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Book Reviews and Their Value to Self-Published Authors

There’s more to marketing your self-published book than press releases, book tours and social media marketing. These tools are valuable and effective, but don’t overlook the value of “passive” marketing tools, such as book reviews.

Think about how you begin the buying process these days. Does your purchase start with independent researchBook Review Submission Service on a product? Do you find yourself swayed toward or away from a brand based on glowing or searing customer comments? How often have you asked friends, family or fellow shoppers for feedback on something you plan to buy? As consumers, we rely heavily on word of mouth before we invest our hard-earned dollars in anything — and books are no exception. Readers have millions of choices in books, and they want to choose the right one. What other people like themselves say about your book can get potential buyers to take notice.

With that in mind, it’s vital for a self-published author to be seen by the right audience and get that valuable review. If you haven’t already, order review copies of your book that you can send to local and regional publications that do book reviews. Use the Outskirts Press free Book Review Starter Kit to get off on the right foot. The kit includes helpful tips on getting your book into reviewers’ hands, as well as a list of reviewers and their contact information!

Outskirts Press authors who don’t want to do all of the “heavy lifting” themselves can take an even simpler path; let us do all the work for you with the Book Review Submission Service, which puts your book directly into the hands of 10 book reviewers vetted by Outskirts Press. As always, remember that no one (including the author nor Outskirts Press) has any control over whether the book reviewer chooses to write a review, decides to share a review that is written, or what the review will say (positive or negative).

Want a guaranteed review? Try one or more of our other book review submission services:

Are you a self-publishing author ready to receive marketing support like this?

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Posted by on March 7, 2013 in Advice, Marketing Options

 

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Introduce Your Self-Published Book to the World with a Virtual Book Tour

Hello, World!

Introduce yourself and your self-published book to bookworms around the world through a Virtual Book Tour. When it’s not possible or practical to load up the minivan and drive state-to-state, a virtual tour allows you to “appear” on a blog, a website or an Internet radio talk show without leaving the house and using precious VBTvacation time!

A virtual book tour is similar to an actual book tour, but instead of physically traveling from bookstore to bookstore, or radio show to radio show, you and/or your book are making “appearances” in the blogosphere and on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Not only is a far more cost-effective way to tour, unlike a physical tour, which is over the minute you leave, a virtual book tour stays archived and available for Internet Searches FOREVER!

The Virtual Book Tour option from Outskirts Press makes it easy for you to “book” your blog tour through the blogosphere and social networking community! Reach new audiences and cultivate new readers with relatively little effort.

With the Virtual Book Tour, you receive the following:

  • Outskirts Press announces your Virtual Book Tour to the blogosphere.
  • You receive every inquiry in response to the announcement about your book.
  • Virtual Book Tour Packet, which includes all of the materials you need to follow up with the bloggers quickly and easily in order to schedule your “appearance” on their blog, website or social network.
  • In most cases your appearance may include a book review and/or an author interview.
  • Spotlight Appearance on the Self-Publishing Advice blog, which receives its own announcements on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Your own Tour Video, which will be blasted on our popular YouTube channel.
  • Much, much more!

Now through March 31, you can receive 10% off the Virtual Book Tour when you enter the promo code at checkout. Don’t delay, this offer isn’t around long!

Promo code: VBT10PCT

 

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Vote now for the winner of the free laptop!

self publishing
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Outskirts Press has been “sharing the love” and inviting its family of successfully published authors to do the same. This has come in the form of a $300 publishing promotion as well as a video promotion for the chance to win a free laptop. The video submissions have been collected, the best of them have been posted on our Facebook Page, and the “likes” have been tabulated.

Now it’s time for you to vote for the winner of the free laptop!

From among all the submissions we received, the top videos are presented below. Simply vote for your favorite in the polling box below the last video. The polls will be open until end-of-business on Thursday, February 28th. The winner will be announced on Friday, March 1st.

Good luck to the three finalists. And thank you to all our wonderful authors who took the time to submit their videos:

Now, without further ado…

VIDEO #1: Larry Wright, author of Longhorn Tales


VIDEO #2: Davy Jennings, author of Kansas Gospels


VIDEO #3: Tommy Baker, author of Santa Claus, The Fourth Wise Man


Are you ready to publish your book?

