The Masada Faktor, my new book, a Mediterranean noir, received an outstanding rating in the Self-Published e-Book Awards. I am honored, thrilled, and grateful to present the comments below.
3rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards
Entry Title: The Masada Faktor
Author: Naomi Litvin
Judge Number: 1
Entry Category: Mainstream/Literary Fiction
"Gorgeous cover image of the stained glass window and brilliant to share the history of it. That lets the reader know that truly unique history is on the way, starting here. We get a nice art history lesson for those who might not be familiar with Maumejean Brothers.
The author demonstrates a tremendous familiarity with art history, and shares it with us in an engaging way.
The story has excellent sensory details. Author has taken good care to layer each scene, with not just views but experiential details that draw the reader in. We get at the start a musty smell, which we can smell as we’re reading, and the taste of wine. Author adds a lot of depth to the story with these well thought-out details.
Watch out for those little moments in which social media is explained. It comes off as a little awkward, and removes the reader from the book experience. Trust that your audience knows what Twitter is without interrupting the narrative and jerking the reader out of the book’s descriptive depths.
Author conveys movement very well. We get a nice fluidity in movement descriptions that I found very impressive. And we get visceral recaps of Nazi history that disturb us.
These are well-handled, weaving a tapestry of history for a very naturally-written journey through that time and its tensions.
Good use of the letters to bring us back and forth in time. Just watch out for some small typos like missing punctuation that distract the reader. Transitions between chapters are exceptional, and the ending more than satisfies with the question of ‘are we still not strong enough?’ Impressive."
Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding.”
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4
Plot and Story Appeal: 5
Character Appeal and Development: 5
Voice and Writing Style: 5
Our judges all have professional experience in their background, whether it's as a teacher, editor, publisher, agent, published author, etc.