Fantasy Book Review has judged in the contest before but, as I am the man in charge of proceedings this year, I wanted to make sure I was happy before completing this sort of post. I’ve been spying on what other blogs do and what I think works and after researching I’m happy with how things will now proceed for Fantasy Book Review. I’ve spoken at length with a lot of my blogging pals such as Petros (Booknest) and Mihir (Fantasy Book Critic) to ask questions and get advice. My plan is slightly different to those blogs but hopefully interesting and exciting.
You may say “what on Earth” does this silly You and I Books amateur blog nonsense have to do with the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off? Well, Fantasy Book Review is more of a library of 1000’s of reviews instead of a typical blog so if I want to post accompanying articles, it will be from here. I’m personally trying to promote the contest as much as possible.
A lot of blogs are splitting the 30 allocated books into groups of 6 and the winners become a semi-finalist. I think this is a great idea and one I’ve borrowed. The plan is that I will read 18 books to pick 3 semi-finalists. Lee, FBR’s boss, will read 12 and pick 2 semi finalists. We’ve done our research and know how strong our batch of 30 is. As we are aware of this, we are allowing up to 5 wildcard semi-finalists. Books that didn’t win the group but are still great. If we use all 5 then we will have 10 semi-finalists. Each semi-finalist gets a full review on our site. Each semi-finalist will be read by myself and Lee. So, maybe two full reviews. We’ll then compare notes, discuss, swear, meet up for an arm wrestle and ask random strangers what we should do.
This is just a plan though. Lee was thinking of cutting a book and I shouted “Woah there!” and I am now taking the extra book to give it a second chance (guess which authors lol), and he could do the same. There’s no right way to do this stage. Read some of all, read all of some, pick your best. I think this slightly flexible approach between 2 mates will guarantee our best book is in the final.
If I finish a book that doesn’t make the semis then I’ll post a Goodreads review at http://www.goodreads.com/youandi which may get a like or two.
I’m planning to ideally complete our activity in phase one in 3-4 months so I can go back and hopefully read/ review the books that didn’t make our semis. Seriously, if your book is cut then do not worry. The odds are insane, the competition is brutal and all views are subjective. I’ve cut 5 books so far. At least 2 of them I enjoyed and would like to finish. Unfortunately, I’m not made of time and have deadlines to meet before going back to them, which I hope I can.
I will advise my batches of 6 on twitter @youandibooks after one group has been completed and a semi-finalist picked, like I did today. Then there will be blood, cuts, a group winner and maybe a wildcarder. I know the groups now but I think it’s more interesting if I keep them secret until the time comes. I guess that way authors can’t worry about set opponents.
Sorry if this isn’t too articulate. I’ve essentially just splurred my thoughts on a blog post.
Fantasy Book Review