 

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Love Rules: 5 Tips for Budding Romance Writers in Self-Publishing

There is no sure-fire formula to writing romance, and certainly no formula for making that self-published romance novel successful. However, there are a number of “rules” for romance writing that will improve your odds of creating a high quality, readable bodice-ripper.

1. Know thy audience. With something as intimate as romance, you must know who you wish to reach out to with your novel. Is your reader a young, 620-Steamy-E-Reads.jpgtwentysomething college student or a middle-age woman with kids in college? These two people are completely different and have much different experiences with love, and much different needs as readers. In order to know what story to tell them — and how to tell it — you have to know a little about them. If you’re already a middle-age woman with kids in college, you may be halfway there. If you’re nothing like your target reader, you have some homework to do.

2. Make it real. Characters, that is. No one’s perfect, nor should your characters be. Your protagonist should be likable, but likable doesn’t mean flawless. People — characters — are far more interesting when they’re vulnerable to the same human foibles that we all are. We can relate to people who are like us, who have made the same painful mistakes we have and who, perhaps, find unique solutions to these issues.

3. Bare it all. Romance is an exceedingly intimate genre. You’re writing about moments that are typically kept behind closed doors (and chained up, gagged and spanked in some cases). This is not a time to be shy, and certainly no time to be disingenuous. If you’re set on writing romance, you must be prepared to write in great detail about things that may be deeply personal to you, or at least deeply personal to those you rely upon for your research into the topic. If the idea that your 90-year-old grandma could read your book scares the bejeebers out of you, you’re either in the wrong business or totally on the right track!

4. Less talk, more action. The steamiest love scenes are the most descriptive. We “see” what the characters see, hear what they hear, smell what they smell, taste what they taste, and feel what they feel. Why muddy the waters with a lot of chatter? In love scenes, keep the yapping to a minimum, just as in real life sexual encounters. Save the dialogue for scenes in which you’re developing your characters.

5. Nail the dialogue. When your characters do speak, it is vital to the credibility of your story that their dialogue is believable. A teen romance that’s peppered with flowery, poetic prose won’t gain much traction with your target audience, and teens will certainly never connect with the characters. Unless you’re writing a period novel set in the Victorian Age, keep your dialogue modern. And if if you really do envision a character saying something cheesy, think of how you’d respond to it and let your characters react accordingly: an eye roll, a spontaneous laugh or a slamming door.

Remember, romance is deeply personal. It’s not unusual for first-time romance writers to experience some level of discomfort with the material. But you’ve got to put it all out there, so to speak. The best romance writers adapt their attitudes to the honesty of the material rather than adjust the material to their own comfort level.

Got a great idea for a romance novel? Talk to Outskirts Press about how to get started self-publishing your own steamy romance!

Start Self-Publishing Now!

 
 

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Self-Publishing Book Spotlight: ‘Tears of the Phoenix’ by Lonnie Beerman

Outskirts Press enjoys helping self-published authors realize their greatest creative ambitions. After all, publishing a book is a huge accomplishment, so you’ll pardon us if we take a moment to sing the praises of our independent authors in our weekly Self-Publishing Book Spotlight.

This week we’re proud to feature another of our self-published authors, Lonnie Beerman and his book, Tears of the Phoenix.

Lonnie Beerman’s novel, Tears of the Phoenix, published by Outskirts Press, is the carefully told Tears of the Phoenixtale of three boys moving toward manhood, while sorting out their relationships with their fathers and with the sometimes harsh adult world they are wondering how best to enter.

Each of the three young heroes of Beerman’s debut novel has found himself an outcast among his peers, isolated by playground taunts and by being the butt of every ill-tempered joke at school. One day a violent playground assault by bullying boys suddenly brings the three of them together and — no longer isolated — they find they now each have someone they can call a friend.

The compressed world of isolation they have been living in opens up for them that summer as their new friendships with each other blossom and they bond happily in the shared adventures of warm vacation days.

Soon old prejudices and bigotries of their small town return, however, and the boys struggle to cope with a once again dark world, despite their new solidarity together. Then one hateful remark reveals a secret that threatens to destroy one of the boy’s worlds, and the others must grapple with new questions they find difficult to sort out.

