Mark Lawrence is Sponsoring a Self-Published Fantasy Reviewing Contest

mark-lawrence-authorMark Lawrence, renowned author of the excellent The Broken Empire series, starting with Prince of Thorns, has rounded up ten of the most popular fantasy book bloggers on the web and convinced them to participate in a review contest featuring exclusively self-published fantasy fiction.  You can read the details of the contest here, but it’s very simple: you submit your finished book, the bloggers get the chance to decide if they want to read it, and then they sponsor or “publish” it to the next round.  It’s essentially a bracket system, resulting in a final ten novels that will be reviewed by all ten bloggers.  This is an incredible opportunity if you’re a self-published fantasy author: a bestselling, traditionally published author is giving you the opportunity to get your work in front of a group of respected book reviewers.  As Mr. Lawrence said himself, “you can’t buy better publicity than that.”

The reviewers participating are:

1./ Sarah Chorn of Bookworm Blues
2./ Steve Diamond &co at the Hugo winning Elitist Book Reviews
3./ Mark Aplin &co of the award winning Fantasy-Faction
4./ Mihir Wanchoo of Fantasy Book Critic
5./ Lynn Williams of Lynn’s Books
6./ Milo of The Fictional Hangout
7./ Bob Milne of Beauty in Ruins
8./ Ria of Bibliotropic
9./ Tyson Mauermann of The Speculative Book Review
10./ The guys at Fantasy Book Review

If Mr. Lawrence and I lived on the same continent, and I swung that way, and it didn’t constitute criminal assault, I would kiss him for this.  As every self-published author knows, even in this, the golden age of self-publishing, it is still very, very hard to become accepted by the literary establishment.  Most respectable book bloggers aren’t interested in self-published work (usually for understandable reasons), to say nothing of getting your book noticed or reviewed by more traditional publications.  And traditionally published authors* tend to range from openly hostile to politely disinterested in self-published writing, so it’s incredibly spirit-lifting to find one who not only embraces self-publishing but wants to help.  Bravo, Mark Lawrence.  To quote Jorg Ancrath, “This is where it starts. When they write the legend, this will be the first page.”

As someone who chose self-publishing not because there weren’t other options but because I thought it was the best choice for me at the time, I’m overwhelmingly grateful for this kind of effort to reach out to new writers.  It’s rare to find someone who is confident enough in his own accomplishments to be able to serve as a mentor, as a champion.  As a leader, if you will.  Because after all, “You got responsibilities when you’re a leader. You got a responsibility not to kill too many of your men. Or who’re you going to lead?”

You’d be downright dumb not to take advantage of this opportunity if you’ve got a fantasy book ready to submit.  I only wish Karthanas were ready to storm the gates!

* Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, including traditionally published authors who started out self-pub

The “Self-Publishing Is For Losers” Kickstarter Is Live!

Self-Publishing Is For Losers by P.J. FoxNow’s your chance to get behind a great book designed to help indie / self-published authors not only publish their work but achieve the writing career of their dreams.  Written by P.J. Fox, author of the bestselling The Price of Desire and The Demon of Darkling ReachSelf-Publishing Is For Losers: The Evil Toad Press Guide to Self-Publishing cuts through all the BS that’s out there about self-publishing and tells you what you need to hear to make it as an indie author.

The unfortunate truth is that as many strides as self-publishing has made, there are still many out there who deride it as a license for mediocrity–hence the ironic title, Self-Publishing Is For Losers.  That’s what traditional publishing wants you to think, whether they admit it or not.  This book teaches you how to put that thinking aside and focus on building a business and career of being a professional writer.

This isn’t a technical guide on how to design your ebook in a particular file format or a primer on the step-by-step details (i.e., which button to click) of publishing a book with Kindle Direct Publishing, but rather a big picture look at the work ethic and business skills you’ll need to get your work out there and selling.  Self-Publishing Is For Losers operates under the presumption that your book is polished and good, and gives you the skill set to take it from Word document to finished product.

It offers a wealth of nuts and bolts advice on business and marketing, but more importantly it also helps you identify when it’s time to step back and hire a professional.  If you chose the self-publishing route affirmatively, because you believe in keeping control over your own work and taking control of your own career, this is the book for you.  If you want your book to look, feel, and read like a traditionally published volume you might pick up in any Barnes & Noble, this is the book for you.  If you want brutal honesty and no-nonsense advice, then you need to help us publish Self-Publishing Is For Losers–and in return, you stand to get some awesome rewards.

“Self-Publishing Is For Losers”

When I’m not doing my own writing, I’m also a co-founder of Evil Toad Press, an indie publishing company that offers a variety of editing, design, and marketing services related to self-publishing.  We’ve written a self-publishing guide called Self-Publishing Is For Losers: The Evil Toad Press Guide to Self-Publishing, and are in the process of prepping a Kickstarter to fund its production.  For now, however, you can watch our kickass book trailer: