Publishing by Popular Vote

A few months ago, I wrote about the new publishing model and shared that I have entered Kingfisher: Slave to Honor, my latest novel into the mix.

Kingfisher Cover

Briefly, Inkitt is a publisher who, through a range of analytics, bases their decision whether to publish by judging people’s responses to a novel. They define themselves as “the first reader-powered book publisher.” One hundred people downloaded the novel in an amazingly short period and some have read and left reviews. If you are one of these: THANK YOU!

Whether you have read it or not, in less than five minutes, you can help me secure a book contract:

If you downloaded the book:

  1. Please read (or skim through if you are pushed for time), answer their questions, and leave an honest review.
  2. There is a button to vote. Please vote!

If you have not downloaded the book but follow my work, please click here and vote for the book.

Kingfisher: Slave to Honor is not a Young Adult novel. It is medieval fantasy and has an edgy sliver of grimdark running through it. If you purchased the Wycaan Master series for your children, this one’s for you.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to help me realize my dream of getting Kingfisher a publishing deal. It means a lot.


Alon / elfwriter


Alon Shalev is the author of the 2013 Eric Hoffer YA Book Award winner, At The Walls of Galbrieth, and five other Wycaan Master books all released by Tourmaline Books. The link above takes you to the Kindle versions. For all other eReaders, please click here.

More at and on Twitter (@elfwriter).

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Awkward Sex Change

Last week I shared feedback I had received to add stronger female characters in my YA novels to distinguish them from traditional epic fantasy. I have to admit to feeling motivated to do this just from a desire to contribute to breaking from the sexist images that I feel pervade in millennial culture (another topic in itself).

Heeding this advice, I have begun to convert a powerful and wise (male) teacher into a female. It has been an interesting and revealing process.  At first, it seems just a matter of changing he to she, him to her, and man to woman.

But as I make the conversion there seem to be a number of questions arising and a sharp look at his/her behavior. Firstly, I realized that the teacher does almost all the cooking. When it was a guy I never noticed: now I do and feel a need for her to teach our hero some cookery lessons.

There are other scenes that need to modified. Imagining the shock when my young teenage son reads that they cast off their clothes and jump into the lake, one would assume naked, made sense when it was two guys, but now an elderly  woman and teenage boy… hmmm.

The fighting aspect doesn’t faze me. I am happy that she is a fearsome warrior and that she teaches to try and solve conflicts in a peaceful way first. Ironically, as the reluctant teacher spends more time with the protagonist, he becomes more paternal to the young elf.  While I enjoyed this when the teacher was a man, as a woman it seems almost…stereotypical.

Changing the gender of a character, I discovered, is far more intricate than just converting he to she. But in doing so, I feel I am strengthening my novel and the epic fantasy genre. More importantly, I hope that I am making a statement that will resonate with my two sons and their friends.


Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He has written two fantasy novels and the first will enter the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in January 2012. More on Alon Shalev at on Twitter (@elfwriter).