Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Barbara J. Webb's Apocrypha: The Dying World Series

City of Burning ShadowsTwo years ago (and it's hard to believe that much time has passed already!) I was working on a manuscript for City of Burning Shadows, book one in a new series from author Barbara J. Webb.

Ms. Webb is among a growing number of savvy, professional, self-published writers who understand that to have a successful career in self-publishing one must invest in professional editing: developmental editing, line and copy editing, and final proof editing.

I'm now reading the mobi edition of City of Burning Shadows to refresh in my mind the story line and characters in preparation for my next project, which will be book two in this series: What Dreams Shadows Cast. I will begin work on this manuscript in January.

You can read my previous blog posts on City of Burning Shadows, but what would be even more revealing would be Ms. Webb's recent guest blog post on Bibliotropic in which she wrote:
I wanted to write about hulking lizard warriors. And bird-people. And people so made of magic that they don't have a true shape. I couldn't do that in the real world. So I built a city—a dying city in the desert—and into that city I placed a hero.

Ash is bruised and broken. He's lost his family, his faith, his purpose. He's watching his world collapse around him and feels powerless to stop it. But when he's faced with an old friend in need and a new friend who holds the key to saving Ash's dying city, he can't turn away. That one act of humanity drags him into a world of lies and plots and monsters he never imagined.

A secret world.
If you've read this far then you are most likely a reader of fantasy fiction, and urban fantasy in particular -- so I wanted to make sure that you were aware of "The Great Self-published Fantasy Blog-off!" hosted by author Mark Lawrence (@mark__lawrence [2 underscores!]).

Let's see if I can sum up: Mark published a blog post on self-promotion that was so well-received that he decided to take the self-promotion one step further: a self-published blogger challenge.

Mark asked for volunteers from the well-respected book-reviewing blogger community. He then asked writers to submit their self-published fantasy novels. He selected 10 bloggers and 250 fantasy novels. Each blogger was randomly assigned 25 novels. From those 25 novels, each blogger selected the best novel. So he now had 10 bloggers and 10 novels.

Then each blogger had to read and rate each of the 10 novels. When all was said and done, the novel that came in first place would then be reviewed by all 10 bloggers (aka free publicity, free promotion). The readings and ratings are still ongoing, and can be tracked here. The deadline for reading and rating the 10 novels is March 1, 2016.

So, why am I telling you this? First, if you enjoy reading excellent quality self-published fantasy, Mark's list would be a great place to start. And second, one of the 10 finalist novels is Barbara J. Webb's City of Burning Shadows.

In fact, if I understand correctly, a story bundle of the 10 finalist novels will also be made available in March. So you'll want to stay connected to Mark's blogger challenge in order to take advantage of that offer.

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