Our third annual Best Book of the Year Award winner is going to be announced the first week of June. Leading up to that announcement, a few things need to take place.
1) The books we published in 2012 need to be qualitatively narrowed down to roughly 50 or less (that’s about 2%, so yes, we do cut deep). We do this process throughout the year by considering factors like editing, front cover design, back cover content, retail price, subject matter, interior design, interior content, etc. The books that make this cut are officially invited to the Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards. Those invitations were sent out earlier this year to our EVVY nominees.
2) The EVVY submissions are judged by an independent panel of judges on behalf of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. The judges are judging not only Outskirts Press books, but all the books submitted to this contest by publishers and self-publishing authors from around the country. The EVVY judges arrive upon a selection of “EVVY Finalists” and notify all the participating publishers. These EVVY Finalists were determined within the past 2 weeks.
3) The EVVY Awards Banquet takes place to announce the First, Second, Third Place, and Merit Award winners in each category from among the EVVY Finalists. This Awards banquet and reception occurs this coming Saturday night in the Denver Tech Center. I will be on hand to receive awards for our authors who are unable to attend in person. Joining me at the EVVYs will be Rob M. from our marketing division, Lora G. from our tech & analytics division, and of course my beautiful wife.
4) From among the Outskirts Press EVVY winners, three Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year finalists will be announced on May 20th.
Since we know every EVVY Finalist wins an EVVY Award, and since we know winning an EVVY 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or Merit Award is a prerequisite to being an Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year finalist, then we know that our three finalists, and the ultimate Best Book of the Year for 2012, is among our 12 EVVY Finalists. And those finalists are below.
One of these books will be the 2012 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year. Which one will it be and which author will win the $1,500 prize? Stay tuned in the coming weeks to find out (and to vote in a public poll to determine the ultimate winner). Congratulations to all our contenders.
Before I get to the topic of the EVVY Awards and our own Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Awards, both of which are taking place in May, I want to briefly mention a value of Pinterest. It occurred to me as I was writing my last post, particularly this sentence: “In fact, you can benefit the American Red Cross right now with your 10% discounted purchase of Fandemonium Volume 1 and Fandemonium Volume 2.”
In many of our blog postings, both on this blog and on our Self Publishing News blog at http://blog.outskirtspress.com we refer to multiple books, as I did in that sentence above. In most cases, the books have a commonality to them, which, of course, is why they’re being mentioned together. In the case above, the commonality was that both books were Fandemonium Facebook Anthologies. In other cases, we might refer to our top 10 best selling books for a particular month, or a great selection of romantic books for Valentine’s Day, or a collection of books for Cinco de Mayo, as we did yesterday on our Outskirts Press blog.
Before Pinterest, in order to direct people to such a collection, one would first have to create a blog posting about it, as we did for the Cinco de Mayo books. But now, a variety of products can be collected together on a Pinterest Board, and you can point people/clients/customers/consumers to that specific board with one single link (as opposed to using multiple links as I did when referring to Fandemonium Volume 1 and Volume 2 in my previous post). The advantage of course is the “call-to-action.” Having one clear call-to-action is always more successful that having multiple links fighting for the click’s attention.
I’ll be talking more about getting the most from Pinterest in the future, but I wanted to mention that convenience factor while the applicable post was still fresh. So, with no further ado, you can see all the Outskirts Press Anthologies simply by clicking here (yes, on Pinterest).
Free self-publishing is everywhere. The problem is, you usually get what you pay for.
But not when you publish for free in the 3rd annual Fandemonium Facebook anthology, exclusively from Outskirts Press. With this yearly anthology we give 40-50 talented writers the opportunity to publish some of their copyright-protected content for free in a collection of work that allows them to experience first-hand the benefits of working with a high-quality, full service self publishing firm. Each contributor keeps all the rights to their respective work and the royalties go to the American Red Cross. Free publication and helping a worthwhile cause? No wonder each issue is such a hit with our Facebook friends.
Here’s how it works…
Now Accepting Submissions for the Third Annual Fandemonium Anthology from Outskirts Press
It’s that time of year again! Fandemonium 3 is coming and you are invited to be a part of it!
Have you written a poem or short story that you would like to enter for a chance to be published for free in this new anthology featuring our talented Facebook fans?
Each year, Fandemonium brings Outskirts Press Facebook fans together to experience the joy of publishing with Outskirts Press first-hand, benefiting a great cause along the way.
Submitting your work for consideration is simple. Here’s what to do:
- Become an Outskirts Press Facebook fan by “liking” our Facebook page. If you’ve already liked us, great!
- Post your submission as a Note in Facebook. Then tag the Outskirts Press Facebook Page in your Note.
- Be sure to submit your entry before April 30th, and remember to tell your friends to vote for your submission by “liking” it.
Submissions with the highest number of votes will be considered for inclusion in our upcoming Fandemonimum Volume 3 anthology. Submissions can be fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. Short entries are best for anthologies, so submissions under 5000 words will be considered first.
You will retain 100% of the copyright to your material. By submitting content, you confirm that you are the sole copyright holder to the material you are submitting and that you grant us a non-exclusive right to use the materials you submit through our social media channels and within the Facebook Anthology when it is published and distributed. Furthermore, you understand that royalties from the sale of Fandemonium are not split among the contributors but rather go to the American Red Cross.
