Sunday, 1 March 2015

A call to self-published fantasy authors

Now Closed

Keep up with blogs/reviews/progress HERE

As a result of the enthusiastic response from the fantasy book blogging community I now have a team of 10 highly respected and well-established bloggers who are prepared to:

a) Put on a pseudo-literary agent hat and accept a randomly allocated slush pile of up to 25 electronic fantasy book manuscripts (new texts or existing published books) and work through them to find their favourite single submission which they will then "publish" into the final round of the competition.

b) review at least the book they put through into the final

c) Read through the final list (9 books plus the one they put through) and score those books out of 10 to generate a cumulative score for each of them which will be used to determine the over all winner.

d) review the over all winner

There's no other prize. The winner will get the publicity of being the winner, plus the bonus of being reviewed on the blogs of 10 highly respected fantasy bloggers.

Frankly you can't buy better publicity than that.

The winning book will have been selected as the best from a field of up to 250 self-published works.

Initially I'm saying self-pub only (no small/medium pub) and we'll see how it goes.


The first stage will take not more than 6 months - but if everyone makes their selection earlier we can move on.

The second stage will take not more than 6 months.


Note - these bloggers are mostly (but not exclusively) focused on the epic fantasy / swords and sorcery end of the genre. As such if your book is a paranormal fantasy, romance fantasy, children's fantasy or even some flavour of science fiction etc it will have to work harder to win.

All you have to do email me the electronic manuscript ready for kindle/PC reading or (if one exists) the link to the FREE version on Amazon. You're welcome to include a cover letter, blurb. synopsis etc as you would for an agent - but it's not compulsory. These guys are bloggers, they're used to making up their mind by starting to read and seeing if they feel any compulsion to continue.

Email me at empire_of_thorns@yahoo.co.uk with the SUBJECT: Book Contest

We're on 275 of a maximum 250 entries.

If (as seems likely) we exceed 250 entries I will select 250 at random  and randomly assign them into 10 groups of 25. I will also assign the excess stories as an optional extra to the batches of 25 sent on to the 10 bloggers. If they choose to consider those too I'll add those names to the list of books in the contest. There will be no pressure for them to do so though as 25 books is a lot to handle.


The blogger team are:

1./ Sarah Chorn of Bookworm Blues
2./ Steve Diamond &co at the Hugo winning Elitist Book Reviews
3./ Mark Aplin &co of the award winning Fantasy-Faction
4./ Mihir Wanchoo of Fantasy Book Critic
5./ Lynn Williams of Lynn's Books
6./ Milo of The Fictional Hangout
7./ Bob Milne of Beauty in Ruins
8./ Ria of Bibliotropic
9./ Tyson Mauermann of The Speculative Book Review
10./ The guys at Fantasy Book Review

reserve
Kat &co at Fantasy Literature
Leona Henry at the Blog of Shadows



58 comments:

  1. Patricia Burroughs, This Crumbling Pageant. Small publisher, no advance, not sure if it qualifies?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to say no to small pub and see how we go. The trouble with small pub is knowing where it ends. Accepting any non-big six (five?) book would erode the thrust here I think...

      Delete
  2. Does the first chapter count as a manuscript? ;_;

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  3. What would be the best file type to send in? ePub? PDF? MOBI?

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    Replies
    1. all three would be good - mobi definitely

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    2. but not a word file?

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    3. If you're self published you will (in my understanding) have produced a mobi or pdf file - if you are planning to self publish and have a complete manuscript then now would be a good time to learn how to make them. You're welcome to send a Word file _as well_

      Delete
  4. This a leap-up-cliffs exciting opportunity.

    I'd like to clarify a point. You said novel manuscripts, and by this I gather that I could submit a story that hasn't been published in any form yet? I have an epic fantasy that's almost ready. I should also ask when it needs to be submitted by. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll amend the post to clarify that this can be new work or existing books.

      If we get to 250 entries in a hurry I'll announce a deadline and select 250 at random from the entries. If we don't then I'll see how long I can be bothered to wait before starting.

      Delete
  5. My name's Luke Matthews, and my novel is called CONSTRUCT.

    This is really amazing. Thank you so much for putting it together! :)

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  6. M.S. Verish (a.k.a. Matthew & Stefanie, married co-authors). Our novel is: Dawning (Black Earth, Book One)

    Thank you, Mark!

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. Mark, thank you. Thank you for coming up with this and for taking the time to implement it. A huge thanks to the bloggers too, of course.
    My name is J P Ashman. My epic fantasy novel is: Black Cross - First book from the tales of the Black Powder Wars.

    Kindest regards.
    Jonathan.

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  9. I'll play too! I'm Claire Frank and my novel is To Whatever End. I'll send the email :). Thanks for putting this together! I'm excited to see how it all shakes out!

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  10. Hi there, my name is Emily McNeely and my manuscript is titled LEAVING BISHT. Thanks for your consideration.

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  11. Hey Mark,
    That idea got wheels quickly, awesome!
    I would like to enter as well with Dark Age by Felix Hartmann.
    Thanks, you're the man.
    Felix

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  12. Hey Mark,
    That idea got wheels quickly, awesome!
    I would like to enter as well with Dark Age by Felix Hartmann.
    Thanks, you're the man.
    Felix

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Mark, Thank you for kicking this off and thanks to all the bloggers for their participation. My self-pub book is THE BONE WALL, just a month old. I'll send a mobi file as requested. This sounds like fun.

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  14. S.M. White - The Lonely Man: The Witch's Price.

    Interesting opportunity. Thanks.

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  15. Blake Hausladen, Ghosts in the Yew.

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  16. Blake Hausladen, Ghosts in the Yew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. don't forget to email the files in!

