Version 4.0 of the new Outskirts Press website launched on Memorial Day weekend with 4 writing options available for authors. I’ll be the first to say I wanted to launch with more. But, as with everything this complicated, it became a matter of compromise and resources. We had to launch over Memorial Day weekend — I think a previous post discussed why — and we needed to draw a line in the sand about what we could realistically go out of the gate with.
We launched with the search-optimized title suggestions and the article ghostwriting.
Professional search-optimized book title suggestions are just what they sound like. We review the author’s information and their proposed book title and then present them with 3 alternatives that take into consideration such concepts as keyword-embedded sub-titles and non-duplicative book names. I’ve seen first-hand the positive effect a properly titled and sub-titled book can have on online book sales. Sell Your Book on Amazon: Top-Secret Tips Guaranteed to Increase Sales for Print-on-Demand and Self-Publishing Writers is not just a mouth full; it is a carefully planned title that maximizes its exposure for particular keywords that are necessary for it to find its appropriate audience.
Article ghostwriting and distribution is just what it sounds like, too. We compose a 750-1000 word article on the subject/topic of the author’s choice that is related to his/her book, and then once the article is approved by the author, we distribute it to popular article banks. Article marketing is one of the most effective forms of online promotion because it combines “content” with “links” and “social propagation.” It’s a powerful one-two-three punch that can improve an author’s overall exposure across the internet. The downside is that most authors don’t have the time to write the necessary articles, nor the know-how to efficiently distribute said articles through all the proper channels. This option handles everything for the writer, conveniently.
We also launched Version 4 with pre-written, pre-illustrated children’s books for a boy and girl. We have offered these “instant children’s books” to our authors for a long time. These are basically a ‘taste’ of the power and convenience of POD publishing with Outskirts Press. For a minimum investment, an author can publish an already written, already illustrated children’s book featuring the names of their child (or a child they know) with a maximum amount of convenience (heck, they don’t even have to write the book!). The book receives online availability through Amazon and Barnes & Noble and even pays the author $2.00 in royalties for every wholesale or retail sale. Not only does it make a great gift, but it gives a writer an affordable opportunity to see if the convenience and value of on-demand publishing is right for them. The girl’s version is here and the boy’s version is here.
As I said at the beginning of this post, I wanted to launch with more offerings. For instance, the instant children’s books are currently limited to a single illustration set, featuring a Caucasian main character and an African American friend. We have other illustration sets drawn (featuring both children as Caucasians, and both children as African Americans), but those did not make it into the launch, for a variety of reasons not worth getting into here.
There are other writing options/services I wanted to have available at launch, and I’ll get into those next time. Who knows… by the time this posting goes live–I’m writing it about 4 weeks in advance–hopefully some of the ones I mention will already be added.