Congratulations to the Winners!

1st Place
After losing his virginity to a stranger, a confident but naïve gay teen contracts an STI that causes his flesh to transform into a living gun.
Zac Thompson horror
2nd Place
What is happening with the wolves in a small town in Oregon? Wildlife biologist, Jason Doyle, is determined to find out. Things quickly spiral out of control in a hard science thriller reminiscent of Jurassic Park and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Deborah Munro horror
3rd Place
The Walking Dead meets Ru-Paul’s Drag Race. An up-and-coming drag-queen faces a poorly timed zombie apocalypse. Can she wield a machete and still look good in Jimmy-Choo?

Rules and Overview

Writers, readers, and fellow horror fans,

Summer is far from leaving us here at the Inkshares HQ, but we’re gearing up for Fall, and we can’t wait to announce some exciting initiatives we have in store for you.

Our partnership with Legendary Digital, the parent company of both Nerdist and Geek & Sundry, continues to open an incredible world of science fiction and fantasy books to audiences far and wide. We’re thrilled to announce a new partnership that will tackle the horror genre next!

Crypt TV is a meaningful and innovative brand in horror and they’re taking the internet by storm with their amazing video content. Backed by horror mega-producers Eli Roth (Hostel, The Green Inferno) and Jason Blum (The Purge series), Crypt TV is poised to find up and coming horror books — your books! — with an eye toward TV and film adaptation. Crypt TV is launching a Collection on Inkshares, and as part of this launch, running a two-month-long contest to find the next breakout writers in the horror genre.

The contest begins September 1st and will run until October 31st — Halloween, of course! The top three horror projects on Inkshares as determined by unique reader counts at the close of the contest will be published, even if they haven’t hit their pre-order goal. Of those three, Crypt TV will select at least one to be in their collection, receiving Crypt TV branding and promotion. Authors in the Crypt TV collection will also have opportunities to develop their work into other media, such as movies, TV series, and digital productions.

If you have a horror story you’ve written, or are currently writing, the Crypt TV-Inkshares publishing contest is an amazing opportunity, even if you’ve previously self-published. If you know of other writers in the horror genre, please consider spreading the world. Authors do not need to have finished manuscripts to submit to the contest — just enough to see if it connects with an audience!

We can’t wait to see what’s in store. Happy writing!


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 “horror” genre, or any of the subgenres in horror. The contest officially starts on September t 1, 2016, and only projects that begin selling pre-orders on or after that date within the horror genre will be eligible for the contest. At 12:00 p.m. PST on October 31, 2016 Inkshares will announce the top three horror 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. Crypt TV 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.

How do I submit my existing draft to the contest?

If you already have a draft on Inkshares and have not yet started selling pre-orders, all you have to do is make sure that your genre is eligible (ex. “Horror” for the Crypt TV Collection), and start selling pre-orders on or after the first day of the contest.

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 Crypt TV Collection?

If you make it into the top three of this contest and you accept Crypt TV’s Collection invite, your book will carry the Crypt TV logo on the spine and back cover and Crypt TV will help market your book. In exchange for these promotional efforts, Crypt TV 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 September 1st, can I still enter the contest?

We can only accept projects that started on September 1st or later. If you have a currently funding project, you will have to start again at zero pre-orders to enter this contest. Email us at in order to do so.

What’s the best way to increase my pre-order count?

Please check out our crowdfunding guide for more information and tips. In addition, 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 “horror” genre?

We consider “horror” to encompass any story in the genre of fiction which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten, scare, disgust, or startle their readers or viewers by inducing feelings of horror and terror. This can range from the classic slasher story, to psychological thrillers, to zombies, aliens, witches, and everything in between. Crypt TV’s own Eli Roth said, “I like when you can take a classic thing and put your own twist on it.”

The intent of our platform is to democratize the process by which books get traditionally published. We trust our community to back the horror 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.

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