5 Years of Author Testimonials

Over five years ago (On April 9, 2011 to be exact), we started publishing author testimonials on our “Author Testimonials” blog at http://selfpublishingauthor.wordpress.com.

Jeff & Shirley Lawrence published their book, Hollywood Be Thy Name in 2006 with Outskirts Press, and, like most of our authors, enjoyed the experience so much they gave us a glowing review:

“We did a considerable amount of research before selecting Outskirts Press. We cannot tell you how pleased we are with the outcome. The book is beautiful. There is a big difference in on-line publishers. They are NOT all the same. We know other authors who made wrong choices and regretted it afterward.”

In the years between 2006 and 2011, we published thousands of additional books and received thousands of additional testimonials from happy authors. But it wasn’t until the launch of our Author’s Testimonials blog in 2011 that we could easily share those comments with other writers.

Now, the Author’s Testimonials blog offers published authors a platform to spotlight their book and their publishing experience, while also offering prospective new clients a chance to hear first-hand how publishing a book with Outskirts Press is a rewarding, and often life-changing, experience!

In the shadow of the imminent Outskirts Press Upgrade on August 1, the Author Testimonials Blog received an update this week, like my blog did a number of weeks ago. I think you’ll agree the new “blog theme” makes it extremely fast and easy to scroll through the thousands and thousands of satisfied Outskirts Press authors and see their amazing books and hear their amazing stories.

And isn’t that what a blog geared toward highlighting author success stories should do?

 

 

OUT with the old, in with the NEW

This post combines the two most recent “blog series” postings I’ve been covering over the past year.  The first series has discussed our milestone achievements in relation to our upgrading to Responsive Web Design, which I began discussing last September with this definition of RWD.

In the next post, I defined the 6 milestones we identified at Outskirts Press as we upgraded to RWD, and those milestones were:

  1. Landings Pages
  2. Email Communication
  3. Newsletters
  4. Author Webpages
  5. Outskirts Press External
  6. Outskirts Press Internal

Then, over the next 6 months, I posted about each milestone in order, finally coming upon #5 on June 23rd with the revealing of our new RWD External Website for new authors.

As I’m prone to do, I then switched gears and posted several times about how the new RWD site launch, scheduled for August 1, is related to a new branding strategy and how it all ties together for the exciting rebranding and launch of the *NEW* Outskirts Press.  That was the second “blog series”.

Now, to tie them both together, today I will discuss how the new branding will start to reveal itself to our current in-progress and published authors on the Internal section of the Outskirts Press site throughout the month of July as we get closer to August 1st.

The “internal” portion of our website is affectionately known as either the “Author’s Center” or “Publishing Center”, and is what all our clients see if they have published a book with us, or are currently in the production process.  For technical reasons beyond the scope of this blog (and my understanding), migrating the “Internal” portions of the Outskirts Press site to RWD is a huge undertaking, due to the programming complexity of what the Publishing Center is “doing” for our clients and their books.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t start to apply the *NEW* branding for our current clients.

For instance, this is a snapshot of the “current” Outskirts Press Publishing Center masthead as it looked as recently as July 1:

By comparison, the masthead on our new RWD site is much cleaner:

So as we begin to ramp up the new branding for our new relaunch, our current and published authors will see this version of the masthead below in their Publishing Center when they return from their 4th of July festivities:

The change of the logo from horizontal to vertical is moderate, but the removal of the “blue background” is quite a departure, as it has played a role in our website look for years. By “baby-stepping” these aesthetic changes to our current clients, we hope to avoid as much confusion as possible.  In the coming weeks, we’ll also start to see the “communication” we are employing to notify our potential clients, in-progress writers, and published authors of these exciting changes through our various social media (and direct communication) channels.  Stay tuned…

 

Celebrate the 4th of July by saving 20%

For the past several posts I’ve been discussing the NEW Outskirts Press with all new packages starting August 1. But as the thousands and thousands of satisfied authors who have published with Outskirts Press since 2002 can attest, the “old” packages are pretty stellar, too.  And right now is your best, last chance to get your best deal on the best publishing packages in the industry, with our explosive 20% discount extravaganza!

Outskirts Press helps authors develop and publish high-quality books by offering exceptional design, printing, publishing, distribution, and book marketing services. Top Consumer Reviews ranks us #1 because we deliver outstanding customer service, affordable pricing, industry-leading royalties, and a team of hands-on, US-based publishing experts (many of whom are writers themselves). In short, we take the complexity and guesswork out of publishing, and our passion is helping you publish the book of your dreams.

This 4th of July holiday, Outskirts Press is making it easier and more affordable than ever to start publishing! Today you can receive an instant 20% discount when you choose to publish with our industry-leading Diamond publishing package or our full-color Pearl publishing package.

Both packages include a personal publishing team who will help you through the process, answer your questions and help you to publish the book of your dreams.

The Diamond and Pearl packages include:

 

  • Worldwide distribution and order fulfillment
  • Online sales through Amazon and Barnes & Noble
  • Interior formatting
  • ISBN and bar-coding
  • Keep 100% of your rights & royalties
  • Much, much more

When you start your publishing journey from July 1 – July 5, you’ll receive a 20% discount when you purchase the Diamond or Pearl package! Simply enter the promotion code SAVE20 during check out. It’s that easy!

The “O” is for Outstanding, Part 2

We’re in the middle of the blog series about the “upgrade” or “relaunch” or “face lift” that Outskirts Press is receiving throughout the summer, most notably on August 1, when a whole new website for new clients debuts.  My June 23 posting introduced a screen shot “mock-up” of the new RWD-enhanced website for the first time.  I followed up with some of the branding improvements, and then in my previous post, discussed the “O is for Outstanding” element that will start to play a subtle and not-so-subtle role in our *New* Outskirts Press.

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A perfect example of this is the new graphic appearing on all our social media channels today, July 1, announcing our most spectacular discount of the year — an instant 20% savings on our industry-leading ultimate Diamond package or our full-color Pearl package. It’s only good through July 5th.

Just enter promotion code SAVE20 in your shopping cart at check-out. Since the new Outskirts Press on August 1 introduces new packages and new prices, this is absolutely your last chance to get the best deal we will ever offer on two of the best publishing services in the business.

 

The “O” is for Outstanding

We’re in the middle of discussing the *NEW* Outskirts Press rebranding and relaunch. The rebranding process is already underway, as we’ve been discussing over the past several weeks on this blog. And the relaunch of the NEW Outskirts Press website is scheduled for August 1. With the relaunch comes all new publishing packages, branding, and messaging.

New “stuff” often means new graphics. In the previous post I discussed the impending retirement of our horizontal Outskirts Press logo (we’ll be using the “stacked” version exclusively). Today I will discuss the introduction of the new “O” mark, which will play subtle and not-so-subtle roles in much of the rebranding effort.

icon-plain

Our new suite of publishing service icons will prominently feature this “O” when the new publishing packages are introduced on August 1 on the new website (more on our new packages in the near future).  This “O” will also play a small role in the graphic design of some of our advertising efforts, both online and offline, as we roll out new advertising and marketing campaigns.

You can see the “O” being implemented already, as the new .ico image for our current website at http://outskirtspress.com:

icoblog

If your own website doesn’t yet have an .ico image, it’s easy enough to add one. Simply create a high-resolution graphic (1200 or 2400 dpi) in .jpg or .png format, and then use an .ico converter on the web (easy enough to find with a Google search) to convert the image into .ico format. Then upload that .ico file to your website’s root directory.  It’s a small thing. But in the world of self-publishing, small things often make all the difference. Which is why Top Consumer Reviews ranks Outskirts Press #1.

 

Branding the new Outskirts Press

In my previous post, I announced the *new* Outskirts Press, which is scheduled to launch on August 1 with a new website for new authors, and new branding and new packages for everyone. As we gear up for that exciting launch, some new branding will start to “trickle” into our other online presences, beginning with this one.  For frequent readers of my blog, you know that “branding” is a common theme of my posts, and one goal for the launch of the New OP is consistency across all our various online channels.

So yesterday marked the launch of the new BrentSampson.com blog theme, and I’ll discuss a number of components of that theme today, so as additional Outskirts Press sites across the Internet re-brand themselves, those who are playing along can see what goes into a rebranding strategy.

I’ve taken a screen shot of this new blog, and I’ll discuss the following elements:

The first circled element is our trademarked logo.  We introduced this stylized dark blue/light blue logo back in 2010 in two iterations: a stacked version, like the one you see circled here, and un-stacked, horizontal version, in which “outskirtspress” ran together:

new-logo-72-h

Say good-bye to that horizontal version. Part of our rebranding exercise is using one consistent trade-marked logo everywhere — the “stacked” version.   The logo and placement on my blog also matches (as closely as WordPress allows) the placement on our new website when it launches later this summer:

If you look to the upper-right of both images above you will see a menu that offers links to our shopping cart, our contact us page, our author login page, and our bookstore, respectively. Those links are duplicated on this blog, along with the main menu choices from the new website (publishing, marketing, and writing services).  Until the new site launches, those links on my blog go to the current versions of all those pages.

Outskirts Press operates four different, active blogs, and the arrow on the left of the image above points toward the “title” that will designate the brand-identity of each blog when they each re-launch with consistent branding over the next several weeks.   Also acting as a “brand-identity” is the photograph in the right column of this blog, which the second arrow is pointing to in the image above. In my case, it’s an updated picture of yours truly (the last one was taken in 2002, so I figured it was time for an update).

The last remaining element is the red box, which is a place-holder for the “header” image.  The new RWD Outskirts Press website will feature a rotating header image that features our monthly publishing, marketing, and writing promotions (as demonstrated by the “Save 10% on Amazon Look Inside” in that mock-up image above).   Will those monthly same images play a role in the branding of our various blogs in the same “header space”?  Stay tuned to find out.

 

Announcing the *NEW* Outskirts Press

Before I got sidetracked discussing the recent Colorado Book Awards, the new edition of Sell Your Book on Amazon for 2016, and the publication of my newest book, The Book Marketing COACH,  I was in the middle of a series of postings about our methodical transition to RWD (responsive website design), in which I outlined six milestones.

Those milestones were:

  1. Landings Pages
  2. Email Communication
  3. Newsletters
  4. Author Webpages
  5. Outskirts Press External
  6. Outskirts Press Internal

I covered milestones 1-4 as we completed them, finishing with the launch of the new Outskirts Press Author Webpages in glorious RWD.

That brings us to the 5th and most exciting milestone, the launch of the “external” Outskirts Press website, which is scheduled for August 1, 2016.

While current authors will continue to see the current version of the website (if they are logged-in), new clients who start publishing with us in August will see the all new Outskirts Press website, which will look like this on their desktops when it goes live:

And, as with all RWD sites, the new Outskirts Press website maintains its appearance and ease-of-use across all tablets and smartphone browsing, too.

August 1 brings with it more than just a modernization of our website. It introduces the brand *NEW* Outskirts Press, brought up-to-date in this fast-moving industry with all-new publishing services, all-new branding, and an even deeper commitment to helping our clients publish the book of their dreams with personal service and quality products. More on that in the near future.

But first, over the next several posts, I’ll discuss that “all new branding” component in further detail, beginning with what frequent readers of my blog may have already noticed — an updating of all our blog themes across social media, beginning with this one.  More on that next time…