Amazon Featured Book-of-the-Week

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


A Place To Call Home: Toby’s Tale

by G. A. Whitmore

(4.5 Stars – 88 Customer Reviews)

Price: $21.95

G. A. Whitmore’s “A Place To Call Home” is the heartwarming and inspiring story of an abandoned white German shepherd puppy named Toby and his cross-country search for a forever home. This book can be enjoyed by dog lovers of all ages.

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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.

 

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Capture the Magic in Your Next Children’s Book!

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who might claim that writing children’s books is easy; in fact, most people in the know will tell you exactly the opposite. Publishing professionals, editors, and authors alike must face up to the peculiar challenges of the genre, which include writing a captivating story, generating eye-popping illustrations, and creating a marketing strategy which will appeal to both the children who make up your primary audience—and the adults who must pay for its purchase. And here’s a fun fact: sometimes children and adults like different things!

There is no other book genre out there which has such a division between its readers and its purchasers … but don’t let that get you down! There are ways to write and publish children’s books which will sell well to folks of all ages, and here we have put together a top six tips list to help you create your own.

  1. Mind your length. As any preschool teacher or children’s librarian can confirm, reading with children is most enjoyable for both parties when the book in question contains just enough text to carry the story along without exhausting their attention. The amount of text you can get away with per page will lengthen as your target audience grows older, but a general rule of thumb is to start with two lines of text per page for toddlers and to go from there.
  2. Pick a timely subject. Picture books are more likely to be picked up by parents, teachers, and librarians on the prowl if they tackle subjects which these adults want to prepare their children to face. In 2014, for instance, one of the most popular subjects was bullying. In 2015, diversity and Civil Rights spiked in popularity. In 2016, picture books featuring public service and leadership frequently hit the bestseller lists. One of the strengths of self-publishing is the fact that books can respond to current events, go to press, and hit bookshelves much more quickly than their traditional counterparts. Take advantage!
  3. Don’t dumb it down. You heard right—baby talk doesn’t carry as compelling of a story as a book which treats its younger audiences with a rich vocabulary and sophisticated sentence structure. Embed what some writers call “gift words” throughout your book, and elevate the beauty of your lines the same way you would for adults. After all, it’s very likely adults will be reading your book aloud to or alongside their kids, and this will transform your book from pure entertainment to a learning opportunity.
  4. Voice morals carefully, and cleverly. Young children will often miss the meat of your agenda, and adults may be turned off from purchasing your book for their kids because it strikes them as “too preachy” or because they disagree with your point. Many of the most successful picture books are indeed rich with moral material, and few will argue otherwise than that picture books are prime tools for teaching sound decision-making skills, but most of these success stories find clever, quiet ways to do so without alienating readers.
  5. Think about those end materials! Many of today’s best picture books include a few pages at the end which include notes for adults on how to make best use of the book in teaching a skill or an idea to young readers. These thoughtful additions often help parents and educators to recognize the care which went into writing and publishing the book, and to put it to work in a more intentional way.
  6. Humor me. Or rather, humor them! Children have a keen sense of humor, and are particularly sensitive to farce and comedy. Adults are more attuned to situational and other forms of irony. A good picture book will entertain everyone by tapping into intersectional forms of humor, just as a good children’s movie usually has some sort of mature subtext embedded within it to keep parents awake in the theater. You can also use humor as a teaching tool, so everyone wins!

In an ideal world, you would be able to focus on the act of writing your picture book, and not have to worry about the complicated minutiae of publishing and marketing your book which you may or may not feel prepared enough to tackle. Luckily, we already live in that world! At Outskirts Press, you can turn to us at any stage of the publishing process, whether you’re reading this newsletter and finding tips on how to move forward with your writing, or using our One-Click Publishing suite to publish your next children’s book, or exploring your options for illustrations and interior formatting. We offer a comprehensive list of services which we hope you’ll take advantage of as you work to translate your vision to the page!

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Launch Kids Into Literacy Heaven!

Marketing books can be difficult, especially when you have to market to two dramatically different groups of people: children and the adults who buy books for them!

It’s no secret that children want a few specific things from the books they read, and those things can be boiled down to beautiful, eye-popping illustrations and a quirky, fast-paced story which will keep them on their toes. But adults? They want to buy books for their kids which are instructive as well as entertaining, and thoughtful as well as funny. Both children and adults love smart, horizon-expanding picture books, but that horizon sometimes looks a little … different.

So how do you market your picture book so that it shows off all of these various facets? We have a few thoughts on how to kickstart your promotional campaign this May!

  1. Start your campaign with a memorable—and thematic!—event. In that the book you’re promoting is a kid’s book, it probably taps into some great themes as well as some exciting visuals thanks to your illustrations. Use this to your advantage! Kids love parties of all kinds and the themes which go with them, and you can usually rely on your local library or your local independent bookstore to welcome a literary event, like a book reading or launch party, for kids. Go straight to the people who will know best how to incorporate picture books and fun activities—your children’s librarian! Seriously. They do this all the time. Even if you don’t hold your event at the library, these folks are a great resource for ideas.
  2. Take the book to school. Like, a literal and actual school! It can be hard to break into the schools since the curriculum is often developed by people higher up in the academic hierarchy than the teachers themselves, but there are still ways to raise your book’s profile among school-aged kids! One of the most reliable ways to promote a children’s book is to put together a thirty to fifty minute workshop which you can scale up or down to any group of school students of any age (or at least a range of ages). Keep it portable, and flexible enough to adapt to a variety of classroom setups and sizes, and reach out to a couple of your local teachers and administrators to see what kind of needs a workshop around your book can help meet. Think big!
  3. Market to both children and the adults who will be paying for the book. Children’s books are unique in respect to the fact that the person who will be reading the book most often and the person who is paying for it are often not the same person. In many cases, too, adults are a necessary part of the child’s reading experience as well–picture all of those Story Times in the library, with grown-ups reading to little ones in their laps–so a book must have shelf appeal to both little ones (make an eye-popping display!) and their parents or caregivers (make it relevant and funny!). Use social media local parenting-related groups to reach out to these folks. Whatever you do, make sure your marketing strategies are reaching out to those who buy the books as well as those who read them!

Whatever path you choose to pursue in marketing your children’s book, we hope you’ll take advantage of the resources available through our website at www.OutskirtsPress.com, or make use of a five-hour session with one of our expert Personal Marketing Assistants, each of whom can walk you through the necessary steps to set up a rigorous, flexible, and far-reaching marketing plan suited to you and your book’s unique needs. At Outskirts Press, we’re here to help you at all of the different stages of being an author, from publishing to marketing to getting started on your next children’s book!

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Spring Into Some Savings This May!

Spring is a time for renewed hopes, and a time to dust off those projects which have been sitting in the back of your mind–or in the far recesses of your computer’s memory–over the chilly winter months. You’ve had time to let the ideas percolate, like snowmelt through warming soil, and things are starting to come together to grow your dream into something magnificent. Now that May has arrived, spring is officially underway–and your prospects are coming up all roses!

We at Outskirts Press would like to invite you to make good on your desires, and to that end we are offering a spring savings discount of $250 off either our Ultimate Publishing package or our Full-Color Publishing package!

You are an author who knows the virtues of patience—after all, waiting through the cold winter months for a sale like this one is no easy thing!—and you are committed to doing the necessary research to ensure you pick the right self-publishing company for your needs. We hope that, with our phenomenal offerings and equally phenomenal spring savings discount, you’ll choose to publish with us—the one Top Consumer Reviews rated #1 Self-Publishing Company for 2016!

Here’s how to do it:

From now until the end of May, log onto our website or get in touch with us over the phone and add one of these two packages to your shopping cart. Then, enter the promotion code 250May17 at checkout.

That’s it!

If you have any questions or, if you want to find out more information about either our Ultimate or our Full-Color Publishing packages, get in touch with your Publishing Consultant. There are three convenient ways to connect:

  1. Call us at 1-888-672-6657 (OP-BOOKS)
  2. Live-chat with us via our website
  3. Go online to schedule an appointment
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Amazon Featured Book-of-the-Week

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


The Old Guy Goes
by Keith Elkins

(5 Stars – 2 Customer Reviews)

Price: $16.95

Keith Elkins’s “The Old Guy Goes.” tells the story of a college teacher from his prime at age forty to his death at eighty surrounded by loving family. With insight, he explores the later stages of life and the significant issues related to aging.

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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.

 

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Self-Publishing Author Spotlight: Madelyn I. Sawyer

At Outskirts Press, Inc., we take great pride in celebrating the work of our successful self-publishing authors, and we do so each week through our Self-Publishing Author Spotlight. This week we highlight self-publishing author Madelyn I. Sawyer, who has published three successful titles with Outskirts Press. She is currently working on her fourth title.

Learn more about Madelyn, her background and how that inspired her to write her published works through this week’s Self-Publishing Author Spotlight.

About the Author:

Madelyn Sawyer started her aviation career by serving in the United States Navy as an air traffic controller based in Puerto Rico. She has worked for the FAA for more than 30 years; 25 of those years as a special agent. Her aviation career beyond the FAA has including soloing in a Cessna-150, flying as a flight attendant, working in airline crew scheduling, and teaching water survival classes to pilots and flight attendants.
Away from the world of aviation, Madelyn has two children and three grandchildren. She is a distance runner and an avid outdoor enthusiast. In 2009 she launched a business called Grandmothers on the Run (www.grandmothersontherun.com ), an online clothing company for active, busy, and very proud grandmothers.

Hired to Protect: Adventures of a Federal Air Marshal

Maggie Stewart didn’t gain the nickname “Mad Dog Stewart” without a reason. From the charred remains of an airline tragedy, Maggie Stewart’s career began as a Federal Air Marshal. From that point on, her career, and her life, would never be the same. Chapter after chapter, this spell-binding story tells of her brushes with danger and intrigue, every page telling of her incredible adventures as she flies around the world “Hired to Protect” passengers and crew members, while on duty as a Federal Air Marshal for the United States Government.

Product details…
Paperback
Format: 6 x 9 Black & White Paperback, 202 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Aug 16, 2012)
ISBN10: 143279390X
ISBN13: 9781432793906
Genre: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Adventurers & Explorers

Hired to Defend

Maggie Stewart didn’t get the nickname “Mad Dog Stewart” without reason. She’s determined and tough, meeting the rigorous physical and personal requirements to serve as a Federal Air Marshal—a job that allows her to travel the world, but also demands the very best she has to give, under stressful circumstances. Traveling armed and in teams, Maggie faces danger and tragedy that most people see only in the movies. Maggie’s life changes professionally and personally when she leaves the air marshal cadre for a promotion to a Supervisory Special Agent. The stress and politics intensify, but the terrorist plots aren’t slowing down. From California to Washington DC, Maggie’s field experience and dedication are put to the test every day—and she is faced with personal sacrifices that her calling requires. This exciting real-life story is a compelling portrait of a woman who rose to a position of incredibly demanding accountability, and who faced life and death decisions. Travel along with Maggie and learn the reality of what it means to serve and protect—both in the air and behind the scenes!

Product details…
Paperback
Format: 6 x 9 Black & White Paperback, 186 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Feb 27, 2014)
ISBN10: 1478726962
ISBN13: 9781478726968
Genre: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Adventurers & Explorers

Hired To Serve: The Third Book of the Adventures of a Federal Air Marshal

Maggie Stewart didn’t get the nickname “Mad Dog Stewart” for no reason. She’s determined and tough. She passed the rigorous requirements to serve as a Federal Air Marshal with flying colors–and now she’s facing new challenges. When she leaves the air marshal cadre, little does she know that she’s in for the fight of her life. The stress and politics intensify, but the terrorist plots aren’t slowing down. After experiencing the most horrific day in American history, she not only fights against terrorism, but enemies from within. This exciting behind-the-scenes real-life story is a compelling portrait of a woman who rose to a position of incredibly demanding accountability and personal sacrifice. Travel along with Maggie and learn the reality of what it means to protect, defend, and serve this great country of ours.

Product details…
Paperback
Format: 6 x 9 Black & White Paperback, 156 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Mar 13, 2015)
ISBN10: 1478752831
ISBN13: 9781478752837
Genre: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Adventurers & Explorers

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Amazon Author Profile Now Available

Great news! Outskirts Press now offers an Amazon Author Profile to published authors. Why is this so important? Amazon.com sells books, but the Amazon Author Profile sells you!

What is an Author Profile?

If you look at a book listing on Amazon, you will find the Author Profile, labeled “More About the Author,” below the “Product Details” section. There you will see the author’s photo and biography.

Why do you need one?

Amazon Author Profiles convert more shoppers into buyers because people like knowing who wrote the book they are considering. If you are an expert who has published a non-fiction book, your Author Profile shares pertinent information about your expertise. If you are a fiction writer, your Author Profile is an invaluable space to build your brand. The same holds true if you are a poet or children’s book author. Regardless of the type of book (or books) you have published, your Amazon Author Profile serves one very important task: it sells YOU to your potential readers.

The Author Profile is more than just a new section on your sales page. It is your entire author presence on Amazon. When set-up correctly, your Author Profile includes your entire bibliography of published books, all your book videos and/or video teasers, a direct RSS feed to your author blog, and so much more!

More Perks of the Author Profile Option

  • You can start to attract “followers” to your Profile, just like on Twitter and Facebook, and those followers will be notified when you write a new blog post or publish a new book
  • When participating in our Amazon Author Sweepstakes, you can require sweepstake participants to “follow” you before they are eligible for your free book giveaway
  • You only have to set it up once, no matter how many books you have published. As you publish more books, it’s easy to add them to your Author Profile

How do you set it up?

If you don’t know how to set up everything yourself, no problem. Outskirts Press will do it all for you. For more information and to purchase the Amazon Author Profile option from Outskirts Press, simply log into your Author Publishing Center and select Amazon Author Profile from the Marketing Solutions menu.

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