The 2019

Epic Fantasy Fanatics

Readers Choice Awards


 Learn about the E.F.F. and the EFFys.


 See what sorts of books we’re looking for.


 Check out our nomination and judging process.


Fame, fortune, glory…


Entry deadline 6/30/19


Check back here for updates.


Welcome to the EFFys!

Epic Fantasy Fanatics started as a tiny Facebook group dedicated to the discussion of epic fantasy literature. Sword-and-sorcery classics, mostly… Tolkien, Sanderson, Weis and Hickman, Brooks et al. Less than two years and nearly 5,000 members later, we’ve got a website, a bookstore, an app, and we’re ready to host our first book awards: the 2019 Epic Fantasy Fanatics Readers Choice Awards… the “EFFys”.

Epic Fantasy Fanatics operates under a very specific philosophy we’ve worked hard to keep faith with – we’re a reader’s group, NOT a writers group. We’re a place where readers can come discuss fantasy without being inundated by product promotion, and in fact, even the owners and sponsors only ever post one new release announcement per week. We quickly moderate any post that might offend or insult members of our group, including political posts or other topics that create flame wars. (There’s certainly more than enough of that stuff anywhere else one might want to look… E.F.F. is a refuge from all that.) The result of this approach has been great – a fun, friendly, engaged group of fantasy readers, many of whom consider E.F.F. their favorite place on the internet.

The philosophy behind the EFFys is in that same reader-centric vein: real-world book readers will decide the winners, not professional critics, not authors, not agents or publishers or other industry pros. We’re not necessarily looking for the next “important” book… we’re looking for the next great read, because let’s face it… this is fantasy, and sometimes, the idea is to escape the important stuff for a while.

So, our readers – YOUR readers – will decide the winners of the EFFys. We’ll go into more detail on exactly how that works in the Judging section.

For now, read on and be welcome, and thank you on behalf of all readers for creating wonderful, unique, and fantastical worlds to which we can escape.

-Sean Hinn, E.F.F. Founder 

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What we’re looking for

Most any subgenre of fantasy book may be considered, although it should be noted that the Epic Fantasy Fanatics group has been historically focused on sword-and-sorcery fantasy. That said, many of our readers enjoy urban fantasy, historical fantasy, etc. If there’s magic, they’re gonna love it. 

There are only a few no-nos… Epic Fantasy Fanatics is a family-oriented readers’ group, so of course entered books must not be primarily erotic or sexual in nature. (This includes fantasy harem books, man-chest cover books, you get the picture). We are also not accepting LitRPG books this year, though we expect to have a LitRPG category next year. As far as content goes… a simple guideline: PG, PG-13 and R are fine. If it starts heading too far into NC-17 territory, it might not be a fit. Epic Fantasy Fanatics reserves the right to reject any book from participating in this awards contest, for any reason. If you have been banned from E.F.F. for violating our community guidelines in the past, sorry, you are not eligible.

We’re also disallowing any of our long-time Epic Fantasy Fanatics sponsoring authors from being able to participate in this award. That’s kind of a bummer for them, as they helped make this group what it is, but they’d have a big head start in gathering support for their work. So to keep it fair to you, they can’t compete.

Books must be at least 60,000 words long and must have been *first* published after January 1st, 2014. This is not a “book of the year” award but rather a “recently published” award. 

Authors can enter up to 3 of their own books, max.

An individual publisher may only enter up to ten books on behalf of their authors.

200 books total may be entered; after the first 200 slots are full, entries will be closed. But, if we reach 200 entries quickly, we may open a second flight and have multiple prize pools!

Traditionally published works, small press books, and self-published works are all eligible.

A minimum quality-check will be employed. Books should have a minimum of 3.5 stars on Amazon and at least ten reviews. Exception to the ten-review rule will be made for any books released in the past year, but they will be subject to a manual quality check by our screeners.

No anthologies, collections, or box sets are eligible this year – entries must be single volumes (although they may be part of a series).

We will not be setting a specific number of books we’ll accept per subgenre, but we reserve the right to decide if we have too many books from a particular subgenre being entered (for example, if we get 100 YA vampire books on day one). If that becomes an issue, we may limit the total number of books an individual author can enter to help balance out the mix or close a subgenre altogether.

