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SPFBO 9, Here I Come


300 books, 10 judges, 1 champion

It was a close-run thing, but I made it into this year's Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off (SPFBO9)! This on the heels of my entry into the BBNYA 2023 just last week! Things are really heating up for Springtide Harvest.

See, see, I was right! 🤓

Knowing that SPFBO 8 filled up in only nine hours last year, exponential law indicated that it was going be be an hour, at most, this year. All the chatter among my indie author colleauges did nothing to mitigate this fear. And lo, all 300 spots filled up in just forty-one minutes! 125 of us signed up in the first three minutes; 250 in the first nine minutes. I'm very glad I prepped my submission material in advance, and booked time off to make sure I was distraction-free for the process. While the form itself took all of sixty seconds to fill out and submit, I was happy to have done so. The time also gave me the opportunity to connect with other authors and market my book on social media. The marketing never ends...

SPFBO through the ages.

Needles to say, SPFBO is one of the biggest indie author contests out there, and it's growing every year. There's some serious competition this year, much of it from indie authors with whom I've come up, many of whom are much more accomplished than I. Mark Lawrence, the author behind the competition, tracks interesting facts about entrants. Among them, two novels in the mix have over 1000 ratings on Goodreads, thirty have over 100 ratings, and fifty-six have over 50! One novel has over 6000 ratings and a 4.20/5-Star average! For little old me only nine months published with 24 ratings, the competition is looking steep, indeed!


How It Works

Each of the ten judges is assigned thirty fantasy novels. The competition starts on June 1, then each judge has five months to go through their slush pile and choose ONE (just ONE) of the thirty to proceed to the ominously-named Phase 2. Of course, it's hoped, but not guaranteed, the judges will review several of the other assigned titles, particularly their top picks. Honestly, getting a good review in Phase 1 is my goal. Anything beyond that is gravy.


My judge is Becky M, a UK-based BookTuber.

My Phase 1 cohort; look at little old Springtide Harvest there at the bottom.

Phase 2 is where the real punishment begins. Every judge has six months (until May 2024) to score the nine other judges' picks, review their favourite (assuming it isn't the one they put forward), and ultimately the winner (again, assuming it wasn't their pick).


Needless to say, it's going to be a nerve-wracking five months as I watch and wait to see what my judge says and who she ultimately picks as her favourite of the bunch.


The reality of that just hit me.


Dear God.


J.D. Mitchell

Ottawa, Ontario

May 18, 2023



Want to give the author a little pick-me-up? Pick up a copy of Springtide Harvest if you haven't already. If you have, thank you (!), and please consider leaving a review on Goodreads and/or Amazon. Thanks for your support!


The Blogs of SPFBO 9

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