EVVY Award Finalists

This coming Saturday The Colorado Book Awards are taking place in picturesque Parker, Colorado, on the outskirts of Denver.   See the details in my previous post.

Speaking of awards, The Colorado Independent Publishers Association has selected their finalists for the upcoming EVVY Awards this summer.  As usual, Outskirts Press led the pack among all participating publishers with 50 finalists. See all the Outskirts Press finalists in this blog posting on the Self Publishing News blog.  Congratulations to all our talented awards finalists!

Becoming an EVVY Finalist is one of the steps toward securing the Outskirts Press BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR Award.  In a post I wrote a number of years ago, I detailed how the Outskirts Press EVVY Nominees are determined.  I also wrote about how the EVVY Awards are judged.

You can read all my posts relevant to the EVVY Awards by following hashtag #EVVY.

But first thing’s first: Honoring the Colorado Book Award finalists this Saturday night at the Pace Center.  Good luck!

 

Sell Your Book on Amazon is newly revised for 2016

In 2007 I wrote a little book titled Sell Your Book on Amazon, which immediately climbed to #29 on the overall Amazon bestseller list, and won multiple awards, including the BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR award from the Royal Palms Literary Awards.  (It also won First Place in that contest’s Educational/Informational category).

The problem with writing about a topic like Amazon is that their website changes so quickly and frequently.  So, by 2010, a revision to the book was necessary, and the second edition was published that year.

Now, the “newly revised for 2016” paperback edition of Sell Your Book on Amazon is available at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Say good-bye to forgotten features on Amazon like “So You’d Like to… Guides”, “Amapedia”, and “Listmania.”

Say hello to new opportunities like Amazon Giveaways, Author Central, and Kindle Unlimited (which is more of an obstacle than a benefit … unless you handle it properly — and this book tells you how!).

I hope you enjoy this new edition. Please let me know what you think by writing a review.

The Book Marketing COACH has been published

My new book has been published and is available in its unabridged paperback edition from Amazon and Barnes & Noble for $14.95, or from Outskirts Press for a 10% discount ($13.46). The abridged Kindle edition is also available from Amazon for $2.99.

cover

A book marketing primer ten years in the making.

From the award-winning author of the Amazon best seller, Sell Your Book on Amazon, comes a book marketing primer ten years in the making. As the president and CEO of Outskirts Press, publishing and marketing coach Brent Sampson has seen first-hand what leads to successful self-published books and self-publishing writers.

Companies like Outskirts Press make publishing a book easier than ever. But then what? It is the marketing, promotion, and publicity efforts that separate the runaway successes from the rest. Authors who self-publish may have a general sense of which marketing efforts to pursue, but rarely understand the specifics well enough to approach their book marketing efforts with an effective strategy. Until now.

For the very first time, The Book Marketing COACH collects the best of the free marketing advice shared with Outskirts Press authors over the past decade and makes it available to everyone, no matter where you published.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction
7 tactics of successfully published authors
Understanding “the long tail”

Book reviews: What, where, when, why, how?
9 steps to a getting a book review

Putting together a “Pitch Packet”
How to write a good cover letter
What is a sales sheet?
9 tips for a top-notch press release

Guaranteed book reviews
It’s time to get quoted!

5 Do’s and Don’ts for pitching radio
7 tips to land a radio interview
6 tips to interview successfully on the radio
6 national advertising opportunities
Top 4 book fairs

Finding public libraries to market your book
Locating Barnes & Noble bookstores
Updating your Barnes & Noble listing
Locating independent bookstores
Locating every bookstore

Using mailing lists for book marketing
9 steps to scheduling a book signing
Stocking your book at Powell’s
How to get stocked in independent bookstores

“Bookstores are a lousy place to sell books.”
Understanding Amazon Marketplace
Getting to know your Amazon listing
Understanding your Amazon “Best Sellers Rank”
Amazon’s review guidelines
Writing Amazon book reviews
Getting Amazon book reviews
Amazon’s top reviewers
Creating activity around Amazon reviews
How to “Share” your book on Amazon

Become a social butterfly
How to market your book on YouTube
How to make a book video trailer
Is a virtual book tour right for you?
How to submit your author webpage to search engines
Advance your online search efforts
Is your book on Google Books?
Have you heard of Goodreads?
Are you on Shelfari?
What is a webring?

