Archive

Posts Tagged ‘self publishing’

Celebrating 10 years of self publishing with Outskirts Press

January 10, 2014 Leave a comment

In the category of Better Late than Never : Happy New Year.

Our company profile page at Outskirts Press gets updated the first month of every year to update our total title counts and summarize how the previous calendar year’s accomplishments fit into the overall picture of our company, and the industry of self publishing in general. I’ve posted the 2013 updated profile below.  2013 was a banner year for us and our authors. We published more titles by more writers than ever before, launched our mobile site for cell phones, mailed exciting royalty checks to our authors, and welcomed our first-ever Executive Vice President (Kelly Schuknecht, who was promoted in January).  Here’s the updated profile below; and you can see the entire thing, in all its glory, on our website by clicking here.

Here’s to a great 2014…


Over ten years ago, Outskirts Press was founded as a better way for authors to write, publish, and market their books. Outskirts Press incorporated in Colorado in 2003, and through strategic partnerships, exemplary customer service, and unmatched quality, Outskirts Press quickly became the fastest-growing full-service book publishing and book marketing firm.

The years between 2004 and 2006 marked a growth rate in excess of 1,500%, an accomplishment that was recognized in July 2007 by The Denver Business Journal when Outskirts Press was honored to be the 3rd fastest-growing privately held company (in any industry) in Colorado.  By the end of 2006, Outskirts Press had nearly 1,000 books in print,  all of them available worldwide through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble online, among others. And by the end of 2007, Outskirts Press more than doubled its title totals again to more than 2,000 total titles published.

self publishing books

In 2008 The Denver Business Journal once again recognized Outskirts Press as the fastest-growing publisher, and in fact, the fastest-growing privately held small-to-medium sized company in Colorado (in any industry), boasting growth of over 500% for the years between 2005-2007.

In 2009 Outskirts Press published its 5,000th title and became the only self-publishing company to appear on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing privately held companies.

In 2010, 2011, and 2012, Outskirts Press repeated its appearance on the Inc. 5000 list three more times, and became the only self-publishing company to appear on the list of top 5,000 fastest growing private businesses in America for four straight years.

2012 also marked the 10-year anniversary of the company’s founding and the publication of its 10,000 title. What took seven years to accomplish (publishing 5,000 different titles) was repeated in less than three.

Ten short years after its incorporation in 2003, 2013 was a celebratory and banner year for Outskirts Press, and heralded the maturation of an industry success story. Outskirts Press published more books in 2013 than in its first five years combined, and, in fact, more books in a single year than ever before, continuing to exceed industry averages with double-digit percentage growth of new titles and authors.

Now, more than ever, self-publishing writers are recognizing the value of high quality production, superior customer service, and the continued necessity of hard copy books to differentiate their contributions to the literary world from the masses of unfiltered, unprofessional electronic-only books.

So how does Outskirts Press remain the fastest-growing full-service publishing provider?

  • It begins with our Mission Statement: To exceed the expectations of every author we help publish.
  • It continues with our commitment to conservationism and recycling. Our most popular book sizes offer a recycled paper-stock option, featuring 30% post-consumer.
  • It grows with our authors.  Just ask Gang Chen, who earned over $100,000 in 180 days; or Sally Shields, the stay-at-home mom-turned-2-time Amazon.com bestseller; or Ronnie Lee, who has become one of the most prolific published authors of our generation with the assistance of Outskirts Press.

As we look toward the future, our commitment to produce high-quality books and offer high levels of support to our authors in all three phases of their journey (writing, publishing, marketing), only grows stronger.

For instance, to complement our authors’ hard copy printed paperback and hardback editions, we have embraced digital e-books with three a la carte digital publishing options to make electronic readers even easier to reach for our authors:

 We have embraced social media to help our authors further promote their books and enhance their careers:

  • Our author community on Facebook is the most popular and most active among all full-service self-publishing firms.
  • Our author channel on YouTube features the most book videos among all full-service, high-quality firms.
  • Our company blog keeps our authors informed on industry news, exciting promotions, and marketing tactics.
  • Our Twitter account keeps our authors up-to-date, sometimes up-to-the-minute.
  • Our Pinterest boards keep authors and readers apprised of Top 10 monthly bestsellers, our most prolific and successful writers, and genre collections/themes to celebrate holidays and special events.

By publishing our own series of books, we help authors navigate the sometimes tricky waters of book publishing. And by offering free publication in various anthologies through the year, we demonstrate how easy, fast, and fun it can be to publish with Outskirts Press.

Through it all, Outskirts Press authors have remained our main focal point. With over 10,000 published titles, Outskirts Press continues to pour development dollars and resources into further improvements to the Outskirts Press website and its growing list of writing, publishing, and marketing services/products to further support our authors’ goals and dreams.

What does success mean to you? By any measure, you will find it here with Outskirts Press and we look forward to helping you on that journey.

Many of us, and some of our family members, took a moment during a summer picnic to pose…

Are you ready to get published? Click here to visit Outskirts Press Self Publishing now.

Self Publishing 2013

January 17, 2013 Leave a comment

Every January we update our “About Us” information with milestones we reached in the previous year and an update to our “Total Titles Published” chart.  Now that 2012 has come to a close and 2013 is underway, here’s our updated information about Outskirts Press:

Over ten years ago, Outskirts Press was founded as a better way for authors to write, publish, and market their books. Outskirts Press incorporated in Colorado in 2003, and through strategic partnerships, exemplary customer service, and unmatched quality, Outskirts Press quickly became the fastest-growing full-service book publishing and book marketing firm.

The years between 2004 and 2006 marked a growth rate in excess of 1,500%, an accomplishment that was recognized in July 2007 by The Denver Business Journal when Outskirts Press was honored to be the 3rd fastest-growing privately held company (in any industry) in Colorado.  By the end of 2006, Outskirts Press already had nearly 1,000 books in print,  all of them available worldwide through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble online, among others. And by the end of 2007, Outskirts Press more than doubled its title totals again.

In 2008 The Denver Business Journal once again recognized Outskirts Press as the fastest-growing publisher, and in fact, the fastest-growing privately held small-to-medium sized company in Colorado (in any industry), boasting growth of over 500% for the years between 2005-2007.

2009 and 2010 marked more new milestones, as well. In 2009 Outskirts Press published its 5,000th title and became the only self-publishing company to appear on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing privately held companies.

In 2010, 2011, and 2012, Outskirts Press repeated its appearance on the Inc. 5000 list three more times, and became the only self-publishing company to appear on the list of top 5,000 fastest growing businesses in America for four straight years.

2012 also marked the 10-year anniversary of the company’s founding and the year it passed the milestone of 10,000 published books.

So how does Outskirts Press remain the fastest-growing full-service self publishing provider?

  • It begins with our Mission Statement: To exceed the expectations of every author we help publish.
  • It continues with our commitment to conservationism and recycling. Our most popular book sizes offer a recycled paper-stock option, featuring 30% post-consumer.
  • It grows with our authors.  Just ask Gang Chen, who earned over $100,000 in 180 days; or Sally Shields, the stay-at-home mom-turned-2-time Amazon.com bestseller; or Ronnie Lee, who has become one of the most prolific published authors of our generation with the assistance of Outskirts Press.

As we look toward the future, our commitment to produce high-quality books and offer high levels of support to our authors in all three phases of their journey (writing, publishing, marketing), only grows stronger.

For instance, we have embraced digital e-books with three a la carte digital publishing options:

 We have embraced social media to help our authors further promote their books:

And, we practice what we preach, publishing our own series of books to help authors navigate the sometimes tricky waters of book publishing and offering free publication in various anthologies through the year to showcase how easy, fast, and fun it can be to publish with Outskirts Press.

Through it all, Outskirts Press authors have remained our main focal point. With over 10,000 published titles, Outskirts Press continues to pour development dollars and resources into further improvements to the Outskirts Press website and its growing list of writing, publishing, and marketing services/products to further support our authors’ goals and dreams.

What does success mean to you? By any measure, you will find it here with Outskirts Press and we look forward to helping you on that journey.

Many of us, and some of our family members, took a moment during a summer picnic to pose…

Self Publishing Videos for Outskirts Press

December 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Before I get back to our Guy Kawasaki series about the 10 steps of enchantment, I will continue this small break to mention the Thanksgiving Video contest we recently held at Outskirts Press. We invited all our published authors to record a video that thanked whomever they wanted to thank for being published — their spouse, teacher, colleague, etc.

Among all the videos we received, we selected three finalists based largely upon the number of “likes” each video received on our Facebook Page.  Those three finalists took part in a public poll on the Self Publishing News blog where anyone could vote on their favorite. The winner would receive a free iPad Mini. You can view all three finalists on this blog posting here.

When all was said and done, Bob Ralston, author of God, Physics and Me was named our big winner for his technically impressive and charming video submission, which you can view below:

Thank you to Bob, and to all our Outskirts Press authors.

Self-Publishing Verdict: TERRIFIC!

I have a theory that I’m testing with this post.  A recent post was titled, “Self-Publishing Verdict: UNBELIEVABLE” and it was among the highest clicked/read postings on my blog in quite a while.  So that means this posting should be just as popular, right?

Probably not, and here’s my hypothesis: The word “terrific” is rarely associated with anything but positive, good news.  “Unbelievable” on the other hand, is just as often uttered during moments of disbelief or anger as it is during moments of exhalation (as was the case with the author in my previous posting).  So, my theory is that the posting with “Unbelievable” in the subject will remain more popular than this one because we, as human beings, seem wired to be more curious about BAD news than GOOD news.  And that’s kind of … sad.

So, I’m sorry to disappoint those of us who fall into that category, but the following self-publishing verdict from David Brookover is primarily good news. I say primarily because he does have a little bump that needs smoothing — and that should make the cynics happy.  So we’re ALL getting what we want with this posting, and that, if nothing else, IS terrific.

David is a long time author at Outskirts Press, having published his first book Mortal Eclipse with us WAY back in 2004, a lifetime ago in the self-publishing world, and just having published his fifth book, Ghostworld, this month.  He wrote me this:

“Hi Brent!

I received my author’s copies of Ghostworld today, and the books look terrific!  It’s wonderful to see all those months of hard labor packaged so attractively by your team at Outskirts Press.  That’s main reason that I keep coming back to you, book after book!

I also wanted to tell you how professional and personable Bridget and Terri were throughout each phase of this publishing project.  They were a pleasure to work with, and I’d certainly want them on my side again for the publishing of my next book!  And Dana was just as thorough and pleasant, too, although she was involved for only a short while getting my private label ISBN number for Ghostworld.

Now I’m going to have to work with marketing to iron out a couple of problems, one being that B&N has the book’s publisher listed as Outskirts Press instead of Curlew Press.  The other is that Amazon doesn’t show “Search Inside the Book” for Ghostworld yet.  I’m sure they’ll be as proficient and personable as the trio I mentioned above, and we’ll get those issues resolved quickly.

Brent, you must be doing something right, because you continually attract the cream-of-the-crop to Outskirts Press.  Best of luck to you and Outskirts, and I look forward to working with you and your wonderful staff again soon!

Sincerely,

Dave Brookover”

Both “bumps in the road” he brings up should be resolved soon.

Categories: self publishing Tags:

A self-publishing author’s experience with Outskirts Press

Last week I shared an email I received from one of our authors in relation to the custom covers we designed for her.  I’d like to share another email I received, this more a more general reaction to the entire self publishing experience as a whole. All of us at Outskirts Press work hard to make sure all our authors have wonderful experiences (and we get it right 99% of the time), so it’s always gratifying to receive emails like this from one of our recently-published authors (I recevied this roughly around Easter).

“Dear Anna, Brent, and Jodee:

I really wasn’t expecting my free copies of A Guide to the Psalms of David when it arrived earlier today,  since there was no entry under shipping and I assumed “processed” under orders simply meant my entry on the website was accepted and my book was now in the queue to be printed. Unprepared, I can only relate that when I opened up the package and saw my book, I was stunned;  elated, on the one hand, because of the gorgeous cover–in which credit goes, as you know, to my wife Audrey–terrified, on the other hand, with the realization I now have to rev up to a significantly higher standard if I expect to go out into the world and inspire people with, in the words of John Adams, poetry “superior to all odes, hymns, and songs, in any language.”

But regardless of what the future brings, I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for helping me bring this creation–because it is more than just a book–into the world. And I dare say, the cover alone, is healing: the colors and the representation of David contemplating his harp. (You might recall from the Bible when King Saul had attacks of melancholy, David’s harp playing soothed him.)

All the best, and whatever holiday you are celebrating at this time of year, may it be with much Joy!!!

Sincerely,

Steve Rosner

P.S. Please thank the elf who corrected the interior cover by removing a superfluous ‘the’ in the title. Although it was discovered at the last minute and corrected on the cover itself, I opted the leave the interior as is, not wanting to delay the book any longer.”

 

The new “About Us” page

February 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Yesterday I posted the 2011 version of the About Us page that appeared on our self-publishing website. It contained the “About Us” story through 2010. As 2011 came to an end, we needed a new version for 2012, which continued the story of our company and our successfully published authors through 2011.  Consolidating 10 years of achievements and milestones into one page was becoming laborious (to read), so with this version, we shorted it considerably. Here’s the new version:

Ten years ago, Outskirts Press was founded by author Brent Sampson in 2002 as a result of his personal frustrations with getting published. Outskirts Press incorporated in Colorado in 2003, and through strategic partnerships with companies like Writer’s Digest, Outskirts Press quickly became the fastest-growing full-service book publishing and book marketing firm.

