Celebrating our Authors’ Accomplishments in 2016

2016 has been quite a year for Outskirts Press authors!  For the first time ever, one of our authors has back-to-back wins in our annual Best Book of the Year Awards. Andrew Ceroni followed-up on last year’s win for Snow Men with another win this year with MERIDIAN. He is now leveraging those successes to land a literary agent and a publishing contract.

In fact, so many of our authors win so many awards for their books, it becomes impossible to list all of them. That’s why we have a Pinterest board devoted to all our award-winning books. Take a look!

award-winning

And that’s why we interview so many of our amazing authors, like just recently…

Publishing a book is such an empowering experience, and all our authors have such amazing stories to share! Keep an eye on the Self Publishing News blog for even more interviews from, and feature spotlights on, our prolific and award-winning authors in 2017, like…


Dr. Dawn Menge
Who has published 7 children’s books thus far, and each one of them has won at least 3 awards!



Dr. T. Charles Brantley
Who has published 21 books thus far, and counts among our most prolific clients!




Brooke Lewis
Who just published book #2, with many more to come. See her red carpet interview here, and just a few of her many television appearances here and here.


nikki-dubose

Nikki DuBose
Who just published book #1, but what a book it is — a tell-all memoir and a bombshell to the modeling industry! See just a few of her many television interviews here and here.

 

But awards and interviews are just a small example of all the amazing accomplishments our authors have enjoyed over the past year. For instance, Landria Onkka’s first of two books with Outskirts Press, The Rooftop Christmas Tree, was optioned for a cable television movie earlier this year and went into production soon thereafter.

landria

It stars Michelle Morgan and Tim Reid and it is premiered on Up TV on November 27th.  Check out the trailer here and be sure to watch this heart-warming family movie-based-upon-the-book as it airs throughout the holiday season.

There are so many more success stories from 2016 — when you publish around 1500 books a year by around 1000 talented writers, success stories occur daily– and you can read about a newly published author every day here.

Congratulations to them all! And here’s to an equally amazing 2017!

Award-Winning Books by Outskirts Press Authors

In the continuing theme of giving thanks this month, and recognizing the accomplishments of our amazing authors at Outskirts Press, I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to our Pinterest Boards at http://pinterest.com/outskirtspress, particularly the Board that lists our award-winning authors and their books.  We have several boards that do this, including one devoted to our Best Book of the Year awards; but as impressive as that is, perhaps even more impressive is this one, which lists all our award-winning books that we know of (if your book should be on this board and isn’t, please tell us):

award-winning

The direct link to our Award-Winning Books by Outskirts Press Authors Pinterest board is at: https://www.pinterest.com/outskirtspress/award-winning-books-by-outskirts-press-authors/

We’ve always said Outskirts Press is where award-winning writers publish award-winning books. And now you can see why…

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Announcing the Outskirts Press Book Launch Kit

Over the past six months we’ve been covering a lot of the new improvements at Outskirts Press on this blog, and nearly all of those improvements came by asking our clients (potential, new, current, previous) what a self-publishing firm should be, what makes Outskirts Press #1 in this industry according to Top Consumer Reviews, and what we can do to make our authors even happier, more successful, and more satisfied.

From their answers came technical updates to our website, changes to our publishing services, and a lot of improvements to our marketing services.

You see, one of the major things we discovered is that while the DIY (do-it-yourself) and full-service self-publishing industry has gotten really good at helping authors publish books, most full-service companies (and basically all DIY platforms) aren’t very good at helping authors market books after publication.

Authors at Outskirts Press are statistically more successful selling books via wholesale channels (like Amazon) than authors from other self-publishing firms. Ingram tells us so!  And we want to continue that trend.

That’s why we’ve just announced the Outskirts Press Book Launch Kit, a free marketing kit that we mail to all our One-Click, Ultimate, and Full-Color authors at the time of publication. Other publishing companies charge hundreds of dollars for their “book launch kits.”

But Outskirts Press authors who started publishing under our new packages after August 1 receive Book Launch Kits absolutely free.

book-launch-kit

Each Book Launch Kit includes:

  • An official gold-sealed Certificate of Publication, recognizing and acknowledging your accomplishment
  • The 7 Tactics of Successfully Published Authors, which outlines 7 major marketing considerations
  • A congratulatory letter outlining your next steps and how to take full advantage of all the free marketing assistance in your Publishing Center (like access to the new Book Marketing Bookshelf, which I discussed in a previous post)
  • An example of a custom bookmark, which details on how you can create your own branded marketing materials
  • Details about the Personal Marketing Assistance available at Outskirts Press
  • The 28 Day Book Launch Calendar — The first month of publication can be the most important, and sets the stage for long-term book marketing success, so we tell you exactly what to do every day for the first 4 weeks.
  • The Book Marketing RoadMap – an infographic to hang up on the wall of your office as you check-off important marketing milestones like identifying your audience, creating a marketing plan, hosting a book launch party, acquiring book reviews, attending author events, and so much more.

Nowadays, you can publish your book just about anywhere. But successful, professional, high-quality book publishing & book marketing begins and ends at Outskirts Press.

Don’t just take my word for it. Thousands of writers  say the same thing.

 

What do you value most about publishing with Outskirts Press?

Leading up to our August 1 re-launch as the New & Improved Outskirts Press we conducted some market research by asking a select cross-section of our published authors what single thing they valued MOST about publishing with Outskirts Press.

Here are the top five answers:

survey-graphic1

Nearly one-third of them said they most appreciated the ability to publish their story exactly the way they wanted.  So overwhelming was this response that we made it a part of our new brand-promise: “Your book matters, let’s make it your way.”   You can see this brand message across many of our social media platforms, including Facebook, our blog, Google+, and YouTube.

In close second, our authors indicated they highly valued the publishing team that was provided to them to help them throughout the publishing process.  This has always been one of our core offerings, as you can see here, so it was nice to see it so well appreciated by our clients.

Coming up third was our book marketing advice and support.  And while nearly 20% of the respondents indicated it was the single most important component of publishing with Outskirts Press, we made a commitment to offer even more!   All new authors who begin publishing with the One-Click Suites, or the Ultimate or Full-Color after August 1st receive a Book Launch Kit, which contains:

  • The 7 Tactics of Successfully Published Authors
  • The Book Marketing RoadMap
  • An Official Certificate of Publication
  • The 28 Day Book Launch Calendar
  • The Book Marketing Bookshelf

I’ll discuss each of these Book Launch Kit components in future postings, beginning with the all-new Book Marketing Bookshelf, which, beginning today, becomes available for all our published authors inside their Publishing Center. You heard it here first, and more details are coming up next time…

 

 

Say Good-Bye to Self-Publishing Simplified

… and say HELLO to Publish Your Passion.

We unveiled the new Outskirts Press this Monday with a new website for new clients and new book publishing packages for everyone.

That means a new publishing guide, which covers all the new publishing services we offer as of August 1, 2016. It’s called Publish Your Passion, and it is available from our new website here.

A new publishing guide means we must say good-bye to the old publishing guide, Self-Publishing Simplified, which was 108 pages of detailed information. As I mentioned in a recent post, Outskirts Press spent a lot of time over the past ten years educating authors on what self-publishing was, and how it worked.  Our publishing guide was 108 pages for that very reason.

Now that most writers are familiar with what self-publishing is and how it works, publishing guides can be shorter.  Thank goodness! Asking anyone to read a 108-page publishing guide was asking a lot!

Our new publishing guide, Publish Your Passion, is much shorter (over half as long), and in full-color.  It covers all our hardcopy publishing packages, from our One-Click suites, to our a la carte black & white packages, to our full-color package. We titled it Publish Your Passion because we understand the passion and emotion that comes from writing a book and then entrusting the right company to publish it.   Many of us at Outskirts Press are writers ourselves, including yours truly, and we are equally passionate about helping you publish the book of your dreams.

Speaking of full-color, we actually used to have two different publishing guides: Self-Publishing Simplified, which was not only our comprehensive publishing guide but also served as an example of our black & white printing; and Adventures in Publishing, which was a fully-illustrated guide for our full-color package that also served as an example of our children’s books (and was in fully-rhyming verse).

