Self-Published fantasy challenge: an update

Here Ria of Bibliotropic organizes her 26-title slushpile for the challenge and discusses how she’ll be handling things.

Here is Ria’s first review of one of those titles.

Here is Fantasy Book Critic, listing their titles and linking to other participants.

And here’s Fictiongarden, sorting through, as far as I can tell, all of the entries for the fantasy challenge and picking thirteen. Apparently JR Karlsson at Fictiongarden is a self-pubbed author himself and has been paying attention to self-pubbed fantasy for some time, so quite a few of the authors involved in the challenge were familiar to him.

Anyway, I just thought you might like a reminder about this challenge. I’ll try to remember to check in on it from time to time through the summer.

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5 thoughts on “Self-Published fantasy challenge: an update”

  1. Hmm. Ria is making a common category error for self-published works. It’s pretty easy to find ones that get 6.5 stars out of 10 (despite their 5 star average at The problem is that self-published books really are a slush pile: I want to know which authors to avoid at all costs (DNF, THROW AT WALL) and which to really seek out. The ones getting 6.5 stars are, well, not interesting. And yes, I have bought some that I’d throw at the wall, if it didn’t mean breaking my mobile phone.

  2. Eh, I figure that if I read through the whole book, I’ll review it. Even if it’s not the greatest, even if it’s just an average book. I do the same thing for traditionally-published books, after all. I doubt that particular one is going to move on to the final round (at least, I’m certainly hoping there’ll be something better in my batch), but even so, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a review, just as I’d do for any other book.

    I don’t consider that an error. I consider that just what a reviewer does. I wouldn’t recommend it to potential publishers, not as it stood. My pseudo-agent hat looks a bit different from my reviewer hat.

  3. Fair enough. I hadn’t remembered it was a competition for recommendation. I still really do want to know the books you DNF so I can avoid the authors without further effort. There are all to many self-pubbed works that are in the “throw with great force” category.

  4. Definitely. So far there’s been 1 that I didn’t read all the way through (gave up after the first chapter; I wouldn’t say it was one to throw against a wall, but it definitely had some problems that need addressing), and I’m going to wait until I’ve looked at a couple of those before I make a post about them. Maybe do 2 or 3 at a time, so nobody feels singled out and so that I’m not just doing a whole load of short posts all the time. :p

  5. Ria, I agree, no matter the specific terms of this particular competition. I think it’s a service to readers to take these 250 titles and at least comment on them all. This is particularly true because of reader-differences. The problem you put your finger on matters to me, but if you had downgraded the book for, say, slow pace, I might have decided I didn’t care about that and picked it up anyway.

    Also, like Pete Mack, I will appreciate knowing which titles you DNF, even if you don’t post an actual review.

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