Thursday, 31 March 2016

SPFBO 2016

The Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off #SPFBO was, in my estimation, a great success. We took in 273 self-published fantasy manuscripts and 10 top bloggers gave out around 100 reviews, in the process picking ten finalists and an eventual winner.

You can read all about it here.

Now closed to new entries.
We have 300 entries in!
SPFBO 2016 is on. Scroll down for contestant list and updates.

The rules are:

i) No book that was entered in SPFBO1 can be entered into SPFBO2
ii) The book must be #1 in a series or a stand-alone.
iii) The book must actually be self-published, not something you're considering self-publishing in future.
iv) It must be a fantasy book.

The Bloggers for this year's contest will be
Bookworm Blues / Sarah Chorn
Bibliotropic / Ria Bridges
Fantasy Book Critic / Mihir & crew
Elitist Book Review / Steve Diamond & crew
Pornokitsch / Jared & crew
Lynn's Books / Lynn
The BiblioSanctum / Tiara, Mogsy & Wendy
The Qwillery / Sally Janin & crew
Fantasy Literature / Kat Hooper et al
Fantasy-Faction / Marc Apin & chums

Each of them will:

a) Put on a pseudo-literary agent hat and accept a randomly allocated slush pile of 25+ electronic fantasy book manuscripts 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.

(in practice they tend to do many more reviews than the minimum stated here)

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 300 self-published works.

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.

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 with the SUBJECT: Book Contest

I will be maintaining a list here of #SPFBO links to posts by the bloggers and also relevant blog posts about the contest. You may find other interesting links by Googling in SPFBO or searching for the hash tag on twitter.

Former contestant G.R Matthews gives advice to this year's entrants.
All 10 of last year's finalists are appearing together in a story bundle!
An interview with David Benem, a finalist from 2015.
On Pornokitsh an introduction to, and thoughts on, the contest.
On Bibliotropic Ria talks about 'the process'.
On Bookworm Blues Sarah also talks process, and covers!
Ria's first reactions to the first few titles. Bibliotropic.
More Ria first reactions.
On Bibliosanctum the team introduce their titles.
Ria's third ... first .., impressions!
Fantasy-Faction introduce their team and methodology.
Ria's four thought.
Ria's last first impressions.
Lynn tells us 'there can be only one'.
Sarah on Bookworm Blues is very orderly.
Lynn spotlights her first five:
First chapter thoughts at Fantast-Faction.
Ria asks whether you want to take your medicine?
On Fantasy Book Critic Mihir sets out his stall.
Pornokitsch assesses 24 to be let go and names 6 to be given full reads.
On Bookworm Blues Sarah's first round of reviews.
Bibliosanctum talk about their cover choices.
Fantasy-Faction cut 3 titles.
Lynn considers her first 5 on Lynn's Books.
A second round of reviews on Bookworm Blues.
A second round of 5 selected on Lynn's Books.
Fantasy Literature opens procedures with a GIVEAWAY!
Pornokitsch reviews the first of their 6 semi-finalists.
Pornokitsch reviews the second of their 6 semi-finalists.
Three of six semi-finalists now reviewed on Pornokitsch.
Kirsten S Walker puts out the 3rd in her SPFBO reviews.
Four and five of six semi-finalists reviewed on Pornokitsch!
Pornokitsch reviews the last semi-finalist.
Lynn's Books considers 5 more titles.
On Bibliotropic Ria wields the scythe once then twice.
The crew at Fantasy Literature pick a first semi-finalist.
Third batch from Sarah at Bookworm Blues!
Fantasy Book Critic address their first batch.
Lynn spotlights batch three!
The Narrowing Path reviewed on Bibliotropic.
We have our first finalist, and you can feel Jared hurting over the decision on Pornokitsch!
Fantasy Literature roll out their round 3.
Bibliosanctum announce their shortlist!
5 titles reviewed on The Qwillery
Fantasy-Faction cut 5 titles.
And 5 more gone at Fantasy-Faction.
Another 5 titles cut at Fantasy-Faction!
Ever taciturn Elitist Book Reviews review their first title!
Lynn selects her next 5!
Fantasy-Faction shed 5 more books.
On Bibliosanctum some pontification of the SPFBO.
A 2nd book reviewed on Eitist Book Reviews.
On Bookworm Blues Sarah selects another semi-finalist.
Fantasy-Faction pick seven semi-finalists.
Bibliotropic reviews Touch of Iron.
Lynn's Books spotlights another 5 titles.
The last group is mini-reviewed on Bookworm Blues!
An epic struggle to choose between two books leads to one finalist on Bookworm Blues!
Bibliotropic reviews A Dragon Scale Lute.
Bibliosanctum reviews Beyond the Starline.
4th update on Fantasy Literature.
Lynn's Books reviews The Amber Isle.
Demi Heroes is reviewed on Bibliotropic.
Terminus is reviewed on Fantasy-Faction.
Assassin's Charge is reviewed on Bibliosanctum
Elitist Book Reviews choose Larcout as their finalist.
Beneath the Canyons reviewed on Bibliotropic.
On Fantasy-Faction Yseult is reviewed.
Lynn chooses another semi-finalist.
Bibliosanctum reviews The Alignment,
Lynn spotlights her 5th set of books.
Fantasy-Literature wield the axe on 5 more books.
Fantasy-Literature shine the light on 5 more titles.
Off Leash gets a review on Fantasy-Faction.
Bibliosanctum review The Warlock and the Wolf
On self-promotion and self-publishing. A blog post by ME!
Bibliotropic reviews Song of the Summer King
Elitist Book Reviews read Romancing the Null
On Fantasy Book Critic the final six of batch 3 are named.
A Song of Blood & Stone reviewed on Fantasy-Faction.
Ria reviews Thread Slivers on Bibliotropic.
Fantasy Literature choose their winner!
Bibliosanctum review The Dragon's Blade.
Transition is reviewed on Bibliosanctum.
Lynn's Books considers 5 more titles.
Fantasy-Faction have just two books left!
The final set of five books spotlighted on Lynn's books.
Ravenmarked reviewed on Fantasy-Faction
Fantasy-Faction declare their finalist!
Bibliosanctum pick their finalist!
On Fantasy Book Critic the author of Storm Without End is interviewed.
Bibliotropic reviews The Grey Bastards.
Ria identifies Bibliotropic's final two!
Powers of the Six is reviewed on Fantasy Book Critic.
I interview three of the authors whose books came 2nd in a group.
Hondus Pointe reviewed, author interviewed, on Fantasy Book Critic.
Unwilling Souls reviewed on Lynn's Books.
As the Crow Flies is reviewed on Lynn's Books.
Outpost is reviewed on Lynn's  Books.
Lynn considers her final batch of 5 and picks her finalist!
On Bibliotropic Ria chooses a finalist!

I've started a 'best cover' contest for the SPFBO covers.

Here's a Wordle made from the first 250 titles!
Mode titles would include:

Shadow Magic of the Blood King
Demon Witch Queen
The Magic Dragon's Revenge
Wolf Curse of the Emerald Prince

How have the first 276 entrants chosen to present themselves gender-wise?
From inspection I would say that the majority (but by no means all) of the authors using initials are female.

(if anyone wants to make a graphic / logo / banner, pitch in!)

Here's one from Brent Nichols - any more?

& from Colleen Sheehan

& 2 from Matt Howerter

from Barb Morrow

& from James Cormier

A note to authors:

First let me say thank you to all the authors who sent their work in. You were so numerous I wasn't able to respond individually but at the end of this post is a list of all the entries I received, which blogger they went to.

Almost everyone who sent in thanked me for taking the time to do this - of course I've spent only a modest amount of time on the project and it is the bloggers who are going to put in the real hours.

Almost everyone who sent in thanked me for the opportunity. And it is a great opportunity - but let's take a moment to keep expectations real here. We have 300 entries. Each blogger is going to select the book they feel is best from the 30 entries sent to them. That means that 97% of you will fail at the first hurdle. That's just the unforgiving mathematics of the thing.

