Saturday, 15 May 2021

SPFBO 7 - the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 2021 - PHASE 1

This page is for phase 1 of SPFBO 7  -  read more about the contest here.

This year the gender info is self-reported, with 12 authors choosing not to answer.

A list of most of the entries is on Goodreads thanks to Hiu Gregg.
From the list I discovered that:
40 entries ~13% have 100+ ratings on Goodreads.
 97 of the entries have 25+ ratings.
 0 of the books were published 10 or more years ago - the oldest is 9 years old.
 0 of the books have more than 1,000 pages. The longest is 986 pages.
 5 of the books have over a 1,000 ratings, the most ratings is 3,769.

Here's the traditional wordle made from the titles of this year's entries:

A semi-finalist from The Fantasy Inn.
More cuts from the Lynn's Books & Critiquing Chemist team.
Before We Go Blog makes some cuts.
The Fantasy Inn reviews Reign & Ruin.
The Fantasy Inn reviews Old Bolts.
A Song of Steel is reviewed on Before We Go Blog.
Sword of the Moon King is reviewed on The Fantasy Inn.
The Fantasy Inn reviews Good Blood.
The Fantasy Inn reviews Ascendant.
The Look Of A King is reviewed on Booknest.
Five more fall at Fantasy-Faction ... or were they pushed?
Jewels of Smoky Quartz is reviewed on The Fantasy Inn.
Lynn's Books reviews Out of the Dust.
The Fantasy Inn reviews The Rave.
Last Sword In The West is reviewed on The Fantasy Inn,
By The Skies is reviewed on The Fantasy Inn.
Haven is reviewed on Booknest.
Another semi-finalist for Booknest.
Lynn's Books reviews Little White Hands.
Rise of the Tobian Princess is reviewed on Booknest.
Along The Razor's Edge is reviewed on Before We Go Blog.
FanFiAddict choose their last semi-finalists.
Becky M announces her finalist!
Another five bite the dust on Fantasy-Faction.
Becky M reveals and talks about her semi-finalists.
The Fantasy Hive choose another semi-finalist.
A finalist is chosen on The Weatherwax Report!
The Fantasy Hive choose another semi-finalist.
Before We Go Blog reviews semi-finalist Something Stirs.
Becky M reviews Legacy of the Brightwash.
The Fantasy Hive pick their penultimate semifinalist.
The Shadows of Dust reviewed by Becky M.
Three books cut by The Fantasy Hive.
Four books cut by Becky M.
Before We Go Blog reviews The Girl Who Talks To Ashes.
Beneath a Brass Sky is reviewed by Becky M.
Cuts from Lynn's Books.
FanFiAddict cut ten more titles.
Cogitation from The Hive on their semi-semi-finalists.
Three more books fatally stung by the Hive.
Lynn's Books reviews By The Pact.
A big round of cuts from The Fantasy Inn.
Rising Shadows is reviewed on Lynn's Books.
Eternal Defenders is reviewed by Becky M.
Skyview is reviewed on Before We Go Blog.
The Fantasy Hive pick another semi-finalist.
Becky M reviews College of Shadows.
Dreams of the Dying is reviewed on The Fantasy Inn.
Three more cut by The Fantasy Hive.
Fantasy-Faction cut 5 more books.
The Fantasy Inn reviews Bloodlines.
Wolfeater is reviewed by Becky M.
Iarraindorn is reviewed on Lynn's Books.
The Critiquing Chemist reviews Squire George & The Dragon.
The Fantasy Hive review more books.
Cuts, cuts, cuts from Becky M.
More cuts from The Fantasy Hive.
Becky M reviews Dark Sea's End.
Lynn's Books reviews Carrion.
Blades Falling Softly is reviewed by the Critiquing Chemist.
More cuts from the Lynn's Books team.
Before We Go Blog review The Dividing.
Before We Go Blog review A Drowned Kingdom.
A second semi-finalist from The Fantasy Hive.
A second round of cuts from The Fantasy Hive.
Booknest reviews Empire's Daughter.
The Fantasy Hive chooses a semi-finalist.
Hunters is reviewed by the Critiquing Chemist.
A Handful of Souls & Restoration Day are viewed by the Booknest Team.
The Crown Of Death is reviewed by the Critiquing Chemist.
The Fantasy Hive cut three titles.
 Fantasy Book Critic choose this year's first finalist!
Ghost Line is reviewed by the Critiquing Chemist.