List your book on book review websites
Get your message heard
Creating a podcast for your book
How to participate in author podcast interviews
How to establish your expertise as an author
How to write articles to promote your book
Promoting your book through ezines

Marketing through newspapers and magazines
How niche magazines can help you

Have you published an award-winning book?
Mom knows best

Is your book personal and uplifting?
Maximize your profits with multiple formats
Help other writers get published

Appendix
What is “vertical marketing?”
The C-Suite vertical
Engineer vertical
Food service vertical
Hospitality vertical
Human resources vertical
Insurance vertical
Information technology vertical
Attorney vertical
Pharmaceutical vertical
Small business vertical

 

New Author Webpages are coming in Responsive Web Design

Over the last couple of months I have been blogging about the steps Outskirts Press is taking to transition all our web properties and email communications to RWD (responsive web design), which allows for an aesthetic and functional user-experience that is seamlessly branded regardless of the type of device being used by our clients.

Those milestones were:

  1. Landings Pages
  2. Email Communication
  3. Newsletters
  4. Author Webpages
  5. Outskirts Press External
  6. Outskirts Press Internal

Previous postings have discussed milestones 1-3. That brings us to the new RWD author webpages, which are going to become available soon for our authors.

Our current author webpages have not been updated since I programmed them way back in 2002. That’s a millennium in Internet-time! To say they desperately needed an update is an understatement.

And boy, did they get one!

new-authorpage-desk

The new RWD author webpages look great regardless of the device being used.  It won’t matter if our authors’ customers are viewing them on a desktop (above), or a tablet…

new-authorpage-tab

… or a smartphone:

new-authorpage-phone

In addition to the “RWD-ness” of the new author webpages comes other commonplace conventions in this day and age, namely social media buttons, multiple format choices for paperbacks (hardbacks, when available) and Kindle, Nook, and iPad editions (when the author has published those versions).

As you can see from the examples above, I’ve linked my author webpage for Sell Your Book on Amazon to my Facebook account and my Twitter account, and as a result, those two links automatically appear on my author webpage in the upper right-hand corner on the desktop and tablet view, respectively. This social media functionality is reserved for our Ruby, Diamond, and Pearl authors (over 80% of our clients) and will also include availability for YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and Linked-In if authors have a presence on those social media sites.

Of course, linking each author’s webpage to his/her personal social media channels requires acquiring that information from each of our authors, and that’s the process we’ll talk about next time.

Congratulations to Andrew Ceroni, author of the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year

The votes are in, and Andrew Ceroni has walked away with the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year award! Or perhaps I should say, sprinted away.  As mentioned previously, a public poll held on the Self Publishing News blog between three EVVY-winning books determines the final winner, which means, the marketing prowess of the three finalists is what ultimately crowns the winning author. Mr. Ceroni and his book, “Snow Men” accumulated 63.51% of the votes.

Andrew Ceroni accepts his 1st Place EVVY Award at the Colorado Independent Publishers Association awards ceremony.

Even before the public poll went live, but after he was notified as one of the finalists, Andrew was engaging his Facebook friends with custom-made graphics of his award-winning book and seeking votes.  The temporary closeness of the poll demonstrates how engaged all three authors were in the marketing aspect of securing this award, since at one point, all three finalists were “neck and neck” with mere percentage points separating them. But at the bell, Mr. Ceroni prevailed.

That’s not to take anything away from the two other finalists, both of whom penned impressive books, garnered 1st Place EVVY Awards, and secured an impressive number of votes themselves.  Congratulations to “Dust to Dust” author John Hudson and “Speechless” author E.J. Brown (more about her in the next post); you both have much to be proud of.  Being a “Best Book of the Year” finalists from approximately 1,500 published books is an amazing accomplishment in its own right!

And a hearty congratulations to Andrew Ceroni, author of the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year, “Snow Men.”

I met Andrew at the Colorado Independent Publishers Association a number of weeks ago as he picked up his 1st Place EVVY Award for “Snow Men” and I cannot imagine a friendlier, more down-to-earth, and humble person.  Way to go, Andrew. You earned it!

EVVY Award Winning Authors From Outskirts Press

Every year, Outskirts Press nominates less than 5% of the books it publishes for submission to the Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards, an independent 3rd party book award contest that is both competitive and “strict” (for lack of a better word).   Each book is judged by three different judges.

