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.

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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.

 

Book Reviews in Publisher’s Weekly

Contrary to popular belief, it IS possible to get your independently published book reviewed (for free) by Publisher’s Weekly, as demonstrated by just this small sampling of Outskirts Press titles (click on each cover to jump over to the PW review):

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Since Publisher’s Weekly is an industry news periodical, timeliness is of utmost importance, so the more recently your book was published, the more likely your chances are for a review.  Check out the submission guidelines on their site for more information.

Marketing & Publishing Success

I’ve been quite busy over the past couple months, appearing at the CIPA EVVY Awards, the Colorado Book Festival, the Mountain & Plains Show, and most recently (this past week) at the Author University in Los Angeles.  A premier event for marketing & publishing success (it even says so on its banner!), this bi-annual publishing seminar and trade show educates published and soon-to-be-published authors on publishing, marketing, and publicity options all designed to help writers make great decisions and become more successful.

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There were two common themes at this year’s event:  Change, and author-dependent marketing.

Change:  All the speakers, panelists, and exhibitors agreed that the publishing industry continues to undergo radical changes, and we all recognize the challenges such changes present both service-providers and their clients (authors). While the publishing traditionalists continued to stress the importance of agent-representation and traditional publishing, they were far out-numbered by modern approaches to publishing, marketing, and publicity (as evidenced by the many presenters who focused largely on marketing platforms such as Facebook, Amazon, and YouTube).

Author-Dependent Marketing: In spite of these recognized changes, what we all agreed was not changing was the necessity of an author’s participation when it comes to marketing a book. If anything, this is becoming even more important, as even the traditionalists admitted that without a strong author platform, securing traditional publication (and selling books after-the-fact) is next to impossible.

As such, the publishers that excelled in helping authors market their books after publication were the ones that created the most excitement for all the authors in attendance.

Speaking of which, in follow-up to my last posting, two new Marketing Guides have been added to the Outskirts Press Publishing Center for our published authors in your Book Marketing Bookshelf.

  • The Top 7 Marketing Elements to Include in Your Book – If your book contains one (or more) of these seven common elements, you already have a distinct advantage. Read this white-paper in your Publishing Center to discover what they are and plan accordingly to include as many as you can with your next book.
  • The Book Marketing Guide – The definitive book marketing bullet list that takes the complex exercise of book marketing and simplifies it.

And, of course, as always it was great meeting all our current and future authors in person, including John, Greg, Gina, Francine, Dominic, Ken, Rick, Rita, Roger, and others.

Here’s to your great success!

Introducing the Free Book Marketing Bookshelf for Outskirts Press Authors

In yesterday’s posting, I displayed the results of a survey we conducted on a cross-section of our published authors asking what single thing they valued most about publishing with Outskirts Press. The first and second most popular answers gave way to our new brand message and the further emphasis of our fantastic publishing experts.

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For the third answer, “Book marketing advice/support to help you sell more copies” I mentioned the introduction of our exclusive Book Launch Kit, which for new authors who began publishing on August 1, 2016 or later, is mailed to every One-Click, Ultimate, and Full-Color author upon publication.

The items within the Book Launch Kit are:

  • 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

Providing lots of marketing support and advice after publication has always been one of the major differentiating factors between Outskirts Press and many other publishers. Every author already receives The Marketing COACH, which provides creative online assistance, coaching, and help via email for years after publication.  Every author already received the 7 Tactics of Successfully Published Authors.

And as of yesterday, every author now also received the Book Marketing Bookshelf, a growing resource library of articles, e-books, whitepapers, resources, and guides that offers free marketing advice, promotional suggestions, and strategic steps to help our authors sell more books.

