Outskirts Press Self-Publishing Authors Impress EVVY Awards Judges—Here Are the 2018 Finalists

Outskirts Press self-publishing authors continually impress the judges at the annual CIPA EVVY Awards and this year is no different. In fact, our authors garnered an all-time high 28 spots as finalists for the 2018 awards and we couldn’t be prouder!

Now in its 24th year, the EVVY Awards, sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) and the CIPA Education and Literacy Foundation (ELF), recognize the works of independent authors in dozens of book categories.

First-, second- and third-place winners will be revealed and recognized at an awards banquet on Saturday, Aug. 25, in Denver, Colorado. Outskirts Press would love to see as many of these amazing authors at the ceremony as possible. If you can’t make it, no worries: Outskirts Press executives will be on hand to accept the awards on behalf of authors not able to appear in person.

Alas, here are the self-published books that have been selected as finalists in the 2018 EVVY Awards:

Congratulations to all our EVVY Award finalists! We are so proud of your impressive achievements in this awards cycle.

Have you published a book this year, or are you getting ready to? Let Outskirts Press show you how to produce an award-worthy work! Follow the link below to learn more about our book publishing and marketing services.

An Inky Summer by Fred and Cheryl Lowman
Banister – Raiders of Santa Fe by Kent Courtney
Classroom Boredom Busters by Donna Malone
Cursed by Jeanne Blanchet, Ph.D.
Cut and Paste Religion by Rodney Kendrick
Dear Folks by Walt Hazelton
Emma and the Dragon Tooth Sword by Gabriel F.W. Koch
Entrepreneurs in Pharmacy: And Other Leaders by George S. Zorich
Genetics Isn’t Everything: How to Make Your ‘G-E-N-E-S’ Fit You by Katherine S. Egan
Greed Disease by Ted Folkert
Healing Walls by Rea Nurmi
Journey to Self-Discovery by Corazon N. Puzon
Living on the Edge: Adventures of a Hunter by Shannon L. Kollmeyer
Marathon and Half-Marathon Training, One Day a Week (It Can Be Done) by John Timmerman
My A.R.R.A.: Growing into Me by J.C. Sykes

Notes from the Trenches: A Musician’s Journey through World War I
by Gary H. Foster
People of the Rain: Rainfall by Steve Oldfin
Purple People from the Planet Plume by Marilyn Bischoff
Schweres Wasser: Heavy Water by John Alex Owen
Serving Others by John E. Koenig, Ph.D., and Father John Francis Kamwendo, Th.D.

The 75 Day War
by William Thomson
The Adventures of Patty-Cat, Kittle, and Friends with the Duchess of Manx by Barbara A. Cefalu
The Portal by David D. Bernstein
The Quest to Overthrow Heaven by Bolko Zimmer
The Sam Browne by Thomas Stacey
Two Towers by T.D. Arkenberg
Wasp on the Wind by C. R. Norris
What IF? Just A.S.K. by Rodney D. Brooks with Breanne E. Brooks

Help Your Self-Help Book Along This September!

Self-help books are HUGE right now. All you have to do is walk into the closest bookstore or library to be convinced of this fact; books on beauty, diet, meditation, mental health, and other self-help topics routinely grace some of the most prominent displays. But your readers are not the same as other authors’ readers … so how do you write and publish a book that will move them?

We have a couple of ideas!

The first step to writing a successful self-help book is to know your competition, and to know your competition you’ll need to read widely in the genre. What kind of self-help book appeals to you? A celebrity lifestyle book, for example, tends to read as equal parts memoir and dietary regimen. That’s great … but there are lots of other models! There’s an entire subgenre dedicated to lifestyle books written by doctors (actual practicing medical doctors, that is) and they are entirely different. So too are the more topical, exploratory works that blend creative non-fiction with self-help elements. Run your hand along a library display or the health and fitness shelf at your local bookstore, and you’ll find dozens of self-help models you might consider for your own book.

Next, you have to consider how to plan for the long haul. After all, self-help is a lifelong pursuit, and it is fitting for the genre that writing one of these books will take a while. Gather your information, put it into practice, and live the experience you’re writing to endorse. Your readers will find your book compelling and authentic if they feel convinced that you’re not simply posturing but embracing the lifestyle you advocate that they too should choose! As much as or more than any other genre, self-help books require the reader to believe that what they’re seeing on the page belongs in their life, and can be achieved by tenable, easy-to-replicate steps. Once you know how the strategies you’re writing about feel from the inside, a process which is bound to take a while, you’re in the perfect position to write about them!

This is a niche genre … so plan accordingly. Plan to reach a small, targeted audience. And in order to reach that audience, you’ll need to know exactly who they are. You can’t rely on general feelings of affinity (“I love all fiction!” “I love all romance books!”) to sell a self-help book, as picking one of these up and trying it on is less like buying and trying on new clothes and a lot more like completely changing everything you eat or think and do. Most people who love science fiction are perfectly happy to buy twenty or thirty books in the genre a year, but people don’t tend to experiment with their lifestyle with remotely the same frequency. They do, however, tend to give other people self-help books as gifts on a regular basis. Knowing this is half of the battle later on down the road when it comes to marketing, but in the short term it’s helpful for determining what does and does not make it into your book. What would you want out of a gift? Something purely functional, or something with bright and glossy images to catch the eye?

Lastly, find a publisher who knows how to market and sell self-help books. We mean specifically, not just as yet another generic addition to their non-fiction publications. Take a look at their online catalogues or bookstores (ours is at www.OutskirtsPress.com/bookstore!) and check for a variety of non-fiction subgenres, including health and fitness, cookbooks, memoirs, and more. The more subgenres are represented, the more likely it is that this publisher knows how to appeal to those small, targeted audiences and can help you along the way! And of course, it’s also vital that you speak with the publishing company in person to verify that they are everything they say they are, as well as expert in the field and excited about your specific book.

And there you have it: several important ways to hone your craft as you draft your next self-help book! To see our staff picks of amazing self-help books from many of our published authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here.

Would you like help choosing your best self-publishing option? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

Six Ways to Market Your Self-Help Book This September!

For many readers, Fall marks the perfect time to kick back, slow down, and pick up a new book or two to savor, whether while celebrating the return of pumpkin spice lattes or taking long strolls among the color-changing leaves … or adhering to the same work schedule as always. Book sales in niche genres, including self-help, spike in the Fall, and for good reason! Whether readers are looking for a change of pace or to prepare themselves for the new year lurking just over the horizon, self-help books are the best possible way to launch into pumpkin spice season. They can be, however, difficult books to market. While massive numbers of self-help books are sold each year, those numbers are not, by and large, coming from standard bookstore sales and standard marketing campaigns.

So how do you market your self-help book effectively? Here are six ways to get underway!

1. Identify your ideal reader. This is a critical step for marketing any kind of book, it’s true, but particularly important when it comes to self-help books as this is considered a niche market. If you don’t know who your readers are, you’ll definitely struggle to market your book to them. Once you’ve established who they are, however, and the kind of habits and values they share, you’ll be able to determine if, for example, they’re likely to need visibility-boosting aids like e-book versions and so forth.

2. Consider creating an e-book version. E-books may have been around a while, but current market trends indicate that they’re going nowhere but up in terms of popularity, even as sales for traditional print rise along with them. With their easily resizable fonts and other tweakable view functions, e-books are critical to readers with limited mobility or impaired vision. If you want to render your lifestyle accessible to oft-neglected readerships, you can’t overlook the importance of e-book editions for the Kindle, iPad, and other tablet and smartphone devices!

3. Consider creating an audiobook version. This is a rapidly growing sector of self-publishing that is still in many ways just getting off the ground, but for all its newness it should not be discounted. Just as e-book versions for the Kindle, iPad, and other kinds of tablets render books more accessible for those of limited mobility or impaired vision, an audiobook version makes your book more accessible to those who would love to learn but whose ability to read a traditional visual format is limited.

4. Identify where your ideal readers live, physically. And where they shop, where they eat, and where they slow down. Are they coffee shop aficionados? Are they likely to shop at whole-foods grocery stores? Are they purveyors of Italian restaurants? If your self-help book relates to financial planning, perhaps you can build relationships with local accounting firms to keep bookmarks featuring your book on the counter. Or if your self-help book relates to nutrition, perhaps the local gyms or health-food stores would do the same. Self-help books each have very specific audiences. The most effective marketing strategies all involve targeted in-person advertising, so it’s best to try and find those places your ideal readers would frequent and market there.

5. Identify where your ideal readers live, digitally. Just as every marketing strategy involves in-person advertising, it must also include effective digital marketing. Some of the same rules apply: self-help books appeal to specific kinds of readers, and those readers probably visit very specific websites, whether forums or blogs or Instagram accounts or shopping sites. It’s always worth approaching the owners of these website, or blogs, and asking if they’d be interested in partnering with you in spreading the word about your book. The worst they can say is no, but chances are, if you put together an effective press release and marketing package, someone influential will say yes. And then you have your foot in the door!

6. Be your own best advocate. All of these tips and tricks we’ve shared today are bound together by the one shared concept of self-advocacy. New ways and means of marketing your book will crop up regularly, as the world changes and the Internet evolves and the ways in which people consume their literature also evolves. The key ingredient of every marketing strategy is you, and cultivating a willingness to go out and observe, identify, and make use of these new ways and means of marketing is crucial to your ongoing success. In this way, marketing your self-help book is just like marketing any other kind of self-published book; this is where the streams cross.

Still not sure where to start in marketing your book this Fall? It may be time to lean on an expert! If you’re looking to market your self-help book, there’s never a better time than now to inquire. Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com, where you’ll find countless additional recommendations to suit your marketing needs.

To see our staff picks of amazing self-help books from many of our authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here.

Amazon Featured Book of the Week

Here’s this week’s Featured Book-of-the-Week available now on Amazon.com!


Bonjour, My Friend

by Diane Helene

(5 Stars – 3 Customer Reviews)

Price: $19.95

Diane Helene’s “Bonjour, My Friend.” Set in the glittering world of Parisian society, a young American girl is hired to sing at an upscale restaurant where she becomes the protégé of the owner, Andre, a wealthy French aristocrat. Andre’s best friend, Marcus, is a family-oriented man who shows Alycea there is life outside of Paris. After Alycea becomes severely injured during a storefront bombing, Andre vows to marry Alycea but Andre’s mother and sister join forces against the marriage.

 Learn More 

 

Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time of this posting; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon.com.© Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Amazon, Amazon.com, the Amazon.com logo, and 1-Click are registered trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon.com, 410 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-5210.

 

Would you like your book featured here? Buy Now

It’s National Book Lover’s Day! How Will You Celebrate?

Now, here’s a holiday we can all get into: National Book Lovers Day (NBLD)! Occurring annually (usually on August 9), this is a day just for you and your fellow bibliophiles to sink into the bath with a glass of vino and a juicy read and guiltlessly indulge your inner bookworm. As if you needed a reason …

As writers and authors, you’re the driving force behind national days like today. So, aside from page-flipping, how else can you mark the occasion? Here are three ways to celebrate National Book Lovers Day today with other readers, including your own:

  1. Give the gift of reading. Host a book giveaway on social media. Give your network of friends a chance to win an autographed hardcopy of your book or copies of your favorite reads. Consider giving copies to the first people to like, share or retweet your contest post, or perhaps a gift basket with your book, a mug, hot cocoa and other knick-knacks to the person who tags the most friends in the comments section. Oh, and remember to use hashtags such as #NationalBookLoversDay or #NBLD in all related posts.
  2. Feed the reading bug. Encourage reading through philanthropy. Drop in on your local libraries and schools to donate books in honor of the occasion. Other great places to donate include nursing homes, veterans’ organizations, hospitals and shelters.
  3. Stick your nose in a book. Relaxing with a guilty pleasure is always an option. In fact, the best writers are those who are also avid readers. Go ahead and proudly tuck into a steamy novel or fast-paced mystery — it all counts. Consider it “personal development.”

BONUS TIPS:

  • Are you, or is someone you know, on the fence about self-publishing? Use NBLD to take the leap and save on self-publishing in the process! Outskirts Press is currently offering a $300 spending credit with the purchase of our Ultimate or Full-Color publishing package. Just place the package in your cart and enter promo code 300-Spending at checkout.
  • If you’re already published, congratulations — you’ve made a valuable contribution to readers’ enjoyment of National Book Lovers Day. Promote your book to those readers with the popular Outskirts Press Book Launch Bundle, now 15% Off! Login to your Author’s Publishing Center, place this marketing bundle in your cart and enter promo code BookLaunch15 at checkout.

Now, let’s all celebrate!

Hot Summer, Hotter Deal: Receive $300 Spending Money with Ultimate or Full-Color Publishing

How are you spending your summer vacation? If you play your cards right, you can tell everyone you spent it getting published! It’s actually a great time to take the leap.

First, publishing ahead of the holidays gives you breathing room. You’re well ahead of the hustle and bustle of company parties, family gatherings and holiday baking. That means you can devote your energy and attention to making your book the best it can be before it goes to print (and ebook).

Second, starting the process now means you may be able to kick off the new year with a new book, or close to it. Depending on how much you have left to write, you might be able to pitch your newly minted tome to post-Christmas or Valentine’s Day shoppers. Boom — one resolution down, only a dozen or so to go!

And finally, you’ll save money. How? With $300 spending money from Outskirts Press! Purchase our Ultimate or Full-Color publishing package in August and we’ll throw in a credit of $300 you can use to purchase or pay down any Outskirts Press service you desire.

Outskirts Press has a number of valuable publishing, book customization options and book marketing services that demonstrate just how far $300 can go, including:

  1. Professional Copy Editing. An experienced copy editor will ensure a polished manuscript that is free of errors that could destroy credibility.
  2. Custom Cover Design. Book cover design can be as important as content in reeling in readers and increasing your odds of selling.
  3. Ebook Publishing. An ebook edition opens selling potential to millions of readers.
  4. Book Video Trailer. Capture imaginations in the virtual realm with a vivid book trailer, complete with professional graphics and set to music!

To claim your $300 credit, place the Ultimate or Full-Color publishing package in your shopping cart and enter promo code 300-Spending at checkout. You will receive a confirmation email when the credit has been added to your account.

How will you spend your $300? Tell us in the comments!

5 Ways Authors Can Finish Strong in 2018

It’s hard to believe there are less than five full months left in the year. But for authors trying to sell books, the good news is that those months include the holidays, when die-hard bookworms are gifting and gobbling up books of all kinds.

What that means for you is that opportunities still abound to boost book sales and make 2018 a banner year. If you plan accordingly, your most successful months of selling lay ahead.

For instance, did you know the Reader Views Literary Awards are in December? And is October’s Frankfurt Book Fair on your radar? Put them on your marketing calendar (or get an Author’s Marketing Calendar from Outskirts Press and have important dates like these available to you in an instant).

A well-crafted marketing calendar is priceless. It gives you solid promotion deadlines to meet, keeps important events and benchmarks in one place, and inspires you keep moving toward your marketing goals. Here are five things you can track on your marketing calendar to finish strong in 2018:

  1. Literary contest deadlines. It’s not just important to know when a contest is being held; it s vital to keep track of submission deadlines, too. That way, you can plan ahead to complete submission requirements on time.
  2. Book review opportunities. There may or may not be a firm deadline for a book review. You’ll want to track the ones that do have submission timelines and plan for open-ended reviews in between.
  3. High-profile book expo dates. There are scores of local, regional, national and international book fairs where you can display your book. It helps to research which ones are appropriate for your book genre, what level of exposure to expect and when you need to complete registration.
  4. Smart and doable book marketing prompts. Think about some of the little things you can do in between big events to boost your visibility, such as creating a Pinterest page for your book or acknowledging holidays on social media.
  5. Include resources you can access for more information and assistance. Save links and helpful articles directly to your calendar for future reference. This not only serves as a prompt but keeps you from digging around for the information you need to complete a task.

Needless to say, your marketing plan has a lot of work to do! If you’re not sure how to draft a marketing plan and put it into action, Outskirts Press can help. Or, hire a Personal Marketing Assistant with expertise in promoting all genres of books! As our way of saying thanks, we’ll throw in a FREE 2018 Marketing Calendar when you purchase this or ANY marketing option! Just enter promo code FreeCal2018 at checkout and your calendar will be added to your Author Toolkit within 48 hours.

Now, let’s make 2018 epic!