Not only are books compared against all other books in their respective categories by each EVVY judge, but they’re also compared against a 100-point grading scale. A  book must secure at least 90 points to be awarded a 1st Place EVVY Award; 80 points to be awarded a 2nd Place EVVY Award, and so forth. Yes, this means that in some categories, it is conceivable that not a single book wins an award, even if there are multiple books in that category.

So, in other words, it is no small feat to win an EVVY award from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. Outskirts Press won eighteen of them.

Congratulations to all our EVVY Award winning authors below:

Family & Relationships       Speechless by E.J. Brown                                 1st Place
Fiction/Science Fiction       Dust to Dust by John Hudson                            1st Place
Fiction/Action Adventure    Snow Men by Andrew Ceroni                             1st Place
(Important Note: These First Place EVVY Award winners above are the three finalists for the 2014 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Awards. Voting is taking place through September 6th at the Self Publishing News blog. Vote now. )

Andrew Ceroni accepts his First Place EVVY Award for his book “Snow Men” at the Colorado Independent Publishers Association ceremony.

Academic/Reference         What’s Wrong with That Door? by John Quist    3rd Place
Children’s Story Books       Big Albert the Camel by Dr. Peggy Turnage      3rd Place
Fiction/Mystery&Detective  Out of Reech by Adam J. Beardslee                 3rd Place
Poetry Dreams to               Dance in Moonlight by Peter C. Stone               3rd Place
Religion & Spirituality         The Astrology of Success by Jan Spiller            3rd Place
Family & Relationships       Growing Up Ugly by Fritzie von Jessen             3rd Place

Fritzie von Jessen accepts her Third Place EVVY Award for her book “Growing Up Ugly” at the Colorado Independent Publishers Association ceremony.

Autobiography/Memoirs      Peeling Back the Layers by Lawayne Childrey                         Merit
Family & Relationships       The Back-Up Mom by Laura K. Wagner                                    Merit
Fiction/Action Adventure     A Holiday From Time by John Mero                                          Merit
Fiction/Historical                 More Stories of the Rich and Famous by David M. Tavernier    Merit
Juvenile Fiction                  Oliver Ornament by Michael Burns                                             Merit
Juvenile Fiction                  Pinos Altosby John Koski                                                            Merit
Juvenile Fiction                  Pluto The Starfish by Bonnie M. Anderson                                 Merit
Religion & Spirituality         Keys to Armageddon by KaMuLanS                                           Merit
Self Help                            The Garden of Life by Todd Michael Putnam                             Merit

When authors cannot accept the award personally, I am honored to accept the award on their behalf, as I’m doing here for John Hudson and his First Place EVVY Award-winning book, “Dust to Dust”.

Congratulations to all our EVVY award-winning authors, and EVVY nominees!

What makes the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Awards so special?

Today marks the beginning of the public poll to determine the 2014 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award. This is the only book award contest I am aware of that rewards both an author’s writing ability and marketing ability.

The writing ability is recognized and rewarded by the requirement that every Best Book of the Year finalist must win an EVVY Award from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.

The marketing ability is recognized and rewarded by putting all three finalists head-to-head-to-head to see which tenacious marketer can secure the most votes in a publicly held poll.  That poll is happening right now over on the Outskirts Press Self Publishing News blog at http://selfpublishingnews.com

As I write this, it’s a three-way race, with all three finalists currently receiving between 30% and 36% of the votes.  Not only does the ultimate winner gain acclaim as the author of the best book Outskirts Press published in 2014 (from over 1500 contenders), but he or she will also receive the $1,500 Grand Prize.  No wonder all three writers are so actively involved in this public poll!

Voting is open to everyone. The poll ends at midnight (Mountain Standard Time) on Sunday, September 6th.

Does September 2015 seem like an odd month to recognize our best book from 2014, nine months late?  It is, and that’s due to ensuring every finalists’ very important, award-winning status, courtesy of the Colorado Independent Publisher Association and its independent EVVY Awards.  Those EVVY Awards were just announced last week, and the picture of me above was taken during that ceremony in Denver, Colorado. I’ll cover more of that next time.

In the meantime, congratulations to our three Best Book of the Year finalists: