This is a nice idea of someone’s. Perhaps of Mark Lawrence’s; the home of this Self-Pubbed Book Challenge seems to be his blog. It seems that ten fairly well-known book bloggers have each signed on to read about 25 self-published SFF titles, with a commitment to review at least some of them, and select just one title to move into the finalist’s round.
I found out about this from Ria at Bibliotropic, who is participating. Looks like other participants include Bookworm Blues, Elitist Book Reviews, Fantasy Faction, Fantasy Book Critic, Lynn’s Books, The Fictional Hangout, Beauty in Ruins, The Speculative Book Review, and Fantasy Book Review. You can see each blogger’s list of titles at Mark Lawrence’s site.
I hadn’t previously heard of Lawrence or, in fact, any of the authors on any of these lists of 25+ titles, at least so far as I can tell with a quick scan through the lists. That’s why I think this is a great idea. We all know that discoverability is THE issue for all authors, but surely none more so than self-published authors. I would never have discovered Lindsay Buroker without Sherwood Smith reviewing her books, or L Shelby without Elaine T suggesting to me I might look up hers. Andrea K Höst is a special case, since I saw reviews of AND ALL THE STARS everywhere the year it came out and discovered her that way. For self-pubbed-only authors, I think that’s it for me so far.
Ria at Bibliotropic has a post up describing how she chose which 25 titles to read: she picked ’em on the basis of title, cover, and back cover copy, and shows examples of each. I must agree that THE BONE FLOWER QUEEN is an evocative title.
It’ll be interesting to follow along with these bloggers and see what gems they find in this stack of titles. I see that Lynn has already given one of hers, HIS OWN GOOD SWORD by Amanda McCrina, a thumb’s up.