Self Publishing Bad News & Good News

Back in April, I wrote this paragraph in the closing moments of one of my blog postings: “And speaking of best, over the course of the next few posts, I’ll write more about the 3rd annual Fandemonium Anthology, the 3rd annual Best Book of the Year awards, the 5th placement (hopefully) on the Inc. 500/5000 list, and our 10-year anniversary.”

And in the following posts, I covered the publication of the 3rd annual Fandemonium Facebook Anthology and the winner of the 3rd annual Best Book of the Year awards.  That leaves us with the Inc 500/5000 list and our 10-year anniversary, but I’m also going to throw in a big milestone Outskirts Press hit yesterday.  But first the bad news. After 4 consecutive years appearing on the Inc. Magazine 500/5000 list of American’s fastest-growing private companies, a run that began back in 2008, we did not qualify for the list a 5th consecutive time. Last time I checked, less than 1000 companies have appeared on the list five times in a row, much less consecutively, so 4 consecutive years is something to be proud of. And this means we get to work even harder through 2013 and 2014, delivering to all our clients continued stellar service and quality at competitive prices.

And now the good news! Yesterday, Outskirts Press reached 10,000 Fans on its Facebook Page, a milestone we are all very proud of. We’d like to thank the writing and reading community for their continued support and friendly participation in one of self-publishing’s growing online communities.  Now, all 10,000+ of our Facebook fans are in the running for a free Apple iPad we will give away in a random drawing we hold very soon.  More details will be forthcoming on the Self Publishing News blog.

And everyone will want to stay involved with our Facebook page for the drawing we hold once we pass the 25,000 milestone. Stay tuned!

That still leaves the topic of our 10 Year Anniversary, which we officially celebrate in October of this year. I say “officially” because Outskirts Press was “up and operational” in 2002, but didn’t officially incorporate as a corporation until 2003.  So you could say we’re already smack dab in the middle of our 10th year, and there’s lots more to come. Our talented editing, writing, and designing artisans along with our passionate authors (and IT/accounting and administrative folks) are all to be thanked and congratulated. Here’s to many more!

Speaking of 10 years, my lovely wife and I are celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary this month.  Happy Anniversary, Jeanine. I love you.

Save 10% on the latest Facebook Anthology, Fandemonium!

For the past three years, Outskirts Press has collected original short stories and poems from its Facebook community at for free publication in an annual anthology titled Fandemonium.  This exercise offers writers a chance to interact with Outskirts Press in a fun, fast way without cost or obligation while experiencing the joy of publishing (and seeing their work published) in a first-hand way.  To top it off, the proceeds from all Fandemonium sales go toward the American Red Cross, which was the charity chosen by our social media community back in 2011 when we published the inaugural edition.

Over the years, the charity (American Red Cross), retail price ($16.95), title and cover (see below) have all remained branded and consistent — another important facet of self-publishing a series of books:


Congratulations to the writers included in all three volumes, the table of contents for which can be seen by visiting each respective bookstore page by clicking on the cover image above (which, incidentally, is also where one can enjoy the 10% discount!)  This is also the first year we’ve been including Pinterest in our social media efforts, and a collection of our anthologies can be found on our Self-Publishing Anthologies board on Pinterest.

Longevity in business (and self-publishing)

A few posts ago I discussed the second annual “Share the Love” video contest that Outskirts Press held for our published authors on Facebook. This month we have been collecting submissions from our Facebook fans for our 3rd annual Fandemonium Facebook Anthology.  In May, we will announce the winner of the 3rd annual Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year award. This summer we will find out whether or not Outskirts Press is awarded its 5th placement in a row on the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing companies. And in October, we officially celebrate our 10-year anniversary.

All this goes to show that there are many ways other than “anniversaries” you as a business owner can use to celebrate longevity in your respective industries. And communicating longevity is important, because longevity speaks volumes to potential clients, customers, and consumers; deep down most people understand that a business which has succeeded for a long time in this dog-eat-dog world is a company they can have confidence working with.

Yes, there are always exceptions to prove the rule, such as the case of Vantage Press, a sort-of-competitor of ours that “ceased business operations” at the end of 2012 after a long and storied history. Sadly, when they closed, their authors were left in something of a lurch – with many authors not receiving royalties due to them and authors in the middle of the publishing pipeline being left out to dry without refund.   I’m an author myself, as well as a business owner, so I empathize with all sides involved. No company plans to fail, but it’s not the customer’s responsibility or obligation to bear the brunt of that failure if it happens. Being prepared for that possibility is the responsibility of the executives at every company.  That’s why, at Outskirts Press, we have a cash-flush savings account devoted solely for our authors exclusively for this purpose, so that all outstanding royalties would still be paid to them and any remaining authors in the pipeline would receive refunds.

Of course, all business owners work extremely hard to ensure it doesn’t come to that.  Every day we  share a new comment from one of our authors and many of our authors voice the same common sentiment — that they feel “lucky” to have discovered Outskirts Press. That is always gratifying to read, and what may feel like “luck” to them is the result of a lot of preparation and hard work from all of us at Outskirts Press.  Like most successful companies, we are prepared for the worst, but plan for (and anticipate) the best.

And speaking of best, over the course of the next few posts, I’ll write more about the 3rd annual Fandemonium Anthology, the 3rd annual Best Book of the Year awards, the 5th placement (hopefully) on the Inc. 500/5000 list, and our 10-year anniversary.

Fandemonium Volume 2 is published

Let’s take a small break from the Outskirts Press pre-production process (which we’ve been covering for the past month), and the production process (which we’ll cover next) to make a few announcements that I haven’t yet had an opportunity to mention.

For instance… late last month we published our second annual Facebook anthology, Fandemonium Volume 2, which is another collection of writing from our talented community of Facebook friends, all 4700 of them (and counting).  Congrats to all who are represented. You can save 10% on your copy by ordering directly from our bookstore at;  although, like approximately 8,500 of our other books, it’s also available on or Barnes & Noble’s website if you’d prefer to buy there. Either way, the American Red Cross gets $7.51 (100% of the royalties of the book) for each sale. They appreciate your support.

Here is the table of contents, to see what work is presented and which authors are represented.  Unlike our Outskirts Press specific anthologies, of which we’ve published three, it’s not necessary to be a published author with Outskirts Press in order to appear in our Facebook Anthology. All you need to do is be a “friend” of our Outskirts Press page on Facebook.  But, I noticed that many authors who were new to Outskirts Press and represented in our first Facebook anthology are NOW Outskirts Press authors, and that’s always gratifying to see. So thank you.