You may have written a great book, but there may be one in that 30 that the blogger likes better.

Here are my views on 'failure'.

Entries (with assigned blogger)
(29 of 300 still in the running!)

#1 Bookworm Blues / Sarah Chorn
1.     Rob J Hayes - It takes a thief to catch a sunrise.
2.     Steve Turnbull - Elona: Patterner's Path
3.     T.L Greylock - The Blood-Tainted Winter
4.     Amalia Dillin - Honor Among Orcs
5.     DeAnna Knippling - Alice's Adventures in Underland: The Queen of Stilled Hearts
6.     Richard Bamberg - Wanderers
7.     L.E. Harrison - Blackbird
8.     Jason Dias - For The Love Of Their Children
9.     Andrew Knighton - Ocean Gods, Roman Blades
10.   Josh Brannan - The Last Kinmark
11.   Leeland Artra - Impossible Paradise
12.   Will Macmillan jones - The SatNav of Doom
13.   Travis Peck - Ravinor
14.   Sarah Wynde - A Lonely Magic
15.   Brian O'Sullivan - Fionn: Defence of Rath Bladhma
16.   Pauline M Ross - The Mages of Bennamore
17.   Jeremiah Kleckner - Captain James Hook and the Curse of Peter Pan
18.   T.A Miles - Six Celestial Swords
19.   Benedict Patrick - They mostly come out at night
20.   T. Eric Bakutis- Glyphbinder
21.   Marla J. Bell - Before the Full Moon Rises
22.   Robert Mulin - Blood Song
23.   Jordan Rivet - Duel of Fire
24.   Guy Estes - Triad
25.   Kris Jerome - Wrath of the Fallen
26.   Benny Hinrichs - A New Plague
27.   Alexander Wallis - The Way Knight
28.   Karen Simpson Nikakis - The Emerald Serpent
29.   Kendrick Von Schiller - Sparks and Shadows
30.   Cheryl S. Mackey - Shadows and Starstone

#2 Bibliotropic / Ria Bridges
31.   Leeland Artra - Thread Slivers
32   Andrew Lynch - Demi Heroes 
33.   James Aaron - Emerald Emergent
34.   Deena Byrne - Raindropt
35.   Nadja Losbohm - The Huntress
36.   Richard Bamberg - The Hunters: Monster Hunting 101
37.   Patty Jansen - Innocence Lost
38.   Will Macmillan Jones - Snort and Wobbles
39.   Jess Owen - Song of the Summer King
40.   J.T. Williams - Half-Bloods Rising
41.   Edward J. Rathke - Girl with ears & Demon with limp
42.   JC Kang - The Dragon Scale Lute
43.   Jonathan French - The Grey Bastards
44.   Eli Freysson - The Call
45.   Kyra Halland - Beneath the Canyons
46.   Matt Howerter & John Reinke - The Gathering, Dark Fate
47.   Raymond Bolton - Awakening
48.   David J Normoyle - The Narrowing Path
49.   Brian W. Foster - The Rise of Mages
50.   Timandra Whitecastle  - Touch of Iron
51.   Sara C. Roethle - Bitter Ashes
52.   Harvey Click - Demon Frenzy
53.   Aimee Easterling - Half Wolf
54.   Nicholas Andrews - The Adventure Tournament
55.   Joseph Sutton - Quiet in the Realm
56.   Brent Nichols - Bone Magic
57.   Jim Johnson - Ranger of Mayat
58.   Domino Finn - Dead Man
59.   Aaron Hodges - Stormwielder
60.   T. Sae-Low - Genesis

#3 Fantasy Book Critic / Mihir & crew
61.   V.M Jaskiernia - Larkspur; a necromancer's romance
62.   Scott J. Robinson - The Age of Heroes
63.   Thomas K. Carpenter - Revolutionary Magic
64.   Kristal Shaff - Powers of the Six
65.   K.A Fenwolfe - Tiz Phoenix and the Witch's Tree
66.   L.S Johnson - Vacui Magia
67.   R.J. Blain - Storm Without End
68.   R.D Henderson - Hondus Pointe
69.   Rachel E. Rice - Insaitable
70.   Loren Bukovka - Nicky and the fairy named Anika
71.   Phill Berrie - Transgressions
72.   Michael-Scott Earle - The Destroyer
73.   Jeff Russell - The Dungeoneers
74.   Fiona Skye - Taming Shadows
75.   Cameron W. Kobes - Tales of Cynings
76.   Jeff Davis - Scalebane
77.   P.F Davids - Lesser Evil
78.   Jack Conner - War of the Black Tower
79.   Becca Mills - Nolander
80.   Rosemary Fryth - Arantur
81.   Katrina Archer - The Tree of Souls
82.   Katlynn Brooke - The Six and the Crystals of Ialana
83.   Eustacia Tan - The Nutcracker King
84.   Teddy Jacobs - Sword Bearer
85.   Marilyn Peake - The Fisherman's Son
86.   S.K.S Perry - The Moonlight War
87.   Emily Martha Sorensen - Fairy Eyeglasses
88.   Katie Salidas - Dissension
89.   Travis Bughi - Beyond the Plains
90.   Allan Batchelder - Steel, Blood, and Fire

#4 Elitist Book Review / Steve Diamond & crew
91.   Jenelle Schmidt - King's Warrior
92.   C.J Archer - The Last Necromancer
93.   Karen Gray - For King and Country
94.   Marc Johnson - Catalyst
95.   Suzanne Rogerson - Visions of Zarua
96.   Susan Alison - The Lost World
97.   Lucas Thorn - Revenge of the Elf
98.   David Parkland - Demon Bound
99.   Jonathan Moeller - Thief Trap
100.  Matt Heppe - Eternal Knight
101.  Elizabeth White - Dragon Bearer's Son
102.  Jake Kerr - The Guildmaster Thief
103.  P.T Wyant - Song and Sword
104.  Tina Gower - Romancing the Null
105.  Charles Serabian - Deep in the Arnaks
106.  Mike Reeves-McMillan - Auckland Allies
107.  C.A Sanders - The Watchmage of Old New York
108.  C.B Pratt - Hero for Hire
109.  Richard B Knight - The Darkness of the Womb
110.  D.R Perry - Barely Awake
111.  Marco Ander - Rebel
112.  Guy Antibes - Quest of the Wizardess
113.  W.R Gingell - Masque
114.  Benjamin A. Sorensen - Prophecy
115.  Brigid Collins - Singer
116.  James Berardinelli - The Last Whisper of the Gods
117.  Reginald Dean - The Story
118.  Sharon Joss - Destiny Blues
119.  Catherine Winters - Black
120.  K.A Krantz - Larcout

#5 Pornokitsch / Jared & crew
121.  Helen Bell - Shadowless
122.  M.H. Lee - Erelia: Innocence
123.  Alessandra Clarke - Rider's Revenge
124.  Timothy L. Cerepaka - Gathering of the Chosen
125.  Christopher Pepper - The Outrider Legion
126.  A.A. Bavar - Az: Revenge of an Archangel
127.  David J. Lovato - The Ones Who Follow The Water
128.  Assaph Mehr - Murder in Absentia
129.  Annie Bellet - A Heart in Sun and Shadow
130.  Lesley Donaldson - The Queen's Viper
131.  Philip Tucker - The Path of Flames
132.  E. Madison Cawein - The Flamebearer
133.  Michael Logan - Wannabes
134.  Kate Haye - The Last Gatekeeper
135.  Amanda Greenslade - Talon
136.  Richard Crawford - Traitor Blade
137.  B.T. Narro - Kin of Kings
138.  Sarah Dalton - White Hart
139.  Renee Carter Hall - Huntress
140.  Evelyne Contant - Enchantment: The Moonstone
141.  Elizabeth Best - The Naiad Chronicles
142.  K.M. Carroll - Malevolent
143.  Gordon Atkins - When Destinies Collide
144.  T.W. Piperbrook & Bobby Adair - The Last Survivors
145.  Toni Kerr - Descendant
146.  Josiah Bancroft - Senlin Ascends
147.  John D. Brown - Servant
148.  Craig M. Skiera - Crimson & Cream
149.  Rafael Soares - Enclave - Creation
150.  Eric Tanafon - Robin Hood: Wolf's Head

