Thursday, 4 May 2017

SPFBO 2017 - A call to authors.

This is the call for authors wanting to enter books for the third Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off.

The contest will be open for entries until July 1st or when 300 titles have been entered, whichever comes first.

If 250+ titles are not gathered by July 1st the contest will be deferred for a year.

So far we have:

300 entries
The contest is FULL

Entries have been assigned to blogs HERE




The rules are:

i) No book that was entered in a previous SPFBO can be reentered into SPFBO3.
ii) The book must be #1 in a series or a stand-alone.
iii) The book must actually be self-published by the start date, not something you're considering self-publishing in future.
iv) It must be a fantasy book. (If you say it's fantasy then it is. But if it isn't really it won't get far.)
v) Multiple books can be accepted from the same author, subject to rule (ii).
vi) No anthologies.
vii) No short stories.

Not a rule, an observation: It doesn't matter how long your book has been published, Ten years? Fine.

The bloggers who will consider the entries, and the duties they have volunteered for are given HERE.

The winner will receive the prestigious Selfie Award but the true prize is 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 250+ self-published works.


And of course last year's winner got a major publishing contract within days of his victory. Which is nice.



All you have to do is 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

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 SPFBO or searching for the hash tag on twitter.




65 comments:

  1. Hi Mark. Does the slash in "kindle/PC reading" represent an "and" or an "or?" Is a .mobi file sufficient, or would you like (for instance) a Word Doc as well? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an "and" and an "or" :)

      .mobi is good, .mobi & Word is great, just Word might get a later request for a .mobi

      Delete
    2. Excellent. Thank you!

      Delete
  2. What about a self-published novel that was previously published by a small press and the rights reverted to the author?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it is currently self-published then it's eligible.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. My feeling is that the shorter it is the less well it will do. But I guess you can send in a novella.

      Delete
  4. Hi Mark,
    I have a few authors I beta read for that are self-published and could benefit from your contest. However, while their stories include magic and alternate realities or made up worlds, their stories would be akin to "The Hunger Games" or "Divergent". Is that considered fantasy still or more science fiction and not eligible?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Which blogs are participating this year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If, in the post, you click on the word HERE in the line:

      >The bloggers who will consider the entries, and the duties they have volunteered for are given HERE.

      You will find out!

      Delete
  6. Are KDP Select novels allowed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't see why they wouldn't be...

      Delete
  7. Weird question. My book is published by a small indie publisher, but I'm the co-owner of the company. Would that count as self-published?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tricky one. If the only books they publish are yours, then sure. Otherwise probably not, but if we're struggling to hit our target near July then ask again :)

      Delete
  8. Cheers Mark, this is an awesome opportunity!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Mark,

    Will we get a confirmation that our submission came through?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it will appear on a list in due course - email is pretty reliable these days, don't worry about it :)

      Delete
  10. I've got a novella (just shy of a full length novel) that I put out through my own publishing company. Does that count?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you're the only person that company publishes, then certainly.

      If not then you are in a theological grey area! I would then say "no" but be prepared to reconsider if we are short of entries near the end of the call.

      Delete
    2. Why is Tim Marquitz listed for his book published through Ragnarok, then?

      Delete
    3. Because he didn't ask these questions & verification is down to the bloggers :)

      Same rule applies though. If we fill up I will give that place to a book that is more obviously self-published.

      Delete
    4. Because Influx is self-published at current and has been for about a year and a half. It seems I missed removing references to Ragnarok on the product page. I've since corrected that. - Tim Marquitz

      Delete
  11. I just sent my manuscript, it's an epic fantasy 99,000 word novel in mobi format. I'm very excited and hope the judges enjoy my book!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have a series of standalone fantasy novels set in the same world that don't need to be read in order or even read the others to understand. Would it be alright to enter the "second" book in the series given that it is technically a standalone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the same answer I gave regarding "fantasy". If you say it's a "standalone" then is it. But if it really isn't it won't go far.

      Delete
  13. Can't recommend this highly enough folks. The benefits are beyond listing, and it's FUN.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Self-published only, correct? Not small press.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Correct. "small" is too vague a word.

