Monday 1 May 2017

Blogger call for SPFBO 3.

Many thanks all, the response was huge, 13 in the comments and a similar number by email. I really appreciate you all volunteering.

Since the goal is exposure for the authors I've favoured the more established blogs and those with a larger audience. There were 3 of 10 places to fill. And they go to:

1. Fantasy Book Review, returning after a year's rest.

2., new, but with a big following in a short time, a strong footprint on Goodreads, and a team to tackle the slush pile.

3. Kitty G on youtube, some video reviews would be a great addition and Kitty has a strong following.

On to the next stage! Let me see if there are enough book 1s out there to make this happen. After all, have used up 576 of them in the past two years...

The Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Offs 1 & 2 were a great success in terms of getting more eyes on some of the best that self-published fantasy has to offer.

Big 5 publishers have noticed our efforts and this year made offers to the winning book and at least one other that did very well in the contest.

The SPFBO involves a lot of work for the bloggers who take part.

In phase 1 which takes 6 months they agree to:

1. Put on their agent's hat and go through the slush pile of novels allocated to them (between 25 and 30 books) to find the one title they will put through to the final.

This does not mean they have to read all the books. My own agent would go through that number in a day. But hopefully they will read part of all of them and all of some.

2. Review that chosen title.

3. Select their 3 favourite covers for the cover art contest in which they will later vote.

It is hoped that they will also review some of their favorite books from the selection they were given.

In phase 2 which takes 6 months they agree to:

1. Read and score all 9 finalists from the other blogs.

2. Review their favorite.

3. Review the winner.

If their own finalist turns out to remain their favourite and to win, then they have no reviews to write in phase 2!

It is hoped they will feel moved to review some of the other finalists too,

The final result looks like THIS.

While some bloggers have had the endurance to last through two SPFBOs and be ready for a third, it can obviously be quite a lot to take on and so each year some fraction of the field opt to sit the next year out.

This year we need two new blogs (possibly three) and reserves are always handy as real life can get in the way during the course of a year.

Rather than hit up people I know I thought I'd do an open call and maybe bring in a wider range of input.

If you are a blogger, or part of a blog team, interested in taking part in SPFBO 3 (which will start in July if a sufficient number of authors enter, or will be delayed for a year if we have drained the pool of reachable talent) then either let me know by commenting here, or email me at


  1. I'm definitely interested!!

  2. Hi Mark. I'm interested but am not sure I qualify. I do not have a blog but add my reviews to goodreads.

    1. Me too.
      Reviews at

  3. I would like to volunteer! I run a booktube channel that focuses mostly on fantasy: I'm also an active member of the r/fantasy community (lostmykeysinspace). I don't know if youtube is the type of blog you're looking for, but I would very much love to be a part of this project. I'm currently working my way through 2016's list. Just finished Paternus and LOVED it!

    1. Personally, I'd love to see a BookTuber do this! I've asked several experienced hosts that I follow why they never seem to read self-published SFF - or any other genres for that matter. The answer across the board has been "there is so much crap out there and it's too hard to find the gems". So, I think Rebecca Ann singing the praises about the SPFBO and explaining the process + her reviews would be great!

  4. I'm interested for sure! 😁

  5. Awesome! I'm interested as well.

  6. This is so awesome! I would love to be involved!

  7. I'd be happy to be a reserve

  8. I'd love to be considered.

  9. Definitely interested! Was interested back when this first started but didn't really have the time.

  10. Hi Mark,

    I sent you some twitter messages to show my interest but thought I would comment here with a link to my Youtube channel just in case you wanted to take a look and see if I would qualify. I don't have a blog but my channel is dedicated to SFF book reviews, and more recently many of these have been self-published ones I've discovered or been sent (and loved). This sounds like an amazing chance to discover more hidden gems and show them off the the world.

    I'm a passionate reader and work in publishing myself. I am also super interested in all things SFF like cons, bloggers, channels and events. If you have the space and would like someone to join in with gusto that would be me :)

    Currently sitting around 7,400 subscribers on my channel:

    Best of luck finding some people and either way I'll follow with interest!

    Kaitlin (aka. Kitty G on Youtube)

  11. I would like to offer my blog as a potential judge. Would be very interested in joining and adding some selfpublished reviews.
    I can be contacted at
    Thank you

  12. I would definitely be interested! I blog on and Goodreads and I would love to be able to contribute to the community and genre that has been such a mainstay in my life for over two decades.