Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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A self-published book challenge

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.

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3 Comments A self-published book challenge

  1. Hanneke

    I didn’t recognise any of them, from a quick skimming of the list, but I think I’ll wait to read which ones you like before buying any myself. A lot of them gave me a rather ‘urban fantasy’ vibe, and that is quite often not something I enjoy.
    The one (selfpublished) vampire story which I really enjoyed was Blood Red Moon, by Jane S. Fancher, which is available from http://www.closed-circle.net, where she, C.J.Cherryh, and Lynn Abbey publish their own books (both rights-reverted backlist and new totally self-published books and stories).
    Her Ringdancers trilogy is self-pubbed fantasy too, and is even better, if you like complex character-driven fantasy.
    Her Netwalkers books are science fiction, even more complex, and darker (though the first book is a much simpler gateway book, and stands well enough on its own if you don’t want to read further), but still very strongly character-driven, with two very complex main protagonists.
    So if you’re looking for new self-published authors to try, you might like to try some of Jane Fancher’s books.

  2. Rachel

    I know Jane Fancher was mentored as a writer by Cherryh, but I’ve never tried any of her books. I should. Thanks for the pointer.

  3. Maureen E

    I am generally Not a Fan of Mark Lawrence, but the challenge is very cool!

    And I loved His Own Good Sword–Amanda sent it to me to review way back when it first came out.

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