#SPFBO Introduction

There’s an author called Mark Lawrence who’s a bit of a legend in the world of self-publishing. Not only does he write awesome Fantasy books (take a look at his author page here) he is the mastermind behind the Self-publishing Fantasy Blog Off, otherwise known as #SPFBO.

I happened, by chance, to come across this competition when I was scrawling through my Facebook feed. I read up on it, decided that there was nothing to lose by entering, and subsequently submitted The Soul Guide. It is a competition open to all self-published fantasy authors, but you have to get in quick. The competition closed for entries not long after being opened. I was lucky, I guess.

There are 300 entries and 10 book bloggers, all of whom have 30 entries to review each. In the first few months the bloggers will choose their favourite three covers and then choose one  book as the winner from the 30 books they’ve been allocated.

The ten finalists will then be reviewed by each blogger and an overall winner will be chosen. Whomever scores highest wins. Simple.

Last year The Grey Bastards by Jonathon French won the coveted title. Why don’t you check it out? It’s on my own to-read list.

So, what does the winner get, I hear you ask?

Exposure that’s what!

The bloggers review the ten finalists on their own sights often to lots of interested, engaged readers and the winner gets all of that free exposure (a great review by a well known blogger is probably THE best advertising you can get, a great review by more than one and your laughing!) Obviously the winner will get kudos for winning and, in some cases, possibly a publishing contract (though this not a guarantee).

At the very least, getting into the final is a real boon to a books exposure even if it isn’t the overall winner. Even if a book is not chosen as a finalist, I expect more eyes will be on all 300 entrants. Eyes that might not have otherwise known those books existed. So, good all round me thinks!

Below is the list of the 30 entrants in my group. Eventually, I’ll have them all linked to their sales page (like Amazon) just in case you want to purchase them yourself.

My aim is to read the opening excerpt of each book (found in the Look Inside section on Amazon or by downloading an free excerpt). As I go through the list I will provide my own thoughts (for what they’re worth) and give each a score out of ten for the opening chapters. If I really get into a book, I may well download it and review the whole thing!

In the meantime, take a look at Lynn’s blog which you can follow for updates on her chosen novel. She has picked her favourite covers, sadly I wasn’t one of them, but I think she made some good choices!

Here’s the list of books in my group:


There is also Wishful Thinking by Jim Beach but I have no link to a cover that I can provide. If I can find it I will upload it here as soon as possible.

Just remember, my score will be based on the Look Inside portion, or free downloadable portion (if available) via Amazon and not the whole book.

For clarity, I will give my score out of ten, one being the lowest and ten the highest. For obvious reasons I won’t be reviewing my own (I’ll leave that up to others). Of course, this is just for fun and has no bearings on the competition whatsoever!

Not only that, as I am only scoring the opening chapters, these scores cannot possibly reflect my view of the whole book,  just the start. So if I score low it isn’t a reflection on the whole book, just the start and is purely personal.

During this process, I will update my Newsletter subscribers with any books I find particularly entertaining, after all why would I keep such brilliant stories to myself? I was reader way before I was a writer.

Tomorrow I will be looking at Search of the Lost by Thomas. R. Gaskin and The Lost Secret of Fairies by Tiffany Turner.

Come back tomorrow, to see what I thought of them!

Until then folks!

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