Fine print:

We will not limit this awards program to only U.S. authors, BUT, your eligibility for prizes will be determined by your local legal jurisdiction. 

By participating, you also give us the right to promote your book for the purposes of the award, including using your name and likeness, the title and cover of the book, whatever descriptive text you provide us with (which may be paraphrased or truncated at our discretion) and any reviews our readers write related to your work. We do NOT assume, nor are you giving us, any rights to your work whatsoever outside of those necessary for the promotion of the awards program. 

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The Judging Process

The 2019 Epic Fantasy Fanatics Readers Choice Award will be just that… a readers choice award. The following nomination and judging process is designed to make sure that all books have an excellent shot at being nominated, and a great shot at winning, whether they are from bestselling, traditionally-published authors, mid-career indies, or debut self-published writers.

Entry (UPDATED 4/1/19)

After entry fees are paid, all books must pass the eligibility check defined above to be considered “entered”. Once entered, four things will happen:

 1. A dedicated page for your book will be created on the Epic Fantasy Fanatics website, including two buttons: one where people can buy your book, and one where reader can officially “nominate” your book for an award. You will receive a link to your page.

2. Epic Fantasy Fanatics will post an announcement on its Facebook page that your book has been entered for the awards, along with a link to your nomination page.

3. Epic Fantasy Fanatics will post an announcement on its Twitter page that your book has been entered for the awards, along with a link to your nomination page.

4. Epic Fantasy Fanatics will post an announcement in a thread in the Epic Fantasy Fanatics Facebook Group, where all entered books are listed.

5. Your book will be listed in the Epic Fantasy Fanatics EFFys Book Search Page, where it will be searchable by name, author, or genre. All results displayed will be in random order, ensuring that no book receives more impressions than another.

Round 1: Nomination

Once your book’s nomination pages are up, readers can click to nominate your book for an EFFy. The nomination process is secure and managed via Facebook Messenger, to ensure against manipulation of the nomination system.

Any individual may nominate TWO books maximum for an EFFy – persons attempting to nominate more than two books will be flagged in our system, and an admin may disqualify ALL their nominations if manipulation is suspected.

Once a book has received 100 nominations, it will be considered Nominated and move on to Round 2.

Yes… that means you should send your fans to your nomination page to get to 100! Once Nominated, you will be allowed to list the following accolade anywhere you market your book: “Nominated for the 2019 Epic Fantasy Fanatics Readers Choice Award.”

Round 2: Quarter-finalist Selection (UPDATED 4/1/19)

16 quarter-finalists will be selected by the following method:

Every book that has received 100 nominations will be assigned to two EFFys Reader Judges. You will be responsible for providing two ebook copies of your book to Epic Fantasy Fanatics to distribute to judges.

Each Nominated book will be read, judged, rated, and reviewed twice according to the method described in Round 4 below.

– The scores from the two judges will be totaled, and the top 16 scoring books will be deemed Quarter-finalists and eligible for Round 3.

– In the event that one judge does not complete their review, the score from the single review will be duplicated to determine final score. If no judge completes a rating and review of a book within the timeframe allotted, it will be reassigned to another judge.

Round 3: Quarter-finals Judging

The 16 Quarter-finalist books shall be read by a select group of eight Epic Fantasy Fanatics readers (to be selected throughout 2019). Judges will NOT be authors or industry professionals, and will be selected from among volunteers based on the thoughtfulness and thoroughness of reviews they have written in the past. Judges will receive some nominal compensation for their work. Each judge shall rate and review two books. To prevent harassment or persuasion by contestants, judges will not be named publicly until after the judging process is complete. Books will be rated in five categories, with up to 10 possible points in each:

Quality of Writing

Story and Plot

Character Development


Overall Enjoyability

The scores from both judges will be combined for each book, with a maximum total score of 100. The top-scoring book shall receive the Grand Prize and be named Winner of the 2019 Epic Fantasy Fanatics Readers Choice Award. The next three top-rated books shall receive second prize and be named Finalists. The next four top-rated books shall receive Third Prize and be named Semi-finalists.