I’m going to miss that one a lot.  It was … cute.  And it holds a special place in my heart because I wrote it and worked closely with one of our amazing artists on all the original full color illustrators (thanks to my talented artistic collaborator, Victor!).  Anyone who has written and published a children’s book with full-color illustrations knows what I’m talking about.

So, in other words, Self-Publishing Simplified and Adventures in Publishing are being terminated this week, and once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. I’ve already removed them from the Kindle and Nook.  As I write this, Amazon has 5 copies of Self-Publishing Simplified in stock and 4 copies of Adventures in Publishing.  I don’t want to suggest they might be collector’s items someday, but… you never know. Haha.  So don’t buy them expecting up-to-date publishing guide information — they’re out of date, and that’s why they are being cancelled.

Our new publishing guide, Publish Your Passion, isn’t a collector’s item (at least, not yet), but it is a comprehensive guide to help you choose the proper publishing package for your book at Outskirts Press.  And in the near future, it will also be available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, serving as an example of our high-quality full-color book printing.

 

 

 

 

What’s new at the New Outskirts Press?

Today, August 1st marks an exciting new chapter for Outskirts Press, with the launch of our new RWD website. Over the past year I have been blogging periodically about our transition to Responsive Web Design, which, according to Wikipedia, is  “an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).”

say-hello-RWD

But, more important than a cosmetic change are all the new enhancements and improvements that have been made to our client services and publishing services, as well.  Gone are the “old” publishing packages known as the Pearl, Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald.   Now we have all-new packages with all-new names — names that more clearly communicate their hierarchy to one another: Ultimate, Basic, Economy, and Full-Color. Over the coming days I will be discussing these new custom, a la carte publishing packages in more detail.

Our One-Click Publishing Suites remain largely unchanged, with one notable exception — the introduction of the One-Click Publishing for Non-Fiction Suite, which is  (as its name implies) the perfect bundle of professional services for all non-fiction books.

In recognition of this exciting new One-Click package, Outskirts Press is offering an introductory price savings of $500 for this first week of August only. The details for all our monthly promotional features can be found on the rotating image header on the front page of our site (which is also a new feature in itself).

When you’ve been in the self-publishing business as long as we have, a lot of things change — including website conventions (hence the RWD site) and client needs. When I founded Outskirts Press in 2002, one of our primary jobs was explaining what we did. Back then, the notion that we could take anyone’s manuscript and publish it and get it up onto Amazon seemed like magic to a lot of people.  So our “old” website and marketing out-reach did a lot of explaining of that concept.

Nowadays, nearly everyone is aware of their opportunities to self-publish a book.  They no longer need us to explain what self-publishing is, but rather, they need us to demonstrate why self-publishing with Outskirts Press is a better value for them than self-publishing elsewhere. Fortunately, this is a relatively easy thing to demonstrate in many ways, not the least of which is simply showing potential clients our hundreds and hundreds of testimonials.

In any event, this change to our basic approach affects not only the overall design of the new website, but the publishing services we now provide to our clients, as well.

In our 14 years of experience, we have learned first-hand that informed authors lead to successful books.  So our new publishing packages all include Book Publishing Tip Sheets, which are a collection of various articles, lists, and whitepapers filled with best practices about everything from better book titles to taking the perfect author photograph.

When Outskirts Press makes publishing a book so easy, it becomes easy for authors to forget an equally-important part of the self-publishing journey: book marketing.  Our famous and exclusive Marketing COACH is in the process of being improved as we speak (improving 2+ years of information is a daunting task).  And to complement the COACH emails, our new publishing packages all include The Book Marketing RoadMap, an informative series of articles and whitepapers focused on providing complimentary marketing advice to our valued clients after their book has been published.

This blog posting of what’s new is already becoming longer than I planned (because so much is new), so let me just quickly rattle off some additional new features:

  • additional proofing rounds
  • additional image insertions
  • new cover themes (plus new covers designed specifically for children’s books)
  • new author webpages with social media integration

The list of what’s new and improved goes on and on. So, what’s new at the New Outskirts Press?  A whole lot, as it turns out, and I’ll get into the details of all these new improvements in the coming days and weeks.

 

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.