Writers, magic makers, word sorcerers, and friends, real and imagined:
As we approach the heart of summer — with plenty of daylight left to live-action-roleplay scenes from It’s All Fun and Games — we begin the fourth contest in our year-long series with our incredible partners at Nerdist and Geek & Sundry.
To date, we’ve witnessed epic intergalactic battles with the Space Opera contest, teleported to alternative universes we could hardly dream up in the Hard Science Fiction contest, and experienced the VR of the future in the Video Games contest. These themes have brought captivating stories and audiences to the Nerdist, Geek & Sundry, and Inkshares communities. As we continue to explore new and emerging genres within the broader science fiction and fantasy community, we also want to take a step back and appreciate the depth and diversity of genres, subgenres, authors, and writing styles within this ever-growing community.
So for this next contest, we’re opening the floor to any author who’s written or is currently writing a FANTASY book! Of course, there are myriad subgenres within the Fantasy umbrella — from magical realism to fairytales reimagined; from paranormal fantasy to steampunk — we can’t wait to discover which of your stories will transport us to whole new worlds.
The rules will be the same as previous contests. We’re looking for the top three fantasy books on Inkshares in terms of unique reader pre-order counts for pre-orders placed between August 1, 2016, and November 1, 2016. All three books will be published by Inkshares even if they haven’t reached their pre-order goal. One (or more) will be selected by Geek & Sundry to be in their collection on Inkshares, including the opportunity to develop their work into other media such as movies, television, and digital productions.
Jump on in and start writing! #FantasticInk
The Inkshares Team
How does the contest work?
Any writer can create a draft project and begin building a following on Inkshares anytime by clicking “submit” above or creating a new project using the “fantasy” genre, or any of the subgenres in fantasy. The contest officially starts on August 1, 2016, and only projects that begin selling pre-orders on or after that date within the fantasy genre will be eligible for the contest. At 12:00 p.m. PST on November 1, 2016 Inkshares will announce the top three fantasy projects as determined by the highest unique reader pre-order counts, even if they haven’t hit their funding goal, and will publish all of them. Geek & Sundry will then choose which of the top three they would like to add to their collection. All three projects will receive the same editorial, production, distribution, and marketing support as any Inkshares project, including distribution into independent bookstores as well as Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble.
What is a “collection?”
A “collection” is essentially an imprint run by a third party on Inkshares. All titles within a collection will receive that collection’s branding and will be discoverable as part of a collection on the Inkshares site. Collection owners can choose to take a percent of royalties in exchange for their promotional effort on behalf of your book. Learn more here.
How do I join a collection?
The owner of a collection decides which Inkshares project they want to include as part of their collection. The author has final say on if they want to be included in a collection.
What does it mean if I’m chosen for the Geek & Sundry Collection?
If you make it into the top three of this contest and you accept Geek & Sundry’s Collection invite, your book will carry the Geek & Sundry logo on the spine and back cover and Geek & Sundry will help market your book. In exchange for these promotional efforts, Geek & Sundry will receive a percentage of publishing royalties and have an opportunity to co-develop your work into other media such as movies, TV series, and digital productions. Please review Collections Terms for more details.
What if I’m chosen to participate in another Inkshares collection?
You can only be in one collection at a time. If chosen to be another collection in addition to making it into the top three in this contest, you should decide which collection feels most in line with your publishing goals.
I started funding a project before August 1st, can I still enter the contest?
We can only accept projects that started on August 1st or later. If you have a currently funding project, you will have to start again at zero pre-orders to enter this contest.
What’s the best way to increase my pre-order count?
We have a crowdfunding guide that may help. In addition, explore Inkshares credits. Your friends, family, and the broader science fiction/fantasy reader community can earn credits by engaging with and referring your work, allowing them to better support you. Lastly, check out advice from previous contest winners or ask the broader Inkshares community on our forum.
What happens to the pre-orders if I don't win the contest or hit my pre-order goal?
For a book project that doesn’t win the contest, but the campaign still has time allotted to it, pre-orders will carry through until the end of the campaign. If a campaign ends and the book hasn’t reached a pre-order goal (Quill, or Inkshares) backers are immediately refunded. Anyone who pre-ordered will also remain a follower of your project, allowing you to continue updating them on the progress of your book even after your funding period is over.
What if I’ve already published elsewhere but I want to participate?
We recommend investigating the kinds of rights you have wherever you’ve published. If you own the rights or they’re non-exclusive, then you can participate. We offer exclusive rights, as detailed here.
What if my book isn’t finished?
While we’ve found that more content helps a book receive more pre-orders, the book doesn’t have to be complete for you to participate. You simply need to build your project page and upload a few chapters to get started.
How do you define the “fantasy” genre?
As mega-bestselling epic fantasy author Pat Rothfuss notes in an interview with LA Times’ Hero Complex, the fantasy genre comprises much more than the archetypal (often stereotypical) fire-breathing dragon, damsel in distress, axe-swinging dwarf, or brooding vampire. We consider “fantasy” to encompass any story in the genre of fiction that employs magic or other supernatural elements as a main plot element, theme, or setting, and we encourage you to get weird with it. The intent of our platform is to democratize the process by which books get traditionally published. We trust our community to back the fantasy books they want published. If a title appears to be abusing the democratic spirit of this contest or may raise legal and copyright questions, don’t hesitate to let us know at email@example.com.
What will you do in case of a tie in unique readers?
If two winning projects have the same number of unique readers, we will break the tie by selecting the project with the highest pre-order count.
Should I have my friends and family use multiple accounts, place multiple orders, or trade pre-orders to help me out?
No. As detailed in our Terms of Service: "The purpose of Inkshares is to highlight broad reader interest in specific works. Accordingly, please do not 'game' the system. As an author, don't pre-order your own book or encourage others to order copies of your book through multiple accounts. As a reader or purchaser, don't create multiple accounts so as to order more copies of any title. Do not engage in any scheme or exchange of promises that would lead to the ordering of a book in a manner not reflective of genuine interest in the writing."
We understand that these campaigns can be stressful and everyone wants to do their part to help. In order for Inkshares to stay true to its mission of publishing books that readers truly want, the best way to help is to get out there and tell readers why a book is worth supporting.
I’ve participated in previous contests, either as an author or reader. I’d like to know: how can I help on this one?
We’re delighted you asked! First, there’s a wonderful forum on Inkshares that offers a place to collaborate. The best thing you can do, though, is to explore new projects throughout the length of the contest, offer feedback and reviews on projects that catch your eye, and pre-order and refer the books you love. While many authors won’t hit their goal, there’s still tremendous value in building up a readership and community on Inkshares. You can be an integral part of that.
Can I submit a book project with multiple authors to the contest?
While we love collaboration between authors, books with more than two authors are not eligible to submit to the contest, as it provides difficulty for single-author book entries, which comprise most of the entries of contests, to crowdfund at a comparable level. If you have questions about whether your project is eligible, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know that many previous authors are considering entering the new Geek & Sundry Contest.
First, we're very excited that G&S is meaningful to you as a Collection—and don't worry, this won't be their last contest on the platform.
But second, we want to make clear that we view contests at Inkshares as a broad opportunity for current and new authors alike. The trick is balancing out "fresh blood" with established members of the community. It would be unfortunate if an "established few" dominated contests over and over. This also carries the problem of people continually running campaigns rather than focusing on their in-progress funded books.
Accordingly, we're implementing the following rule:
If you've been published via a contest (either selected or finished in the qualifying top spots) then you cannot enter another contest until your book is published.
The Inkshares Team