The boys’ families have also begun to draw closer together and while personal tragedies change their lives, all draw closer together and all find new shoulders to lean on during these heartbreaks. The boys’ mothers, in particular, discover new friendships of their own and begin to discover more about themselves as they watch their sons grow.

Beerman shows how at that age boys are forced to ponder their relationships with their fathers, or the lack of a relationship with one, and the new novelist engages readers well in the tragedies and family secrets that prompt these three boys to wonder what it means to be a man and what it will mean to them eventually to be fathers.

ABOLonnie BeermanUT THE AUTHOR:

Lonnie Beerman is a new author. He is married and the father of a daughter and a son. Lonnie is a dog lover and an avid car enthusiast. In his first book, Tears of the Phoenix, Lonnie delves into the complexities of family relationships and social bigotries, offering insight into the importance of love, friendship and acceptance.

For more information or to contact the author, visit: http://outskirtspress.com/tearsofthephoenix/

Outskirts Press offers high-quality, full-service self-publishing and book marketing services for writers and professionals who are seeking a cost-effective, fast, and flexible way to publish and distribute their books worldwide while retaining 100% of their rights, 100% of their profits, and 100% of the creative control.http://www.outskirtspress.com.

Are you self publishing a book and looking to receive
marketing support and services like this?

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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How to Reach the Right Audience with Your Self-Published Book

When you’re deeply immersed in the writing process, it can be difficult to think ahead to the moment your self-published book ends up in a reader’s hands. If you think book marketing is the right time to start thinking about how to reach your target audience, you’d be wrong! In fact, that reader should be your primary focus from the moment you start typing.

While it’s never too late to learn about your potential reader and tailor your marketing solutions to that audience, There are things you need to to from the get-go to home in on your target audience and ensure that your efforts are sharp and focused throughout the writing and marketing journey:

  • Get in the right mindset. If you know before you pen your novel that you want to reach a certain demographic, teenage-girl-reading-in-the-forestthat target audience should be at the front of your mind at all times. Picture a single person who embodies the average reader to you: It may be a teenage girl from the ‘burbs, or it could be a middle-age man who works in a big city. The language you use, the characters you bring to life and the story you tell should all be interesting to that person you view as your typical reader.
  • Immerse yourself in the culture. If are a middle-age man working in a big city who’s trying to write a story that appeals to a teenage girl from the ‘burbs, you’ve got some homework to do. Odds are, unless you have a teenager under your roof and are really tuned in to her “culture,” you’ll need to know what’s important to her, what makes her happy, what her big concerns are, and what life for her is like every day. Get to know this girl! She’s your reader.
  • Dress the part. That is, dress your book for the part. Once you’ve immersed yooldbooks2urself in your reader’s world, get to know how that target reader expresses herself. Write in her language. It’s not enough to understand her if you don’t understand how she expresses herself. Choose a cover design that your reader will find appealing. For the teenager, this may be anything from brightly colored graphics to the supernatural beings that are so popular. By contrast, a senior reader may be more drawn in by period art that hearkens a nostalgic time.
  • Reach out through social media. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media platforms give authorSocial Media Set-Ups a great deal of freedom to reach out to scores of potential book buyers. Readers young and old are latching onto social media, but finding them can be tricky. The “cultural immersion” phase of your self-publishing journey may have unearthed some clubs and social media pages you can link to for contact with your target reader; however, help from a trained social media professional can provide priceless here. Your advisor can not only set up platforms specifically for your book or author pages on several social media sites, but can help put you in contact with entities that will be useful in getting the word out about your book. And, he can do it for you in a fraction of the time you’d be able to do it yourself.

Don’t fret if your writing is wrapped up and you’re just thinking about your target audience. There are still many things you can do to sharpen your focus retroactively. A good editor can tighten your writing with your target in mind or suggest a better target, and will offer guidance on substantive changes that will strengthen your story. A Personal Marketing Assistant can provide additional assistance in steering you toward the marketing and promotional services you may need to reach out to your reader in the most effective way.

Start Self-Publishing Now!

 
 

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How to Get the Right Cover for Your Self-Published Book

Perhaps you really can’t judge a book by its cover … but most buyers will anyway, at least to some degree. Readers seeing your book for the first time will draw a number of conclusions about you, your story and the quality of your product within milliseconds, often based solely on the impressions created by the cover art.

A strong cover that grabs attention and conveys the mood, genre or themes in a story is truly an art – a very important one. It’s the first aspect of your book that can make or break the sale and, for that reason, it counts more than most others.

While there are templates on the market you can use to create your own cover, It’s difficult for an inexperienced designer to get the most out of a prefab cover design. Custom design from an artist with specialized training in design principals, and experience in the field, will produce far more effective artOP Book Cover Design, and the service can pay for itself in increased traffic to your book page that translates into increased sales.

Getting the most out of custom cover design comes down to make the most of the relationship with your designer. Here are five ways to choose a book cover designer for the most desirable outcome:

  • Get to know their style. Any designer worth his salt has a portfolio you can view, including an online portfolio on a business webpage or website. His or her page will probably include background information as well. While each book cover is different and your needs are unique, you’ll likely recognize a signature style with each designer. Choose a designer whose style and approach best fit the vision you have for your cover art.
  • Determine a communications plan. Reach an understanding with your designer of choice right up front about how you’ll communicate, what you want to accomplish with each meeting or call, how the work will proceed and about your expectations. Facilitating the communication process opens the door for more effective communication.
  • Make the most of those meetings. Be honest about your wants and needs. Straightforward discussions in the early stages will prevent any confusion down the road and will help your designer deliver their best work to you. Good designers are conscientious about their work; they welcome and need straight talk from you because they want every client happy – and successful.
  • Trust the designer’s expertise. It can be hard for some authors – even after lengthy, open discussions with a talented designer – to fully hand over the reigns of their cover art to someone else. Take comfort in knowing that your designer has very specialized training and experience in the art of book cover design. After all, if anyone could design a winning book cover, everyone would be doing it and selling millions of copies.
  • Keep an open mind. An exceptional designer can often deliver you the book cover you never knew you wanted. She’s a conceptual, out-of-box visionary who sees things in your story or themes that may not be obvious to you, but may be irresistible to potential buyers. Trust that vision! It’ll rarely steer you wrong.

Of course, if you begin working with a designer and the collaboration never really “gels,” know when to start over with another designer. If a designer doesn’t seem to understand your needs, fails to respond to concerns or is not receptive to your input, these may be signs that the two of you are simply not compatible. Don’t be afraid to move on to a designer with whom you “click” – then let them run with it.

Start Self-Publishing Now!

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Advice, Author Inspiration, book marketing

 

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Outskirts Press Earns AiA Honors, Stamp of Approval

Outskirts Press has been bestowed with an Honoring Excellence Award for Publishing Services by the Association of Independent Authors. The prestigious award recognizes entities that provide exceptional service to independent authors.

The Association of Independent Authors (AiA) has recognized Outskirts Press with its prestigious Honoring Excellence Award and Seal in the Publishing Services category.

The AiA award/seal recognizes consultants, businesses and organizations that deliver exceptional products and services to independent authors. Award recipients are nominated by the Honoring Excellence Committee and AiA members. Outskirts Press, the nation’s fastest-growing self-publishing and book marketing firm, is new to the Honoring Excellence roster of award-winners in 2012, and we couldn’t be prouder to joint the ranks.

“Our author support team has worked tirelessly over the years to provide all our self-published authors with the guidance they need and empower them to make their dreams of publishing a reality,” said CEO Brent Sampson. “We’re so proud to be recognized by the AiA for those efforts.”

The AiA recognizes independent author service providers in several key awards categories:

Ebook Services
Design Services
Publishing Services (in which Outskirts Press was recognized)
Book Awards
Book Reviews
Marketing/Promotional Services
Publications
Conferences and Online Webinar Series

We’ve always been proud of the self-publishing services we offer that make us unique, but there’s nothing like an “atta boy” to reinforce that we’re still on the right track.

Start Self-Publishing Now!

 
 

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Two Ways Barnes & Noble Can Help You Sell Your Self-Published Book

Two Ways Barnes & Noble Can Help You Sell Your Self-Published Book

Barnes & Noble is one of the most powerful booksellers in the country. Even with the popularity of Amazon, many readers still turn to Barnes & Noble for their book purchasing needs. As a self-published author, understanding the options available through Barnes & Noble (and the expectations of their customers) can help improve your book sales. Here are two ways Barnes & Noble can help you sell your self-published book.

