A new year and some new resolutions

For the first time since 2014, “losing weight” was NOT the #1 New Year’s Resolution, according to Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. The new #1 is “being a better person.”

Losing weight and exercising more tied for 2nd place.

In third place was spending less and saving more money.

And that’s where Outskirts Press can help you, especially if publishing a book is ALSO one of your New Year’s Resolutions, as it often is for many, many people every year.

All month long you can save 17% on the a la carte package of your choice. See all the details here: http://outskirtspress.com/book-publishing.html

Here’s to your great successes in the coming year!

 

 

What a year for Outskirts Press authors!

In the spirit of the season, I would like to take a moment to thank our clients for entrusting us with the important task of publishing their manuscripts. Many of us are writers ourselves, so we understand the fear or uncertainty that can sometimes accompany handing over your book to a team of professionals.  Speaking of which, I would also like to thank all the talented people who work tirelessly to publish so many high-quality, professional, and award-winning books for our clients every day.   Just a quick glance at our new releases demonstrates the love and attention we give to every book we publish.

It has been an exciting year at Outskirts Press and 2017 promises to be even better!  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.

In fact, so many of our authors win so many awards for their books, it becomes impossible to list all of them, but we try our best on our Outskirts Press blog, where you can see all this year’s EVVY Winners,  and interviews with select winners like Ellen Deery Freeman and Marie-Yolaine Williams and Diane M. Bassett.  Keep an eye out for even more interviews from our award-winning authors this holiday season and in 2017.

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.

It stars Michelle Morgan and Tim Reid and it is premiering 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 when it airs throughout the holiday season.  Yes, we’ll be interviewing Landria about her amazing experience, and maybe, just maybe, she will shed a little light on how you can get a movie made out of your book, too!

Of course, that is just a very small sample of all the amazing successes our authors have had in 2016.  Congratulations to all of them. Keep up the great work!

And thank you!

Self Publishing Simplified Infographic

One of the goals of the new & improved Outskirts Press is providing our published authors with even more marketing support after their books are published.  We’ve always been very good at that (as evidenced by hundreds of testimonials to that affect here), but it’s going to get even better for our authors this year and next when the Book Marketing RoadMap and Book Marketing Bookshelf become available for all our published authors who started publishing August 1st or afterwards. More details about those exciting (and free) new marketing offerings will be forthcoming soon.

But, in the meantime, as we were consolidating the marketing support materials we have for our authors, I came across this oldie-but-a-goodie, an infographic from a number of years ago that is just as valid today as it was then:

If you liked the Diamond publishing package…

… Then you’re going to LOVE our new ULTIMATE publishing package!

Last week I wrote a posting comparing our “old” Pearl package with our new & improved Full-Color package. This week I’m going to provide another comparison, this time between our “old” Diamond package and our new & improved Ultimate package.  As you can see, we made the best value in self-publishing even better!

  • More free image insertions
  • More free galley round revisions
  • Updated free cover themes
  • More free publishing tips and marketing tips
  • More free inclusions

Before I get to the comparison, let me share a few “little known facts” about some other perks of the old Diamond, all of which converted over to the new & improved ULTIMATE package.

  • Lower shipping costs. We subsidize the cost of author’s copies shipping prices for the Ultimate (and the Full-Color and One-Clicks, for that matter); it’s not much, but every little bit helps, right?
  • Higher royalties. For every book you sell, you’ll make a dollar more with the Ultimate than you will with the Basic.
  • Lower author costs. For every book you buy, you’ll pay a dollar less with the Ultimate than you will with the Basic.
  • More promotion. The vast majority of books selected to be featured on our blog, social media channels, newsletter, and “New Releases” section of our bookstore are Ultimate books (or Full-Color).

If that’s not compelling enough, through the end of August, we are offering an instant $250 savings on our new Ultimate Publishing Package.   In fact, we are repeating ALL this month’s weekly promotions, which means you can save up to $600 on the Children’s One-Click Suite, which includes 15 original, unique illustrations. Or you can save $500 on the One-Click for Non-Fiction Suite.  See all the promotion codes by clicking here.  They expire on August 31st.

Or scroll down this comparison table to see how our Ultimate publishing package has improved upon the Diamond package in just about every way.

