Congratulations to the Winners!

1st Place
When two high school geeks find a computer disk that can re-program reality, they hack their senior year and wind up targeted for deletion.
Prescott Harvey video games
video games
2nd Place
When the lines between virtual reality and real life blur, who’s the player and who’s the played? Beware the singularity.
Peter Ryan video games
video games

Rules and Overview

Writers, Readers, Gamers, NPC’s,

Like some of our favorite video games, this contest was an action-packed nail-biter!

These video game books were some of the most innovative, creative, and exciting projects we’ve ever had on Inkshares. These stories blurred the lines between virtual reality and reality, explored life in a video game, featured epic battles (sometimes with dragons!), and even touched on the personal and profound.

We know these contests aren’t for the faint of heart, so we applaud our authors for their bravery, passion, and serious writing skills. You inspire us to level up, in all things. Thank you.

And thank you as well to Nerdist! For your brilliant ideas, ongoing support, and legion of nerds.

With no further ado, we couldn’t be prouder to announce the winners of the Nerdist Video Games contest. Please join us in congratulating:

And special mention to Are You Sure You Want to Quit by Alisa King. She ran an incredible campaign and there's no reason to stop now, you can still help her hit her goal and get published!

UPDATE: Nerdist announced the official winners for their collection on Sunday, July 24 during the Inkshares/Nerdist panel at Conival. The official Nerdist books are:

And the next contest, hosted by Geek & Sundry, launches August 1. More details to come, loyal Inksharesians…


The Inkshares Team


(for frequently asked questions about Inkshares, please refer to the Inkshares FAQ)

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 “video games” genre. Do not begin selling pre-orders until June 1. The contest officially starts on June 1, 2016, and only projects that begin selling pre-orders on or after that date within the “video games” genre will be eligible for the contest. At 12:00 p.m. PST on July 15, Inkshares will announce the top three “video games” 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. Nerdist 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. The author of the project with the most unique reader pre-orders will win an Oculus Rift.

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 Nerdist Collection?

If you make it into the top three of this contest and you accept Nerdist’s Collection invite, your book will carry the Nerdist logo on the spine and back cover and Nerdist will help market your book. In exchange for these promotional efforts, Nerdist 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.

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?

Backers are immediately refunded for any project that doesn’t hit its goal. 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 non-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 “video game” genre?

Any story (typically science fiction, fantasy, or nonfiction) that features video games or video gaming as central to its narrative. We allow writers to self-define genres when creating their project. The intent of our platform is to democratize the process by which books get traditionally published. We trust our community to back the video game 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

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.