1) Barnes & Noble Nook: E-readers are changing the way customers buy and read books, and their popularity is expected to grow as the holidays approach. You can expect many people to receive an e-reader as a holiday gift, which means they will be purchasing e-books. (This is in addition to all the readers who already buy and read e-books.) Since Nook editions are optimally submitted in a special format, be sure to check out the Outskirts Press Nook Format option, which makes it as easy as possible to publish a professionally-formatted Nook edition (yes, you still keep 100% of your rights).

2) Barnes & Noble Look Inside: This feature allows readers to get a sneak peek at the pages inside your book. It is the modern-day equivalent of a reader browsing through a bookstore, picking your book off the shelf, and flipping through the pages. It has been suggested that authors who take advantage of this feature have higher sales rates than those who do not.

By self-publishing with Outskirts Press, you can take advantage of these great options as well as many others.

Begin your exciting book publishing experience today at Outskirts Press with just a $35 down-payment by clicking here and then get ready to maximize your book sales on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble when you are published. We’ll help you all the way!

 

Maximize your book sales with a free AMAZON EXTREME Marketing Package today.
Are you ready to jump-start your marketing efforts with a free Amazon marketing package worth over $300?

The Amazon Extreme Marketing Package from Outskirts Press offers self-publishing authors a head start on book marketing by taking triple advantage of the immense audience of Amazon.com, the largest online retailer in the United States. The package includes:

• an Amazon Kindle edition of your book
• Amazon’s Search Inside the Book feature
• Amazon Keyword Search tagging service
• A free book – “Sell Your Book on Amazon”

These valuable, popular options are free for authors who start self-publishing in October.

Start today with the promotion code below when you choose to publish with our industry-leading Diamond publishing service or our full-color Pearl publishing service to receive the FREE Amazon Extreme Marketing Package. Don’t delay!

Promo code: FreeAEOct2012

 

Click to order the Diamond Package
Click to order the Pearl Package
TOP 3 PUBLISHING HEADLINES
AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT & SUCCESS STORY
“This is my 4th novel with you guys. What I really appreciate is your patience with a guy that is computer illiterate, but who has a passion to write. Maybe one of these days I’ll submit one that really takes off. If so, I think I’ll fly up there and take you all out to dinner. Thanks so much for your encouragement.”

Dan Price is a retired school teacher and the father of two sons. He lives in Houston, Texas.

Dan Price , author of How a Cockroach Saved a Deadman

 

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Radio Interviewing to Boost Your Book Sales

Self-published authors dream of national exposure for their book on a popular show. When the opportunity arises, the hope is that the experience is a positive one that shows the author and the book in the best light and generates new interest among readers — and big, big sales.

Outskirts Press is thrilled to launch Top 10 Radio Interview and Media Training, a turnkey service that promises both. The Radio Interview and Media Training package includes an on-air interview by radio veteran Kevin Price on his popular, drive-time radio show, “Price of Business,” as well as pre- and post-interview feedback to help you use your time in the spotlight to full advantage.

Kevin Price, host of CBS Radio’s “Price of Business.”

Kevin Price, himself a publisher and the author of several books, is a 20-year radio veteran hailed by the Wall Street Journal as “the best business radio show host in the country.” His long-running CBS Radio show, “Price of Business” is based in Houston, Texas, but is frequently broadcast nationwide and featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Fox News, among others.

In addition to an spot on Price’s show, authors get to meet with the famed host, who will provide pointers and insight from both an author’s and broadcaster’s perspective on preparing for the interview. The package provides several additional benefits:

  • Eight minutes of air time in a Top 10 radio market (Houston) and the fourth-largest cityin the United States, during the highly coveted drive time slot.
  • An MP3 recording of the interview broadcast. You can use this recording to further promote your books via social media, your personal or professional website or via other media outlets.
  • A short feature story and clip from the interview posted to US Daily Review website. The national news website receives roughly 250,000 hits monthly, and articles posted to the site are frequently picked up and recirculated throughout the blogosphere.
  • A “post-game” analysis of the interview. Receive media training in the form of a review of the interview broadcast that addresses your strengths and weaknesses, and offers practical advice on improving your performance in the future.

This type of press is valuable, but the benefits you reap from professional media feedback are priceless — and could pay off for many years to come. Learn more about this package by visiting Outskirts Press.

Free book marketing webinar

 

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