Marina Aris is the Director of Bookstore Relations for DartFrog Books. She works closely with booksellers across the U.S. to distribute the best in self-publishing. DartFrog is the only source for exceptional self-published literature. The bookstores in our network say yes to placing our books on their shelves.
Marina is also an indie author, the founder of the Brooklyn Writers Project and the Brooklyn Writers Press. Since 2016 she has hosted an annual Indie Author Day in North Brooklyn and enjoys encouraging and supporting indie authors as they learn the business side of bringing a book to market. She is also the co-host of Life Lines The Books Podcast and a Board member of Pen Parentis, an organization supporting parent writers. Marina is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and a NYC Co-Ambassador for the Authors Guild.
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 a lot! 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.
Lesson given by Marina:
Getting Your Self-Published Book Onto Bookstore Shelves 2018