The years between 2004 and 2006 marked a growth rate in excess of 1,500%, an amazing accomplishment that was publicized in July 2007 by The Denver Business Journal when Outskirts Press was recognized as the 3rd fastest-growing privately held company in Colorado.  By the end of 2006, Outskirts Press already had nearly 1,000 books in print,  all of them available worldwide through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble online, among others. And by the end of 2007, Outskirts Press had more than doubled its title totals again.

self publishing books

In 2008 The Denver Business Journal recognized Outskirts Press for the second year in a row as the fastest-growing publisher, and in fact, the fastest-growing privately held small-to-medium sized company in Colorado (in any industry), boasting growth of over 500% for the years between 2005-2007.

2009 and 2010 marked more new milestones, as well. In 2009 Outskirts Press published its 5,000th title and became the only self-publishing company to appear on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing privately held companies.

And in 2010, and again in 2011, Outskirts Press repeated its appearance on the Inc. 5000 twice more, and became the only self-publishing company to appear on the list of top 5,000 fastest growing businesses in America for three years in a row.

So how does Outskirts Press remain the fastest-growing full-service publishing provider?

  • It begins with our Mission Statement: To exceed the expectations of every author we help publish.
  • It continues with our commitment to conservationism and recycling. Our most popular book sizes offer a recycled paper-stock option, featuring 30% post-consumer.
  • It grows with our authors.  Just ask Gang Chen, who earned over $100,000 in 180 days; or Sally Shields, the stay-at-home mom-turned-2-time Amazon.com bestseller; or Ronnie Lee, who has become one of the most prolific published authors of our generation with the assistance of Outskirts Press.

As we look toward the future, our commitment to produce high-quality books and offer high levels of support to our authors in all three phases of their journey (writing, publishing, marketing), only grows stronger.

For instance, we have embraced digital e-books with three a la carte digital publishing options:

 We have embraced social media to help our authors further promote their books:

And, we practice what we preach, publishing our own series of books to help authors navigate the sometimes tricky waters of book publishing and offering free publication in various anthologies through the year to showcase how easy, fast, and fun it can be to publish with Outskirts Press.

Through it all, Outskirts Press authors have remained our main focal point. With over 8,200 published titles, Outskirts Press continues to pour development dollars and resources into further improvements to the Outskirts Press website and its growing list of writing, publishing, and marketing services/products to further support our authors’ goals and dreams.

What does success mean to you? By any measure, you will find it here with Outskirts Press and we look forward to helping you on that journey.

Many of us, and some of our family members, took a moment during our July 4th picnic, to pose…

Two recent surveys – Result #1

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Over the last couple of weeks we have held two different Web 2.0 polls on our Outskirts Press blog. The first poll asked our community of authors, readers, and industry professionals what new option we should introduce from among three choices: An Author App for the iPhone, a “Featured Book-of-the-Week” option, and a Social Media Market Research option that allows authors to leverage the same polling process for their creative purposes (to determine the best cover to use, the best title, the best ending, etc.). It was a close race between the Featured Book-of-the-Week and the Market Research, with Market Research gaining a victory.

As a result of the poll results, we immediately went to work creating the option and launched it live on our site late last week. Since it is primarily intended for authors to gain market research insights regarding the production decisions for their book, the option is currently only a pre-production option available exclusively for our authors, but in time, we may open it up to ALL authors, as we are starting to do with many of our options. We’ll soon have the first of hopefully many Author Polls appearing on our blog for our community to participate in.

I’ll discuss the results of the other poll tomorrow…

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Getting Featured on our free self-publishing app – Part 2

September 12, 2011 Leave a comment

A couple weeks ago I started a new series on this blog with the purpose of helping our authors get featured on our free self-publishing app for the iPhone 4 (available for free download by clicking here).  While that was the specific goal of the series of postings, in more general terms, my advice (and the advice I will continue to provide this week) extends to all authors from all publishers who are interested in securing a little more “attention” from their publisher.

You see, the self-publishing industry is BIG, and there are only a handful of self-publishing firms handling the vast majority of self-published books.  Now that publishing is so easy, getting exposure for your book after publication becomes one of the major hurdles self-publishing authors face. The degree to which you have an opportunity to get ANY exposure for your book depends upon the self-publishing company you choose. Some, like Outskirts Press, offer a lot of opportunities. Others don’t offer any; they’re done with you the moment your book is published.

The blog series a couple of weeks ago discussed 6 different ways our authors can receive exposure for their books on our blog, which would also result in being featured in our iPhone app.   The “Blog” section is just one section of the app. There are three others:  Authors, Videos, and Twitter.  I will discuss those opportunities this week, beginning with the “Authors” section tomorrow.

What is the most important thing an author should do to promote a book?

January 28, 2011 2 comments

Sorry for the delay in updating. I had a bit of a medical situation when I was in New York.

Speaking of New York, I participated in two panels for writers last weekend. One was on all things “social networking” related and another one covered the topic of book promotion.  On both panels, we (me and the other panelists) had the opportunity to answer questions from the audience.  To benefit those who were unable to attend, I’ll report on some of the information that was shared on the panels along with some of the questions we fielded (and the answers, of course).

At the book promotion panel, the first question we received was this – perhaps a bit paraphrased: “You’ve thrown a lot of information at us. It’s all a little overwhelming. If we only had the time/money/resources/interest in doing ONE of the things you suggested, what would you recommend doing first?”  

All three of the panelists and the moderator agreed upon the answer: You should have a website or a blog, not unlike this one.    Most blogs can effectively act as an author website as long as you’ve added a widget or some other form of functionality to sell your book from it.   Outside of that, as long as your book is sold on Amazon, your Amazon “sales page” can act as your website and accept book sales for you.  Amazon’s sales page also posts reviews of your book and can broadcast your blog if you have one — by setting that up through your Author Central account, which I’m positive I’ve blogged about in the past.

The good news is, between your Amazon sales page and WordPress.com or Blogger.com, it is relatively easy and free to get started on the right path toward book promotion.  The only cost is time.  Blogging takes commitment.  But it is also the one thing all the panelists agreed upon was the first most important thing you should do to promote a published book. Blog consistently, professionally, and respectfully. After all, you’re building your author platform, here.

I’ll talk about other things we covered on the panels in New York in future posts, along with more Facebook stuff as I promised.

Why is Facebook so Popular?

January 21, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m becoming a believer in this “Facebook phenomenon.” Only recently has Outskirts Press actively engaged the “social community” in terms of Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, YouTube, and the rest. Even though it sounds like I’m mindlessly jumping on the bandwagon when I say this, I’ll say it anyway: It has shown immediate dividends.

Sure, we’ve been “blogging” for a number of years; but to successfully engage the promise of “Web 2.0,” companies need to embrace the multiple platforms and entertwine them.

Yes, we as a company have a long way to go on all those platforms. It’s an on-going exercise that requires quite a lot of effort, actually. For example, thanks to our Kindle giveaway in December and our Facebook Anthology project in January, we are seeing large increases to our Facebook Community, and we will continue to offer our community more promotions and incentives to become involved. It is wonderful that these people are all supportive of each other and positive in general. 

And perhaps that is one of the main reasons Facebook is so popular.  People there are nice and respectful.  Isn’t that a refreshing change of pace from other “locales” on the internet where anonymity allows people to be rude, spiteful, argumentative, and sometimes downright jerks? Amazingly even those who aren’t anonymous often choose to show their true colors daily, a la Russell Hantz on the TV show Survivor.  Every comment to a Yahoo article ridicules something; many bloggers seem to believe the only opinion they’re allowed to have is a negative one; and forums are filled with such pervasive confrontation they’ve actually coined a term for it: flame war.

And yet on Facebook, people are supportive of one another, kind, giving of their time and knowledge, and respectful.   This never became more obvious to me than it did a few days ago on my birthday (January 19th).  Current friends, old high school and college friends, relatives, Outskirts associates, and Outskirts authors all took a moment to wish me “Happy Birthday” on Facebook.  So did my wife, since I was on a business trip that day.

Why is Facebook popular? Because Facebook makes people feel good. It makes them feel liked, popular, and as if they are a part of something bigger than themselves. 

This doesn’t seem to be a happy accident, either. Facebook appears to have been designed with that specific purpose. Unlike other “voting” mechanisms on other sites (“thumbs up vs thumbs down” on many sites or the 1 star thru 5 star rating on Amazon, for example), Facebook only has a “Like” option.   It doesn’t give you the opportunity to dislike something or to be mean, even if that is your intent.   The “meanest” thing you can do is NOT vote .  And that’s probably not very satisfying for mean people. As a result, they don’t get involved.  Facebook stays a happy place while the rest of the Internet continues to revel in its own misery. Win-win.

 It just so happens I’ll be talking more about Facebook and other social networking opportunities for writers the day after tomorrow at the Writer’s Digest Conference in Manhattan.  But I thought I’d give another sneak peek here first. And I’ll be discussing more about Facebook in upcoming posts, too.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 133 other followers