Congratulations to the Winners!

Embark on an adventure that leads Maxan, a cunning fox, to uncover technological marvels and truths about his world that will forever change the fate of all species, be they animals, or mankind itself.
Joseph Asphahani science fiction
science fiction
science fiction
Life twisting magic, demonic possession and immortals who have outlived many of the gods themselves come together in this epic fantasy inspired by the likes of Glen Cook and Steven Erikson.
Craig A. Munro dark fantasy
dark fantasy

Rules and Overview

Writers, Science Fiction and Fantasy Lovers, Inksharesians!

The time has come to conclude our third publishing contest and announce the winners of the Sword & Laser Collection Contest: The Sequel.

But first, we want to say that with each contest we run we feel increasingly humbled; humbled by the breadth of undiscovered talent out there, by the sheer creativity in the science fiction and fantasy community, and by the cooperation and mutual support of writers in the contest and on Inkshares. You’re all the best.

We also want to thank Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The incredible community you’ve built through Sword & Laser has set the tone for Inkshares and our platform would look a lot different now if it weren’t for your faith and support. Oh and we wouldn’t be publishing the first batch of Sword & Laser books: The Life Engineered, Asteroid Made of Dragons, and An Unattractive Vampire, which would be very sad indeed. (Seriously, everyone, those books are amazing—place your pre-orders now!)

So with no more ado, here are the top three projects in terms of unique reader pre-orders, the official winners of the Sword & Laser Collection Contest: The Sequel:

Each of these books will now begin the full publishing process with Inkshares. Please congratulate these authors on their amazing performance and, if you have a moment, check out some of the other incredible projects close on their heels:

And we're excited to share, Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt of Sword & Laser have made their official announcement: they will be including Joseph Asphahani’s The Animal in Man as the fourth book in their collection.


The Inkshares Team


How does the contest work?

Any writer can launch a project on Inkshares anytime, and then select any of the science fiction or fantasy genres to become immediately eligible in the contest (if unfamiliar with crowdfunded book publishing, find details here). At 12:00 p.m. PST on January 15th, Inkshares will announce the top three science fiction and 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. Only projects that launched after December 1st, 2015 are eligible. Sword & Laser 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 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. After receiving a collection invite, 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 Sword & Laser Collection?

If you make it into the top three of this contest and accept Sword & Laser’s collection invite, your book will carry the Sword & Laser logo on the spine and back cover and Sword & Laser will help market your book, including an interview on their award-winning podcast. In exchange for these promotional efforts, Sword & Laser will receive a small percentage of publishing royalties. Please review Sword & Laser’s 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, and a stats page that provides data on how other projects gained a readership. 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 and other Inkshares writers.

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 I started my funding period before December 1st but I want to participate?

To ensure a level playing field, if you want to be eligible for the contest you will need to “restart” your project. This cancels all of your pre-orders but retains all of your followers for that project. You can do this by emailing

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 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 or place multiple orders to help me out?

No. The purpose of Inkshares and the intent of this contest is to highlight broad reader interest in specific works, as detailed in our Terms of Service. Using multiple accounts or otherwise gaming the system will result in those pre-orders being cancelled or the project being disqualified from the contest.

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 goodreads forum set up by Inkshares authors that offers a place to collaborate. The best thing you can do, though, is 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.