Ready to publish your own book as well?
A few posts ago I discussed the second annual “Share the Love” video contest that Outskirts Press held for our published authors on Facebook. This month we have been collecting submissions from our Facebook fans for our 3rd annual Fandemonium Facebook Anthology. In May, we will announce the winner of the 3rd annual Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year award. This summer we will find out whether or not Outskirts Press is awarded its 5th placement in a row on the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing companies. And in October, we officially celebrate our 10-year anniversary.
All this goes to show that there are many ways other than “anniversaries” you as a business owner can use to celebrate longevity in your respective industries. And communicating longevity is important, because longevity speaks volumes to potential clients, customers, and consumers; deep down most people understand that a business which has succeeded for a long time in this dog-eat-dog world is a company they can have confidence working with.
Yes, there are always exceptions to prove the rule, such as the case of Vantage Press, a sort-of-competitor of ours that “ceased business operations” at the end of 2012 after a long and storied history. Sadly, when they closed, their authors were left in something of a lurch – with many authors not receiving royalties due to them and authors in the middle of the publishing pipeline being left out to dry without refund. I’m an author myself, as well as a business owner, so I empathize with all sides involved. No company plans to fail, but it’s not the customer’s responsibility or obligation to bear the brunt of that failure if it happens. Being prepared for that possibility is the responsibility of the executives at every company. That’s why, at Outskirts Press, we have a cash-flush savings account devoted solely for our authors exclusively for this purpose, so that all outstanding royalties would still be paid to them and any remaining authors in the pipeline would receive refunds.
Of course, all business owners work extremely hard to ensure it doesn’t come to that. Every day we share a new comment from one of our authors and many of our authors voice the same common sentiment — that they feel “lucky” to have discovered Outskirts Press. That is always gratifying to read, and what may feel like “luck” to them is the result of a lot of preparation and hard work from all of us at Outskirts Press. Like most successful companies, we are prepared for the worst, but plan for (and anticipate) the best.
And speaking of best, over the course of the next few posts, I’ll write more about the 3rd annual Fandemonium Anthology, the 3rd annual Best Book of the Year awards, the 5th placement (hopefully) on the Inc. 500/5000 list, and our 10-year anniversary.
It’s been over two months since my last post summarizing Guy Kawasaki’s presentation at the Inc. 500/5000 conference I attended last October, during which he offered an informative session about cultivating and maintaining “enchantment” in your customers or clients. I have been discussing how his concepts are applicable for us at Outskirts Press so perhaps they can also help you apply the information to your own entrepreneurial efforts (starting a business, running a company or yes, even marketing a published book). Thankfully, one of Guy’s tips toward enchantment did NOT include being more timely in completing a blog series…
Step 9 is to enchant up.
Guy summarized this step pretty rapidly with “Deliver bad news early.”
Step 10 is to enchant down.
Here, the gist of the step was to empower the employees of the company, help them master new skills, give them autonomy, and empower them to take action.
Admittedly, these last two steps (and even 7 & 8 to a lesser degree) are shorter on information than the first steps in this blog series, but that’s not entirely my fault. Certainly, I’m guilty of waiting too long to write this, and have not retained as much information in memory as I could have, but the first 5-6 steps were also given much more time and attention in Guy’s presentation by Guy himself. By the time we got to step 7, he realized he was nearly out of time and quickly glossed over steps 8, 9, and 10.
Even so, it was still the best presentation at the conference, in my opinion. And if such a celebrated speaker can experience a moment of mis-timing, perhaps there is hope for the rest of us as we speak and present.
Here’s hoping I attend the upcoming Inc. 500/5000 conference this year in Washington D.C. to see if another presenter reaches or surpasses the bar set by Guy last October. I’ll go if Outskirts Press wins its 5th placement on the Inc. 500/5000 list in a row, something less than 1,000 total companies have ever accomplished. We’ve applied and now we simply have to wait until August to learn of the results. 2012 was our best year ever, thanks to our wonderful, supportive authors our talented personnel, and the continued explosive growth of self publishing in general, so I’m cautiously optimistic…
I’ve been on the Internet since the fall of 1991. This was before webpages, when chat rooms were calls “MUDs” and Yahoo Groups were called “Usenet.” I don’t think I’ve gone a week since without “logging-in” at least once. That’s over two decades of constant online activity. I could use a break. Some would even argue I NEEDED a break. So this spring when our son had a two-week break (thank you, Douglas County School District), I decided to “unplug.” Going cold turkey was difficult. But, going to a foreign country helped when the “shakes” got too bad.
Now, I’m back, but the break was great. It helped me see that the structure and people we’ve put into place at Outskirts Press operate just fine without me. That’s great to see. Come to think of it, I just may unplug more frequently now…
In my previous post I displayed our new Memoir Writing Kit video, which we created with the assistance of a third party template. The advantage of using a template for videos is the lower cost. The disadvantage is the lack of control you have over the finer details. Once we determined the template was not going to be sufficient for the purposes of creating a whole new “Introductory” video for Outskirts Press, we got to work with a creative content agency on a custom-made video. The process took about a month (longer production time on a custom made video is another disadvantage, perhaps).
It was completed last week and here it is: