Welcome to this year’s SPFBO. I’m doing things a little differently this time around, mostly because it’s good to shake things up. Also, I want to see if this works better or worse for me, so I know if I should do it again next year (if we do it next year) or revert back to the tried and true.
Also, you’ll get my three top cover art picks in this post. These three covers will move on to the SPFBO cover art contest. Check it out here.
Anyway, how will things be different this year?
Usually, I break these thirty titles into random groups. Each book gets a mini-review, and then each group gets a winner. I pick the overall winner out of my five finalists from each group. That book moves on to the final round to compete against nine other books to see who wins the overall SPFBO.
To be honest with you, dear reader, I’ve always felt a little constrained by the mini-reviews. Some books get a mini-review and that feels good enough for me, but others I want to elaborate on. A lot of books I want to write full reviews on. Now, my life is pure chaos. I run my own editing business. I also hold down a day job. I also write my own books. I have two kids, one of whom has a congenital kidney disorder which can rear its ugly head occasionally. I have a chronic illness and a myriad of problems that go along with that, so sometimes all I’ve got time for are mini-reviews. However, I really, really hate being limited to that, especially if it’s a book that I want to ramble on about for a while.
So, this year I’m not breaking books into rounds, and I’m not limiting these thirty entries to mini-reviews. I’m going to write full reviews of the books that I feel the desire to write full reviews on. I’ll probably write a few posts of mini-reviews. I’m not going to have ’round winners’ like I usually have in the past. This year you get what I feel the inclination to give you, along with a rating and hopefully some words you can cherrypick to use on cover art or what have you, and when I’m done saying things about all thirty books, I’ll write up a post about those books that stuck out to me, along with the book I’m sending over to the final round to fight it out with all the other finalists.
My hope is that this gives each entry more stage time, which I really do think you folk deserve, as well as more limelight and attention.
I’ll link each review to Goodreads, and I usually completely forget to put my reviews on Amazon, but I’ll make a concentrated effort to remember this year. So, each book will get a review (either mini or full length), links to their Amazon page and author webpage, reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, and (hopefully) pull quotes for you to use if you so choose. At the end, when I’m done with each of the thirty books, I’ll write a post about which ones stand out the most, and which book won my haul and is moving over the final round.
Dear authors, consider this your permission to pull quotes from my reviews and use them how you will.
Anyway, I’ll start dropping reviews around August 1st.
Below are this year’s entries.
Now, I’m going to admit something here. Usually, I sort of fly through the SPFBO by the seat of my pants, but this year I’m super pleased with how organized I am. I made an SPFBO desktop folder. I’ve got all the covers, book files, links to goodreads and amazon and author webpages saved in a document. I’ve got everything set up and ready to go. So, I was setting up this post thinking, “Man, this will be awesome. I’ll get all the covers up, and I’ll make it all fancy so readers can click on each cover and it’ll send them to the Amazon page and won’t that be awesome.” People, I tried, I really did… but I’ve been organizing SPFBO stuff for HOURS now, and staring at this blasted computer so long I’ve got a headache, so I’m giving up. You don’t get to click on the covers and go to any Amazon page. You just get to look at the covers and admire them.
At the end of the post, you’ll see the three covers I’m sending on to Mark for the cover art contest. I had a hell of a time picking my three to move over to the cover art contest. I have some seriously strong covers this year. You guys made this HARD.
Good luck, SPFBO-ers! You’ll start getting reviews in August!
The three covers I’m sending over to the Cover Art Contest are: