Celebrating our Authors’ Accomplishments in 2016

2016 has been quite a year for Outskirts Press authors!  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. He is now leveraging those successes to land a literary agent and a publishing contract.

In fact, so many of our authors win so many awards for their books, it becomes impossible to list all of them. That’s why we have a Pinterest board devoted to all our award-winning books. Take a look!


And that’s why we interview so many of our amazing authors, like just recently…

Publishing a book is such an empowering experience, and all our authors have such amazing stories to share! Keep an eye on the Self Publishing News blog for even more interviews from, and feature spotlights on, our prolific and award-winning authors in 2017, like…

Dr. Dawn Menge
Who has published 7 children’s books thus far, and each one of them has won at least 3 awards!

Dr. T. Charles Brantley
Who has published 21 books thus far, and counts among our most prolific clients!

Brooke Lewis
Who just published book #2, with many more to come. See her red carpet interview here, and just a few of her many television appearances here and here.


Nikki DuBose
Who just published book #1, but what a book it is — a tell-all memoir and a bombshell to the modeling industry! See just a few of her many television interviews here and here.


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 premiered 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 as it airs throughout the holiday season.

There are so many more success stories from 2016 — when you publish around 1500 books a year by around 1000 talented writers, success stories occur daily– and you can read about a newly published author every day here.

Congratulations to them all! And here’s to an equally amazing 2017!

Start marketing your book as you are writing it

For the last month and a half, my posts have focused on my participation in National Novel Writing Month, which tasks writers to compose 50,000 words to a book within the 30 days of November.  During the month, as WriMo’s (as they are called) write their books, they also converse with “buddies” online, commiserate in forums,  and some even attend local “Write-Ins” in person, where they can write alongside other NaNoWriMo participants. And all of this helps them do something that ALL writers should do — market their book AS they are writing it.

This is good advice regardless of whether you are writing a book in a month, or in a year; and Outskirts Press has recently published a book by one of the best social media marketing authors, Mirtha Michelle Castro Marmol, who uses multiple social media platforms to engage her audience for both her acting career and her writing career.

Author and actress Mirtha Michelle Castro Marmol is perhaps best known for her roles in the “Fast & Furious” franchise and the upcoming film, “AWOL-72.” Her first book of poetry, Letters, To The Men I Have Loved, was released by Outskirts Press in June of 2014 and quickly climbed through the bestseller ranks. In a recent interview with us, Mirtha Michelle credits much of her success to a quality relationship with what she calls her “social media family.” In her own words, here are four simple tips she offers to the newly published author:

  1. Diversify your platform. Mirtha Michelle keeps readers up-to-date on her activities and poetry through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram-a rigorous and diverse digital platform that ensures her words reach as many people as possible. “Social media has helped me get to know my readers and my audience,” she says, and it is important that she reach her readers wherever they are to be found.
  2. Create original content, and regularly. “Two years ago,” Mirtha Michelle tells us, “I just posted about my life a little bit-my outfits, if I went out somewhere exciting, and so on. But after a while, I started posting quotes I liked, and I started to see that social media was an outlet to express myself and show what I was working on.” She began posting more intentionally about her ongoing projects, with the intent of bringing her followers alongside as her work continues to evolve: “I see it as a job, to be honest. I pay close attention to my social media.” She makes a point of posting new and original content several times a week, including artistically and professionally shot photographs of her poetry.
  3. Positivity helps. Mirtha Michelle’s initials make up a personalized hashtag, #MMCM. This hashtag helps her readers connect across social media platforms, and has become a bastion for positivity and healthy relationships. In their comments on her blog, fans often cite her work as instrumental in helping them through difficult times. “I wish I could reply to every single person who writes a comment,” she says, “and I wish I could thank every person.” It can be challenging to keep up with every follower, but Mirtha Michelle goes to great lengths to ensure they know she’s listening: “I try to respond to everyone on Tumblr, because I really, really care.” Readers return to Mirtha Michelle’s blog, and her poetry, again and again-in large part because of her optimism and her genuine interest in their lives.
  4. Be authentic. “Write your heart,” Mirtha Michelle advises. “Imagine you’re meditating with your computer, with words. Really listen to your soul, so you can express what it wants to say.” Even on social media, she tells us, “I don’t try to be anything I’m not.”

Mirtha Michelle’s book, Letters, To The Men I Have Loved, is available through iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Outskirts Press Direct bookstore.

My NaNoWriMo stats for yesterday, November 5, 2014:

Average Per Day 1833
Words Written Today 2371
Target Word Count 50,000
Target ~ Words/Day 1,667
Total Words Written 9165
Words Remaining 40,835
Current Day 5
Days Remaining 26
At this rate, you’ll finish November 28
Words/Day to finish on time 1,571

Adding books to the blog

I’ve made a commitment to myself to invest approximately 1 hour a day to social networking enterprises–involving myself more in social networking is on my New Year’s Resolutions list– although I admit I already haven’t been doing a very good job of maintaining that average when there are so many other things that require my attention.

I try to prioritize my time based upon accomplishing goals that benefit the greatest number of our authors (or future authors) as possible, and by that benchmark, it is difficult to justify spending much time on this blog.  How does THIS blog help an Outskirts Press author?  It probably doesn’t, or at least it doesn’t as much as offering the Espresso Book Machine editions, which we just announced today. 

Getting that option set-up for our authors took a lot of my time, but it benefits a lot of our authors (current and future authors), so in my mind, that is time well-spent.   So, in the dark recesses of my mind, all I can hope is that our authors find some kernels of marketing insights from this blog and can apply concepts I introduce here to their writing, publishing, and marketing efforts in the name of making them more successful.    I am a writer first, and a CEO second, so my commitment is always to our current and future authors.  I’ll talk more about that soon.

Anyway, back to the story: adding books to the blog.  By the time I’m writing this posting, I had already added “Self Publishing Simplified” and “Sell Your Book on Amazon” to my blog, but today I added one of my remaining books, “Adventures in Publishing.”  It’s a cute little children’s book about how to publish a children’s book, with full-color illustrations and rhyming verse.  It’s meant to serve as an example of what is possible at Outskirts Press while also helping potential children’s book authors with the “how to” steps required to actually get their story illustrated and published.

I have another book, “Publishing Gems” which I may or may not add.  Honestly, I’m not as proud of it as I am of the other three… it was my first non-fiction book and my main goal with writing and publishing it was to simply “get it out there into the world” as quickly as possible.  Our self-publishing services certainly help people accomplish that goal.  And by taking that baby step, I was able to take a breath, step back, and work on something of a higher caliber, like “Sell Your Book on Amazon.”    Does that make “Publishing Gems” a poor book?  Maybe — but perhaps its goal wasn’t to be “good.” Maybe its goal was to help me overcome something within myself to allow me to focus on “Sell Your Book on Amazon.”  So does that make “Publishing Gems” a successful book because it accomplished its goal? Absolutely.

Different authors have different goals, and only the author knows what those goals are.  Readers who project their own goals, or qualifications for success, onto the book and then announce them “successes” or “failures” are not giving enough credit to the author.  Self publishing companies like Outskirts Press help authors realize a wide variety of goals, because as a writer myself, I realize that writers write for a variety of reasons.