The Sword & Laser Collection Contest

  • starts:
    Apr 1, 2015
  • ends:
    May 30, 2015


Our mission at Inkshares is to connect readers and writers with the goal of producing incredible books, available everywhere—in doing so we democratize book publishing.

As a young company, it’s been truly inspiring for us to witness the spirit, creativity, and shared purpose among the writers who entered the Sword & Laser Collection Contest. We owe an immense debt of gratitude to The Sword & Laser, the writers who entered, and to every reader who helped support our ideal by participating.

As stated in the rules, we will be publishing the books with the five highest pre-order counts. To also stand by our intent to democratize book publishing, we’re excited to announce we will also be publishing the books with the five highest unique, confirmed reader counts. In total, this means we have six winners.

We couldn’t be prouder to announce the following winners of the Sword & Laser Collection Contest:

Please join us in celebrating these deserving writers!

A special mention goes out to the following writers for an impressive showing:

And lastly, Sword & Laser has selected the debut books in their Collection.

Again, thank you to the Sword & Laser community who made all of this possible, and to Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt for supporting Inkshares and our mission.

The Inkshares Team


How does it work?

Any writer can launch a project on Inkshares anytime at no cost. Readers then pre-order a copy of your book at a discounted price (they only pay when your book is published). If unfamiliar with crowdfunded book publishing, find more details here.

At midnight PST on May 31st, Inkshares will announce the top five science fiction and fantasy projects as determined by the highest pre-order counts, even if they haven’t hit their pre-order threshold, and will publish all of them. Only projects that have launched after April 1, 2015 are eligible. Sword & Laser will then choose one of those five to debut as a “Sword & Laser” book. All five 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. 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. The Sword & Laser is the first Collection launching on Inkshares and is using a contest to narrow the contenders. Many other Collections will be joining Inkshares over the following months and they will all look for different qualities in a project before deciding to include it in their Collection. Stay updated on Inkshares Collections by following us on Twitter:@inkshares.

Will I receive less royalties for participating in this Collection?

No. While a Collection owner can choose to take a small percent of an author’s royalties in exchange for the promotional activities that help a book get funded and marketed, the debut book in the Sword & Laser Collection will receive the same royalty structure as any Inkshares author.

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 five in this contest, you should decide which Collection feels most in line with your publishing goals. This is a good problem to have.

What if I already had my science fiction/fantasy project on Inkshares and the funding date ends before May 31st?

Let us know at and we’ll work with you to extend the date.

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.

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.

How do you define “science fiction/fantasy?”

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 science fiction/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

What will you do in case of a tie in pre-orders?

If multiple winning projects have the same number of pre-orders, we will break the tie by selecting the project(s) with the earliest project start date.