      Delete
  17. My name is Ted Cross and my epic fantasy is called The Shard. It is due to be published May 1. Although it says Breakwater Harbor Books, it is truly self-published. BHB is simply a group of writer friends who each self-publish our books under that moniker. Thanks for doing this!

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  18. Thanks for the opportunity. I'm Matt Karlov and my novel is THE UNBOUND MAN.

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  19. Hi, I'm James Latimer, and I have a book currently preparing for (self) publication this spring: The Winter Warrior. It would love to submit it here, but it's not quite in final form. Would an ARC now be ok, and a final copy later? Thanks!

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  20. My name is Gregory L. Mahan, and my novel is titled A Touch of Magic. I'm excited for the opportunity! I've sent a MOBI file, but can provide other formats easily if needed.

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  21. My name is Gregory L. Mahan, and my novel is titled A Touch of Magic. I'm excited for the opportunity! I've sent a MOBI file, but can provide other formats easily if needed.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Mark, thank you so much for putting this together. This is a wonderful opportunity! I'm submitting my first book, 'The Plains of Kallanash', which has some romantic elements but is more fantasy than romance.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi, my name is J. Aaron Flynn and my book is called "The Fivefold Prophecy".

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ioana Visan, The Impaler Legacy Omnibus

    Email sent. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for the opportunity! Email sent.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sent! The Bloody North by Tony Healey

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  27. Cool idea, Mark! Would you consider a novella, or are you looking for novel-length only?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. best stick to novels - they can be pretty short though, say 40,000 words +

      Delete
  28. This is awesome! What's the timeline for submissions? Is there a defined cut-off date?

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    Replies
    1. Until I get bored or we reach 250 in either case I'll post a 2 day warning then (2 days later) close the submission section. Currently I have 50 something in after ~12 hours.

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  29. Entered. "After the Burning - Book 1- Princess

    epub and mobi attached.

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  30. Thank you so much for putting this together!

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  31. Sent email with mobi of "Bid the Gods Arise." Thank you for this opportunity; it's a great idea!

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  32. If a book has already been reviewed by at least one of the bloggers, is it still eligible?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes - but make a note of which so I can avoid sending it to them

      Delete
    2. Emailed my submission, Stone & Blood and identified it as a novella. 40,000 words. Short novel, then? Thanks again for this opportunity.

      Delete
  33. Damnit! I just started to get into a flow of writting. Just 60 pages in...o well. I will wait for next year's mash up. Awesome idea Mark!

    greetings
    jayson lawren

    ReplyDelete
  34. Sent, and thank you for the opportunity,

    Craig Saunders

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  35. A chance to be seen in a sea of thousands of books - thank you to Mark and the bloggers of this opportunity!

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  36. Sent my novel "The Halloween Host", a modern fantasy but I think it deserves the chance. Thank you for this, Mark, and thanks to all these bloggers for their time and efforts. ~S.M. Barrett

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  37. I've just emailed mine, thanks for the opportunity :)

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  38. Hello Mark,
    I've sent you an email containing an .epub of the book, but I also wanted to include the link to the book I submitted in the amazon store, where it's free for a while.
    I will most likely make it freely available on my website soon, because selling on amazon has been far, far more trouble than it's worth.

    My name is William Dooling and I'm making the gusty/stupid/whatever move of submitting something that's NOT the kind of fantasy you're looking for. I enjoy the old sword-and-sorcery stuff (esp. Conan) a great deal, and I hope that is reflected in my writing even though this is patently a story about "real life" (as evidenced by the fact that it's the first installment in the "real life trilogy"

    For all interested parties the amazon link is here:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MXYA0B0

    And a description/advert for the book is on my website here: http://www.theodidactus.com/fiction/synchronicity/

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  39. Hi Mark -- as the contest itself is brilliant, I’m not quite sure about random picking up the 250 books out of the bigger group, if it’s bigger. I mean, querying / publishing seems to involve more dumb luck than we all would prefer. Couldn’t this one work simply on first come – first served basis, so 250 as “core list” plus possibly “waiting list” for numbers over 250?
    Of course you are the one who decide.
    Claude

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect people who send in before the deadline but after we reach 250 may say it was dumb luck that meant the first 250 heard about it before they did :)

      The promotion is over and the entries are slowing down, so I doubt we'll reach 300.

      Delete
  40. Sent in Undying Heights, Book 1 of Legacy of the Deep Gnomes. It's in .doc format, as one of your replies suggested this was acceptable.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    Nate Jones

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  41. Mine might be a bit of long shot, but I'll still send it in since it seems to be what most agents and publishers have been looking for lately. I've emailed my book, CAYUYE to you, a portal fantasy set in a pre-Columbian, indigenous Caribbean village complete at 30K words. Thanks for the opportunity.

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  42. Sent a .mobi of SCRAPPER: THE 13th PARAGON Part I for the consideration of yourself and the bloggers. Saying it is a broken record at this point, but thanks very much for the opportunity!

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  43. Suggestion: Instead of randomly choosing 250 and potentially dropping some entrants, could you assign the overage to your "reserve" bloggers, and simply up the "finalist" tally to 11 or 12? Just an idea.

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  44. Yikes, not sure I made the cutoff, as I was stuck at the post office downtown and had to rush home! Didn't expect to be out so late this afternoon. Regardless, thank you SO much for offering this, and good luck to everyone who entered! I hope we see more opportunities like this for self-published authors.

    Warm wishes,
    Holly

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  45. Are you planning to do this again next year? I dragged my feet and didn't end up submitting. I hope you intend to do this again, knowing full well this will depend on the first year's experience. Self-pub genre authors need opportunities like this and I'm grateful for it (even if I didn't submit this time).

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