      Delete
  15. Hello Mark! Two questions (just to be on the safe side) ... 1.) I have a self-published fantasy that was published back in 2009 (is that title still eligible?) 2.) I have a stand-alone set in a fantasy world I'd also like to enter (published in 2015) - should I include both books in the same email? Thanks for the opportunity!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Does it need to be published in 2017? Or are there date restrictions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any time, as long as it's in the past or the next two months.

      Delete
  17. Mine will only be free for five days starting Sunday- I'm thinking a file would be better?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just received two emails that this message was blocked? Should I send the link for the short term freebie, or a file? Thanks!

      Delete
  18. I don't expect it would get too far but... is Science Fantasy eligible?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you think it qualifies as fantasy send it in (see rule iv). My own books have robots and particle accelerators in, but everyone calls them fantasy.

      Delete
  19. Over 100 entries in 24 hours. You will not have any trouble hitting 300+
    I have seen this competition hit many author Facebook groups over the last 24 hours. Glad to say, I'm in :)
    My book was not finished in time for last year's competition, so I've been waiting for this for months.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I've got a friend who isn't very tech-savvy so I'm helping him publishing his really, really cool Epic Fantasy novels. I have a publishing company in Germany (my home country) where I publish only my own books. Would his books still be eligible?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If your company is publishing 2 authors, you & him, then no. Every rule has a boundary at which it seems harsh, and it seems your friend has just tripped over it...

      Delete
    2. My publishing company officially only publishes me. All I do is to help him publish his (I do the coding and help with cover art). Also I gave him a bunch of my ISBNs since he couldn't afford his own. He still publishes them through his own accounts.

      Delete
    3. If the book doesn't declare itself to be published by your company then the only reason we're having this discussion is because you brought it up and it is of no consequence. If it does, then my answer stands.

      Delete
  21. I sent a book I co-authored with Steven Savile. It is an indie, although the audio version is under traditional contract with Audible. I hope that's all right. Big fan, by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I read lots of hype about people "breaking the Internet". I think, though, that your post just excited the Internet. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a fun opportunity! Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Cool contest, Mark. Thanks for the opportunity! :-D

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hello Mark.
    First question: Is pdf format ok?
    Second: Does sending the book with a blurb / synopsis give any extra credit?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should think PDF is fine, the blogger can always get back to you if not.

      There are no credits but there is always the chance a blurb will encourage the blogger to read longer than they might otherwise have and perhaps become hooked.

      Delete
  26. Hot damn, 219 entries in two days? This thing's going to fill up in a week!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hey Mark,

    I gifted Anaerfell: The Blood of Dragons to the e-mail for the contest. I hope that works! I am afraid it could have gone to your junk mail. Please, let me know if you need anything more.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi, Mark,

    I'm going to be self-publishing another novel very soon, putting it up for pre-order in the next few days. I'm still writing and editing it, but am very close to finishing it. I'm assuming there's no way that I can enter SPFBO this year? (It's killing me that I didn't finish this book before SPFBO started!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As it says, if it's published by the start date (July 1st) you're ok.

      Delete
    2. Is it acceptable to send you an almost finished, unedited manuscript and update it later? Your entries are getting very close to 300.

      Delete
    3. Sorry, but I have to take what you send first. Otherwise 300 authors are emailing me corrections all year.

      Delete
    4. Marilyn, I was in your position last year. This year I was able to enter. Being an author is a long game. There is always next year.

      Delete
  29. That's totally understandable. I'll wait until next year. Thanks so much for running this contest! It's awesome, both for the chance to have our work evaluated and for discovering new books to read. :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi, I sent in my entry some days ago, but I don't see it on the list you put up. My book should fulfill all the criteria. Can you let me know if it for some reason was rejected for entry? Just so I know. The title is The Eagle's Flight, by Daniel Olesen. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where is this list you refer to?

      Delete
    2. The next page on this blog.

      Delete
    3. Ah, I see my name on the list now. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thank you for hosting this. It means a lot (to many, judging by how quickly people sign up).

      Delete
  31. Looks fun. Is there any interactive involvement apart from submission?

    ReplyDelete
  32. The publication date for my first novel is in the last week of June. If you receive 300 entries before that date, then the contest will begin on that earlier date, not July 1? Should I just send it in and hope that the contest begins on July 1?

    ReplyDelete