#SPFBO5 – a few details


The Self Published Fantasy Blog Off 5 (SPFBO 5) is about to start and usually I take a moment to outline my process.  To be brief the competition is the brainchild of Mark Lawrence, further details can be found on his blog and the first stage is outlined here.  The Competition involves 300 books, 10 bloggers and one winner.  During the first phase the 300 books are divided equally between the 10 blogs, each blog is then tasked with choosing just one book from their allocation to become a finalist.  The second stage involves the ten finalists.  Each blog reads the other bloggers’ finalists and rates the books and hopefully a winner will come to the fore – voila! Simples, no.

As the competition begins each blogger nominates three covers to be put forward into the cover competition.  Details here.  My list of books and all my covers can be found here and my final selection was posted yesterday.  Go and check out the covers selected – because wow!

So, this year.  Firstly, I have to say what a fantastic batch of books I have been allocated – I am so excited to get started, but, one thing at a time.  I’d like to welcome all my lovely authors.  I hope you enjoy the competition.  I realise it’s a bit daunting putting your work out there for scrutiny and I want you to benefit from doing so.  Let’s be honest, there is only one winner but that doesn’t mean that you can’t all make the most of it.  Make friends, make contacts and have some fun.  With that in mind I would like to extend an open invitation to all of you to visit my blog if you would like to do so.  Just leave me a message in the comments.

I’m going to follow a similar pattern to previous years.  The first stage of the competition runs for five months.  I randomly select six titles each month, I hope to read at least 30% of each title and choose one semi finalist each month leaving me with five possibilities to choose from at the end of the first stage – from which I will then pick my finalist. I will post mini reviews for the books in each batch and a full review for each of the five semi finalists.  This is the format I followed in the first three competitions.  I changed it slightly last year but I’m going back to the original process because I think I took on a little too much last year – I’m only one blogger after all and even with the best intentions I have to be realistic.

So, at the start of each month I will publish a post that details the six books I’m hoping to check out that month.  In that post I will try and provide as much information as possible about the book and the author – all publicity is good publicity right?  I will give every book a fair chance and read at least 30%.  I would also mention that I like lots of different styles of books so don’t worry about that. Grimdark, steampunk, gaslight, flintlock, urban and sweepingly epic – you name it, I like it, gothic, classic, history, mystery, noir – I just want it to be good and every book will have an equal chance.  Also, in terms of my blogging style I err on the positive side.  That’s my style and even if your book doesn’t work it’s magic on me I will give fair and sensitive feedback.

That’s it.  I’m hoping to keep things informal and light hearted.  I hope you all take the opportunity to make the most of the time and I wish you all the best of luck.