Let the fun commence. #SPFBO 17

Posted On 1 July 2017

Filed under Book Reviews
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Comments Dropped 21 responses


Today sees the start of the third Self Published Fantasy Blog Off competition organised by Mark Lawrence.  Long story short – 300 novels have been submitted, 10 blogs have been allocated 30 books each and in 12 months time 1 book will win the competition.  For me the strap-line for this competition is ‘there can be only one’.

Last year I decided to divide my books up into six batches of five, chosen randomly, and then for the the first six months I would choose a favourite book each month that I would read and review completely.  By the end of the first six months I would then choose my favourite book out of those six to put forward.  The other blogs also submitted their final entries to the second stage of the contest.  During the following six months each blog then read all of the other 9 finalists and reviewed and scored them.  In this way by the end of the 12 months a winner was chosen.  I quite liked the format I used last year and I’m a believer of not fixing things that aren’t broken so I’m going to go with that again.  So, I’ve chosen my first 5 books and will be posting about those shortly.  My aim is to make sure that all the books I’ve been allocated are going to be highlighted in some way over the course of the next six months.

As last year, to get things started there was a cover competition.  Each blogger chose their favourite three covers, and from the 30 chosen we picked our favourites.  The results are in and here are the top three books (1st/2nd/3rd from left to right):

Congratulations to Benedict Patrick’s Where the Waters Turn Black for scoring so many votes.

I will post shortly about my first five books.


21 Responses to “Let the fun commence. #SPFBO 17”

  1. Jennifer | Book Den

    Those are great covers. I love that you guys take the time to highlight so many self-published books.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, – there are some great covers and its a great competition to be honest with so many good reads
      Lynn 😀

  2. Tammy

    I’m looking forward to hearing more about this year’s crop of books!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’m excited tbh – there are a lot of good looking books so far
      Lynn 😀

  3. Carmen

    I agree with the choice of popular cover; it’s very striking. 🙂

  4. jessicabookworm

    Great covers – hopefully that bodes well for the upcoming quality too 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      There are so many good covers – I think if that’s an indication of quality it’s going to be a great competition.

    • @lynnsbooks

      There are some really great covers this year. I hope it bodes well too.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Congrats to the cover winners! And this is cool, I didn’t know Ben Galley had submitted his Heart of Stone to this year’s SPFBO! I’m actually starting it this week 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Cool – I look forward to seeing what you think of it.
      Lynn 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      I hope you enjoy it – I thought it was really good.
      Lynn 😀

  6. snowlyramble

    Oh, that cover for Soldiers’ Redemption is DIVINE 🙂 I’m always excited to see the outcomes of SPFBO, I look forward to seeing your posts!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’ve just uploaded my first batch of books so looking forward to getting started.
      Lynn 😀

  7. sjhigbee

    I also love Ben Galley’s Heart of Stone cover – I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading this one, but it’s on my radar…

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s a very good book tbh – I hope he does well in the challenge.
      Lynn 😀

  8. vacuouswastrel

    Bloody hell, it’s starting again already?
    [and now I sound like a Twin Peaks character…]
    I guess I’d better go and find out who won the last one, I seem to have missed the final tally.

    A suggestion for the future: as well as everyone naming a finalist, everyone should name a runner-up. Then that runner-up could be given to another reviewer, who gets a chance to swap their own finalist for the new book. This would only increase the reading load from 39 books to 40, fairly negligible, but it would have substantial benefits. As it is, the two best books might be read by the same initial reviewer, so that the second-best book didn’t even make the final. Alternatively, since tastes differ, your narrowly-just-narrowly-second-place book might well be everyone else’s favourite. I know there’s no practical way to eliminate that problem, since it’s not practical to have everyone read every book. But adding one extra slot to the reading list in this way would allow at least a chance for the most egregious ‘errors’ to be avoided. (or send the runner-up to two other reviewers and the #3 book to one other reviewer, to bring the total reading load per reviewer up to a nice round 42 (clearly that’s the right answer!), and provide a MAJOR improvement in terms of reducing the role of bad luck on the selection of finalists.
    [“Repêchage”, it’s called]

    [also, just out of curiosity: is the roster of reviewers fixed from year to year, or does it rotate? [purely an academic question. I would love to participate, but let’s be honest the main obstacle there is that there’s no way I’d be able to read that many books in a year anyway, so the details of reviewer selection are sadly somewhat moot. But I’m still curious, in the abstract…]]

    Anyway, thanks on behalf of all of us who can’t read that many self-published books in a year for continuing to take part in this. Good luck for the year ahead!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha – yes indeed, it doesn’t feel to have been a very long break since the last one but the amount of interest was very high and I think 300 entries were received in under a week – so it was decided to continue.
      Lynn 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      I must admit that I don’t think I’d like to take on the extra books – it would probably just be too much for me, but, it’s an issue that did raise its head this year and there was quite a lot of discussion as one blogger had two choices and struggled to pick a winner. On the back of that and given the comments about the book that didn’t quite make the final cut lots of people bought copies and loved it – so this year there is a little bit of flexibility in that if you reach the end of your books and don’t think you have a clear cut winner you can ask the other bloggers if they had a second choice book – I think that was the general gist of the suggestion. Which, actually, wouldn’t increase the book load too much – unless all other 9 bloggers had a second choice and so you had to read all of them to make your mind up.
      Lynn 😀

      • vacuouswastrel

        So kind of an optional version of my suggestion – 1 extra book if you don’t have a candidate, vs 1 extra book to potentially replace your candidate. I still think my idea’s better, but I’m glad that the competition’s moved in the right (imo) direction! [and since I couldn’t read a fraction of that reading load myself, I can hardly criticise…]

      • @lynnsbooks

        It would be very easy to miss a good book in a way but we are trying to keep it a bit more flexible this year so hopefully nothing good will be overlooked.
        Lynn 😀

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