If you’ve pitched  to us in the past or want to pitch in the future, we’ve updated our schedules and opened comments so you can directly ask us questions, even if you’re not following us on Twitter. :D

See you soon!