DartFrog looks for the best of the best in self-published literature. Here are a few keys to determining whether your book will rise to the level of excellence we expect in a book.
Your book should be as polished as a traditionally published book. Self-published books start at a disadvantage, because most people expect them to be sub-par. The professionalism of the binding, artwork, formatting, font choice...all of it matters alot! If someone can tell a book has been self-published without even opening it, it will never succeed.
The downfall of many self-published authors is they think that they can edit their own work (or they have a friend who can edit for them). Working with a professional editor is a must.
Too often, self-published books lack the proper pacing of a professionally edited/published book. There is too much competition on the bookstore shelves for a book without excellent pacing to succeed. This is one way an editor can be of tremendous benefit.
When stories lack focus, the story gets stale quick. This is another way we can tell if an editor has been involved. There's a real discipline to leaving out material that isn't essential to the storyline. If we see extraneous content in a story, or a lack of focus in the storyline, we will reject it, because so too will customers.
Of course, reading is subjective. We all have genres and styles that we like. But at DartFrog, we don't base an evaluation on whether we like the genre, or whether we would want to buy the book in a store. We base our evaluation on whether the story is well constructed, understanding that people have tastes in topics that are different than ours.