#6 Lynn's Books / Lynn
151.  A.E. Marling - Magic Banquet
152.  Jen Greyson - Lightning Rider
153.  R.A. Meenan - Stolen Guardian
154.  Bobbi Schemerhorn - Mechanical Dragons: Fire & Water
155.  Greg Little - Unwilling Souls
156.  F.T. McKinstry - Outpost
157.  Moses Siregar III - The Ninth Wind
158.  Michael DeAngelo - The Fall
159.  Gwynn White - Rebel's Honor
160.  Kristy Tate - Beyond the Fortuneteller's Tent
161.  Wilson Geiger - Ash & Flame
162.  Xina Marie Uhl & Janet Loftis - The Ruling Elite and Other Stories
163.  John March - Vergence
164.  Ros Jackson - Melody of Demons
165.  Jaclyn Dolamore - The Vengeful Half
166.  Douglas Milewski - All the Saints are Dead
167.  Joseph J. Bailey - Soul Stealer
168.  Terra Lorin - Avadonya: Rescuing Pavra
169.  Aidan J. Reid - Pathfinders
170.  Jennifer Ealey - Bronze Magic
171.  Jon Kiln - Assassin's Quest
172.  Will Collins - A Darker Shade of Sorcery
173.  Peter Ravlich - The Fallen Shepherd Saga
174.  Kat Parrish - Bride of the Midnight King
175.  A.G Stewart - Loose Changeling
176.  Robin Lythgoe - As the Crow Flies
177.  Erica Converso - Into the Sky
178.  Ashley Capes - The Amber Isle
179.  Christina Maharaj - The Tarot Cards
180.  Trip Ellington - Evermage

#7 The BiblioSanctum / Tiara, Mogsy & Wendy
181.  Richard Hardeman - Dragon's Luck
182.  Trip Ellington - Gauntlet of Time
183.  Leonard D. Hilley II - Shawndirea
184.  N.P. Martin - Hell is Coming
185.  J.A. Cipriano - Cursed
186.  Corey Soreff - Crimson Blade
187.  Laura L. Comfort - Journey to Kokoroe
188.  Kay Camden - The Alignment
189.  Lorna Reid - Rise of the Reaper
190.  O. Rising - Transition
191.  Chris Northern - Prison of Power
192.  H. Gibson - Leilaka
193.  Kasper Beaumont - Elven Jewel
194.  Alice Degan - The Tenants of 7C
195.  Susan Kelly - Endgame
196.  Christina Ochs - Rise of the Storm
197.  Brian O'Sullivan - Liath Luachra: The Grey One
198.  M.C.A Hogarth - Heir
199.  Tricia Owens - Descended from Dragons
200.  Edward Hendrik - The Siren's Mask
201.  David Higgins - Seven Stones
202.  P.G. Allison - Missy the Werecat
203.  Hans Cummings - Malediction
204.  Claire Frank - Assassin's Charge
205.  Michael R. Miller - The Reborn King
206.  Austin Hackney - Beyond the Starline
207.  Jedediah Kurth - Frontier World
208.  Delfy Hall - The Warlock and the Wolf
209.  Matthew Swiontek - A Symphony of Blood
210.  Jeffrey Cook & Katherine Perkins - Foul is Fair

