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!

 

 

The Best Book of the Year process begins today

Last Saturday, the 2016 EVVY Awards took place in Denver, Colorado, and I was present (along with other Outskirts Press authors) to receive awards on behalf of our authors who were unable to attend in person.  Pictures from that evening will be posted on my blog soon.

Outskirts Press won 22 awards that night, and they are posted on our Outskirts Press blog here.

Sharp-eyed readers will notice that only 21 winners are listed. That’s because Action/Adventure 1st Place Winner Meridian, by Andrew Ceroni, also won 2nd place in the Science Fiction category!  Andrew was one of the Outskirts Press authors in attendance to receive his award personally.  An interesting side-note is that Andrew’s previous book, Snow Men, was also a First-Place EVVY Award-winner last year, before going on to win last year’s Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award and its $1500 Grand Prize.

self publishing . self publishing

Which brings me to the subject of this posting:

How the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Awards are determined.

Winning an EVVY Award is a prerequisite to winning our own Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year award, now in its 6th year. From among the winners announced last Saturday night at the CIPA ceremony, Outskirts Press selects three finalists. Those finalists will be announced at the beginning of September.  And then a public poll (open to everyone) will be posted at SelfPublishingNews.com where everyone gets to cast their vote for the actual winner.

So how are the Best Book of the Year finalists determined from among the EVVY winners?  Since they’ve won an EVVY Award, a lot of the technical and artistic components have already been taken into consideration and recognized, so choosing three Best Book of the Year finalists is admittedly more subjective.

For one, we do not simply go in order of EVVY awards (First, Second, Third) for two main reasons:

1) Each category of the EVVY awards is judged separately and independently, meaning a book that receives a 3rd place in one category is not automatically “worse” than a book that receives a 1st Place in a different category; the first category could have simply had higher caliber books, overall.

2) Unlike the EVVY judges, we have more context to apply to our decision for the Best Book of the Year finalists.  We know the authors. We are more familiar with their writing career and talents and aspirations. We know if they have published previous books and, if so, how THOSE books have performed in various contests. We know how their royalties are stacking up against other Outskirts Press authors and, more importantly, against the self-publishing industry on average.   CIPA judges take none of these factors into consideration when judging individual EVVY Awards (nor should they) but we do when choosing finalists from among all the EVVY winners.  That’s because the winner of the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year is not only the author of a fantastic book, but she or he is a consummate marketing and writing professional (as detailed below).

self publishing award

The first thing we do is seek the opinions of various people at Outskirts Press in regard to the EVVY Winners. “From among this list, who do YOU think should be the Finalists, and why?” We collect those answers and add those variables to our consideration.

Next, we look at the EVVY Winners in order of placement (I realize I just said the decision doesn’t simply depend upon the order of the prizes, and it doesn’t, but the order of the EVVY awards are taken into consideration), and from that order we basically ask ourselves, “Is there a reason this book should NOT be a finalist?”

Finally, we look at the authors themselves– their career, the number of books they have published (and plan on publishing in the future); their royalties, their marketing initiatives, their social media presence.  Which authors from among the EVVY winners do we believe have the marketing chops to go head-to-head-head with their fellow finalists for an exciting public poll that determines the ultimate winner of the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award and its $1500 Grand Prize?

Stay tuned…

 

 

What’s new (and great!) about the One-Click Non-Fiction Suite

publishing-small“Have you ever wondered how you’re going to do it all? You’ve looked down your list of things to do: formatting, cover art, copyright registration and editing…not to mention all of the marketing and Ingram distribution once your book has been published – and had that moment of panic. Don’t worry! You can relax! We’ve got you covered with our One-Click Publishing Suites, which include everything you need to make your non-fiction, fiction, children’s book, or spiritual book a success.

Today you can save $500 with this special introductory offer on our new One-Click for Non-Fiction package. One click is all it takes to connect with a team of professionals who will assist you every step of the way. One click is all it takes to get a professional custom cover, professional copy editing, and an enhanced interior. One click is all it takes to sell a high-quality paperback on Barnes & Noble and Amazon and a high-quality e-Book on the Kindle. But don’t wait! This offer is good this week only! Right now, you’re only one click away from achieving your dream of becoming a successfully-published author. Promotion Code: Save500Aug16″

Such is the promotional copy that greets new authors when they explore our new One-Click for Non-Fiction publishing suite this week, and its $500 Introductory Offer. I believe the first paragraph touches upon a common feeling among all authors — an overwhelming sense of … what to call it? … Concern? Anxiety? The jitters?  Publishing your first book can seem overwhelming for new authors, and that is why they seek out services likes those offered by Outskirts Press.  In our 14 years of industry experience, we have identified a few things that can help make good books great, and professional writers extraordinary.  Two of the most necessary components of a fantastic book are professional editing and professional custom cover design.  ALL our One-Click Suites include both.

We call them “Suites” because they are a bundle of quality pre-production, production, and marketing services designed exclusively for a particular type of book.  At the present time we have launched our New & Improved Outskirts Press with 4 One-Click Suites: Non-Fiction, Fiction, Spiritual Books, and Children’s Books.

For the thousands of authors who have published with one of our a la carte, custom publishing packages (and those have all changed, too — more on that at a later date), the One-Click difference is nothing short of extraordinary.   Let me briefly walk you through the publishing process of both, starting with the custom, a la carte package first:

  1. Order an a la carte custom publishing package (let’s say, the Ultimate).
  2. Select your format(s)
  3. Select your trim size(s)
  4. Select your interior formatting option
  5. Select your interior production options
  6. Select your cover option
  7. Enter your summary, author biography, sales annotation, cover copy
  8. Set your price plan
  9. Set your retail price
  10. Select your marketing options
  11. You’re done. Sit back and relax while we go to work.

All that customization is great, and some of our authors THRIVE on the degree of flexibility and choice we give them.  But making decisions can slow the process down and allow for some important ingredients to be opted-out-of (like editing, or custom cover design, or marketing services).

In comparison, here is the publishing process for the One-Click Non-Fiction Suite:

  1. Order a One-Click Suite (let’s say, the Non-Fiction)
  2. You’re done. Sit back and relax while we go to work.

No long lists of trim sizes to fret over. No price plans and trade discounts to worry about. No cover themes, interchangeable image libraries, or concern about selecting the correct production & marketing options.  That’s because the One-Click Non-Fiction package already includes everything a professional non-fiction writer needs to publish the non-fiction book of his or her dreams (and significantly increase the chances for its success, and its success in book contests).

What’s it include? And why is it important?  This is a long list, but if you’re thinking of making an investment into your non-fiction book, it’s one worth reading.

  • A 6×9 paperback.  All our One-Click Non-Fiction authors have ultimate control over the trim size of their book, but the default size for this publishing suite is 6×9 so the majority of our clients don’t need to worry about nuances like choosing between 30 different size/format combinations (some of which have “whiter” paper or “thinner” paper. Yikes!  We just make it EASY for them.  Can they add a hardback edition? Of course.
  • Professional copy editing. All of our One-Click Suites include a professional-grade edit by a professional, human editor. Automatic grammar checks and spellchecks are great, and should always be a first step for any manuscript submission, but there is simply no substitute for a pair of highly-trained eyes. More than 80% of our non-fiction books are 75,000 words or less, so that is the word count that is included for free.  If a non-fiction book is longer than 75,000 words, the author simply pays the difference (at a per-word price that is less than just about all our competitors).
  • Professional custom cover design. All of our One-Click Suites include an original, custom-designed cover by a professional cover designer, all of whom have a decade or more of cover-design experience.  Our One-Click clients can describe their vision for their cover, or leave it up to the designer’s best artistic interpretation of the manuscript. In either case, the designer will present TWO different concepts for the author to choose from.   Sometimes, BOTH the concepts are so good that the author has a hard time selecting.  Talk about an embarrassment of riches (which, in fact, describes this whole package).  Fortunately, we have a solution for that “problem” too. It’s just a little bit of market research we make available for all our authors, and you can see an example of how it works on our Outskirts Press blog here.

Before I continue, I will say that copy editing and custom cover design are so important, they are mandatory components of our Best Book of the Year Awards, and our EVVY Nominees.  Since we KNOW all our One-Click suites include both professional editing and professional custom cover design, all One-Click packages are automatically eligible for both contests.  Speaking of which, our 16 EVVY Award Finalists were just announced, and you can see them here. Winning an EVVY Award is a prerequisite to winning our Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award (and its $1,500 Grand Prize).

  • Enhanced book formatting. Don’t get me wrong; our standard interior book formatting still runs circles around most publishers — but for that extra “wow factor” the Enhanced Upgrade can sometimes make the difference between a successful book and an award-winning successful book. This upgrade is included with the One-Click Non-Fiction suite, once again making things easy for the client to get the best book possible.
  • Expedited service. When you publish as many books a year as we do (roughly 1,600 annually), and apply so much time and attention to each one, a math major could identify a potential problem with that business model.  It’s true.  We love our books, and we are passionate about making them the best they can be.  That takes time.  So all our One-Click clients “jump to the front of the line” so to speak.
  • ISBN & Barcode. It almost goes without saying at this point in the self-publishing community, but of course all our packages, including the One-Click Suites, include an ISBN and a barcode, both mandatory ingredients for an actual book (and ingredients that many DIY e-books from DIY places still don’t bother with).  That’s like making a hamburger without the … hamburger.  It doesn’t even count as a book.  But, the One-Click Non-Fiction package goes one step further by offering the client the free option of publishing under his/her own private ISBN (instead of ours).  Some clients care about this sort of thing; others don’t.  The One-Click Non-Fiction suite accommodates both, and it is included.
  • Official copyright registration, Library of Congress filing (including LOC #), and Books-in-Print registration.   Nothing exciting here. Just some basic administrative elements required by “real” published books. We handle all these administrative details for our One-Click Non-Fiction authors as a standard practice so they don’t have to worry about it.
  • Book publishing tip sheets. One of the increased values introduced by all our new services as of August 1 are a collection of articles, best practices, and whitepapers all designed to help authors publish the best book possible.  What makes a great author photo? What makes a great book title? What are some common do’s and don’ts for proper manuscript submission?  The free book publishing tip sheets answer all these questions for all our authors, and they’re all free and included.
  • The Book Marketing RoadMap. On the other end of the production cycle from the publishing tip sheets comes the marketing road maps. These guides and blueprints for successfully, efficiently, and effectively marketing a book are included for all our new authors as of August 1 with our new packages.  What are the best book contests to enter? How do you successfully navigate the social media waters? What are the best 15 marketing tactics to pursue, and why? These are just some of the compelling questions answered by the Book Marketing RoadMap for all our clients.
  • The Marketing COACH(tm). Yes, that is actually trademarked, if you can believe it, because only Outskirts Press offers Creative, Consistent, Assistance, Coaching, and Help to all our authors for years after publication.  COACH is a clever acronym, yes, but it’s also a clever program (pun intended).  Our software automatically delivers all our first-time published authors a veritable treasure trove of marketing advice, suggestions, marketing options, promotions, discounts, and tips via an “email drip” system for days, weeks, months, and years after publication.  No other self-publishing service provider offers anything like it, and the proof is in the pudding.  — Which is another way to say Ingram Wholesalers and its POD distribution representatives have personally called me on several occasions to remark on how impressive our wholesale book sales numbers are compared with our competitors.  They literally ask what we’re doing differently.  “It’s because we are passionate about helping our authors market and sell their books after they are published,” always sounds like a better answer than: “The Marketing COACH.”  Actually, both statements are true.
  • Custom Press Release and Public Relations Campaign. You can’t publish a top-notch, professional non-fiction book without telling the world about it, can you?  Well, you can, but you shouldn’t.  And the One-Click Non-Fiction package ensures that the world knows, with press release campaigns, PR publicist campaigns, hot leads follow-up, electronic clipping services, and global news wire notifications.
  • Amazon “stuff.”  We all know Amazon is the world’s largest retailer (yep, they overtook Wal-Mart), and they’ve been the world’s largest bookseller for even longer.  When I mentioned that the “Marketing COACH” was what we do differently, I could also mention all the attention we focus on Amazon. I wrote a little book titled Sell Your Book on Amazon, so I know a thing or two about it, and I make sure our marketing support personnel, as well as our authors, know how to “work Amazon”. We make sure our One-Click Non-Fiction books are redesigned for the Kindle e-book reading devices and submitted for distribution on Amazon’s Kindle platform. We make sure their hard copy book is in Amazon’s “Look Inside” program because of the benefits that creates for the Amazon search algorithm. We make sure their annotation and summary and sales page are top-notch. You know, all that stuff every self-publishing author should do for every book they publish. We do it for our One-Click authors.
  • Oh, and we also include their books in the Google Books Preview.
  • And we also submit 10 hard copy books and 10 pitch packets to 10 book reviewers to solicit book reviews, blurbs, and testimonials.
  • And we also create an original, awesome 60-90 second book video trailer and then share that video on Facebook and upload it to our YouTube channel and provide it to the author for further distribution.
  • And we also give the author a responsive, social media-integrated Author Webpage (like the one you saw for my book, if you happened to click that cover up there).  Their book video trailer appears in the Media Section, along with an audio excerpt the author can choose to record, if he/she so wishes (it’s included, but entirely optional).

Whew.  As if that wasn’t long enough, as a reward for reading this much, here are some “hidden benefits” that come with the One-Click Non-Fiction package. We don’t really promote these, per se, but I know how the website is programmed, so it’s also true that:

  • All One-Click Non-Fiction books appear in the “Browse” section of our online bookstore. We only showcase great-looking books here, and all One-Click books look great!
  • We subsidize shipping costs with One-Click clients. Shipping fees can add up for authors, especially if they are ordering a lot of author’s copies to pursue marketing efforts.  We want to encourage all our One-Click clients to participate in those  important marketing steps, so we share some of the shipping burden with them. For example, the approximate shipping cost for fifty 200-page books within the continental United States for an Economy client might cost about $35 or so (70 cents each).  That same shipment might cost about $25 or so for the One-Click client (50 cents each).  Saving 20 cents for each book shipped might not sound like much until you order 1500 and save $300.
  • Another perk for ALL our authors, including the One-Click clients, is that we do not charge sales tax on author’s copies they order themselves. Most of our largest competitors do. That’s another 4-8% you’re saving on every book order.
  • We have some other perks for One-Click clients being added to our post-publication departments, but they’re still in development (since we just relaunched everything 2 days ago!), so it’s too early to reveal details. But I will in the future.

There you have it.  The One-Click Non-Fiction Suite from Outskirts Press. Publish your passion.

 

 

 

The Outskirts Press CEO is rendered Speechless by a self-publishing author

The Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year awards are over for another year. Congratulations again to all our EVVY nominees, winners, and Best Book finalists.   I received a gracious email from the winner, Andrew Ceroni, who expressed both his excitement and his appreciation. It’s always great to hear from our award-winning authors.

In fact, a little over a week ago I also received an amazing email from the author of Speechless, which was one of the Best Book of the Year Finalists. This was while the Best Book voting was still occurring at the Self Publishing News website.  It was so touching, I asked her permission to share it on my blog after the final votes were in and she granted that permission while simultaneously expressing an interest in congratulating Mr. Ceroni for his win.   Thank you, Ms. Brown, for the email below.

Dear Mr. Sampson,

I am writing to thank you for the journey I never expected.

I am the author of Speechless. You know me as E.J. Brown, my kids know me as mom, and the rest of the world knows me as Melissa. I started writing Speechless eight years ago to fill a void and to teach the world about autism. I remember the first phone call I had with Laura Neal, we discussed pricing and I told her I wanted to give the book away. After a moment of silence she calmly explained how pricing worked and I conceded, realizing that “reasonably priced” would have to do if I couldn’t give it away for free. After Speechless was published I did no marketing at all and sold very few books. I already have a full time job, this was just a hobby, and my full-time job was recovering my autistic son. I am his teacher and he is mine. We spend every day together as he gets closer to recovery.

