Friday 25 May 2018

Call for review site (singular) for SPFBO 4.

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

Check out the finalists boards for SPFBO1, SPFBO2 & SPFBO3

So far the SPFBO has considered almost 1,000 books.

Big 5 publishers have noticed our efforts and deals have definitely resulted as a consequence of the publicity generated by doing well in the contest. This, however, is not the end goal of the SPFBO, that is simply to raise the profile of great self-published fantasy books that might otherwise have struggled to find a readership.

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

In phase 1 which takes 5 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 5 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 three SPFBOs and be ready for a 4th, 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 needed two new blogs and reserves are always handy as real life can get in the way during the course of a year. One of those places has gone to The Weatherwax Report where Esme read and reviewed an astonishing 100 of this year's SPFBO entries.

The other place is up for grabs. Clearly it serves the self published community best if I select one of the highest profile volunteers. We're open to traditional fantasy blogs, pod casters, video reviewers, in fact anyone with a means to deliver reviews to potential readers.

If you are a blogger, or part of a blog team, interested in taking part in SPFBO 4 (which will start at the end of July 2018 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 comment:

  1. Wow, this is SUCH a cool idea. Such a shame I don't review a lot of fantasy. I'll look for some friends I can show this to, maybe they'll want to participate.