Benefits, Options,
Inclusions
The New Ultimate
The Old Diamond
Format & Trim Choices
31
31
Standard Interior Black/White Book Formatting
Yes
Yes
Previous Book Promotion Insert Yes $99
Customizable Full-Color Cover Themes
20
22
Optional Custom Cover Design
$399
$499
Cover Printing Styles Matte or Glossy Glossy
ISBN & Price-Embedded Bar Code
Yes
Yes
Worldwide wholesale distribution through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Gardners, UK, etc.
Yes
Yes
Worldwide retail availability through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells, etc.
Yes
Yes
Spring Arbor Christian Distribution for applicable books
Yes
Yes
Free Image Insertions
20
0
Free Galley Revision Rounds
3
1
Publication Press Release w/ Distribution
Yes
Yes
Audio Excerpt
Yes
Yes
Digital Download Edition
Yes
Yes
Author Webpage
Responsive
Non-Responsive
Free Author’s Copies
10
10
Marketing COACH Emails
Genre Specific
General
Tip Sheet: 5 Do’s & Don’ts for Formatting, Grammar, and Spelling Yes No
Tip Sheet: Author Photo & Biography Guide Sheet Yes No
Tip Sheet: 7 Highly Effective Rules for the Perfect Book Title Yes No
Tip Sheet: Best Practices for your Author Webpage Yes No
Tip Sheet: Top 15 Steps for Marketing Your Book Yes No
Tip Sheet: Navigating the Social Media Jungle Yes No
Publication Certificate Yes No
Exclusive Publication Kit including Book Launch Calendar Yes No

If you liked the Pearl publishing package…

… Then you’re going to LOVE our new FULL-COLOR publishing package!

One of the most gratifying and rewarding aspects of working at Outskirts Press is helping authors fulfill their dreams of being published. I am constantly amazed at how prolific our authors are. I’m a writer myself, so I know how challenging it is to write just one book, much less book after book after book.  But that is exactly what so many of our authors do — they write (and then return to Outskirts Press to publish) book after book after book.

Of course we enjoy helping new clients realize the joy and satisfaction that comes from successfully publishing a professional, high-quality book; but returning authors are the cornerstone of our business and we always want to give them as much help and support as possible.

That’s why I’ve created this little table below that compares our new Full-Color publishing package with our old, discontinued Pearl Full-Color package, side-by-side.  As you can see, we made a great full-color package even better!

  • More free image insertions
  • More free galley round revisions
  • More free cover themes specifically for children’s books
  • More publishing tips and marketing tips
  • Better, thicker, higher-quality paper for the Economy printing option

Before I get to the table, let me expand on our two printing options, the “Standard” and the “Economy” both of which are freely available with the Full-Color package.  The “Standard” printing is anything but standard. In fact, we tossed around the idea of calling it “premium” because that’s what it is.  But we also wanted to communicate that it was our default (ie, standard) quality of printing.

The “economy”, on the other hand, is not quite as good as our standard (although most general readers would be hard-pressed to tell the difference).  But do you know what IS good?  Publishing a 100 page full-color book for ALMOST the same retail price as a 100 page book in black/white.  Such a feat is nearly unheard of in the print-on-demand world, and that’s exactly the kind of pricing flexibility available to all our authors at Outskirts Press.

Let’s take a look at a specific example:

A 100 page, 6×9 black/white book can have a retail price of $9.95 with our Ultimate black/white publishing package. The author can receive $2.38 in royalties (yes, even WITH worldwide distribution and availability!)

That’s already amazing, and one of the main reasons so many authors publish with Outskirts Press and keep coming back for more.

But what about a full-color book?  A 100 page, 6×9 full-color book  with our economy printing option can have a retail price of $12.95 and the author can receive $2.55 in royalties (again, even with worldwide distribution and availability!).

Yes, a 100 page full-color book for $12.95! Those numbers beat many of our competitors’ black/white pricing.

If that’s not compelling enough, this week we are offering an instant $250 savings on our new Full-Color package.  Click here for all the details about this week’s promotion.

Or scroll down this comparison table to see how our Full-Color package has improved upon the Pearl package in just about every way.

Benefits, Options,
Inclusions
The New Full-Color
The Old Pearl
Format & Trim Choices
50
50
Standard Interior Full-Color Book Formatting
Yes
Yes
Standard or Economy Level Printing Yes on 70 pound paper Yes on 50 pound paper
Customizable Cover Themes
20
22
Customizable Cover Themes Specifically for Children’s Books
6
1
Optional Custom Cover Design
$399
$499
Cover Printing Styles Matte or Glossy Glossy
ISBN & Price-Embedded Bar Code
Yes
Yes
Free Image Insertions
20
10
Free Galley Revision Rounds
3
1
Marketing COACH Emails
Specifically for full-color books
General
Tip Sheet: 5 Do’s & Don’ts for Formatting, Grammar, and Spelling Yes No
Tip Sheet: Author Photo & Biography Guide Sheet Yes No
Tip Sheet: 7 Highly Effective Rules for the Perfect Book Title Yes No
Tip Sheet: Best Practices for your Author Webpage Yes No
Tip Sheet: Top 15 Steps for Marketing Your Book Yes No
Tip Sheet: Navigating the Social Media Jungle Yes No
Publication Certificate Yes No
Exclusive Publication Kit including Book Launch Calendar Yes No

10 Best Practices For Your Responsive Author Webpage

Now that every Outskirts Press author (past, present, and future) receives a free responsive Author Webpage for every book you publish with us, it’s time to share some “best practices” for making that webpage all it can be.

responsivewebpage

A responsive author webpage is more than just a “pretty face” on mobile devices and desktop computers.  It can also be a powerful sales and marketing tool; and you will increase your chances of getting the most out of your author webpage if you follow these 10 best practices:

  1. Be Loud, Be Proud!

Many Outskirts Press authors publish their books with our Private Label Imprint option. This means, we work our magic behind the scenes, and our publishing name is not on their book anywhere.  Well, that’s all well and good, until it came time to use our “old” author webpages, which still featured our logo and our publishing name.

The NEW & IMPROVED responsive author webpages recognize our Private label authors.  If you published under an independent publishing name, YOUR publishing name will be on YOUR responsive author webpage.  Now you can proudly aim your customers to your author webpage with your publishing imprint on it!

  1. Add an Excerpt!

The “menu bar” along the top of your new responsive author webpage makes navigating to the individual sections a snap, and did you know the menu bar is dynamic? That means, if you don’t have content in a particular section, that menu selection won’t appear on the menu bar.  This occurs most frequently with the “Excerpt” and “Media” sections, since those sections are optional.

But just because they are optional doesn’t mean you should ignore them.  If you don’t have an excerpt on your author webpage, add one by accessing the “Sales Tools” of your Publishing Center.  Around 250 words work best. Just cut-n-paste them into your “Excerpt” field.

  1. Format Your Excerpt!

Here’s an important tip for cutting and pasting your excerpt:   Since your author webpage accepts HTML (to allow for colored fonts, image-insertions, etc.), you MUST identify paragraph breaks in your excerpt.  There are TWO different ways to do this:

  1. Surround the contents of each paragraph with the <p></p> paragraph tags, by putting a <p> in front of the beginning of every paragraph and the </p> at the end of every paragraph. This will ensure that paragraphs don’t run together.
  2. Or, alternatively, you can add two line break codes <br><br> which is the same as “hitting the return key twice.”

By adding these simple codes to your excerpt you can make sure your words look just as good on your webpage as they do in your book.

  1. Format Your Synopsis and Biography!

See those formatting suggestions above, about adding line breaks or paragraph breaks to your excerpt?  They work for your synopsis and biography boxes, too.  Read your summary/details, your excerpt, and your author biography on multiple devices and make sure you’re happy with how everything looks. (Don’t forget to spell check your work!) If you want to add some line breaks or paragraph breaks, follow those rules above to make your webpage look as good as possible.

Suggesting HTML code is a double-edged sword.  It can help make your webpage look great. It can also “break” your webpage if you’re not careful.  So keep that in mind, as we list some other “codes” you might be interested in:

<strong>This makes words bold!</strong>
<em>This puts words in italics!</em>
<font color=”ff0000″>This makes words red!</font> (although WordPress doesn’t let me make them red).
<strong><em><font color=”ff0000″>Yes, you can stack them!</font></em></strong>

  1. Add Some Audio!

The other “optional” menu item is for the “Media” section, specifically book video trailers or audio excerpts.  The audio excerpt is included with many of our packages, so if you have recorded your audio excerpt, it is available from your author webpage already.  Check to make sure it is working correctly by visiting your author webpage from multiple devices (your phone, your tablet, your computer).  Sometimes you might discover that your audio plays fine from a desktop, but doesn’t play at all from an iPhone, for example.  Isn’t technology wonderful? If that’s the case, just let us know and we’ll fix it for you.

If you had the Audio Excerpt option but never took advantage of it, now’s the time. You’ll find the instructions in your Author Toolkit.  Just find that option, click the “more” link and instructions for how to record your Audio Excerpt will open up for you.  Read an excerpt from your book, or make a general comment about why you wrote your book.  Buyers love hearing from authors, literally!

If your package didn’t include the Audio Excerpt option, you can always add it from the Marketing Options screen of your Publishing Center.

  1. Add Some Video!

The other multi-media component of the Media section is your book video trailer.  This is a very popular marketing option that we offer, so chances are, your book video trailer may already be in your webpage’s Media section.  If you didn’t order a book video trailer with your publishing package, you can add one now from the Marketing Options tab of your Publishing Center.  In addition to being added to your author webpage, we will add it to our YouTube channel and other video distribution services. You will also receive the file for your additional marketing efforts.

But here’s a little known fact — if you have a book video that you did NOT order through Outskirts Press, you can still add it to your Author Webpage.   Just contact Chris at chrisk@outskirtspress.com with the embedded code (or the YouTube URL), and we will be happy to add your independent book video to your author webpage for you.

  1. Work the Discount!

The hardcopy books (paperback and/or hardback) available for sale from your Author Webpage always have a 10% discount, to encourage your webpage visitors to buy your book.   Don’t worry – you still receive your full royalty!  But knowing about this discount may give you confidence to send customers to your author webpage instead of to Amazon or Barnes & Noble’s website (where your customers may or may not receive a discount at all).

Speaking of formats, make sure you’re selling your Digital Download edition at the proper price. If you have the Digital Download edition (and many of our authors do), and if you did not set a specific price yourself, our webpage will default to a price of $5.00.  But the best practice is to match the price of your Kindle or Nook ebook editions (you added those formats, right?)   You can modify your Digital Download price from same screen of your Publishing Center where you manage your author webpage.

  1. Like Your Book!

Your author webpage features a Facebook “Like” button under your book cover.  Make sure you like your own book! When you do, you’ll have a chance to write a post on your Facebook feed.  We recommend asking your Facebook friends to “like” your book, too. After all, your Facebook Friends & Family are the most likely people to click on your Author Webpage link and “like” your book, but they may only do it if you ask them to.

9.Get Social!

Speaking of Facebook, you HAVE a Facebook account right?  If you don’t, go to Facebook right now and start one.  Every author must have a Facebook account. It doesn’t hurt to have a Linked-In account, either.  Those are the two “must-haves” for every author.  If you’re more experienced with social media (and have a bit more time on your hands), you may also have  a Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and/or Pinterest account.  That’s great! And guess what?  Your new responsive Author Webpage can link to ALL those social media accounts directly from your “About the Author” section — but ONLY if you tell your webpage how.

Here’s how:

  1. Click on the “Edit My Profile” in the upper right-hand corner of your Publishing Center. Or, alternatively, you may have a “My Account” link.
  2. In either case, clicking that link will open up your Profile Page, where you can Edit Your Profile, provide Social Media Details, and set your Royalty Payment Details, among other things.
  3. You want to focus on the Social Media Details section, which looks like this:edit-profile
  4. Enter in the URL for each of your social media profiles. The easiest way to do that is to go to each of your active social media platforms and go to your “home” or “main” page of your account, and then cut-n-paste the URL from the Internet Browser and place it into the appropriate field of this form. Don’t forget to save your changes.
  5. Then, when you re-visit your Author Webpage, your About the Author section will automatically add links to each of the social media accounts you added. Click on each one to make sure you entered the proper link. If it doesn’t go to the right place, make adjustments accordingly.
  1. Market All Your Books!

If you’ve published multiple books with Outskirts Press (and many of you have), then your Author Webpage automatically features an “Also by” section in which all of your other book covers appear, each of them clickable to their own responsive webpage.  It’s a proven fact that readers of one of your books are more inclined to be readers of your others books, so be sure to publish multiple books to automatically add this cool section to all of your Outskirts Press author webpages. All you have to do is click this button…

… and, well… write the next book, of course.  Here’s to your great success!