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Published Outskirts Press authors signed-in to their Publishing Center  Dashboard need only look for this graphic and click it to open the free marketing resource library, which is currently stocked with the following helpful information:

  • Top National Contests & Awards
  • 10 Local Ways to Use Your Free Author’s Copies
  • Top 15 Steps for Marketing Your Book
  • 10 Best Practices for Your Responsive Author Webpage
  • 77 Book Marketing & Promotional Resources

More marketing information will be added to the library regularly.

The Internet has demonstrated that anyone can throw-up (pun intended) any ol’ book onto the “cloud” as a poorly conceived, designed, and edited e-book.  But that’s not doing readers, or the self-publishing industry as a whole, any favors.  Few and far between are the #1-rated publishing companies that are truly committed to helping authors publish high-quality, professional, award-winning books and then giving them this level of marketing support after publication.

In fact there’s only one.

 

 

 

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:

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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…

 

 

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:

Congratulations to our 2016 Best Book of the Year award-winner!

Every year Outskirts Press recognizes 3-5% of our best books for official EVVY Award Nomination, to submit to the Colorado Independent Publishers Association’s EVVY Awards.  From those winners, we select three finalists for our annual Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Awards.  Those three finalists then compete head-to-head-to-head in a public poll (the results of which you can see here) to recognize the writer with the best “author platform” and marketing prowess in order to earn the esteemed title of Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year.

In short, it’s not easy.  So, when an author accomplishes it twice, that is truly a remarkable achievement!

Congratulations to Andrew Ceroni, author of 2016’s Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year, Meridian!

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In this prequel to SNOW MEN, CIA agent Pete Novak is racing to Europe with orders to stop Laszlo, to kill him if that’s what it takes. Several agents have already died trying. Novak’s dedicated security escort, J.T. Brannon, former assassin unmatched in the art of killing, is leery of Novak’s assignment and warns him of its danger. As Novak unravels the alarming secrets behind the MERIDIAN program and his path converges with Laszlo’s desperate pursuit to annihilate his demons, Novak and his family are swept into the crosshairs of rogue Agency assassins. Only Brannon can save Novak’s family, and he is committed to sacrificing his own life to do so. The final confrontation and profound revelation of MERIDIAN explode into a deadly struggle over what may be the very future of mankind itself.

It is the biggest of America’s big secrets—MERIDIAN, the deepest black and most intensely protected program since the Atom Bomb. The MERIDIAN program contains the furthest leading edge of weapons technology and with origins more profoundly startling than the technology itself. Governments will stop at nothing to get it. Laszlo Csengerny, a Russian–controlled spy, a man haunted by demons from his past, has uncovered the key to destroying the program.

Makes you want to read it, doesn’t it? Andrew Ceroni is not only a master story-teller, and an excellent marketer, he also happens to be a hell of a nice guy! I’ve met him twice. Most recently, at this year’s EVVY Awards when he accepted his 1st Place EVVY Award for Meridian (in the Action/Adventure Category), and his 2nd Place EVVY Award for Meridian (in the Science Fiction Category).  And I met him at last year’s EVVY Awards when he accepted his 1st Place EVVY Award for Snow Men.  Snow Men went on to win last year’s Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year. Buy it here.

Winning the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year award comes with a number of perks, including extra exposure throughout social media (such as blog postings exactly like this), the option of adding a permanent “Best Book of the Year” graphic emblem on the book itself, and of course the $1500 Grand Prize added to his author account at Outskirts Press.

Now that Outskirts Press has been updated and upgraded, the Best Book of the Year winner also receives prime “real estate” on the Outskirts Press direct bookstore, where one of the rotating “slides” promotes the book, with a direct link to buy it. This graphic will remain on the bookstore until the NEXT Best Book of the Year is determined.

I’m going to ask Andrew if he’s willing to be interviewed about his process, his books, his tactics for dominating the Best Book voting, and his plans for the future.  With any luck, he’ll say yes. Stay tuned. But in the meantime, congratulations to all our Finalists (that’s an amazing feat in its own right) and our Grand Prize Award-winning author — Andrew Ceroni, author of this year’s Meridian!