What’s NEW about the One-Click for Children’s Books Suite?

“Authors of professional children’s books know that creativity doesn’t stop once the words are on paper. Full-color illustrations, custom cover design, and custom interior design must all blend together to create a cohesive whole. At Outskirts Press we recognize how hard it is to coordinate all of those elements together to create a potential bestseller. We’d like to help.

This week, we are presenting an introductory offer to our children’s book authors of $600 off the regular price of our One-Click for Children’s Books package. A team of publishing professionals will help you achieve your goal of publishing both a high-quality color paperback AND a hardback edition of your book. Of course, professional editing, custom cover design, copyright registration, and 15 original, full-color illustrations (to your specifications) are all included. We know you’re passionate about your manuscript. Let us help you publish your passion the best way possible.  Promotion Code: Save600Aug16″

That’s the marketing copy that greets new authors when they click on the GET THE CODE button from the front page of our new website to learn about our $600 introductory offer on the new & improved One-Click for Children’s Books publishing suite this week..

While all of these things are true, what I feel is the most compelling facet of our One-Click for Children’s Books suite is the inclusion of 15 original, full-color illustrations.  Any author of children’s books who has attempted to add artwork to his or her manuscript can relate to the frustration that comes with this portion of children’s book publishing.  Not only do we handle this scary and anxiety-filled part of the pre-production process, but we offer 30 different artistic styles for our clients to choose from, basically guaranteeing a match for their specific vision.

We call our One-Click packages “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 the New & Improved Outskirts Press with four One-Click Suites focusing on four major book genres: 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, the One-Click difference is nothing short of extraordinary, and I detailed this difference a couple of postings ago, but I’ll repeat it here for the new-comers…

Here is a basic summary of the publishing process for 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 Children’s Suite:

  1. Order a One-Click Suite
  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 every One-Click Children’s Book Suite already includes everything a professional children’s book author needs to publish the children’s or juvenile publication 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 children’s book, it’s one worth reading.

  • A 5.5 x 8.5 paperback and laminated casebound hardback.  All our One-Click Children’s Suite authors have ultimate control over the trim size of their book, but the default size for this publishing suite is 5.5 x 8.5 in both paperback and hardback format, so the majority of our clients don’t need to worry about nuances like choosing between over 50 different size/format combinations (some of which have “whiter” paper or “creamier” paper, or 70# paper or 50# paper, or standard color printing or economy color printing.  It’s enough to make your head swim!   We just make it EASY, and you know you’ll get the best of all worlds.   Of all the choices, the one thing we’ll want to know for sure is whether you want a glossy cover or a matte cover.  Hint: Our matte covers are gorgeous, and can give your book a look and feel that sets it apart from the majority of self-published books hitting the marketplace.
  • 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 85% of our children’s books are less than 15,000 words so that is the word count that is included for free.  If your children’s book is longer than 15,000 words, you 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, the Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards are this coming Saturday in Denver, Colorado. I will be on hand to accept awards for our winners if authors are not able to attend. Winning an EVVY Award is a prerequisite to winning our Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award (and its $1,500 Grand Prize).  Our 16 finalists are here.

  • 15 full-color original illustrations.  The most important component of a children’s publication, aside from the manuscript itself, are the illustrations.  And for authors who are not also artists, this can be an almost insurmountable obstacle to publishing a professional children’s book.  But not any longer.  Not only does Outskirts Press offer over 30 different artistic styles to choose from, but our writers never have to share their royalty with the illustrator.
  • Custom page-by-page book formatting. Along with this illustrations, this is really what makes the One-Click Children’s Suite so special.  Every page of a children’s book is its own little work of art — where the words and the illustrations “interact” with each other, for lack of a better word.  That can only be accomplished with a custom interior book design.
  • 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 for Children’s Books Suite 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. We accommodate your wishes in either case.
  • 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.
  • Additional distribution through Spring Arbor.  A high number of our children’s books are faith-based, so in the event that the content of the One-Click children’s book warrants it, we will submit it to Spring Arbor Christian Distribution for consideration.
  • Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Every year in Bologna, Italy, the premiere book fair for children’s books, children’s authors, illustrators, and publishers takes place.  This means premiere wholesale and retail representatives are on-hand looking for books to order and stock and recommend.  Every One-Click Children’s Book is represented at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, at no additional cost to the author.
  • A 60-90 second book video trailer.  Children’s books are a visual product, even more so than our other one-click books.  That means the best way to “show them off” is to feature them in a book video, so potential buyers, readers, and wholesalers can get the full impact of the amazing artwork and amazing story. Our client is given the video file for further marketing, and we’ll distribute it via social and video distribution sites like YouTube.
  • 5 hours of personal, one-on-one marketing assistance.  Our personal marketing assistants help the majority of ours authors, but the first five hours are included for our One-Click Children’s book authors, to ensure they start their marketing efforts off on the right foot.
  • 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 all our One-Click Publishing Suites. 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 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.