If you follow me on Twitter or here on the blog you know I’m a big fan of self-published fantasy. What started out with a couple self-published author requests to read and review their books soon turned into hosting Self-Published Fantasy Month over the last three years. But there’s one major thing I haven’t been a part of as it relates to blogging and self-published fantasy. That my friends is participating in SPFBO. Sure I’ve followed along over the last few years, and I’ve tried to read the finalists, but nothing more than that. Well, that’s now changed because…
I’VE JOINED A SPFBO JUDGING TEAM!!!!!!
Yep…in case you missed it, Beth Tabler over at Before We Go Blog (and one of my co-hosts for Self-Published Fantasy Month last year) asked me to join her new SPFBO judging team and I said yes. Here is her post announcing the team. We’ve got ten people on this team which should be interesting.
For those of you who don’t know, SPFBO is the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off. It’s an event hosted by author Mark Lawrence that takes 300 self-published fantasy submissions, splits them between 10 judges (or judging teams) and by the end of the contest 1 winner is selected. You can read all the details about it on Mark’s blog linked in this paragraph. This will be the seventh SPFBO competition and each year it just keeps getting better and better.
Our team has it’s batch of thirty books and will be starting our read throughs very soon. Some of us have probably already started. I need to finish a couple ARCS I have for books coming out in the near future before I can start my SPFBO reads but hopefully I’ll get to them very soon. I can’t wait to work through our batch of books and eventually get to the finalists. One great thing about this contest is discovering a bunch of new books and authors I would have never known about before and there is always a few hidden gems just waiting to be uncovered. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this opportunity.
What To Expect From Me And The Blog
When the year started I had no idea I’d be participating in SPFBO. Now about half way through I’ll have to shift gears to work in all the additional self-published books I’ll be reading for the competition. That’s fine, but it will mean some things have to give in other areas. I still plan to read new books and ARCS but there will be less I can get to, and some of the backlog I’d hoped to work through will have to wait as well. But like I said, that’s OK.
When it comes to reviews for SPFBO you won’t find them here. Those will show up on the Before We Go Blog site as it is the official site for the team. I don’t want any confusion about which site is official (and that I’m just one member of the larger team). So, all the official posts will be found there. I’ll tweet (or retweet) them from my Twitter account. Here on Off The TBR I’ll continue to post reviews about other books I’m reading, just not those that are part of the contest.
What About Self-Published Fantasy Month?
One of my favorite things I’ve done since I started blogging was starting Self-Published Fantasy Month. The first couple of years were small but I loved the participation from other bloggers and the spotlight we threw on self-pub. Last year was such an amazing year because I had help in the form of co-hosts from a few blogging friends. If you are curious click the link above to last year’s blogsite and you’ll get an idea. We had reviews, and podcasts, and interviews, and guest posts, and a read along, and lots and lots of giveaways. It was amazing.
Unfortunately because I’m participating in SPFBO I won’t be hosting Self-Published Fantasy Month this year. I thought long and hard about it, but I’ve decided to not to do it this year for two reasons: First, because I don’t think I’ll have the time necessary to devote to it; and second, because I don’t want to cause any confusion related to Self-Published Fantasy Month, SPFBO, and my role between the two.
So instead I asked Justine over at Whispers & Wonder and Storytellers On Tour if she would like to take over Self-Published Fantasy Month this year. Justine was one of the co-hosts for the event last year and did all the amazing work developing the blog site among other things. Beth and Calvin, my other two co-hosts are both participating in SPFBO this year and also can’t devote time to Self-Published Fantasy Month. Justine hasn’t fully committed to taking it on yet but has been exploring some options and reaching out to other bloggers who might be interested in doing some sort of event even if in different form. Once I know more about what Justine decides I’ll be sure to let everyone know.
Well, that’s my news. I can’t express how excited I am to participate in SPFBO as part of a judging team. This is gonna be great. I’m sure I’ll have other updates periodically here on the blog, and I’ll definitely be sharing more on Twitter. I hope you’ll follow our team and the competition and discover some great new self-published books along with us.