I’ve been hinting at this for about a month and I’m finally ready to take the plunge and announce that September will be Self-Published Fantasy Month here on Off The TBR! This is something I’ve been debating doing for the past couple of months even if I haven’t said much until recently. I’m pretty excited about it and I hope you will be too. I’m sure you have questions so let me answer a few…
What’s the motivation for this?
Well, I discussed it in The 2018 #SPFBO (And Maybe A Self-Pub Fantasy Month) post back in June which you can take a look at. Here’s part of what I said in that post:
One gem of Sci-Fi/Fantasy book twitter and bloggosphere I discovered this year is self-published fantasy, and the #SPFBO (Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off). Prior to starting this blog I had what’s probably the typical opinion and response to self-published fiction; if it’s self-published it must be bad, otherwise a publisher would have picked it up.
At the beginning of 2018 I put together some goals for the year. One of those goals was to read more debut novels. I wanted to read one debut a month. What I originally meant by that was debuts published in 2018. To my surprise a few self-published authors contacted me asking if I’d be interested in reading their debut, some of which were written in prior years. At first I didn’t want to accept (see my comment above about self-published books), but I came around. Thank the literary gods I did because I discovered how wrong I was! See my love for Gedlund for just one example.
Then I discovered #SPFBO.
If you don’t know about SPFBO read the full post then check out Mark Lawrence’s page devoted to it. The point I’m getting at here is that I’ve come to realize there’s some really great self-pub fantasy fiction floating around out there and I think it deserves more attention. Now you may say self-pub fantasy is already getting a lot of attention…just look at SPFBO for example. Then there’s this article from forbes.com I found recently about how Science Fiction And Fantasy Book Sales Have Doubled Since 2010. That article attributes much of that increase to self-pub saying, “Since 2010, unit sales of self-published and Amazon-published ebooks have grown, and in 2017, they constitute a full 48% of all SF&F sales across print, digital, and audio.” Forty-Eight percent is a large number (even if they don’t say how much of that is self-pub). So yeah it would seem self-pub is growing in popularity. But before this year when some authors offered to send me their books for review I would have never touched them. Hell I even had to ask another blogger how often he got those requests because I really wasn’t sure about the whole thing. I’ve since seen the error of my ways, but I’m sure I’m not the only person like me out there.
I also know self-pub authors have a hard time of it. Besides having to break through the barriers people have about trusting the quality of their work since it isn’t published by a big name publishing house, they have to break through some cost barriers. They don’t have that publishing house’s advertising and marketing dollars, or the professional editing and art teams on hand to help make their book the best book it can be. Self-pub authors have to do all that legwork themselves and out of their own wallet (or purse). So I’m all about helping to spread the word about great self-pub fantasy if it means authors can sell more books, make more money, so they can write and sell more books for me to read. This isn’t for their benefit it’s for mine! I want more great books!
So here you have it in a nutshell:
- Bring more attention to great self-pub fantasy
- In order to get more great self-pub fantasy published
Is Self-Published Fantasy Month associated with SPFBO in any way?
Other than the fact that I’ll be following the reviews for SPFBO as they come out, no.
So what will Self-Published Fantasy Month entail?
Well, for this first year I’m going to keep it relatively simple:
- Reviews: I’ve got at least four books sitting on a special TBR stack on a shelf beside my reading chair. My plan is to start reading them in August so that I can get the first post up at the beginning of September and just keep rolling. I hope to get at least one a week posted barring any unforeseen emergencies.
- Other posts: There will be at least one Follow Friday post with a self-pub theme. I’m also thinking about some author interviews if I can get any lined up. There may be some special self-pub Waiting On Wednesdays too.
- Updates from SPFBO: I’ll post updates from the contest as I come across them.
- Other stuff: I’m leaving myself open to anything I haven’t thought of that I think will be cool.
Can anyone else join in the fun?
Uh…hell yeah! I’m hoping you will. If you’d like to participate with me PLEASE do so. Don’t feel like you have to do something for the whole month, one review or related post is great too. If you do participate please send me a link and let me know. And yes, you can use the banner above for your posts if you want.
If you think you may be interested in joining me for Self-Published Fantasy Month in September let me know in the comments below. If you know what you plan to read I’d love to know. If you have questions I haven’t answered already ask me and I’ll try to answer in a future post for everyone. Other than that keep an eye out for future announcements and reminders as we get closer to September.
Till then go read a book and tell someone all about it!