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 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).


Self Publishing for Free

Free self-publishing is everywhere. The problem is, you usually get what you pay for.

But not when you publish for free in the 3rd annual Fandemonium Facebook anthology, exclusively from Outskirts Press.   With this yearly anthology we give 40-50 talented writers the opportunity to publish some of their copyright-protected content for free in a collection of work that allows them to experience first-hand the benefits of working with a high-quality, full service self publishing firm.  Each contributor keeps all the rights to their respective work and the royalties go to the American Red Cross.  Free publication and helping a worthwhile cause? No wonder each issue is such a hit with our Facebook friends.

Here’s how it works…

Now Accepting Submissions for the Third Annual Fandemonium Anthology from Outskirts Press

It’s that time of year again! Fandemonium 3 is coming and you are invited to be a part of it!

Have you written a poem or short story that you would like to enter for a chance to be published for free in this new anthology featuring our talented Facebook fans?

Each year, Fandemonium brings Outskirts Press Facebook fans together to experience the joy of publishing with Outskirts Press first-hand, benefiting a great cause along the way.

Submitting your work for consideration is simple. Here’s what to do:

  1. Become an Outskirts Press Facebook fan by “liking” our Facebook page. If you’ve already liked us, great!
  2. Post your submission as a Note in Facebook. Then tag the Outskirts Press Facebook Page in your Note.
  3. Be sure to submit your entry before April 30th, and remember to tell your friends to vote for your submission by “liking” it.

Submissions with the highest number of votes will be considered for inclusion in our upcoming Fandemonimum Volume 3 anthology. Submissions can be fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. Short entries are best for anthologies, so submissions under 5000 words will be considered first.

You will retain 100% of the copyright to your material. By submitting content, you confirm that you are the sole copyright holder to the material you are submitting and that you grant us a non-exclusive right to use the materials you submit through our social media channels and within the Facebook Anthology when it is published and distributed. Furthermore, you understand that royalties from the sale of Fandemonium are not split among the contributors but rather go to the American Red Cross.

In fact, you can benefit the American Red Cross right now with your 10% discounted purchase of Fandemonium Volume 1 and Fandemonium Volume 2.

Ready to publish your own book as well?

Start Publishing Today

Designing a Facebook Welcome Page – Part Five

Over the course of last week I started covering the topic of creating an easily-modifiable Facebook Welcome graphic and dividing it into sections. I showed three elements of our current Facebook Welcome graphic. Element one (the top element) contained instructions for “liking” our page (since liking the page is the number one point of a Welcome page graphic).  Directly underneath this top element was a graphic element devoted to our ongoing incentive, this one for a free Barnes & Noble NOOK. And to the left of that element was the third element, a vertical banner holding the graphic “together” aesthetically. That left three remaining graphics, all of which we’ll cover this week.

Outskirts Press is devoted to making 2012 an exciting year for our Facebook friends, and to that end we’re planning on doing a special event, promotion, or announcement in each month of 2012.  So, in addition to incentivizing links and promoting larger giveaways, our Welcome Page is designed to allow us to mention each of those monthly “perks” as they come up.  So, naturally, the next graphic we needed for our Welcome graphic was for January.

Last January, we solicited poems and short stories from our Facebook fans to compile into a Facebook anthology that we called Fandemonium (our fans voted on the title).  The royalties go to The American Red Cross. The anthology was such a big success that this year we decided to do it again, so the focus of our “January” portion of our Facebook Welcome graphic is devoted toward mentioning this opportunity:

So, after seeing how the HTML tables for the Welcome graphic look in the previous posting, you can see how and where this graphic element plays a part in the entire image.

All last week, after announcing the upcoming anthology in more detail on our blog, we started receiving submissions to our wall for Fandemonium Volume 2.  We opened up the submissions for one week, ending Sunday night.  Not surprisingly, since we have nearly 10 times as many friends on Facebook this year, we received way more submissions, too. Now that the submissions are closed, the manuscript is being compiled from among all the submissions and we’ll continue to keep our Facebook community up-to-date. The Anthology is a fun, fast, free way that writers who are new to Outskirts Press can experience the thrill of seeing their work in a professionally-produced publication for sale throughout the Internet and available for order just about anywhere that sells books.

We don’t “do” this anthology to make money (after all, even the royalties go to The American Red Cross, which is the charity our Facebook community voted for with Fandemonium Volume 1).  But, from a business perspective, it is an effective marketing exercise to build relationship with new authors.  So if you’re able to create some excitement for Facebook friends, give to a worthy charity, AND market your business in a way that has a positive ROI, what’s the downside? Not much.  And perhaps that’s why we’re doing a second one.   Thank you to everyone who contributed!

And tomorrow we’ll talk about what we have coming in February and how that fits in to our Facebook Welcome Graphic…

Latest Outskirts Press Anthology (Four of a Kind) is published

Before I continue with the Google + series of posts for businesses, I’d like to take a quick moment to announce the publication of our latest anthology at Outskirts Press. This one is titled Four of a Kind and is the second in a series of anthologies we are publishing exclusively for our published authors.


Over forty-five published Outskirts Press authors have contributed to this eclectic collection of anecdotes, poetry, non-fiction, and fiction.


– Harley Dickson, author of All I Really Need to Know About Ministry, recalls a holiday when his Mama got lost in “Christmas at Coloridge 1951.”
– Sharon Elwell, author of Caught In the Middle, reveals a little known secret in “Everything I Need to Know I Learned Playing Wacky Jacks.”


– Janet Hoult, author of Body Parts, illustrates the art of being a writer in “Blank Paper 4.”
– Michael H Hardy, author of H1, finds joy in fruit in “The Mystery of Pomegranates.”


– Robin Sacks, author of Get Off My Bus, offers the secrets to success in “Find Your WHY and Start to THRIVE!”
– Richard S. Pearson, author of 5 Necessary Skills to Keep Your Career on Track, comes to the rescue in “Passed Over For A Promotion? What Now?”


– Jessica Mary Buck, author of Makeshift Christmas, draws a portrait of an imploding affair against the backdrop of 9/11 in “The Survivors.”
– Dr. Robert L. Clark, author of My Bittersweet Charlie, shares a Lieutenant’s journey for love in “Forever and Always: A Short Love Story.”

… and many more!

It’s available for discounts ranging from 10%-20% off normal retail at our direct online bookstore. Click the big green button to order it today.

Latest Outskirts Press Anthology is Published

Last week our latest Outskirts Press anthology was published, titled Royal Flush: A Winning Collection of Poetry and Short Stories. I’ve added its cover to the right-hand side-bar.

This was the third anthology we have published. The first was a collection from five of our highly successful authors and is titled The Highly Effective Habits of 5 Successful Authors. The second was a collection of  submissions made by our Facebook friends titled Fandemonium. In an effort to experiment with “collaborative, social publishing” our Facebook fans were involved with certain aspects of the production process, like determining the look of the cover, the pricing, and even the charity to receive the royalties — all determined by social voting.

Royal Flush is our third anthology. Only our own published authors at Outskirts Press were invited to participate.  Below are the submissions that are included:

You can order Royal Flush from Amazon by clicking on the cover to the right, or you can save 10% by ordering directly from Outskirts Press Direct by clicking here.