The Ember Child – Taking on SPFBO 2018

Sooooo… The Ember Child has made the official list for the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off (SPFBO) 2018.  Yay!

If you’re not sure what SPFBO is, it’s the brain child of Mark Lawrence, author of the Broken Empire trilogy and all round top bloke, and here’s the mission statement from his site:

The SPFBO exists to shine a light on self-published fantasy. It exists to find excellent books that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. It exists to help readers select, from the enormous range of options, books that have a better chance of entertaining them than a random choice, thereby increasing reader faith in finding a quality self-published read.

In essence, ten well respected review blogs of the Fantasy genre divvy up some 300 self-published novels, before whittling them down to ten finalists.  The finalists are then reviewed by each of the ten blogs, with the scores they’re given eventually leading to the contest’s winner, who is given a hallowed selfie-stick as a prize.

The main reason for entering the competition is the chance of having your work reviewed by one or more of those well respected blogs, right alongside the traditionally published big hitters.  I’ve found that it’s quite difficult getting your voice heard as a self-published author, especially in a genre so heavily populated.  The SPFBO is a great opportunity of having your voice amplified – though, of course, with no guarantees.

Even if the competition leads to just a few more readers and a few more reviews on Amazon, good or bad, it will have been worth it.

Something unexpected I have found though is the community that has grown up around SPFBO, from the fellow contestants through to the judges and the eager readers.  It’s barely been a few days, yet I’ve been welcomed with open arms and I’m starting to feel settled in already.  It’s such a great feeling just being a part of it all!

What about the nitty gritty, I hear you ask?

Well, I’ve been drawn in the group of thirty handed to Booknest for judgment, and my fellow contestants read as follows:

Anthony Mitchell – The Ember Child
Devin Madson – We Ride the Storm
William Ray – The Great Restoration
Ned Marcus – Blue Prometheus
Ruth Rathband – Siege of the Northland
J.E. Merritt – The Curse Recalled
Louis Emery – Whispers of Flame
Andy Cooke – The Cave Between Worlds
D.K. Holmberg – Dragon Bones
C.L. Schneider – The Crown of Stones
Seth Eryin & Casey Eanes – Keys of Candor
Caldon Mull – The Memoirs of a Faun
Meg Cowley – The Tainted Crown
Barbara Snow – The Crystalline Vision
C. Gold – The Summoner and the Seer
K.L Young – Cardboard Castles
Stephan Morse – Continue Online
Sean Cunningham – Ghost Electricity
L.F. Oake – The Lost Voice
Jamie Thornton – Doormaker
Matthew Thompson – Twin Spirit
Roberto Calas – The Beast of Maug Murai
RhythmInTheMind – Touch
Mike Shelton – The Dragon Orb
J.D. Byrne – The Water Road
D.K. Holmberg – Wasting
A.M. Rycroft – Corruption of Honour
K.M. Alexander – The Stars Were Right
Justin Depaoli – Runeforged
J. Zachary Pike – Orconomics

I’m genuinely looking forward to getting to know my fellow contestants, reading their works, and finding out what the reviewers think.  Roll on August 1st when it all kicks off.

If you’re reading this and are interested in finding out what the good folks at Booknest have let themselves in for, you can currently bag yourself a copy of the Kindle version of The Ember Child for free on Amazon:

And here’s the blurb:

In a world where gods hold dominion over the lives of mortals, two men have the strength of will to forge their own destiny.

The first is Halasan; the determined, sixteen-year-old heir to a fallen kingdom. Believed to be the Ember Child spoken of in prophecy, he has spent his life in hiding, training for the day he can return home and reclaim his father’s throne.

Set against him is Coren, the Lucian Emperor, who once forged the greatest empire the world has ever seen and now spends his days trying to hold the fragile union together. He dreams of a world united in peace and prosperity, but Halasan’s existence presents a danger to that ambition. The boy’s claim will mean war unless Coren can stop his rebellion before it takes hold.

Thus begins the race for the city of Danara, where one man hopes to free a nation, the other to save an empire. Only one can succeed, but not even the gods can say who it will be.

For these men are the Godsbane, and their actions will shape the course of history as gods can only dream.

Don’t forget that sharing is caring.  If you like the book, or even if you don’t, leave a review on Amazon and kindly spread the word.

Many thanks!

22nd June 2018

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