Blog (78)

23, Jun

BookNest has once again the honor to be one of the 10 Judges in this year's SPFBO. As a matter of fact, we were so excited that we ended up buying some cosplay costumes. From now on, whenever we judge a book we will be dressed like this:

In a previous post on our Facebook Group, I announced that Dyrk Ashton, a fan favorite of our community, and Rob J. Hayes, the winner of last year's SPFBO, will join the team for the first round of this year's contest. In this post I'll introduce the other members of our team, and how things will go down on our side. 

Our initial batch of 30 books has been split into 6 groups of 5 books each. Dyrk Ashton and Rob J. Hayes will join our very own Michael McLendon, C.T. Phipps and Katerina Papasotiriou, as well as the guest Lynn Kempner (Grimmedian). Each one of them will read the 5 books assigned to them, review all of them (*without* rating them) and pick the best one among them, which will proceed to the second phase of the 1st round as a Semi-Finalist. That's right, you understood correctly - we will review all 30 books assigned to us! I (Petros) will then proceed to read all 6 semi-finalists and pick the best one among them to be our Finalist in the 2nd round of the SPFBO

In the second round I'll be joined by Rita Sloan to read and review the Finalists of the other 9 Judges.

Here's the aforementioned groups, and the Judges assigned to them:


IMPORTANT UPDATE: Since several of our members read We Ride the Storm and found it to be *excellent*, we've decided to promote it as an *extra*, 7th Semi-Finalist.

Michael will still pick a Semi-Finalist from his remaining batch of 4 books.

C.T. Phipps Dyrk Ashton
The Cave Between Worlds by Andy Cooke The Ember Child by Anthony Mitchell
Runeforged by Justin DePaoli (Semi-Finalist) Orconomics by J. Zachary Pike (Semi-Finalist)
Crystalline Vision by Barbara Snow Dragon Bones by D.K. Holmberg
Doormaker by Jamie Thornton Ghost Electricity by Sean Cunningham
The Lost Voice by L.F. Oake Twin Spirit by Matthew Thompson
Rob J. Hayes Michael McLendon
Memories by Stephan Morse We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson (*Extra* Semi-Finalist)
Brutal by James Alderdice Cardboard Castles by K.L. Young
The Stars Were Right by K.M. Alexander (Semi-Finalist) The Water Road by J.D. Byrne
The Dragon Orb by Mike Shelton The Curse Recalled by J.E. Merritt
The Culling by Roberto Calas Whispers of Flame by Louis Emery
Katerina Papasotiriou Lynn Kempner
Magic-Price by C.L. Schneider The Great Restoration by William Ray
Keys of Candor by Casey Eanes & Seth Ervin Blue Prometheus by Ned Marcus
The Tainted Crown by Meg Cowley (Semi-Finalist) The Memoirs of a Faun by Caldon Mull
The Summoner and the Seer by C. Gold RhythmInTheMind - Touch
Siege of the Northland by Ruth Rathband Corruption of Honor by A.M. Rycroft


Best of luck to all of you,

The Team 


















The Meaning of Horror by Alana Melos
21, Jun

   A typical night might find me in front of the television watching a movie with my husband. If I got to pick the movies all the time, they’d be horror movies. While my husband has nothing against them, he gets tired of watching the “same old thing” all the time. (His words, not mine.) Not me, though. I could watch horror every night of the week and then some. I love the effects, the suspense, the tension (no matter how manufactured it is), and the experience as a whole. I love not knowing what I’m in for every time I choose a new movie. I love investigating the new mythos a horror movie presents to me, still operating within a framework we all understand, but putting its own spin on it. But I never used to.

Interview with Jesse Teller
29, May

An awesome interview with Jesse Teller, author of The Manhunters series.

Interview with R.F. Kuang
26, Apr

Hi everyone, Petrik from Booknest here. Today I’m bringing you an interview with author R.F. Kuang, whose upcoming debut novel, The Poppy War, completely blew me away. I truly believe this book will end up being not only the best debut of the year, but possibly of all time.

