In case you've been sleeping under a rock (or, as the weather dictates, hibernating in your bear cave), then you need to know that Mark Lawrence has launched a very cool opportunity for self-published authors.
It all started with a call for blogger volunteers who will serve as literary agents (of a sort), combing through 25 different submissions each, before selecting the 1 title they feel is most deserving of continuing through to the second round. Each blogger will then read all 10 finalists, and the winner will get reviewed on all 10 blogs, providing the author and the book with both bragging rights and a wealth of free publicity.
I am pleased to say that, of the 19 blogger volunteers, Beauty in Ruins was selected as part of the "team of 10 highly respected and well-established bloggers" who will put on our pseudo-literary agent hats and read through our assigned slush piles.
1./ Sarah Chorn of Bookworm Blues
2./ Steve Diamond &co at the Hugo winning Elitist Book Reviews
3./ Mark Aplin &co of the award winning Fantasy-Faction
4./ Mihir Wanchoo of Fantasy Book Critic
5./ Lynn Williams of Lynn's Books
6./ Milo of The Fictional Hangout
7./ Bob Milne of Beauty in Ruins
8./ Ria of Bibliotropic
9./ Tyson Mauermann of The Speculative Book Review
10./ The guys at Fantasy Book Review
There's no money involved, and no big publisher's contract guaranteed, but who knows where a competition might take you. First of all, you have Mark Lawrence's name and clout behind the whole idea, and then you have 10 bloggers selected for their high traffic and popularity who (and this is important) are open to self-published titles. The opportunity here for publicity is huge, and you have to wonder where the winner might go, armed with such bragging rights and such high-profile reviews.
If you're a self-published fantasy author, then I urge you to head on over to the call to self-published fantasy authors and submit your book. Currently, 134 books have been received (out of a maximum 250), so you still have time to get involved.