#8 The Qwillery / Sally Janin & crew
211.  C.L. Murray - A Facet for the Gem
212.  Birgitte Rasine - The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree
213.  Jaq D. Hawkins - Dance of the Goblins
214.  R. Mountebank - The Berserk Beast
215.  Morgan Smith - A Spell in the Country
216.  Holly Bargo - The Diamond Gate
217.  Stan Morris - The Colors of Passion and Love
218.  J.T. Williams - The Winemaker of the North
219.  Nancy Chase - The Seventh Magpie
220.  Alan Ratcliffe - Dawn of the Dreamsmith
221.  Olivier Delaye - The Forgotten Goddess
222.  Oganalp Canatan - Shadows Bear No Names
223.  Brendan Detzner - The Orphan Fleet
224.  Don Sakers - Curse of the Zwilling
225.  K.A. Stewart - The Music Box Girl
226.  H.D. Lynn - Yesterday's Prince
227.  John Blackport - Raingun
228.  K. Caffee - Out of the Darkness
229.  Michael J. Sanford - The Mighty
230.  R.L. Giddings - Urban Witch
231.  Zoltan Posfai - The Witchhunter: Red Shadow
232.  Missy Sheldrake - Call of Kythshire
233.  Joel Minty - Purge of Ashes
234.  Jean Kaczmarek - Araknea
235.  B.B. Wynter - The Lament of Sky
236.  Aneeka Richins - The Wanted Child
237.  Nat Kozinn - Chosen Different
238.  Teagan Kearney - Tatya's Return
239.  Hannah Davenport - I Can Hear You
240.  M.J. Porter - Haedfeld

#9 Fantasy Literature / Kat Hooper et al
241.  Wendi L. Wilson - Shadowed Strength
242.  E.P. Clark - The Midnight Land: The Flight
243.  Aidan Hennessy - The Heirs of Lydin
244.  Joe Jackson - Salvation's Dawn
245.  Marina Finlayson - Twiceborn
246.  K.A. Lentz - The Reaper Realm: Threads of Compassion
247.  Michael Peck - The Journeyman
248.  A.J. Norfield - Windcatcher
249.  Cady Vance - Bone Dry
250.  Kaitlyn Davis - The Shadow Soul
251.  Rick Haynes - Evil Never Dies
252.  E.A. Turley - The Ballerina Bear's Bride
253.  Tony Leslie Duxbury - The Adventures of Jojo Smith
254.  Peter Fugazzotto - Five Bloody Heads
255.  Anders Blixt - Dust & the Road
256.  Emily Martha Sorensen - The Keeper and the Rulership
257.  Angela Holder - The Fuller's Apprentice
258.  Leslie Claire Walker - Night Awakens
259.  Kristen S. Walker - A Flight of Marewings
260.  Denae Christine - Royal Deception
261.  Garfield Whyte - TJ's Last Summer in Cape Cod
262.  Kristi Gillespie - Gultar, the Gentle Giant
263.  Scott Robert Scheller - Haunted Tree
264.  Anela Deen - A Ransom of Flames
265.  Stan Sudan - Sisters of Light
266.  Alex Fedyr - Estranged
267.  Daniel Coleman - Jabberwocky
268.  T.J Green - Tom's Inheritance
269.  P.R. Garcia - Europa, Awakenings
270.  Iain Hope - Dark Horde Rising

#10 Fantasy-Faction / Marc Apin & chums
271.  Melanie Cellier - The Princess Companion
272.  Rob Donovan - The Cadaver Knight
273.  David Neth - The Full Moon
274.  Blair MacGregor - Sword and Chant
275.  L. Penelope - Song of Blood and Stone
276.  R.J. Blain - Pack Justice
277.  Michael Laird - The Forged Prince
278.  Nathalie M.L Romer - The Wolf Riders of Keldarra
279.  A.R. Cook - The Secrets of the Moonstone Heir
280.  Daniel Potter - Off Leash
281.  Troy Osgood - The Skeleton Stone
282.  Ruth Nestvold - Yseult
283.  S.A Randel - Hunter's Moon Rising
284.  Aderyn Wood - The Raven
285.  Brian K. Lowe - Once a Knight
286.  Amy Rose Davis - Ravenmarked
287.  Salvador Mercer - Ranger Rising
288.  Kai Herbertz - Age of Torridan
289.  Benita J. Prins - Seascape
290.  Ryan Howse - Terminus
291.  Brandon Draga - The Summerlark Elf
292.  Allen Houston - Nightfall Gardens
293.  James Hockley - Fear's Union
294.  Tyler Sehn - Daughter of Shadow
295.  Moses Siregar III - The Black God's War
296. Yordan Zhelyazkov - When they shine brightest
297.  J.R. Armstrong - God of Chains
298.  Dyrk Ashton - Paternus
299.  Michael Sanford - The Girl with the Red Hair
300.  Brandon Berntson - My Enemy


