Category :: News
The Grey Bastards says “Self-Pubbed no more!”
So, most of you will probably remember The Great Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off by Mark Lawrence that we participated in a while ago. That contest has been one of the great ones for getting exposure to the best of the self-published best. The first year we were part of it, the winner, The Thief Who Pulled On Trouble’s Braids (EBR Review) got picked up for traditional publication, for all intents and purposes, as a result of that contest.
We can now add another title to that prestigious list.
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And we’re back!
Okay, well…kind of. Like we mentioned in our initial announcement, this incarnation of the site is a bare-minimum effort to just get us up and populating with good SEO site-value as soon as possible. Dan is still working on making sure that everything’s working right (social media posting might take a bit…), and we have a METRIC TON of old posts to go back through and update so that everything looks and works beautifully. But the first step has been taken.
Thanks for being patient with Dan while he figured out all the details of the move this last week. He’s ridiculously excited to get into further development, and the rest of us can’t wait to see how everything develops with the new site as well.
As an aside, if any of you have suggestions for Dan’s […]Read the rest of this post »
Website Under Construction
And we’re off! Yeah, okay, so this is likely going to take a while. I’m hoping not more than the week, but I don’t do this book-review stuff full time (no one here does) and so it’s going to come as it comes because I only have so much free time and my heart needs its beauty sleep these days.
Once the whole transition to the new site is complete, We will post an official announcement of it. Until that point, you may find yourself at either site version, somewhere in-between, or even at a page that says “This website is insecure!”. Just know that I’m busy getting everything to work out completely, and we won’t need any feedback about stuff that “looks or acts broken” until after that official post. Also, any comments you may try to make could […]Read the rest of this post »
New Website Coming
A little while ago, Dan was wandering around on our site and made a horrifying discovery: our site has no SEO value whatsoever. Yeah. Blame the theme developers for this bungle, if you must, but we were the ones that set the dang thing up without realizing that. So…
For those of you unfamiliar with what SEO is, it’s the stuff that happens in the background of a site that makes it show up in Google search results.
Yeah. Not good.
As soon as we figured this out, we were on the lookout for another option. To make a long story short, we decided that the best option for us was so strike out on our own, so to speak.
Dan’s day job is as a web developer. So, he’s put together a new website and we’ll be changing over to that one in the very near future. In all honesty, it’s […]Read the rest of this post »
Contest Reboot: Yay Results!
First off we’d like to thank all those who entered our contest to become the next EBR reviewer. All sorts of people entered. It’s really fascinating to us how different reviews can be–even on the same book. We appreciate the time and effort y’all spent and it gives us warm fuzzies to know you guys like us enough to become one of us. We chose books that were written by well-known authors but that also weren’t perfect, because we wanted to make sure incoming reviewers could see flaws and analyze the stories and characters in a way that our EBR readers would appreciate.
The submissions were great, but there were two “winners” who really impressed us:
Jane Funk – She sent us two reviews, one for ELANTRIS and one for CHILDREN OF THE FLEET, and both were great (I quote Dan, “serious writing chops, actually two chops because she sent two, and that’s more chops than usual”). She has great style and understands what it means […]Read the rest of this post »
Contest Reboot: Reviewers Wanted
Updated 3/1/18: Thanks for the love. We have the best readers! Dan and Vanessa are busy reading the entries and will post results as soon as we are in agreement.
So you want to be an EBR reviewer? You’re in luck! We’ve decided that we could use a few good readers who also happen to be able to write coherently about their opinions.
The last time we had to do this was seven years ago. Since then, several of our reviewers have moved on to bigger and better things in the publishing world–including publishing their own stories or working for places where writing reviews here would create a conflict of interest. All the better for you, if you think you’re good enough to help us out. The perks include more free books than you can read, association with handsome and clever people, and exposure to publishers and writers.
Here is what would be required of you to become one of our reviewers:
- Be a U.S. resident if you plan to receive physical books. You can be a non-U.S. resident if you’re willing to only read ebooks or purchase your own books, but plan to adhere to the U.S. release schedule.
- Read and review at least one book (optimally two) every month. If you read and review more, that’s great. At times, we may very well direct you on what books to read. Other times, we will leave it up to you.
- We do send you (free) books we receive from publishers as well as ebooks (if you have a Kindle/app, even better). We even get audio books every now and then. It also helps to become friends with your local library and Amazon Prime.
- Your reviews will follow our established format and you will avoid profanity in the review itself. We will read and edit your reviews before they’re posted. No leeway on this.
Make sense? Good.
This is a serious offer for those who want to make a serious effort. We take pride in our work and we are also control freaks. We want your work to be high quality and we want it to be reliable. If you don’t think you can be reliable, don’t bother entering our contest. We’re not looking to populate a slush pile.Read the rest of this post »
The End: Self-Pubbed Blog-Off
Well here we are. The end. It’s finally come. Oddly enough, I don’t mean this in a bad way. When I asked my fellow reviewers here at EBR if they wanted to participate in this contest, they said yes… but were worried. I shared that concern. Would we be able to get through a single novel? Would we be happy picking a winner? Would any of the novels be good? Adequate, even?
In our original slush pile of 26 novels, we finished exactly two. THE THIEF WHO PULLED ON TROUBLE’S BRAIDS and SAND AND BLOOD. We ended up sending THIEF on to the final round with a score of 7/10. Very respectable.
EBR’s Self-Published Blog-off Finalist
The time has finally come for us to make a decision. Firstly though, I thought I’d mention how we decided what to pick:
1) We selected the two novels that we felt best represented the spirit of the contest.
2) Each member of the EBR Team read both books, then told the others which one they had picked and why.
3) The book with the most votes became our finalist.
Seems simple, right? It wasn’t. See, this task wasn’t just about grabbing two books off a bookshelf and saying which was better. The largest reason for this was that neither of these books have had professional edits, and so we ended up having to tackle the problem by saying, “Well, if it HAD been given those edits, the novel would probably have turned out like THIS.”
We talked about writing ability, originality, pacing, foreshadowing, characters… it was all very long-winded (totally my fault), but I think we covered all of the good stuff. Anywho, we’ll have a post later on that gets into the nuts and bolts of our opinions on self-pubbed stuff now that this section of the contest is over.Read the rest of this post »
Self-Published Blog-Off Update
All right. People have been wondering where we are in the process so far. While we haven’t picked our Finalist yet, we are very close. This will be a quick summary of who we have eliminated so far. We aren’t going to get into specifics on each book, because it seems bad form to to lay it out publicly why we didn’t care for your book. I think we’ve been pretty clear about the main issues we’ve had in our posts on PoV, Beginnings, Internet Presence, and First Impressions.
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