The Fantasy Inn reviews A Change of Blood.
Stranger Back Home is reviewed on Before We Go Blog.
3 more cuts from the Lynn's Books team.
Lynn's Books reviews Dragonbirth.
Before We Go Blog reviews Old Cold Cannibal.
Norylska Groans & Gunmetal Gods reviewed on Fantasy Book Critic.
The Demons We See is reviewed by Before We Go Blog.
She's The One That Thinks Too Much is reviewed on Booknest.
The Deathless One is reviewed on Before We Go Blog.
The Hand Of Fire is reviewed on Before We Go Blog.
Fantasy Book Critic picks its final semi-finalist!
Lynn's Books review Book of Secrets.
Before We Go Blog reviews The Trials of the Core.
Ten titles cut on FanFiAddict.
Becky M reviews Path of Darkness.
Becky M reviews Defiant.
Stone Magus is reviewed on Lynn's Books.
Final round 1 cuts from Team Weatherwax.
Team Weatherwax give us a semi-finalist review.
3 more books cut by Becky M.
The Fantasy Inn review Red Harvest Moon.
Team Weatherwax give us a semi-finalist review.
More cuts from The Weatherwax Report.
A third semi-finalist is chosen on The Weatherwax Report.
Breakaway is reviewed on The Fantasy Inn
Berserker is reviewed on Lynn's Books.
Fantasy Book Critic choose a third semi-finalist.
Fantasy-Faction cut five in one blow.
The Gatekeeper's Staff is reviewed by The Weatherwax team.
More cuts on The Weatherwax Report.
The Weatherwax team review Thunder Heist.
Bitter Sky is reviewed on Booknest.
A 2nd semi-finalist for The Weatherwax Report.
More Weather, more Wax, more cuts.
Fool's Proof is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report.
Cuts from the Lynn's Books/Critiquing Chemist team.
Team Weatherwax review The Truth And Other Lies.
Becky M reviews Daughter Of No Worlds.
The Weatherwax Report delivers more cuts (wax off).
Fantasy Book Critic name a 2nd semi-finalist.
Saint Dorian And The Witch is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report.
Before We Go Blog chooses a semi-finalist.
The Weatherwax team review Ye Olde Robin Hood.
The Weatherwax Report chooses a semi-finalist.
First cuts on The Weatherwax Report.
The Weatherwax Report reviews Cold From The North.
Three books cut on Lynn's Books.
The Tryphon Odyssey is reviewed on Before We Go Blog.
Becky M reviews Casting in Stone.
Lynn's Books review One of Us.
Three books cut by Becky M.
A Time of Ashes is reviewed on Before We Go Blog.
Fantasy Book Critic culls some titles and picks a semifinalist!
Becky M reviews James: Witch-Hunter.
Lynn's Books reviews Deathborn.
Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts is reviewed on Before We Go Blog.
Graves Robbed, Heirlooms Returned is reviewed on Lynn's Books.
Before We Go Blog reviews I Kill Monsters.
The Lady of the Kingdoms is reviewed on Booknest.
Flesh Eater is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report.
Booknest reviews Birthright.
The Weatherwax Report reviews Kings & Daemons.
The Stars Within & Shimmerdark are reviewed on Booknest.
Booknest review The Mortal Blade.
Stranded is reviewed on Lynn's Books.
Booknest review Emergency Shift.
Ryswyck is reviewed and cut on Before We Go Blog.
We Men of Ash and Shadow is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report.
Before We Go Blog reviews Unstoppable Shadow.
Becky M reviews Oh Wretched Moon.
The Lords of the Summer Season is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report.
The Child of Chaos is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report.
Booknest review Blood Spells.
Bound Fairy is reviewed on Booknest.
The Weatherwax Report reviews The God Game.
A Dragon's Chains is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report.
The Wayward Wizard is reviewed on The Weatherwax Report.
The Weatherwax Report reviews The Other Magic.
Booknest review Flames of rebellion.
The Weatherwax Report reviews This Quest Is Bullshit.

72 of 300 contestants are still in the running!

red = cut
+ indicates semi-finalist

The finalists can be found on the phase 2 page.

Kerstin Espinosa Rosero
Burn Red Skies
Better Hero Army
A.J. Cerna & Derek Alan Siddoway
A.F.E. Smith
Talulah J. Sullivan
A.R. Henle
S. Lynn Helton
Carol A. Park
Jack Massa
The Mazes of Magic
Samuel Colbran
Raymond St. Elmo
Andrew Marc Rowe
C.M. Caplan
The Sword in the Street
Christopher Warman, Elan Marche
Seasons of Albadone
ML Spencer
Dragon Mage
Rohan M. Vider
Overworld, The Dragon Mage Sage
Melissa Wright
T. Thorn Coyle
Ryan Cahill
Of Blood and Fire
Matthew Travagline
Christopher Scott
Order of the Magi
Anthony Lowe
Mark Timmony
The Blood of the Spear
Chris A. Jackson
Rune S. Nielsen
Alan Scott
Moud Adel
Twelve Jackals
Sean P. Valiente
Alex Raizman
Andrew Hindle

Benedict Patrick +
Michael R Fletcher & Clayton W. Snyder 
M. L. Farb
A.M. Obst
Kevin Wright
Ryan D. Meier
Alli Temple
Joy Demers
A.J Rettger
Rachel Ford
Edward Hargreaves
Thomas J Devens
Zamil Akhtar +
Damien Shillingford
Joshua Kern
Cat Hellisen
Kenneth Buff
J.J. Egosi
Luke R. J. Maynard
E A McLaren
Brian D. Anderson & Steven Savile

Alex S. Bradshaw +
Olga Werby
Monica Enderle Pierce
Anthea Sharp
K.R.R. Lockhaven
Rob Donovan
Morgan Stang
A.K.M. Beach
Sascha Kersken


C. E. Page
David Nelson
M. Warren Askins
Phillip Blackwater
Alyson Tait
Adam Digger Stolz
Rosalind Tate
Christopher P. Walsh
Philip Dickens
M.A. Poole
Joanna Maciejewska
Damon L. Wakes
Stephanie C. Marks
Sarah Lin
Mark Cushen

Colleen Cowley
Raina Nightingale
Tristen Kozinski and Keegan Kozinski
Joe Coates
Jon Ford
Ashley Capes
Bjørn Larssen
J.D.L. Rosell
The Throne of Ice and Ash 
Olivia Atwater
Ten Thousand Stitches
Dimitrios Gkirgkiris
Kova Killian
Claudia Blood
Tim Hardie
Hall of Bones
M. L. Roberts
David Schratz

Virginia McClain
Viljami L.
S. R. Cronin
Kim Fedyk
Marian L Thorpe
Alex Knowles
The Bright Lord
Ceril N Domace
D.L. Gardner
Lena Alison Knight
Tim Stretton
Alicia Ellis
Brent Miller
Jacquelyn Benson
Lisa Cassidy
Heir to the Darkmage
Levi Jacobs +
Suzannah Rowntree
Marti Talbott
The Kings of the Seven Bells
Aaron S. Jones
Jeramy Goble
Eulogy for the Dawn
Alex Robins
Tom Dumbrell
Daniel Potter
Emergency Shift
Christopher Mitchell
Sarah Mensinga
Colin Adams
Eyes Last Seen Dying
L. D. Colter
While Gods Sleep
Lorain O'Neil
Stephen Rice +
Chris Behrsin
A Cat's Guide to Bonding with Dragons
Deborah Makarios

Glen Dahlgren
Ryan Howse +
G.S Michaelson
D.K. Holmberg +
R.P. Lauer
Jimi Rodriguez
Kate Danley
Sara Jolene
Keith Deininger
JP Valentine
Ernesto San Giacomo
Jed Herne
Lyra Wolf
Robert Vane
Michael Raship
Derrick Smythe
Eva Sandor
Antoine Bandele +
Alesha Escobar
HL Tinsley
D.W. Ross
Travis M. Riddle +
Paul Freeman
Paul J Bennett
A.L. Knorr
Craig Askham
Larema Dixon
Peter Blaisdell
Reeshi Ray
Marcus Lee +

T L Greylock / Bryce O'Connor +
Liza Street +
Jason A. Holt
C. A. Lyness
U. G. Gutman
Rebecca Mickley
Olga Gibbs
Cait Reynolds
KE Wills
S. Kaeth +
V.L. Kinnaman
D. Wolfsbane
Emmanuel Akeyo
Val Neil
Toby Bennett
Drew Montgomery
Scott Kaelen
Amy Maltman
Rebecca Bapaye
Tim Marquitz
Israel Barbuzano
Scarlett Gale +
Anela Deen +
Douglas Lumsden
T.R. Preston
Daniel T. Jackson +
A.E. Bennett
Michael E. Thom
Willow Woods

Michael S. Jackson
Ringlander: The Path and the Way
Jen McIntosh
Blood of Ravens
Ryan Kirk
Matthew Davis
Red Sky Blues
Farida Mestek
G. P. Gabriel
Alex H. Singh
D. A. Holley
Dezarea Dunn
Shannon Pemrick
K R Gangi
Billy Ketch Allen
Eve Koguce
Thiago d'Evecque
Phil Williams
Kept From Cages
J. D. Evans +
Jordan Rivet
Curse Painter
Anat Eliraz
Ellie Raine
Anton Le Roy
Miles Hurt
J.R. Traas
Michael R. Miller
Nicolas Lietzau
Niamh Schmid and Rebecca Schmid
Edward Nile
Chandler Groover
Finnian's Fiddle
Meredith Hart
The Flame and The Blade
Jason J. Nugent

Allegra Pescatore & E. Sands +
Todd Herzman +
Natalie J. Holden
M J McBride 
Matthew Samuels
R. E. Fury
Heide Goody and Iain Grant
Hûw Steer
Nicholas Jean-Pierre
W. V. Fitz-Simon
C.D. Gallant-King
J. R. Snyder
James Pyne
Kim Alexander
Mikkel Høst
Jeffrey L. Kohanek
G.A. Everett
Phillip Murrell
T.M. Baumgartner
Karim Soliman +
Christopher Matson
Jace Kang +
Shane Scott
Rick Dietrich
Randall P. Girdner
L. L. MacRae +
A. F. Stewart
Neil Beynon
Leonard & Ann Marie Wilson

Richard Nell
Dave Dobson
C.M. Lackner +
Krista Jain
Jane Glatt
K.S. Marsden
David Stephenson
Casey White
Matt Larkin
Tim Beeden
A B Endacott
Morgan Smith
Anthony Mitchell +
Tomas K. Grizzly
Alec Hutson
Mark Wells
Bruce Pedersen
Bharat Krishnan
Kate Ramsey
V.A. Lewis
Vista McDowall
Gleneley Liesl Stander
Aaron Hodges
Avril Sabine
Eli Steele
Melissa Stone
Krystle Matar 
Carissa Broadbent +
Rita A. Rubin
Lee H. Haywood

Ben Galley
The Forever King
P.L. Stuart 
Rob J. Hayes
John Ross Elliott
Mage Family
Dennis Liggio
Clayton Snyder +
S.D. Howarth
Devin Downing
Todd Maternowski
S A Haycock
Brad Carsten
E.S. Barrison
M. Sheehan
A.J. Austin +
W.J. Donovan
Journal of Resurrection
E.L. Haines +
Fowler Brown
Death by Miracle
Gareth Lush
A. A. Woods
J. C. Duncan
Krista D. Ball
Evan L. Grove
To the North
Rachel Rener
Michael E. Thies
Alex Mead
L.D. Inman
Ru Pringle
Roland J O'Leary
Jeffrey Hall
Sword of the Scarred


  1. Just curious - has the gender ratio changed over the years SPFBO has been running?

    1. You can check them via the homepage - in the earlier ones they were guesses based on names - but I think it's been fairly stable in a 2/3rds 1/3 ratio.

  2. Excellent! First time submitter here, very excited. Thanks again for all this hard work Mark - and to all the bloggers! Sincerely, Hatboy, aka. Edpool on Twitter, aka. Andrew "Bad Cow" Hindle ... too many nicknames.

  3. Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts by Gareth Lush seems to appear twice in 4 and 10

  4. Hi there, Mark!
    I’m a first time submitter and I think I’ve erred with my mobi and ePub files upon upload. Can I update with a more readable, coherent file before the June 1st competition start? I’d really like to put my best foot forward in terms of presentation.
    Kind regards and thank you for the solid work in assembling these bloggers for this fantastic opportunity.

  5. First time submitter and delighted/terrified to be involved. A massive thank you to you Mark for creating this opportunity and to the bloggers for taking the time to consider our work.

  6. Curious, how are the blogs selected?

  7. Hi there, Mark! Looks like I missed the boat on this round. How can I find out when the next competition begins, and entries are being submitted?

  8. Soulbound by Bethany Adams was in 2017's SPFBO.

  9. Virginia McClain's entry also has AJ Rettger in the author column. Group six has a blank. Is it supposed to be AJ Rettger's book?

    1. I think it's just a copy/paste error as A.J. Rettger has their book in group 2 and the blank in group 6 has been filled with a different author.

  10. Was I ever in the running, or 1 of the first lucky 15 out?

    1. A bizarre question, particularly since you don't identify yourself...

  11. Apologies - I have spotted my contribution: 15 down - Before we go Blog. I had a minor panic attack, I want to die with honor with the 300 (299); just to be in the game is fab, thanks.