Brian D. Anderson - Dragonvein


  1. I am so pleased you are doing this again. Reading the books and reviews from last year's SPFBO was both entertaining and edifying - I followed it from start to finish and learned a hell of a lot about how to edit my own writing. Hopefully next year I'll be desperately shoving my book your way as well...
    PS: Did you really post this at 3.32 IN THE MORNING?

    1. Maybe 3:32am where you were. Here it was closer to noon.

    2. Does being on pre-order on May 1st count as self-published?

  2. One question: are you separating true self-publishing from indie pub? I'm technically with a tiny house (five authors) but it's far closer to self-pub than trad.

    1. The difficulty with broadening the remit is where to draw the line. Self-pub vs not self-pub seems a fairly clear divide. But 'indie' pub is open to many definitions.

    2. I was previously with a small press but got my rights back. I've just re-published it on my own. Does that count as self-published?

    3. I completely understand the difficulty with that distinction. Thought I'd check anyway. Glad you're holding the contest again, I think it's great!

  3. I will submit! I am pumped for this!

  4. Awesome! I'll be submitting a novel. Thanks so much for doing this again!

  5. Awesome! I'll be submitting a novel. Thanks so much for doing this again!

  6. Grand. I missed the first one. So, BET might get a mention yet.

  7. Submitted! Thanks for running the competition!

  8. Deadline for entry? Thanks for this contest!

    1. Submissions will be open for all of April.

  9. So you're book has to be free to enter?

  10. I put up a free ebook with 2 fantasy short stories. Not my genre, though. Amazon has not made it free yet but it is free at Google and Smashwords.

    1. I don't believe what I wrote was unclear, but I don't understand the confusion either.

      You can mail me your manuscript. If it happens to be free on an ebook vendor then the link will serve instead. It doesn't *HAVE* to be free on Amazon/whatever ... but if you're just sending a link, not a file *THEN IT DOES*.

  11. Oh, I'd love to join in but I don't have another first-in-series yet, and won't until June. Best of luck!

  12. Submitted! Thanks for running these contests. They're awesome. :)

  13. This is a wonderful opportunity that I didn't hear about the first time around. I'll be submitting straight away. Come on people, we have to hit the 250 mark.

  14. Dear Mark,

    If far more books are submitted than expected would you impose a cut off or will the whole of April stand for submissions? I am in the process of updating my file and whilst I'd obviously prefer to submit the new version I don't want to miss out on the opportunity.

    Thanks very much for hosting this again.

    1. If it's 'far' more then we'll have to impose a cut off, and a 1 book per author rule. I'm not sure at what number that might happen - but once we get to 250 I'll stop promoting the contest and that will put the brakes on to some degree.

    2. Thanks for the heads up. Submitted to be safe.

  15. Just sent mine. Hopefully I'm not too late. :)

  16. Candace Davenport5 April 2016 at 07:45

    What a great idea! Thanks for doing this. I am going to have to investigate last year's contest for inspiration. I am already looking forward to next year's contest since my fantasy is still in editing and won't be done until May.

  17. English only I guess ?

  18. Thank you so much for putting this together again, Mark! And thank you for all the participating bloggers.

    Best of luck to all the entrants.

  19. Can I enter a book that is standalone but within a series? It is a complete story within itself and does not require that previous books be read first. If not, the first 'book' in the series is a short story of around 11,000 words. Could I submit that?

    1. If a book really stands alone it's fine. If it doesn't it won't do well and it'll be a waste of time.

      No short stories, no.