Anthony Ryan Deluxe Package Giveaway (International)
19, Apr

To celebrate the release of The Empire of Ashes (The Draconis Memoria #3) by Anthony Ryan, one of my favorite series and authors respectively, I'm holding an International Deluxe Giveaway in which I offer all of his books (hardcovers) in one lucky winner! That's right, all you have to do is write a simple comment (make sure to include your email so we will be able to contact you) and you could win 6 brand new hardcovers! To make it even better, I'll also select 2 winners to get a 'The Empire of Ashes' hardcover from people who have shared our giveaway on Facebook and retweeted it on Twitter, so make sure you share and retweet for two extra chances to win! 

The lucky winners will be selected and announced on July 2, 2018 (one day before the book's release) and the books will be shipped out the next day!  

The Books of Babel - International Giveaway!
10, Mar

To celebrate the paperback release of Arm of the Sphinx on March 13, 2018 (US) and March 15, 2018 (UK), we are giving away four different paperback sets (Senlin Ascends & Arm of the Sphinx) to four lucky winners! Two winners will be chosen from the comments on this post (simply make a comment and you're in), and the other two will be chosen on our facebook post, where a like counts for 1 entry, a comment for 5 entries, and a share for 10 entries.

The winners will be chosen and announced on Friday 16, 2018. Good luck! 



The Lucky Winners are:

Richard McDonald (comment)

Eric Davis (comment)

Alex John (Facebook like)

Md Fharman (Facebook like)

If you are one of the comment winners, send us an email via the contact form using the same email you used to make your comment. If you're one of the facebook winners, contact us on our fb page.  Everyone else, better luck next time! 


Self-publishers carry with us a shared stigma, one so damning that we are often immediately dismissed out of hand. This stigma did not immediately appear fully formed, but was born out of each typo and awkward sentence accrued since modern self-publishing began. In those early years of the e-reader, companies were so desperate for content that the quality thereof did not matter so long as something—anything—was available for audiences to instantly download. Suddenly anyone with an idea and an internet connection could upload a book and call themselves an author. Being as these authors didn’t go through the traditionally published hoops, their works, and therefore the authors, were considered subpar.

And thus was born the self-published stigma.

Mind you, that stigma is not entirely unearned, yet even the most steadfast traditional publishing purist will admit there are some gems out there, Michael Sullivan and Andy Weir both success stories that immediately spring to mind.

Which illustrates the greatest irony of self-publishers: We bear a collective burden but must struggle against it individually. If one is a self-publisher yet talented enough to scrape out some success, the author is considered an outlier; an exception to the rule rather than an exemplar.

But times, they are a’changin’ in that self-publishers are devising ways to collectively shrug off their shared stigma. Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off has highlighted dozens of talented self-published authors to audiences and flung open the doors to many influential blogs and reviewers which were previously closed.

And in that collective spirt, Sigil Independent was born as a guild of self-published fantasy authors with a shared dedication to putting out quality fantasy novels. If you’ve followed SPFBO at all (or immediately recognize the acronym), you’ll recognize a few names of our members: Dyrk Ashton, Ben Galley, Rob Hayes, Alec Hutson, Michael McClung, D. E. Olesen, Benedict Patrick, M. D. Presley, M. L. Spencer, and Phil Tucker.


Yet we’re hoping you don’t recognize them all since the core concept of Sigil Independent is that if you’ve enjoyed one of our members’ work, you can rest assured that any book by any of our other authors in our stable is of equal quality. And while each of our 40+ novels may not be your individual cup of tea, we promise you that you’ll receive a professional product without any of the amateurish bugbears that gave self-publishers their shared stigma in the first place.

But we also want to showcase to readers the specific book we believe they’ll enjoy first and foremost, which is why we’ve employed a Choose-Your-Own Adventure opening to our Sigil Sampler: 500+ FREE pages highlighting the best our authors have to offer. Just make a few decisions in your adventure and you’ll be matched up with a story we know you’ll love.

And if not, at least it didn’t cost you anything but a few moments of your time.

There’s a lot more to Sigil Independent, such as modeling our best practices off of traditional publishing houses or the fact we do not take a cent from our members’ profits, that we won’t get into here. But we hope you’ll visit our website to learn more and maybe collect a few more freebies. We can also be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

 A Texan transplant living in California, MD Presley isn't nearly as clever as he thinks he is. With a background in screenwriting, he fled to publishing with his flintlock fantasy series when the reality of Hollywood got to be a bit too much. A founding member of Sigil Independent, he also blogs weekly at the not-so-creatively-named and tweets on occasion @md_presley.

And no, he's not related to Elvis. Thanks for asking.