Brent Sampson hears from another self-publishing author

Last week I shared a recent correspondence I had with one of our authors about his self publishing experience with Outskirts Press.

Here’s another one, beginning with the initial email we received from her, followed by my email to her seeking her permission to share it, and then followed by her response:

“Hello, My name is Thurston Gray. I recently published my book The Pendant Project: My Journey to Awareness Through Art with Outskirts Press.  I wanted to let you know just how much I enjoyed my publishing experience…

Before I contacted Outskirts Press, I did my research.  I spent hours online looking through the various companies that publish for independent authors.  One of the things I most appreciated about Outskirts Press was the huge amount of information–clearly written–available on their website.  The three free ebooks, explaining all of the publishing/printing options available, gave me detailed information (and pricing) for the options I was looking for. So when I did make contact directly I had a clear idea of the package and the additional a la carte items I wanted…that helped tremendously on planning my budget.

My first contact with Outskirts Press was with Jodee, my assigned Publishing Consultant.  Amazing woman.  I had thought I was all prepared but I still needed to learn a lot about self publishing.  Jodee patiently answered every. single. one. of my questions in a professional, prompt manner.  She has amazing skill at ‘settling’ a newbie author. In short time, Jodee transferred me (and my book, no longer just a manuscript, hehe) to Jennifer, my Author Representative.

Jennifer worked with me on the details of a printed book.  Meaning that she walked me through the actual layout of the book.  Finalizing the cover, notifying me when I submitted my images in the wrong dpi, then working with me when I decided to change the layout of the book-last minute.  Again, just like with Jodee, Jennifer was thoughtful, patient and very willing to answer and explain, if needed, my questions.  Jennifer helped me to find the best layout to make my book profitable, sellable.  She worked with the production team and, together, they came up with beautiful layout which truly made my book, with it’s 100 images, make sense and flow for the reader.  Genius!

Dana did all of the paperwork to facilitate my Unique ISBN and the Library of Congress listing. And then she sent me an email confirming the registration. Big day, holding my ISBN number in my hands.

I am incredibly proud of my book.  It looks great. When my author copies were delivered, I opened the box and promptly burst into tears.  In my hands was a beautiful version of my dream.   Thank you.  My book is my personal journey of healing from trauma.  My audience, my reader, is very specific.  Within the covers of my book are words of encouragement, understanding and support.  Words that I did not receive. My motivation for publishing was to let other survivors know they were not alone.

My book has been listed on Amazon for three weeks now.  I have received many emails thanking me for telling my experience.  That I offered support and understanding; they were touched. They felt connected.

I hope that all of the good people at Outskirts Press get this…because you show up, and simply do your job, you touch people’s lives. You make a difference.  For me, certainly.  I wouldn’t have a book without you.  But also for every. single. person. who reads it. Your work connected us, the reader to me. Thank you. Thank you.  Thank you.

Thurston Gray”


We receive a lot of emails like this from our authors, but this one struck a chord with me because it offered such an insightful summary of the process from her perspective. I thought it might help other authors who were nervous or anxious about taking the self publishing step, so I wrote Thurston the following email:

“Your email about your experience publishing with Outskirts Press was forwarded to me. It’s wonderful.  I think other authors would find it particularly helpful because it describes the process from an author’s point of view.  Would you mind if we published your email on my blog at and perhaps on our Outskirts Press blog at  It might help other newbie authors feel more at ease with what to expect…”


In true gracious form, she wrote back:

“Brent, I am glad you were forwarded email about my experience with Outskirts Press. I wanted everyone there to know how much I enjoyed it and how much each member of my Publishing Team participated in making my dream, my book, come true. Thank you.

Yes, you have my permission to use my email in any way you feel it would benefit other authors. I really appreciate the opportunity of lending my voice to the experience of self publishing with Outskirts Press!”

And, on a side note, her book really is wonderful… Congratulations, Thurston!