  20. How long does the book need to be? Can a self-published short story enter?

    1. No short stories, no.

      I'll rely on authors' commonsense to decide what is a short story and what's a book. Sending a short story and calling it a book would just waste the blogger's time and not achieve anything.

    2. Novelette - say 12,000 words?

    3. Thanks. Nifty idea. Good luck with it.

    4. I was checking out some entries, and I definitely have spotted several short stories among the entries. Pity they're not going by your rules you listed.

    5. Hey there Mark, I wanted to just pop in to ask if you could post an infogram of some sort listing the page counts of entries by "less than 150 pages", "150-300 pages", "300-450 pages", and "450+ pages", because it would be fun to see the range of books by how many pages each had in them. Or perhaps someone else could do such a task with the listings. :)

  21. Does a post-apocalyptic story with inexplicable elements that may or may not be supernatural qualify as "fantasy'?

    1. Dunno - if you call it fantasy and think the bloggers will, then send it in.

    2. A real self published fantasy, but where to be sent?

    3. One of the entry requirements is reading the post you're commenting on :)

  22. Does "considering self-publishing in future" mean I may not enter a book that I am certainly going to self-publish in a couple weeks? Or is that one eligible? (Tentative release date being April 23.)

    If not I will send in my first book. :)

    1. It will need to be self-published by May 1st to qualify.

  23. Can I ignore all of the contest rules if it's the first Tuesday of the month and Jupiter is on Aquarius?

  24. Just read G.R. Matthews' blog post that you linked to. Very helpful! Thanks!

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. Good luck folks! I look forward to reading the books that come out at the top. Last year's top ten were a good mix of books across the fantasy spectrum.

  27. So so glad it's back on. Good luck all!

  28. Thank you Mark and Blogger Judges for putting this event together, and for donating your valuable time. I'm very excited!

  29. I would like to wish every single participant the best of luck in the SPFBO, and having written one or more books makes everyone a winner in the end regardless of the outcome of this competition. Good luck folks! :)

  30. Entry 272 is listed on Amazon as The Cadaver Knight (A Frindoth Tale Book 2)

    1. It was accompanied with the note:

      "Please note - although this is labelled as "A Frindoth tale - book 2" each of the books in the Frindoth tales are standalones."

    2. It was accompanied with the note:

      "Please note - although this is labelled as "A Frindoth tale - book 2" each of the books in the Frindoth tales are standalones."

  31. We can not wait to start reading! We're very thrilled to be part of SPFBO2.

    1. There are many books listed as entrants that ended up on my personal "Book Bucket List". I'll look forward reading them all too -- mind you that this books I selected consist of over one third of those listed. Perhaps once I do manage to read them all, I'll list my own top ten and overall preferred book (will do both after SPFBO2 so not to influence anyone). :D

  32. Happy to be in the running. Thanks for putting this together, Mark, and thanks to all the bloggers for their time and consideration.

  33. I'm so excited! And I just can't hide it!

    Seriously, though, I'm thrilled to be doing this for a second year, and I'm looking forward to the books and the posts! Best of luck to everyone!

  34. Are the SPFBO banners above usable by entrants? They're all so wonderful!

  35. Glad to be part of what you're reading! I hope and trust the experience shall be rewarding for everyone involved.

  36. If an SPFBO author rates other books in his group of 30 way below avg on Goodreads, is that an ethical conflict of interest? Do judges factor in ratings?

    1. Goodreads ratings have nothing to do with how much (or little) an individual blogger likes the book in question.

  37. Could you let us know what the various colours of the different book titles mean?

    1. Red means the book is not going to be a finalist.

      Light green means that the book is a semi-finalist for that blogger (the definition of semi-finalist will vary from blogger to blogger, some will not have any.)

      Black means I've had no information regarding that book yet.

  38. Can we get an update from Fantasy Book Critic, please? :)

    1. The final 6 have been selected and I'll be reviewing each one every day so hopefully I can announce the winner next week :)


  39. OMG I can't believe Paternus is GREEN...