When I received the EVVY nomination, I was floored. I had fallen into this profession because of a passion for my children as I had falling into teaching years ago because of a love of history and the world. My life has taken me some very interesting places when I followed my heart; places I could never have dreamed of.  After I won the EVVY I was again delighted and floored. A panel of writers read Speechless and decided that it was well written and worthy of first place. That tickled my heart like you will never know. That was not the end of the road though, still there was more. You continued to push me further down this path as your team nominated Speechless for Book of the Year. For the first time I have to sell myself, something I have never been very good at but for the first time I was up for the challenge. Out of my seclusion I have learned so much, and most important of all is that my story is the story of so many others that I hadn’t realize.

Social media, Facebook, Instragram– it all frightens me but I willingly jumped in with both feet. I was a high school teacher a little over a decade ago. I was in my mid 20’s and my students were 14-17 years old. As I was sending my pleas for votes I received a friend request from a student I had almost 15 years ago. I am 41 years old today and she is just ten years younger. I accepted her request and learned that she has two boys that are also on the autism spectrum. She told me she read my book, loved it, and felt less alone for the first time in a long time. Another friend of mine told me her daughter loved Speechless so much that she wrote a book report about it for school. I could never imagine a teenager loving something I wrote so much that they would write a book report about it for school!

SO I have to say even though there are two days left to vote I want to take a moment to thank you for the journey and the chance to tell my story and for forcing my hand, pushing me out of my comfort zone and making me sell myself. I just finished my second book with Outskirts Press, A Fervent Hope. It is in pre-media right now and I am anxious to share it with the world in just a few short weeks.  I am going to do it differently this time.

So thank you again for the opportunity to be a star, if just for a little while. I am so thrilled to just to be nominated. I look forward to seeing how it all turns out on Sunday.

                                                Thanks again for the opportunity,

                                                Melissa

Congratulations to Andrew Ceroni, author of the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year

The votes are in, and Andrew Ceroni has walked away with the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year award! Or perhaps I should say, sprinted away.  As mentioned previously, a public poll held on the Self Publishing News blog between three EVVY-winning books determines the final winner, which means, the marketing prowess of the three finalists is what ultimately crowns the winning author. Mr. Ceroni and his book, “Snow Men” accumulated 63.51% of the votes.

Andrew Ceroni accepts his 1st Place EVVY Award at the Colorado Independent Publishers Association awards ceremony.

Even before the public poll went live, but after he was notified as one of the finalists, Andrew was engaging his Facebook friends with custom-made graphics of his award-winning book and seeking votes.  The temporary closeness of the poll demonstrates how engaged all three authors were in the marketing aspect of securing this award, since at one point, all three finalists were “neck and neck” with mere percentage points separating them. But at the bell, Mr. Ceroni prevailed.

That’s not to take anything away from the two other finalists, both of whom penned impressive books, garnered 1st Place EVVY Awards, and secured an impressive number of votes themselves.  Congratulations to “Dust to Dust” author John Hudson and “Speechless” author E.J. Brown (more about her in the next post); you both have much to be proud of.  Being a “Best Book of the Year” finalists from approximately 1,500 published books is an amazing accomplishment in its own right!

And a hearty congratulations to Andrew Ceroni, author of the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year, “Snow Men.”

I met Andrew at the Colorado Independent Publishers Association a number of weeks ago as he picked up his 1st Place EVVY Award for “Snow Men” and I cannot imagine a friendlier, more down-to-earth, and humble person.  Way to go, Andrew. You earned it!

EVVY Award Winning Authors From Outskirts Press

Every year, Outskirts Press nominates less than 5% of the books it publishes for submission to the Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards, an independent 3rd party book award contest that is both competitive and “strict” (for lack of a better word).   Each book is judged by three different judges.