The book receiving the best score in Overall Enjoyability which is NOT the Winner shall be named Judge’s Favorite.

In the event of a scoring tie for the Grand Prize, final selection will be made by popular vote in the Epic Fantasy Fanatics Facebook Group. In the event of a scoring tie for any other prizes, we’ll “round up” – for example, if four books tied for second place, all four of those books would be named Finalists, and the second-place cash prize pool would be split evenly among them.

Fine print:

Not every eventuality can be planned for. In the event that an unforeseen complication arises in the judging process, EFF will strive to err on the side of fairness for all contestants. All discretionary decisions made will be final. 

Any contestant suspected of violating the E.F.F. community guidelines, including self-promotion or shilling in our Facebook group, or acting in such a way as to tarnish the reputation of E.F.F., shall be disqualified, and no refund of entry fees will be given.

We reserve the right to extend the contest deadlines and/or winner announcements by up to 60 days to allow for more entries or more judging time if necessary.

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You’ll like this part.

All participants will receive the following:

– A permanent slot in the EFF Virtual Bookstore

– A dedicated page to your book in the Epic Fantasy Fanatics website, with a link to purchase your book on Amazon

– A dedicated announcement on our Facebook page of your inclusion as a contestant, with a link to your book page on EFF

– A mention in the EFF Newsletter to our fans about your entry, with a link to your book page.



 – As mentioned above, if it looks like we’re filling up to our cap of 200 entrants really quickly, we might decide to have a second flight, in which case, we’d have two Grand Prizes and cash pools. We’ll announce this over email to all contestants if that’s the case.

Official Accolade: Winner of the 2019 Epic Fantasy Fanatics Readers Choice Award

2019 EFFy Trophy

 – This is gonna be gorgeous, unique, and iconic… no cheap plastic stuff here. We’re interviewing sculptors for this now. A mockup of this trophy will be made available as soon as possible.

Professionally produced 30-second book video trailer highlighting your win

 – See an example of production quality here:  https://youtu.be/_L2eIsLmJq0  Winners videos will feature their book and highlight the book’s EFFy victory. A draft of this video will be made available in the coming weeks.

Editorial Review by the Epic Fantasy Fanatics judges, which you may use in all your promotional efforts

 – Reviews will be featured prominently on the E.F.F. website and promoted along with the 2020 awards program.

A graphic link on EVERY page and blog post in Epic Fantasy Fanatics to your book for an entire year.

Dedicated winner’s thread in the Epic Fantasy Fanatics Facebook Group

A dedicated blast to our newsletter subscribers and all persons who nominated a book for the EFFys.


Up to $250 Cash (2.5% of entry fees)

 -Same deal as above… if we have multiple flights, there may be more than 3 second place cash prize winners.

Official Accolade: Finalist for the 2019 Epic Fantasy Fanatics Readers Choice Award

2019 Finalist Award

 – Not the Grand Prize trophy, but very cool nonetheless.

Professionally produced 30-second book trailer highlighting your status as a finalist

– Same as for the Grand Prize winner, but highlighting your book as a Finalist

Editorial Review by the Epic Fantasy Fanatics judges, which you may use in all your promotional efforts

 – Reviews will be featured prominently on the E.F.F. website and promoted along with the 2020 awards program.


Official Accolade: Semi-Finalist for the 2019 Epic Fantasy Fanatics Readers Choice Award

2019 Semi-Finalist Plaque

 – Not a trophy, but still really awesome.

Editorial Review by the Epic Fantasy Fanatics judges, which you may use in all your promotional efforts

 – Reviews will be featured prominently on the E.F.F. website and promoted along with the 2020 awards program.

Judge’s Favorite: (Awarded in addition to a semi-finalist or finalist award)

Official Accolade: “2019 Epic Fantasy Fanatics Readers Choice Award – Judge’s Favorite”

2019 Judge’s Favorite Trophy 

 – Same size as the Finalist trophy

Fine print:

International contestants will be responsible for their own shipping costs related to trophies and plaques. One trophy or plaque per winning book. Additional copies of trophies may be purchased for collaborators such as artists and editors. Delivery of prizes subject to vendor production times. Cash prizes will be paid electronically via PayPal after verifying author or designee’s identity and right to receive such award. E.F.F. reserves the right to substitute prizes of equal or greater value if necessary. No cash equivalent will be made available for non-cash prizes.

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The entry fee for each book is $75.

As a reminder all participants will receive the following:

– A permanent slot in the EFF Virtual Bookstore

– A dedicated page to your book in the Epic Fantasy Fanatics website, with a link to purchase your book on Amazon

– A dedicated announcement on our Facebook page of your inclusion as a contestant, with a link to your book page on EFF

– A mention in the EFF Newsletter to our fans about your entry, with a link to your book page.


Recent changes and updates.

The #2019EFFys: Behind the Curtain #2

April 1st, 2019

 This is NO April Fool’s joke.. we’ve made a very exciting change to the judging rules for the Epic Fantasy Fanatics Readers Choice Awards!

Several authors had offered concerns that the original judging process, whereby the books receiving the most nominations would make the Quarter-finals, would result in a sort of “popularity” contest, where great books might not make the Quarter-finals simply because they did not have a lot of fans yet.

We listened to your concerns. The obvious solution was to have all nominated books be read by judges, but where do you find that many judges?

Problem solved. 

We put the idea out to the Epic Fantasy Fanatics community, and we’ve now got over 100 applications from judges who have volunteered to read and review Nominated books.

How exciting! Now, all authors have to do is get 100 nominations (easy with a little effort – and yes, we’ll provide tips!), and you’re in Round 2! All Round 2 contestants will have their book read and reviewed at least once, hopefully twice, ensuring that:
1. You’ll get great feedback!
2. You’ll get reviews you can use in your marketing!
3. You’ll be judged based on your work rather than its popularity!
4. If you like your review, we’ll post it up on the Epic Fantasy Fanatics website permanently, along with a link to buy your book!
5. The Quarter-finalists will *truly* be chosen by real readers!
We’re committed to making the EFFys the best, most fair Readers Choice award in fantasy. We hope you’re pleased with the changes!

More news coming… stay tuned!!! 


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Additional Terms and Conditions:


  1. Eligibility: The 2019 Epic Fantasy Fanatics Readers Choice Awards (the “Awards Program”) is open only to those who enter via the online Awards Program page according to “ENTER” above and who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry. The Awards Program is void where prohibited by law. Employees of Bobdog Books, LLC (the “Sponsor”) their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, suppliers and their immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of each are not eligible to participate in the Awards Program. The Awards Program is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.
  2. Agreement to Rules: By participating, you agree to be fully unconditionally bound by these Rules, and you represent and warrant that you meet the eligibility requirements set forth herein. In addition, you agree to accept the decisions of Bobdog Books, LLC, as final and binding as it relates to the content. The Awards Program is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws.
  1. Awards Program Period: Entries will be accepted online starting on or about 3/15/19 and ending on 6/30/2019. All online entries must be received by 6/30/2019 11:59PM EST. We reserve the right to extend this deadline by up to 60 days.
  1. How to Enter: The Awards Program must be entered by paying an entry fee for each book to be considered as described in “ENTER” above. Once entry fees are received, entrants will be notified by email and presented an online form through which they may provide details of their entry. The entry must fulfill all Awards Program requirements, as specified in “ELIGIBILITY” above, to be eligible to win a prize. Entries that are not complete or do not adhere to the rules or specifications may be disqualified at the sole discretion of Bobdog Books, LLC. If you use fraudulent methods or otherwise attempt to circumvent the rules your submission may be removed from eligibility at the sole discretion of Bobdog Books, LLC and no refund shall be given.
  1. Prizes: Winners will receive the prizes listed above in the “PRIZES” section. Actual/appraised value may differ at time of prize award. The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by the Sponsor. No cash or other prize substitution permitted except at Sponsor’s discretion. The prize is non-transferable. Any and all prize related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state, and/or local taxes shall be the sole responsibility of the winner. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent by winners is permitted. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for Bobdog Books, LLC to use winner’s name, likeness, and entry for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.
  2. Odds: The odds of winning a prize depend on the number of eligible entries received and the opinions of Epic Fantasy Fanatics readers.
  1. Winner selection and notification: Winners of the Awards Program will be selected be the means described above in the “HOW TO WIN” section. Winners will be notified via email to the email address they entered the Awards Program with within five (5) days following the winner selection. Bobdog Books, LLC shall have no liability for a winner’s failure to receive notices due to winners’ spam, junk e-mail or other security settings or for winners’ provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If the selected winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim the prize within 15 days from the time award notification was sent, or fails to timely return a completed and executed declaration and releases as required, prize may be forfeited and an alternate winner selected.

The receipt by winner of the prize offered in this Awards Program is conditioned upon compliance with any and all federal and state laws and regulations. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY ANY WINNER (AT SPONSOR’S SOLE DISCRETION) WILL RESULT IN SUCH WINNER’S DISQUALIFICATION AS WINNER OF THE AWARDS PROGRAM AND ALL PRIVILEGES AS WINNER WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED. 

  1. Rights Granted by you: By entering this content you understand that Bobdog Books, LLC, anyone acting on behalf of Bobdog Books, LLC, or its respective licensees, successors and assigns will have the right, where permitted by law, without any further notice, review or consent to print, publish, broadcast, distribute, and use, worldwide in any media now known or hereafter in perpetuity and throughout the World, your entry, including, without limitation, the entry and winner’s name, portrait, picture, voice, likeness, image or statements about the Awards Program, and biographical information as news, publicity or information and for trade, advertising, public relations and promotional purposes without any further compensation. NOTE: THIS SECTION DOES NOT CONFER ANY BOOK OWNERSHIP, PUBLICATION, OR ROYALTY RIGHTS TO BOBDOG BOOKS, LLC, only the rights necessary for successful promotion of the Awards Program.
  1. Terms: Bobdog Books, LLC reserves the right, in its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Awards Program should (in its sole discretion) a virus, bugs, non-authorized human intervention, fraud or other causes beyond its control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness or proper conduct of the Awards Program. In such case, Bobdog Books, LLC may select the recipients from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by Bobdog Books, LLC. Bobdog Books, LLC reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Awards Program or website or violates these Terms & Conditions.

Bobdog Books, LLC has the right, in its sole discretion, to maintain the integrity of the Awards Program, to void votes for any reason, including, but not limited to; multiple nominations from the same user from different IP addresses; multiple nominations from the same computer in excess of that allowed by Awards Program rules; or the use of bots, macros or scripts or other technical means for entering, voting on, or nominating entries for awards.

Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any web site or undermine the legitimate operation of the Awards Program may be a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, Bobdog Books, LLC reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

By entering the Awards Program you agree to receive email newsletters periodically from Bobdog Books, LLC. You can opt-out of receiving this communication at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the newsletter.

  1. Limitation of Liability: By entering you agree to release and hold harmless Bobdog Books, LLC and its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from (i) such entrant’s participation in the Awards Program and/or his/her acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize or any portion thereof, (ii) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunctioning of any computer, cable, network, hardware or software; (iii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions or telephone or Internet service; (iv) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (v) electronic or human error which may occur in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries.
  1. Disputes: THIS AWARDS PROGRAM IS GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE STATE OF TEXAS, WITHOUT RESPECT TO CONFLICT OF LAW DOCTRINES. As a condition of participating in this Awards Program, participant agrees that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Awards Program, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in Texas having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, other than participant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. costs associated with entering this Awards Program), and participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.
  1. Privacy Policy: Information submitted with an entry is subject to the Privacy Policy stated on the EpicFantasyFanatics.com Web Site at the bottom of every page.
  1. 13. Winners List: To obtain a copy of the winner’s name or a copy of these Official Rules, mail your request along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Bobdog Books, LLC 4831 Merlot Ave #320 Grapevine, TX 76051. Requests must be received no later than Jan 1, 2021.
  1. Sponsor: The Sponsor of the Awards Program is Bobdog Books, LLC 4831 Merlot Ave #320 Grapevine, TX 76051.