For those of you not immediately familiar with the #SPFBO (and I suppose there must be one or two of you out there), it’s the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off and it looks like it’s going to be a part of my online life for the next year.

Started by author Mark Lawrence, the competition seeks to bring greater attention to self-published fantasy authors and, for at least one previous winner, has resulted in them getting publishing deal for their winning book. A total of 300 books get accepted as entries and are divided out between 10 popular review sites. They then spend the better part of the following year winnowing down their selections until each blog puts forward 1 finalist.

I first became properly aware of the SPFBO (I’m sure I must have seen comments about it beforehand, but still) two years ago or so when I picked up a copy of the 2017 winner and remarked on the fact in my review.

After that I paid a little more attention, mainly as a means of finding recommended books to add to my TBR list. Looking back through it, I seem to have bought at least two or more of each year’s finalists, although I will admit some of them are still in the TBR pile.

This year will be different though. As I’ve said previously, I recently got added the list of regular reviewers for Booknest.eu.

A small aside: I know I’ve been talking about this a lot lately and it worries me that some of you will think I’m bragging about it, but it is something that means a great deal to me personally, so please bear with me. Anyways, back to the point.

Booknest is one of the 10 blogs tasked with acting as judges in the competition and somehow I’ve ended up on the judging panel. To be fair, my active part won’t begin for some time due to the way the work has been divided up but I spent part of yesterday looking up the books assigned to us just to get a better idea of what might be in store. I also had a quick look through all the other entrants and was pleased to see that I already have a few of them on my TBR list.

Despite some trepidation about making sure I give the best quality reviews that I can, I’m really interested to see how this all plays out.

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