Self Publishing a Book? Three points of view

I haven’t always been an easy person to reach at Outskirts Press.  Even to send me kudos, some authors in the past were forced to write me an actual letter and mail it to my attention through the post office.  It worked!  I always received those, and I still get a letter from time to time.  But in this day and age, it seems silly to ask our valued customers to go through such effort just to say nice things about us or to contact me about something.  So, toward the end of last year I started contacting every new author who started publishing with us, just to make sure they were satisfied with our services. It’s been a blessing and I wish I had done it years ago.

For example, here’s a very recent email I received, completely unsolicited, from one of our authors:

Dear Brent,
      Greetings to you and I wish you all continued success.  I could not be more pleased with the great job that Natasha Quick, and the production team, are doing with my novel, AFRICAN SKIES.  I am so delighted that The Outskirts Press is my publisher for this book and all my future books.  The professionalism, courtesy and attention to detail exhibited by Ms. Quick has been exceptional.  Great good luck to you and to all at Outskirts, and all the best,
Mike Tucker

Now that’s an email that puts me in a great mood.  Another wonderful email I received recently wasn’t from one of our authors, but was from the owner of Reader Views, Irene Watson.  Through Reader Views, Irene comes in contact with a LOT of books from a LOT of self-publishing companies.  With her permission, she said I could post this unsolicited email she sent me recently:


Geesh..I’ve been meaning to write this email for quite some time but one busy day runs into the next one.  This is what I want to say:

I’m very impressed with the quality of books that come from Outskirts Press.  We get a lot of self-published books and many are horribly (that’s the most gentle word I could find) produced. The quality just isn’t up to par.  Yours match any large traditional publishing company to a T. Occasionally we do review a book that hasn’t been properly edited but we know that’s the choice of the author.  If only, if only…there was a way to instill into the authors the importance of editing.

In fact, I am so impressed I recommended Outskirts Press to my assistant for her book. It’s in production now with your company.


The last message I want to share was the email I received from the winner of our free iPad.  Last year during the holidays, our monthly promotion offered a free Apple iPad to one of our talented authors.  We notifed the lucky author, Vince, the first week of January. Here was his reply (I waited until now so I could also link to his book, which was just published this week):

Happy New Year, Brent!

I want to thank you for this gift from you and Outskirts Press.  It hasn’t gotten here yet, but I happily await its delivery.

  I’ve written for many years and it is always gratifying when one actually finds evidence of people who appreciate the hard work a writer puts into his work.  Like all art, as you well know, writing produces the most fickle and varying opinions, irrespective of the inherent talent or worth of the work.  This always leaves one wondering precisely what a ‘Great work’ of fiction actually is.  Since my undergraduate degrees were in Psychology and English Literature, and having started writing stories at the very young age of 8, I always tried to fathom what it was that made a piece of fiction a great work of art.  After many years of education, and hundreds of books read, I concluded that one can’t really know that, unless he waits a hundred years or so and sees how history treats it; and even then, he couldn’t truly KNOW.  What we’re left with is to give our best effort, which I try in every book I write, and keep in mind that I want to engage the reader and not disappoint him or her.  As an author, I want to pull that reader into the story and get them involved, and as a Psychologist I want the readers to know the characters, feel they are real, empathize with them, and feel the drama is truly happening.  In Science Fiction, the story and action have to be plausible, so you don’t leave the reader thinking, ‘That can’t possibly happen, it’s ridiculous,’ which makes it just a little bit harder task, but one I enjoy doing since I love sci-fi myself.  I diligently endeavored to employ these principles with Star-Crossed, and I think it is perhaps the most believable heartfelt of the 9 fiction books I’ve written.  All 11 of my books are published in electronic format already, and sell fairly well; half of them are out in print form.  I hope with this book, published at Outskirts, I will begin an even more profitable era in my writing life, that I will publish more successful books in the future, and that Outskirts can aid in that vision.

  Thank you again,

   Vince Riccio

Thank you, Vince…

And speaking of the iPad, we’re just a few weeks away from launching our iPad Edition option… more on that in the near future…