Not only are books compared against all other books in their respective categories by each EVVY judge, but they’re also compared against a 100-point grading scale. A  book must secure at least 90 points to be awarded a 1st Place EVVY Award; 80 points to be awarded a 2nd Place EVVY Award, and so forth. Yes, this means that in some categories, it is conceivable that not a single book wins an award, even if there are multiple books in that category.

So, in other words, it is no small feat to win an EVVY award from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. Outskirts Press won eighteen of them.

Congratulations to all our EVVY Award winning authors below:

Family & Relationships       Speechless by E.J. Brown                                 1st Place
Fiction/Science Fiction       Dust to Dust by John Hudson                            1st Place
Fiction/Action Adventure    Snow Men by Andrew Ceroni                             1st Place
(Important Note: These First Place EVVY Award winners above are the three finalists for the 2014 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Awards. Voting is taking place through September 6th at the Self Publishing News blog. Vote now. )

Andrew Ceroni accepts his First Place EVVY Award for his book “Snow Men” at the Colorado Independent Publishers Association ceremony.

Academic/Reference         What’s Wrong with That Door? by John Quist    3rd Place
Children’s Story Books       Big Albert the Camel by Dr. Peggy Turnage      3rd Place
Fiction/Mystery&Detective  Out of Reech by Adam J. Beardslee                 3rd Place
Poetry Dreams to               Dance in Moonlight by Peter C. Stone               3rd Place
Religion & Spirituality         The Astrology of Success by Jan Spiller            3rd Place
Family & Relationships       Growing Up Ugly by Fritzie von Jessen             3rd Place

Fritzie von Jessen accepts her Third Place EVVY Award for her book “Growing Up Ugly” at the Colorado Independent Publishers Association ceremony.

Autobiography/Memoirs      Peeling Back the Layers by Lawayne Childrey                         Merit
Family & Relationships       The Back-Up Mom by Laura K. Wagner                                    Merit
Fiction/Action Adventure     A Holiday From Time by John Mero                                          Merit
Fiction/Historical                 More Stories of the Rich and Famous by David M. Tavernier    Merit
Juvenile Fiction                  Oliver Ornament by Michael Burns                                             Merit
Juvenile Fiction                  Pinos Altosby John Koski                                                            Merit
Juvenile Fiction                  Pluto The Starfish by Bonnie M. Anderson                                 Merit
Religion & Spirituality         Keys to Armageddon by KaMuLanS                                           Merit
Self Help                            The Garden of Life by Todd Michael Putnam                             Merit

When authors cannot accept the award personally, I am honored to accept the award on their behalf, as I’m doing here for John Hudson and his First Place EVVY Award-winning book, “Dust to Dust”.

Congratulations to all our EVVY award-winning authors, and EVVY nominees!

What makes the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Awards so special?

Today marks the beginning of the public poll to determine the 2014 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award. This is the only book award contest I am aware of that rewards both an author’s writing ability and marketing ability.

The writing ability is recognized and rewarded by the requirement that every Best Book of the Year finalist must win an EVVY Award from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.

The marketing ability is recognized and rewarded by putting all three finalists head-to-head-to-head to see which tenacious marketer can secure the most votes in a publicly held poll.  That poll is happening right now over on the Outskirts Press Self Publishing News blog at http://selfpublishingnews.com

As I write this, it’s a three-way race, with all three finalists currently receiving between 30% and 36% of the votes.  Not only does the ultimate winner gain acclaim as the author of the best book Outskirts Press published in 2014 (from over 1500 contenders), but he or she will also receive the $1,500 Grand Prize.  No wonder all three writers are so actively involved in this public poll!

Voting is open to everyone. The poll ends at midnight (Mountain Standard Time) on Sunday, September 6th.

Does September 2015 seem like an odd month to recognize our best book from 2014, nine months late?  It is, and that’s due to ensuring every finalists’ very important, award-winning status, courtesy of the Colorado Independent Publisher Association and its independent EVVY Awards.  Those EVVY Awards were just announced last week, and the picture of me above was taken during that ceremony in Denver, Colorado. I’ll cover more of that next time.

In the meantime, congratulations to our three Best Book of the Year finalists: