Welcome to the Self-Published Science Fiction Competition! Or the spussfic, as we like to call it around here. What in the world is the SPSFC? It’s an opportunity to shine a great big laser beam on wonderful works of self-pubbed science fiction.
For a few years now, Mark Lawrence has been organizing a contest known as the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. Science fiction authors and bloggers have been clamoring for something similar. So with Mark’s blessing and science fiction’s habit of looking to its sister genre for inspiration, we are going to run this pretty much the same way.
Ten book bloggers, up to 300 science fiction novels, a year of reading and reviewing. We will end up with ten finalists and one winner. Next year, we will do it all over again.
The winner gets a badge and a blaster set to “stunning.” Most importantly, they get heaps of recognition and bragging rights. All the finalists and many of the entries will naturally get more eyeballs on their books, which is what authors and eye-eating aliens crave the most.
1) Your book must be a standalone or the first in a series.
2) One book per author. So send your best!
3) It must be a novel, not an anthology.
4) The book must be self-published and available for purchase now.
5) Works must be at least 50,000 words.
– 1yr run time
– 10 Reviewer Teams (Judges)
– 300 books (Sci-fi only)
– 30 Semi-Finalists
– 10 Finalists
– 1 Winner/s (in the event of a tie)
Reviewer Applications (May 15 – June 14)
– Teams finalized (June 15 – 30)
Author Applications (July 1– 21, 2021)
– ‘Slush Pile’ Finalized (July 22 – 30)
Phase One (August 1, 2021 – January 30, 2022) – 6 months
– Best Cover contest (August 1 – 14)
– Check conflicts (August 15 – 30 )
– Allocations finalized (September 1 – 7)
– Teams review allocations (September 8 – January 21 )
– Semi-finalists announced (January 22 – 30 )
Phase Two (February 1 – June 30, 2022) – 5 months
– Teams review all Semi-Finalists (February 1 – June 21)
– Finalists announced (June 22 – 30 )
Phase Three (July 1 – 30, 2022) – 1 month
– Consolidate results (July 1 – 14)
– Winner/s announced (July 15 – 30)
What authors need to know:
On July 1st, we will open to submissions. So mark your calendars now! Ebooks will need to be sent in .mobi or .epub format. If we get over 300 submissions, we will winnow them down based on a very subjective slush-pile criteria. All entries will be listed and linked to on an upcoming announcement page.
What reviewers need to know:
Applications are now open to be one of our ten reviewer teams! Simply click here and fill out the form. As a former book blogger and reviewer, I know what you’re in for. It will be a lot of work, but if you enjoy helping readers find hidden gems, it will be rewarding.
Reviewer / judging process:
In Phase One, the 300 books that make up the ‘Slush Pile’ are divided evenly amongst the reviewer teams.
– Each team is allocated 30 books.
– Books are randomly assigned
1) Check conflicts
To ensure that there are no conflicts of interest in their allocation.
– Any conflicts will be reassigned.
– If no issues, the lists are then confirmed and final.
2) Filter their allocation
Team members read 10-20% of each book and then vote.
– Vote is to indicate whether they want to continue reading / would recommend to the team (a simple yes/no answer).
– The 10 books with the most ‘yes’ votes are retained while cutting the rest.
3) Begin Round One Reviews
Teams attempt to complete / finish their 10 ‘filtered’ books.
– Those 10 books are given a score (‘DNF’ or a range from ‘0 – 10’) by all the team members.
– A book with more DNFs than scores > 0 is given a ‘0’ by default.
ie. If four of the six reviewers on a team score a book as ‘DNF’, then the default score is ‘0’.
– The three books with the highest average scores are the ‘Final’ team selection that progress through to Phase Two.
– Teams post *starred reviews of their ‘Final’ / Top Three selections on their websites/blogs + the books’ Goodreads and Amazon pages.
Note: Reviewers are welcome to write / publish additional reviews, but only the Top Three are required.
In Phase Two, each team is allocated the same 30 books = the ‘Semi-Finalists’.
1) Begin Round Two Reviews
Teams attempt to complete / finish those 30 books.
– Books are given a score (‘DNF’ or a range from ‘0 – 10’) by all the team members.
– As before, a book with more DNFs than scores > 0, is given a “0” by default.
– The book with the highest average score is the ‘Final’ team selection progress through to Phase Three.
– Teams post full (*starred and written) reviews of their Top Ten on their websites/blogs + the books’ Goodreads and Amazon pages
Note: Reviewers are welcome to write / publish additional reviews, but only the Top Ten are required.
10 Books – The ‘Finalists’
– The book/s with the highest average score/s are announced as winner/tied.
– The book with the best cover art is announced.
At which point there will be much rejoicing and the making of merry. Unlike our fantasy friends, the ending will be swift and there will only be one curtain call.