Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Self-Publishing Fantasy Blog-off

The self-publishing fantasy blog-off is a contest organised by fantasy author Mark Lawrence and known on Twitter as #SPFBO:

Self-published authors were asked to submit one story each, and these would then be divvied out to top bloggers/reviewers, who would cast their critical eye over the offerings.

As the link above indicates, there’s a whopping 96% chance of failing immediately. Each of 10 top bloggers/reviewers gets 25 (or slightly more, due to the competition’s popularity) self-published books to read. Each of the 10 can pick only one book to go through to the final. The deadline for naming the books chosen for the final is 1 September.

As a bare minimum, each blogger will review the book they forward to the final, although reviews for books that don’t make the grade may also be forthcoming.

The top 10 in the final will be reviewed by all the bloggers, and scored out of 10. Top score = the winner.

Whilst there’s no financial prize, getting ten reviews from ten top bloggers makes even reaching the final something that’ll do a lot of good for an author’s profile (although, as I mentioned, there’s a less than 5% chance of making the final). Winning overall won’t add any more reviews, but coming top from more than 250 entries would be a nice feeling.

The book I submitted was Journey to Altmortis, the second ‘serious’ fantasy I wrote (my work-in-progress, Kingdom Asunder, occurs in the same world). I do wonder what will be made of Roger the Goat.

My book’s been sent to Marc Aplin and co. at Fantasy-Faction.

Incidentally, I thought it’d be useful to list my reviews of self-published works, which you may not have come across:
Wyrd Worlds II (sci-fi anthology)
Keepers of Arden (fantasy)
House of Shadows (vampires)
Tales of Erana (fantasy anthology)
Thread Slivers (fantasy)

I also just finished the (very short) Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse, by Alexandra Butcher. It’s very similar to Beowulf, and probably the best written story of hers I’ve read to date. Must stress it’s shorter than a gnome on his knees (print length 23 pages), but then the asking price is 99p [free on Kindle Unlimited].

So, if you like the idea of self-publishing but are uncertain if the stories are up to snuff, keep your eyes peeled for the #SPFBO hashtag.


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