Say Good-Bye to Self-Publishing Simplified

… and say HELLO to Publish Your Passion.

We unveiled the new Outskirts Press this Monday with a new website for new clients and new book publishing packages for everyone.

That means a new publishing guide, which covers all the new publishing services we offer as of August 1, 2016. It’s called Publish Your Passion, and it is available from our new website here.

A new publishing guide means we must say good-bye to the old publishing guide, Self-Publishing Simplified, which was 108 pages of detailed information. As I mentioned in a recent post, Outskirts Press spent a lot of time over the past ten years educating authors on what self-publishing was, and how it worked.  Our publishing guide was 108 pages for that very reason.

Now that most writers are familiar with what self-publishing is and how it works, publishing guides can be shorter.  Thank goodness! Asking anyone to read a 108-page publishing guide was asking a lot!

Our new publishing guide, Publish Your Passion, is much shorter (over half as long), and in full-color.  It covers all our hardcopy publishing packages, from our One-Click suites, to our a la carte black & white packages, to our full-color package. We titled it Publish Your Passion because we understand the passion and emotion that comes from writing a book and then entrusting the right company to publish it.   Many of us at Outskirts Press are writers ourselves, including yours truly, and we are equally passionate about helping you publish the book of your dreams.

Speaking of full-color, we actually used to have two different publishing guides: Self-Publishing Simplified, which was not only our comprehensive publishing guide but also served as an example of our black & white printing; and Adventures in Publishing, which was a fully-illustrated guide for our full-color package that also served as an example of our children’s books (and was in fully-rhyming verse).

I’m going to miss that one a lot.  It was … cute.  And it holds a special place in my heart because I wrote it and worked closely with one of our amazing artists on all the original full color illustrators (thanks to my talented artistic collaborator, Victor!).  Anyone who has written and published a children’s book with full-color illustrations knows what I’m talking about.

So, in other words, Self-Publishing Simplified and Adventures in Publishing are being terminated this week, and once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. I’ve already removed them from the Kindle and Nook.  As I write this, Amazon has 5 copies of Self-Publishing Simplified in stock and 4 copies of Adventures in Publishing.  I don’t want to suggest they might be collector’s items someday, but… you never know. Haha.  So don’t buy them expecting up-to-date publishing guide information — they’re out of date, and that’s why they are being cancelled.

Our new publishing guide, Publish Your Passion, isn’t a collector’s item (at least, not yet), but it is a comprehensive guide to help you choose the proper publishing package for your book at Outskirts Press.  And in the near future, it will also be available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, serving as an example of our high-quality full-color book printing.





Self Publishing 2013

Every January we update our “About Us” information with milestones we reached in the previous year and an update to our “Total Titles Published” chart.  Now that 2012 has come to a close and 2013 is underway, here’s our updated information about Outskirts Press:

Over ten years ago, Outskirts Press was founded as a better way for authors to write, publish, and market their books. Outskirts Press incorporated in Colorado in 2003, and through strategic partnerships, exemplary customer service, and unmatched quality, Outskirts Press quickly became the fastest-growing full-service book publishing and book marketing firm.

The years between 2004 and 2006 marked a growth rate in excess of 1,500%, an accomplishment that was recognized in July 2007 by The Denver Business Journal when Outskirts Press was honored to be the 3rd fastest-growing privately held company (in any industry) in Colorado.  By the end of 2006, Outskirts Press already had nearly 1,000 books in print,  all of them available worldwide through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble online, among others. And by the end of 2007, Outskirts Press more than doubled its title totals again.

In 2008 The Denver Business Journal once again recognized Outskirts Press as the fastest-growing publisher, and in fact, the fastest-growing privately held small-to-medium sized company in Colorado (in any industry), boasting growth of over 500% for the years between 2005-2007.

2009 and 2010 marked more new milestones, as well. In 2009 Outskirts Press published its 5,000th title and became the only self-publishing company to appear on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing privately held companies.

In 2010, 2011, and 2012, Outskirts Press repeated its appearance on the Inc. 5000 list three more times, and became the only self-publishing company to appear on the list of top 5,000 fastest growing businesses in America for four straight years.

2012 also marked the 10-year anniversary of the company’s founding and the year it passed the milestone of 10,000 published books.

So how does Outskirts Press remain the fastest-growing full-service self publishing provider?

  • It begins with our Mission Statement: To exceed the expectations of every author we help publish.
  • It continues with our commitment to conservationism and recycling. Our most popular book sizes offer a recycled paper-stock option, featuring 30% post-consumer.
  • It grows with our authors.  Just ask Gang Chen, who earned over $100,000 in 180 days; or Sally Shields, the stay-at-home mom-turned-2-time bestseller; or Ronnie Lee, who has become one of the most prolific published authors of our generation with the assistance of Outskirts Press.

As we look toward the future, our commitment to produce high-quality books and offer high levels of support to our authors in all three phases of their journey (writing, publishing, marketing), only grows stronger.

For instance, we have embraced digital e-books with three a la carte digital publishing options:

 We have embraced social media to help our authors further promote their books:

And, we practice what we preach, publishing our own series of books to help authors navigate the sometimes tricky waters of book publishing and offering free publication in various anthologies through the year to showcase how easy, fast, and fun it can be to publish with Outskirts Press.

Through it all, Outskirts Press authors have remained our main focal point. With over 10,000 published titles, Outskirts Press continues to pour development dollars and resources into further improvements to the Outskirts Press website and its growing list of writing, publishing, and marketing services/products to further support our authors’ goals and dreams.

What does success mean to you? By any measure, you will find it here with Outskirts Press and we look forward to helping you on that journey.

Many of us, and some of our family members, took a moment during a summer picnic to pose…

Self Publishing a Book? Three points of view

I haven’t always been an easy person to reach at Outskirts Press.  Even to send me kudos, some authors in the past were forced to write me an actual letter and mail it to my attention through the post office.  It worked!  I always received those, and I still get a letter from time to time.  But in this day and age, it seems silly to ask our valued customers to go through such effort just to say nice things about us or to contact me about something.  So, toward the end of last year I started contacting every new author who started publishing with us, just to make sure they were satisfied with our services. It’s been a blessing and I wish I had done it years ago.

For example, here’s a very recent email I received, completely unsolicited, from one of our authors:

Dear Brent,
      Greetings to you and I wish you all continued success.  I could not be more pleased with the great job that Natasha Quick, and the production team, are doing with my novel, AFRICAN SKIES.  I am so delighted that The Outskirts Press is my publisher for this book and all my future books.  The professionalism, courtesy and attention to detail exhibited by Ms. Quick has been exceptional.  Great good luck to you and to all at Outskirts, and all the best,
Mike Tucker

Now that’s an email that puts me in a great mood.  Another wonderful email I received recently wasn’t from one of our authors, but was from the owner of Reader Views, Irene Watson.  Through Reader Views, Irene comes in contact with a LOT of books from a LOT of self-publishing companies.  With her permission, she said I could post this unsolicited email she sent me recently:


Geesh..I’ve been meaning to write this email for quite some time but one busy day runs into the next one.  This is what I want to say:

I’m very impressed with the quality of books that come from Outskirts Press.  We get a lot of self-published books and many are horribly (that’s the most gentle word I could find) produced. The quality just isn’t up to par.  Yours match any large traditional publishing company to a T. Occasionally we do review a book that hasn’t been properly edited but we know that’s the choice of the author.  If only, if only…there was a way to instill into the authors the importance of editing.

In fact, I am so impressed I recommended Outskirts Press to my assistant for her book. It’s in production now with your company.


The last message I want to share was the email I received from the winner of our free iPad.  Last year during the holidays, our monthly promotion offered a free Apple iPad to one of our talented authors.  We notifed the lucky author, Vince, the first week of January. Here was his reply (I waited until now so I could also link to his book, which was just published this week):

Happy New Year, Brent!

I want to thank you for this gift from you and Outskirts Press.  It hasn’t gotten here yet, but I happily await its delivery.

  I’ve written for many years and it is always gratifying when one actually finds evidence of people who appreciate the hard work a writer puts into his work.  Like all art, as you well know, writing produces the most fickle and varying opinions, irrespective of the inherent talent or worth of the work.  This always leaves one wondering precisely what a ‘Great work’ of fiction actually is.  Since my undergraduate degrees were in Psychology and English Literature, and having started writing stories at the very young age of 8, I always tried to fathom what it was that made a piece of fiction a great work of art.  After many years of education, and hundreds of books read, I concluded that one can’t really know that, unless he waits a hundred years or so and sees how history treats it; and even then, he couldn’t truly KNOW.  What we’re left with is to give our best effort, which I try in every book I write, and keep in mind that I want to engage the reader and not disappoint him or her.  As an author, I want to pull that reader into the story and get them involved, and as a Psychologist I want the readers to know the characters, feel they are real, empathize with them, and feel the drama is truly happening.  In Science Fiction, the story and action have to be plausible, so you don’t leave the reader thinking, ‘That can’t possibly happen, it’s ridiculous,’ which makes it just a little bit harder task, but one I enjoy doing since I love sci-fi myself.  I diligently endeavored to employ these principles with Star-Crossed, and I think it is perhaps the most believable heartfelt of the 9 fiction books I’ve written.  All 11 of my books are published in electronic format already, and sell fairly well; half of them are out in print form.  I hope with this book, published at Outskirts, I will begin an even more profitable era in my writing life, that I will publish more successful books in the future, and that Outskirts can aid in that vision.

  Thank you again,

   Vince Riccio

Thank you, Vince…

And speaking of the iPad, we’re just a few weeks away from launching our iPad Edition option… more on that in the near future…

The cost of self publishing a book

It always intrigues me when people are confused (or, oddly enough, sometimes even belligerent) about the fact that companies charge service fees for “things” that can be done directly at the source for less than what the company charges.  For example, some people wonder why we charge $99 for something that can be done independently for less, with some knowledge and time.    It makes me wonder if these people truly believe their car costs $25,000 to make.

It also reminds me of an old joke:  This government manager was over-seeing a nuclear reactor when one of the warheads started to overheat. In fact, it got so critical that if something wasn’t done very soon to correct the problem, the warhead was going to explode, killing thousands of people!  The manager opened the control panel but was confronted with a dizzying array of knobs, lights, and switches.  So he called the contractor who had installed the warhead and asked for help.  The contractor arrived and looked at the warhead for a moment and said, “I can solve this problem for you, and it’s going to cost $25,000.”

The warhead heated up some more.  They were running out of time.  In fact, the warhead was so hot, any wrong move would set it off.  “Fine, fine,” the manager said. “Do whatever it takes. Just hurry!”

The contractor reached into the control panel and flipped one of the switches.    The warhead returned to normal almost immediately.  Crisis adverted. “That will be $25,000,” the contractor said.  “I’ll send you a bill.”

“$25,000?!?” the manager screamed.  “You didn’t do anything! All you did was flip a switch!” 

The contractor calmly said, “Yes, that $25,000 is for knowing WHICH switch.” 

You can build your own house, or you can pay a home builder with the know-how to do it for you.  You can do your own taxes, or you can pay a service fee to an accountant with know-how to do it for you. You can publish your own book, or you can pay a service fee to a self-publishing firm with the know-how to do it for you.   Some people want to be publishers. Others simply want to be published. And never the twain shall meet.

See you next year.