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How to Make Sure Your First Book Isn’t Like Your First Pancake

The first pancake off the skillet is always a little…off. Whether it be the result of our over-eager bellies forcing our hands to pour the batter onto the not yet fully heated griddle, flipping too early, or just the consequence of purchasing cheap cookware, the inevitable wonkiness of the first flapjack is a virtual certainty.

Without the proper guidance and support, it’s easy for your first attempt at self-publishing to feel like the first pancake. But the first pancake doesn’t need to be a throw away. And to help ensure that it’s not, DartFrog launched Canoe Tree Press, a full-service solution for independent authors who want to self-publish and get it right on the first try. In this article, we’ll explore how Canoe Tree Press helps guide authors on their journey to self-published success.

First Impressions are Important

In addition to being a distributor and publisher, DartFrog is also a designer. We know how to publish book cover designs that look professional and are bookstore ready. If your book looks like the first pancake, no one will want to read it. But more importantly, you won’t be proud of it.

Presentation Matters

The proper layout of a book is just as important as properly setting your table for a meal with guests. You want it to look beautiful and to flow well. In the same way that plopping a plate on the counter might not seem as inviting as a well-designed table setting, simply adding margins to a page does not create an engaging format for readers experiencing your book for the first time. As authors, readers are our guests. A beautifully laid out table is inviting, just as a beautifully laid out book begs to be read. Both inspire you to sit down and stay a while. Both make you excited for what’s about to be served.

Quality Ingredients Make the Best Meals

No matter how perfectly you set your table, if the food is no good your guests’ experience will suffer. When it comes to self-publishing, the importance of editing cannot be overstated. And while Canoe Tree Press does not require self-publishing authors to have their work edited, we will let you know if we see any issues in the quality of your writing that might cause readers to stop and find a new book. Whether these issues are addressed is fully up to you, since as the publisher, you determine your book’s fate.

But for those authors that want their self-published book to stand out among the crowd, taking the time to properly edit and refine your story is the most important part of the process. It is also the most important factor in DartFrog’s decision-making process as we determine whether to select a book for placement in bookstores or promote it to 30,000+ book clubs through our partnership with

The Takeaway

If you want to ensure that your first self-published book doesn’t go the way of the first pancake, DartFrog’s full-service self-publishing solution (Canoe Tree Press) may be for you. Less expensive than the others and offering the possibility for bookstore placement and book club distribution, there is no comparable turnkey self-publishing service.

Thank you to Mary Kay Watson for the idea of comparing the first book to the first pancake!