Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Hidden Gem Awards: Contest for the Self-Published

The spots are now full. Thanks for all the social media support, guys!

Here’s the deal. For every 10 self published books I read, there tends to be one real gem. With that in mind, I’m opening my review doors to ten individuals who aren’t afraid of a bit of friendly competition. I'm hoping to find a fantastic self-pub author and help spread the word about their novel.

Theme: Supernatural Fiction

I'm going to be fairly flexible about what counts as supernatural fiction. All it needs to contain is some sort of supernatural or magical aspect as one of the key features of the novel. If it's more akin to fantasy, then you'll be better to wait until the next contest. If you're not sure, then enter anyway. I should be able to tell from your blurb.

You can post genres below that you would like to see in the future.


To Enter

You must be self-published.

You can enter by using the contact form on the right or posting a comment on the bottom of this post.

Books must contain fewer than 100,000 words. Ideal length would be 50-80K.

Let me know the title, blurb, and target audience (middle grade, young adult, new adult, adult).

You must be willing to offer a free e-copy of your novel. Thanks for the chance to read it.

Please show some support and follow my blog. Cheers!


The Stages


Stage 1

I will wait patiently for 10 contestants. Participants will be added to the list after they have sent me a copy of their novel. Once it’s full, the fun begins.


Stage 2

I will reject five of these novels fairly quickly based on the opening few chapters or so. I’ll give each book a fair chance, but there are certain red flags that I know to look out for.

Things that upset me: typos, bad grammar, vague language, purple prose, plain characters, plot holes, inconsistencies, clichés, or books that start in a very dull place.

Please remember that it is just my opinion and there is an element of competition to it. I'm also looking for a book that is well written with characters that feel real and a plot that grabs me from the start and leaves me sad to finish.


Stage 3

Of the five remaining books, I will first post up a showcase of the contestants with blurbs and links to GoodReads and Amazon. I’ll also mention a little about why I picked them.


Stage 4

Here’s where the contest really begins. I will read each of the five novels as if I bought them from a bookshop, complete with candid thoughts. If I don’t get to the end, I’ll explain when and why I stopped. If I do get to the end, I’ll post up a mini review.


Stage 5

Out of the books I finished, I’ll pick my favourite as a winner.


First Place Prizes

A full review by me, posted on Scookie Reviews, GoodReads, and Amazon.

An author interview.

Bragging rights You've just beaten 10 other novelists!

I’ll recommend you name onwards to a few other individuals I know who are looking to review self-published books (more details soon).


Extra Details

I expect the time between stage 1 and 3 to be around a month. This is a test run for a contest that I hope to hold a few times a year, so rule might be tweaked and timings will be worked out from this test run.

If several books are amazing, I might have joint winners or several author interviews.

Thanks for entering and good luck! Hopefully this will be a chance to discover fantastic new titles.