Self-Publishing Author T.D. Arkenberg wins the Best Book of the Year Award

The votes are in and the winner of the 2018 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award goes to T.D. Arkenberg, author of Two Towers.

In his poignant memoir, Two Towers, T.D. Arkenberg navigates readers through a personal perfect storm. A resurgence of his father’s long-dormant cancer and chaos at his job in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks serve as the backdrop for a private struggle with a secret hidden for thirty-seven years. The story opens on Christmas Eve, 2001. Alone, he stands in his empty childhood home. Two months earlier, his father succumbed to cancer after a lengthy struggle. Five weeks after that painful loss, his mother’s unexpected death shattered his world. The double-barreled blast toppled his towers of strength and unconditional love at a time he was barely treading water. Only weeks before his parents’ deaths, his professional life descended into turmoil. Nineteen hijackers commandeered four commercial jets, unleashing unspeakable terror on US soil. Two towers collapsed into piles of twisted steel, a dusty grave for thousands of innocent souls. Friends don’t know how he survives. Neither does he, especially with the added burden of a dark secret. As his world starts to crumble, fate offers a lifeline.

T.D. Arkenberg’s memoir won 70% of the public vote on SelfPublishingNews.com to walk away with this prestigious award and its $1,500 Grand Prize. T.D. is already a multi-award winning writer with awards from the Independent Publisher Book Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, National Indie Excellence Awards, Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, and the Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards, where he recently took home first place honors. Two Towers is his first memoir and his fourth book with Outskirts Press.

Congratulations! And well-deserved!

 

Outskirts Press authors celebrate their EVVY Award wins!

Last Saturday night, the Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards took place in Denver. It was a packed house and the event was sold out. Ward Lucas from 9News was the key-note speaker.

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Outskirts Press had 28 finalists for this year’s EVVYs, and I was present to accept awards on behalf of our authors who could not attend in person. But many of our authors were also in attendance, and it is always an extreme pleasure to meet them in person and congratulate them with a hug or handshake. 

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Katherine S. Egan was a First Place Award recipient for her amazing book Genetics Isn’t Everything.  Congratulations, Katherine! It was an honor getting to chat with you and your husband at the event!

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Certified fitness trainer,  ex-Marine, and marathon runner (in other words, he’s a total bad-ass — and quite a gentleman), John Timmerman, came in from Virginia to accept his 2nd-place award for his inspirational and motivational health/fitness book, Marathon and Half-Marathon Training, One Day a Week (It Can Be Done).

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The sweetest woman in the world, Dr. Jeanne Blanchet, accepted her Merit Award personally for her historical (and powerful) novel, Cursed. Congratulations, Jeanne! It was an honor meeting you.

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Award-winning author David D. Bernstein is not only a very tall fellow, but also a very charming one, and he took home a Merit Award for his fantastic and magical (literally) book titled The Portal. It’s his third book with Outskirts Press and the first in his “Cort Chronicles” series of juvenile fiction books. Congratulations, David!

Winning an EVVY Award is the first step toward winning the coveted annual Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award, and the $1500 Grand Prize that comes with it.  Are one of these authors going to be in the running? Tune in to the Self Publishing News blog to see ALL the 2018 EVVY winners and our announcement of the three Best Book of the Year finalists!

And if you want to be an award-winning author like Katherine, John, Jeanne, and David, check out the #1-rated self-publishing company (according to Top Consumer Reviews):  Outskirts Press.

Self Publishing Award Winning Books 2018

Each year, Outskirts Press nominates a small percentage of the books published during the year for submission to the EVVY Awards. Since a nomination is the first step toward the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award, the standards are high; we nominate, on average, just 2% of the books we publish each year-and these nominations represent the very best of our publications as determined by our executives and members of our production teams.

Outskirts Press official nominees and winners receive additional exposure for their books in featured Outskirts Press marketing channels, including our blog, social media networks, nationally distributed press releases and in our email newsletters. The finalists will be announced July 31, 2018, and award winners will be announced during an awards ceremony hosted by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association on August 25th in Denver.  I will be on hand to congratulate winners personally or accept their awards on their behalves if they are unable to attend.

To see this year’s Official Outskirts Press EVVY Award nominees, presented in no particular order, click here.

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.

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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).

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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…

 

 

EVVY Award Finalists

This coming Saturday The Colorado Book Awards are taking place in picturesque Parker, Colorado, on the outskirts of Denver.   See the details in my previous post.

Speaking of awards, The Colorado Independent Publishers Association has selected their finalists for the upcoming EVVY Awards this summer.  As usual, Outskirts Press led the pack among all participating publishers with 50 finalists. See all the Outskirts Press finalists in this blog posting on the Self Publishing News blog.  Congratulations to all our talented awards finalists!

Becoming an EVVY Finalist is one of the steps toward securing the Outskirts Press BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR Award.  In a post I wrote a number of years ago, I detailed how the Outskirts Press EVVY Nominees are determined.  I also wrote about how the EVVY Awards are judged.

You can read all my posts relevant to the EVVY Awards by following hashtag #EVVY.

But first thing’s first: Honoring the Colorado Book Award finalists this Saturday night at the Pace Center.  Good luck!

 

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!