I’m easy to reach. In fact, I reach out to all our new authors who haven’t selected their publishing service within 4 days of starting with us, since that typically indicates they’re either still writing or still researching their publishing options — and in either case I can help. The result of communicating directly with our authors is that I often receive wonderful feedback from them, such as this email from Mike Sullivan:
“As my book enters the final stages, here is my view of the process. First, your staff was exemplary in responding to any questions I sent and I would highly recommend Outskirts to anyone.
Two suggestions: One, on the page with the trim selections, add a note that if your text is typed on 8 and 1/2 by 11, then the corresponding trim size is _____. Or instruct the writer to go into the documents, click size and convert to the desired trim size. I was really confused by this but Stephen was very good at guiding me thru the steps.
Secondly, note that the Author ID#is also the Title ID#. Here’s why: I elected to buy the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook packages. Kindle wanted to know my Title ID#. It took several emails to Outskirts to find out the Title ID# is the Author ID#. The emphasis on email correspondence, not actually person-person, could be a little intimidating unless, like myself, I had thoroughly looked in all the options and knew exactly what I wanted. But that was a small point of concern. On a scale of 1-10, you are an 11!!!!.
Thanks again, Mike Sullivan”
Mike’s right, there is sometimes a point of confusion for new authors when the “size” of their manuscript changes in physical size from the original word processor trim size of 8.5 x 11 to the more common book size of 8×5 or 6×9, and this change in size results in a greater number of pages for the final book (which affects the book’s pricing). His suggestion is a good one and we do have a table that provides some of the most common page count ranges and their corresponding trim sizes to make that conversion easier (although, ultimately, we perform this conversion for our authors’ convenience).
His second point gives some indication of just how logistic the publishing steps can be (and why it is a good idea to go into it with a self publishing partner like Outskirts Press in your corner). The number Amazon was most likely seeking for his Kindle edition was probably either the book’s ISBN or AISN (the latter being Amazon’s own internal identification number); since our Author ID and Title ID numbers are our proprietary internal numbers, external channels won’t require them (and with our services, we deal with all those technical details with Kindle and Nook anyway, although we help authors understand these processes if they so desire). The Author ID is simply a 5 or 6 digit numeric number representing the order in which authors start their publishing process with us (it reached 6 digits when we passed 100,000 registered authors). The Title ID is that number with a corresponding letter (representing a specific book from that specific author). So, for instance, the Author ID for our Facebook Anthologies is 43646. The Title ID for Fandemonium Volume 1 is 43646A and the Title ID for Fandemonium Volume 2 is 43646B.
Thank you for the great email and feedback, Mike.