13 Lucky Features in the new Author Webpage Upgrade

Within the next 30 days, Outskirts Press authors will be able to upgrade their Free Author Webpages to a new, cutting-edge RWD design.   To find out what is so awesome about RWD, read this recent post here. I’ve been discussing ousite-smallr company’s migration to RWD for a number of posts, and the specific milestones that we have completed thus far, along with those left to complete.   “Author Webpages” was milestone #4, and I introduced the new look for upgraded Author Webpages here.

For this post, we are going to take a closer look at the new RWD Upgrade for Outskirts Press Author Webpages, and the 13 cool features that accompany it.  A full screen-grab of an upgraded Author Webpage is to the right, along with 13 numbered features that I will discuss in detail below.  Of course, you can get a closer look by visiting the new upgraded version of this page at http://outskirtspress.com/opcollection2

  1. Outskirts Press authors have the choice of publishing under our imprint of “Outskirts Press, Inc” or their own publishing imprint name using our “Private Label ISBN” option, which registers an exclusive ISBN under their own publishing name.  A new feature of the Upgraded Author Webpage is that Private Label authors have THEIR publishing name displayed, rather than “Outskirts Press, Inc.”
  2. A new menu bar has been added to the Upgraded Author Webpage, which allows easy navigation to each section of the page: Book Details, Author Information, Book Excerpt, and Multi-Media. If an author has chosen to leave a section blank (didn’t add any multi-media, for instance), then that menu option is omitted automatically.
  3. The pertinent sales information remains and contains the title, sub-title, author name, publication date, page count, and genre.
  4. Every available edition of the author’s book is now available to purchase in whatever format (and from whatever source) the buyer prefers.  Paperback and hardback editions can be purchased directly from Outskirts Press for a 10% discount (authors still get their full royalty). This is a new feature for Emerald authors, who can now utilize our bookstore to sell their books rather than handling the details themselves.  PDF e-files are still available for instant download if the author selected that option. A new feature offers a direct link to the iTunes edition if the author purchased the Standard iPad e-book edition.  Still present from previous versions of the author webpage are links to the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, which also brings shoppers’ attention to the possible availability of Kindle and/or Nook e-book editions of the book.
  5. The book’s front cover is displayed along with a Facebook “Like” button. A new feature is the addition of the Pinterest “Pin it” button, so your visitors can easily “pin” your book cover to their Pinterest Boards.
  6. The “Book Details” section remains, and is still modifiable within the author’s Publishing Center.  You can still use different font colors or hotlink to images with a rudimentary understanding of HTML. With this update, authors can no longer change their old author webpage layout or site colors.
  7. The “Book Excerpt” section remains, and is still modifiable within the author’s Publishing Center. You can still use different font colors or hotlink to images with a rudimentary understanding of HTML.  A new feature is the clean omission of this section if an author has chosen not to include an excerpt.
  8. The “About the Author” section and author’s biography both remain, which includes the author’s photo for Diamond, Pearl, and Ruby authors (if they provided it). The author bio text is still modifiable within the author’s Publishing Center.
  9. An exciting new feature of the Upgraded Author Webpage is the “social media” connection in the “About the Author” section, whereby an author can add up to six direct links to his or her Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Linked-In, or Instagram accounts.  Just add the URL details in your Author Profile and be a Ruby, Diamond, or Pearl author for the “social media connection” functionality to be added to your Upgraded Author Webpage automatically.
  10. The “Also by” section remains for Diamond and Pearl authors, but is much more visually interesting since it showcases the front covers of every book you’ve published with Outskirts Press (or your own publishing imprint). Click on the cover and you’re taken to that book’s Author Webpage (which you can also choose to upgrade).
  11. The “Multi-Media” section remains for Audio Excerpts recorded by the author and/or for optional Book Video Trailers. A new feature to the Upgraded Author Webpage: The Audio files now play on iPhones.  This section is cleanly omitted if the author does not have an audio excerpt or a book video.
  12. The Outskirts Press “footer” provides easy contact information to Outskirts Press (to resolve any potential ordering or technical issues for your readers), plus easy access to the full gamut of our Social Media Author Communities.
  13. If the optional Private Label ISBN was used to publish the book, all the Outskirts Press “branding” is removed from the author’s webpage.

Adding Social Media to Outskirts Press Self Publishing

As followers of this blog know, I’ve been detailing our migration to RWD (responsive web design) at Outskirts Press for the past several posts.  In my last post on the topic, I introduced our upcoming new Author Webpages, which are designed in full RWD and feature a slew of new features when compared with the “old” author webpages.

Among those new features are the author’s ability to connect his/her author webpage with various social media channels (like Facebook, etc.). See the top-right corner of the sample image below:


In order for each author’s webpage to be able to go to each author’s Facebook feed or Twitter account, or Pinterest board, etc., the author simply needs to add that information into their author account.  Since January 1, authors have been able to EDIT their Author Profile information and supply us with the URLs to their respective social media channels so that when the Author Webpages are made available soon, those social media buttons will work perfectly.


A new “Social Media Details” section has been added to the Edit Author Profile screen. The Author Profile screen is where every Outskirts Press author can manage their Author Information (like their email address, their password, the method of receiving their royalties, and now — their social media preferences!)

The first field for “Facebook Awards Member” controls the author’s opt-in/opt-out preferences for our Facebook Achievements, which I’ve blogged about before. Basically, it allows an author to keep his or her Facebook followers apprised of publishing and marketing accomplishments and milestones automatically.  It’s not a new field, but it is in a new place on the screen because it’s more appropriate under “Social Media Details.”

The other six fields are new, and this is where Outskirts Press clients can enter their personal URLs for six different social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Linked-In, and Pinterest.

If an author doesn’t have a specific “presence” on any of those specific sites, he or she simply leaves it blank and that specific social media channel is omitted from the author’s new RWD author webpage.  Of course, a preferable strategy from a marketing point of view would be to make sure you DID have a presence on each of them.

Speaking of having a social media presence, our January publishing promotion at Outskirts Press is giving away a FREE Author Platform Set-Up, which is a fast, convenient way to jump-start your social media marketing for when Outskirts Press has published your book. All the details of this amazing publishing giveaway can be found on our promotions page through January 2016.

Of course, for our already-published authors, the Author Platform Set-Up option is also a great marketing choice and is available from the Marketing Options screen in your Publishing Center.





Save 10% on the latest Facebook Anthology, Fandemonium!

For the past three years, Outskirts Press has collected original short stories and poems from its Facebook community at http://facebook.com/outskirtspress for free publication in an annual anthology titled Fandemonium.  This exercise offers writers a chance to interact with Outskirts Press in a fun, fast way without cost or obligation while experiencing the joy of publishing (and seeing their work published) in a first-hand way.  To top it off, the proceeds from all Fandemonium sales go toward the American Red Cross, which was the charity chosen by our social media community back in 2011 when we published the inaugural edition.

Over the years, the charity (American Red Cross), retail price ($16.95), title and cover (see below) have all remained branded and consistent — another important facet of self-publishing a series of books:


Congratulations to the writers included in all three volumes, the table of contents for which can be seen by visiting each respective bookstore page by clicking on the cover image above (which, incidentally, is also where one can enjoy the 10% discount!)  This is also the first year we’ve been including Pinterest in our social media efforts, and a collection of our anthologies can be found on our Self-Publishing Anthologies board on Pinterest.

Self Publishing Award Winners on Pinterest

I’ve spent a lot of posts talking about the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year awards over the past few months and even though we announced the winner on the Self Publishing News blog, I realized I hadn’t mentioned the winner here.  This gives a good opportunity to also discuss another way Outskirts Press is using Pinterest, as a way of further promoting our Best Book of the Year winners and finalists with their own board.  We “pin” the three finalists and then the winning author’s photo is also pinned, along with some biographical information.  You can see our self publishing finalists and the winners from 2010, 2011, and 2012 on Pinterest by clicking here. And in doing so, you’ll learn the recently crowned winner of the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year for 2012.

The Pinterest board that focuses on our winners and finalists is different from many of our other boards in that it continues to grow and evolve, with four new pins added every year. In reality, this is how most Pinterest boards should be (albeit, perhaps “pinned” more frequently).  Highly successful Pinterest Boards (from a social media perspective) should categorize “pins” and then constantly add new pins within that category. These are the boards that receive the most followers and activity.   Most of our boards are static, in that they announce a specific collection of books at a specific period of time (self publishing bestsellers in a particular month, for example), and as a result, those boards never change.  That is admittedly defeating much of the advantages of Pinterest, because why would someone bother to “follow” a board that never changed or expanded?

On the other hand, our monthly self publishing bestseller boards do allow us to collect a diverse collection of books that all share one trait (best selling status), and that makes it easier to point to them as a collection when discussing them on other sites or blogs. For example, if I want to mention our top 10 bestsellers from the month of May, I can simply say “Click here to see them” rather than having to generate 10 different clicks with 10 different images.  Pinterest has already done that work for me.

Ultimately,  both static boards and dynamic boards have their place on Pinterest.

The convenience factor of Pinterest

Before I get to the topic of the EVVY Awards and our own Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Awards, both of which are taking place in May, I want to briefly mention a value of Pinterest. It occurred to me as I was writing my last post, particularly this sentence: “In fact, you can benefit the American Red Cross right now with your 10% discounted purchase of Fandemonium Volume 1 and Fandemonium Volume 2.”

In many of our blog postings, both on this blog and on our Self Publishing News blog at http://blog.outskirtspress.com we refer to multiple books, as I did in that sentence above. In most cases, the books have a commonality to them, which, of course, is why they’re being mentioned together.  In the case above, the commonality was that both books were Fandemonium Facebook Anthologies. In other cases, we might refer to our top 10 best selling books for a particular month, or a great selection of romantic books for Valentine’s Day, or a collection of books for Cinco de Mayo, as we did yesterday on our Outskirts Press blog.

Before Pinterest, in order to direct people to such a collection, one would first have to create a blog posting about it, as we did for the Cinco de Mayo books.  But now, a variety of products can be collected together on a Pinterest Board, and you can point people/clients/customers/consumers to that specific board with one single link (as opposed to using multiple links as I did when referring to Fandemonium Volume 1 and Volume 2 in my previous post). The advantage of course is the “call-to-action.”  Having one clear call-to-action is always more successful that having multiple links fighting for the click’s attention.

I’ll be talking more about getting the most from Pinterest in the future, but I wanted to mention that convenience factor while the applicable post was still fresh.  So, with no further ado, you can see all the Outskirts Press Anthologies simply by clicking here (yes, on Pinterest).