Amazon Featured Book-of-the-Week

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

Maiden General: How a 17-year-old Joan of Arc Saved France at Orleans

by Mike MacCarthy

(5 Stars – 11 Customer Reviews)

Price: $18.95

Mike MacCarthy’s “Maiden General: How a 17-year-old Joan of Arc Saved France at Orleans.” This book chronicles every perilous step of Joan of Arc as she runs away from her parent’s farm in France to lead her country to victory over the English at the Battle of Orléans. Joan had no knowledge of war or politics but was determined to succeed and ultimately obtained knighthood.


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Self-Publishing Author Spotlight: CD Swanson

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 CD Swanson, who has published 18 successful titles with Outskirts Press.

Learn more about CD Swanson, her background and how she pours her faith into her published works through this week’s Self-Publishing Author Spotlight.

authorAbout the Author:

CD Swanson is a Christian with a full proud based belief in God, His son, and the Holy Spirit. Happily married for over 30 years, C D Swanson was in the Social Services field for most of her career – and has always enjoyed writing as a hobby. She admits that her writing ability it is a “gift” from God, and has used it frequently throughout her career, and personal life to encourage and help people in need of love and validation.

In addition to her books, CD Swanson has a devotional website, contributes to various magazines, and her prose was selected to accompany a calendar to raise money for childhood cancer. She’s married to her childhood sweetheart and they live with their “boy” on the East Coast. Her degrees are in human services, psychology, and health administration.

“I write for God as He is my constant source of inspiration.” — CD Swanson

coverDear God: With Love: Words Of Praise to Exalt His Name

Have you ever wanted to speak directly to God? Well, words of Praise, through poems – akin to the book of Psalms – is just that, an attempt to Thank Our God, in poetic fashion. Also included are words of thanks, and a personal testimonial bringing about an even deeper confirmation that there is a God above.

Product details…
Format: 6 x 9 paperback white, 55 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Feb 25, 2011)
ISBN10: 143277008X
ISBN13: 9781432770082
Genre: RELIGION / Christian Life / Inspirational

cover (1)Butterflies, Possum & Laughter:
A Birds Eye Look At An Enduring Friendship That Knew No Bounds, and How it affects The One Left Behind.

This book is for anyone who has had a best friend, or someone special in their lives, and lost them.

This is a bird’s eye look at an enduring and special friendship, and all the “goofy” things and amazing times shared together, and what happens when one passes away. This is an attempt to reach those of you going through a similar circumstance, or for those who have a special friendship, and just want to smile and appreciate it all the more. The author takes you through various scenarios, both poignant and humorous, and a personal journey of loss, the aftermath, and the feelings from being “left behind.” It is all done with “heartfelt” words, and insightful situations, along with a faith-inspired belief.

Product details…
Format: 6 x 9 paperback white, 93 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Feb 28, 2011)
ISBN10: 1432770853
ISBN13: 9781432770853
Genre: FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Friendship


cover (16)Heartfelt Connections: Short Inspirational Faith-filled Stories
A collection of short faith-filled stories, mostly based on actual events. This book is comprised of short stories, some are true, some are based on Biblical accounts, and still others a form of prose. The inspirational pull will be obvious from the first to last story. Each story is unique in its content,and yet share one common denominator, the love of God and His influence in our lives. This eclectic mixture of stories and prose, comprise an authentic and touching journey within its pages, leaving the reader wanting more.
Product details…
Format: 5.5 x 8.5 paperback cream, 152 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Jun 07, 2013)
ISBN10: 1478704462
ISBN13: 9781478704461
Genre: RELIGION / Christian Life / Inspirational

cover (9)Faded Memories Anew:
A devastating loss causes a man to think of other options as he faces life without his loved one.
Immediately following his wife’s death, John, a CEO, makes a life changing decision that sets him on a new journey. With a grief-stricken heart, he attempts to “live” again, while holding onto memories of his one true love. Relocating to another State, having accepted a new job, he slowly adjusts to life without his wife. He struggles with guilt when he begins to experience feelings for his co-worker Kiana, who has suffered an equally devastating loss. Together, they navigate through uncharted waters, each with their own story and “ghosts” to deal with. Their story builds slowly culminating into an explosive and powerful climax.

Product details…
Format: 5 x 8 paperback white, 259 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Nov 12, 2013)
ISBN10: 1478724145
ISBN13: 9781478724148
Genre: FICTION / Christian / Romance

cover (17)Jesus Eternal Friend & Savior:

Jesus Christ, our Savior, the Messiah, the King of kings and Lord of lords. He came looking for us, and we love Him because He loved us first. The only begotten Son of God, our salvation, and our eternal friend.

Product details…
Format: 5 x 8 paperback cream, 118 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Dec 27, 2013)
ISBN10: 147872773X
ISBN13: 9781478727736
Genre: RELIGION / Christian Life / Spiritual Growth



cover (19)Deception At The Oasis

The Oasis–Where Deception Not Only Lives, But Thrives
The Oasis, a beautiful place to “live.” Something is amiss in the scenic hills in which The Oasis sits atop. The residents want to live their lives, but there may be some rules to the contrary. Gemma Fields, the social worker employed at the Oasis, suspects foul play, and will not stop until she sheds light on the darkness that threatens to overtake the Oasis. With the help of two men, one a retired detective, the other an “attorney” an investigation begins. Will Gemma be able to save her beloved residents from the suffocating evil?

Product details…
Format: 5 x 8 paperback cream, 222 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Sep 26, 2014)
ISBN10: 1478743816
ISBN13: 9781478743811
Genre: FICTION / Christian / Suspense

cover (11)Preoccupied With God: Loving Him Completely

God and His promises are still the same today. His words will never fade away. The grass withereth, and the flower fadeth, but the word of our God shall stand forever. (Isaiah 40:8 KJV) How much are we pleasing the Lord, during our day? Our actions, our thoughts, our deeds? A book dedicated to the praise and glory of His name and how we can please God both privately and publicly. Samples of everyday life, comments, testimony will bear witness to His love. A book Christians will welcome in their library.

Product details…
Format: 5 x 8 paperback cream, 76 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Sep 18, 2014)
ISBN10: 1478743824
ISBN13: 9781478743828
Genre: RELIGION / Christian Life / Inspirational
cover (12)


Progressive Intern:
A Story Within A Story About Two Women From Entirely Different Generations.

A story within a story involving two women from two different worlds and generations. Their connection begins the moment they meet, and ultimately progresses into a solid foundation which fundamentally alters the contemporary woman.

Product details…
Format: 5 x 8 paperback white, 149 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Sep 10, 2015)
ISBN10: 1478764422
ISBN13: 9781478764427
Genre: FICTION / Sagas


More books by C D Swanson include  Dear God: With Love II, Five Hearts, The Chief’s Niece, Changed from the Inside Out, 40 Days & 40 Nights of His Word, The Inner Office of Samantha Evans,Passages of Everyday Life: Through Faith, The Path of Destiny: Where Fate & Hearts UniteBlessings In Disguise: When Prayers Go Unanswered and  Heart of Courage Faith.

Ready share your inspirations and stories? Get published with Outskirts Press!

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5 Do’s and Don’ts for Formatting, Grammar, and Spelling

At Outskirts Press, our passion is helping you publish the book of your dreams. And you can help us. Even though we will strive to ensure that your book is perfect when it is done, there are little things you can do with your manuscript prior to the publishing stage that will go a long way toward helping us publish a perfect book later. Just five little things…

#1. Don’t insert hard paragraph breaks after every line. You can see where hard returns are in your Microsoft Word document by holding down CTRL-SHIFT-8. That bold “paragraph symbol” shows you where the hard returns are. They should be only at the ends of paragraphs.

#2. Don’t manually insert hyphens. Your word processor should hyphenate words automatically, unless you have that function turned off. But even turning off auto-hyphenation is preferable to manually inserting a hyphen yourself. A manually-inserted hyphen will cause all sorts of problems during interior book formatting, so be sure to remove them from your manuscript before submitting it to us (or to any publisher, for that matter).

#3. Don’t use ALL CAPS. You may be tempted to capitalize words for emphasis, or for book titles. In both instances, italics are preferred.

Readers appreciate error-free books.

#4. Do spell check your work. All word processors have built-in spell checking. Even if you plan on having us professionally edit your manuscript before publication (which we STRONGLY recommend; oops, I mean strongly recommend), it is a good idea to run your spell check program over your manuscript prior to submitting it to us, just to fix all the “easy” errors.

#5. Do check your grammar. Most word processors also have built-in grammar checking, although they are admittedly poor. There are better (and free) alternatives on the Internet. Our favorite is Simply cut and paste your manuscript, a chapter at a time, into the online form and Online-SpellCheck will not only identify spelling errors your word processor probably missed, but it will also catch other common grammatical errors such as contextual misspellings, commonly switched words, typographical errors, and more.

Even if you plan on ordering our optional editing service to have your manuscript professionally edited, this procedure with Online-SpellCheck is an important one to complete prior to submitting your manuscript. And if you choose to forgo our optional editing services (which we recommend against), this step with is basically mandatory. It’s quick and free, so do your future readers a favor and double-check your manuscript now.

Special Note: Be sure to bookmark when you are there, so you can access it during the production phase at Outskirts Press. You will be entering information into your Publishing Center (like your synopsis, back cover copy, and online sales copy). It’s best to run those paragraphs through before submitting them during the pre-production process.

Additionally, there is a popular Chrome extension to consider: Grammarly (at This browser extension runs in the background on the Chrome Internet browser and checks spelling and grammar “on the fly” as you enter words into online forms. This is very useful for completing your publishing process error-free.

Obviously, there is no substitute for a professional human editor, but complementing our professional editing services with Online-SpellCheck and Grammarly is the perfect hat trick to almost guarantee an error-free book.


You’ve Got Questions and Self-Publishing News Has the Answers

Most people believe that writing is a solitary activity: you lock yourself in your office with your computer and your favorite form of caffeine and type away in silence, hoping that what is in your head effectively travels to your fingertips.

And that’s true. Sort of.

Excited woman raising her arms while working on her laptop

These days, writers are fortunate to have so much information readily available through the internet and social media. The problem with that is that it can be hard to sift through what’s truly valuable.

We want to help.

Through this Outskirts Press blog, Self-Publishing News, we like to consistently provide you with:

And, of course, amazing marketing opportunities, like getting your book into the pages of the New York Times just in time for the holidays! Click here for those details.

Advertise your book in the New York Times

Our team of writing professionals is always looking for information that is going to help you through the publishing process. We not only focus on the resources that Outskirts Press offers, we pull in writing and publishing tips from other resources we think might benefit you. When you have questions, Self-Publishing News can help you with the answers and, hopefully, save you time while inspiring you along the way.

Through Self-Publishing News, we virtually take you out of your office and into a community of writers and publishers who want you to succeed.

Thank you for making Self-Publishing News a part of your writing, publishing, and marketing journey.


10 Effective Ways to Use Your Book Copies

Most publishers give you some free copies of your book when it is published. (And if yours didn’t, ask yourself what you’re doing publishing your heart & soul there).

Once you have those copies, the question then becomes: what do you do with them?  And that’s where today’s posting comes in, with the following free Outskirts Press tip-sheet. Just click on this graphic to open/download this complimentary tip sheet today.  Enjoy!


Win a free copy of The Old Guy Goes from Outskirts Press #AmazonGiveaway

Outskirts Press author, Keith Elkins, is giving you a chance to win a free copy of his book, The Old Guy Goes!


Even if you don’t win one of the free copies, you can still order it from Amazon for an amazing price!

Do you want to promote your own Amazon Author Sweepstakes to tens of thousands of readers for your book? Click here.

The Norskvall Saga: The End of Youth by Michael the Red Virtual Book Tour

As an author in this economy, you have to come up with creative ways to market a self-published book. While book tours are a great way to connect with your readers, they aren’t the most affordable method of promotion. However, technology has made it possible for an alternative.

Take note from self-publishing Outskirts Press author, Michael the Red, who is taking his latest book, The Norskvall Saga: The End of Youth, on tour – a virtual book tour, that is. He will be featured on several blogs over the weeks and months ahead so keep your eyes peeled to learn more about him and his book.

Luckily for us, Michael was kind enough to answer a few questions as the tour was getting started so that we can give you a sneak peek into the mind of the creator of The Norskvall Saga: The End of Youth.

The Norskvall Saga: The End of Youth book cover

OP: Tell us a little bit about The Norskvall Saga: The End of Youth. What is it about?

Michael: It is basically about two grandchildren of the Norse goddess Frigg finding out what they can really do on their own. Starting just four years after the end of the last book, Anders decides it is time to begin to fulfil his vow that he would save the dark elf Nixius from her death even though she had been an apprentice to a great evil. He suspects that she ended up in Hel’s domain after she died. When his cousin Raghilde receives Nixius’ crystal ball from her father it gives them some clues, which are later confirmed by Nixius’ own mother who sends a nephew to find them when they pass close to an Ancient Path between worlds. She also wishes to have her daughter and son back who were killed by Loki and the cousin’s white wolf. With her help she is able to send them on the quest to return her children from death. Through the course of their adventure they find out that Raghilde’s crystal ball is actually The Orb of the Dark Elves, an ancient relic of their people which has laid dormant for tens of thousands of years after it was taken by the high elves and subsequently stolen by Nixius. Somehow, though she is not a dark elf, the orb ‘awakens’ for Raghilde and she is able to harness its power to advance their quest. In the end she is confronted with another truth, that she was destined to lead the dark elves out of their caves and give their world back to them which had been taken by the high elves.

Although the book is the second of a series it could easily be read as a standalone since much of the information from the first book is reintroduced through new characters.

OP: Why did you decide to write this story?

Michael: A very good question that isn’t easily answerable. Partly it came from boredom on Saturday afternoons. Another part of it was the first stories appeared on the website and I received lots of encouragement to get them published. Unfortunately the website is no longer up and running anymore.

OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?

Michael: Although the book is being advertised as a coming of age tale, anyone who has interest in the Norse gods or just fantasy adventure in general would find something in it for themselves. There are plenty of elements of mystery and intrigue for just about any age. What is it like in Hel’s halls? If you know very little about the Norse pantheon of gods you will know far more after reading it.

The story is very complexed; however, I wouldn’t be so pretentious to say that it takes a college degree to figure it out. It certainly doesn’t. The last couple of chapters explain many questions the reader may still have and, hopefully, leave them wanting to know more. There is good reason the last words of the book are, “The End and a New Beginning.”

OP: What is special about your book?  What differentiates it from other books in the same category?

Michael: It is a Viking love story in a classic sense without the flowery language. One thing I have often heard when talking to people who have read my writings is that I do manage to keep the story moving along at a good pace. I do not believe in long and drawn out character monologues or taking five pages just to describe a setting or person. I find it far better that reader discovers who the characters are through their actions and words.

One things that was really fun for me is having an entire world, the dark elf home world of Svartlheim, to build upon and use for further stories. There is next to nothing mentioned about them in the Norse sagas. The world is more than likely not what the reader would think it is, bleak and foreboding. Fairies live there too and thrive. The considerations you have to give to something like that are truly immense. Such as, who are the dark elves and why should the reader care about them? Of that there are many reasons and the high elves aren’t the Tolkien type. Why should they be? They also need to have a history that is their own, which reflects in how the past affected the current day. They didn’t even have a standing army or someone to lead them until Raghilde showed up one hundred thousand years after their last king predicted her coming.

OP: Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?

Michael: This is the second book in a series. The first was simply titled The Norskvall Saga and is available through Amazon and other online outlets. Though there are now two books in the series, how many more there might be I can’t really say for sure. As of now I already have three more books mostly done. I say ‘mostly’ because there are always other new ideas that can be slipped into them and it is great being so far ahead of the curve that they can have small changes added. As far as ending the series, there was one definite ending I was looking at and now, well, let’s just say that the more I look at the saga the more possibilities I discover.

OP: Thanks for your time, Michael! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!

The Norskvall Saga: The End of Youth Author Michael the RedABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michael the Red is a fantasy author who has been creating stories and adventures for nearly thirty years. An avid fan of Viking history his own Norse heritage can be traced back over two thousand years. As a lifelong resident of Minnesota he enjoys writing, fishing and taking long walks in the lush forests of his native state.



For more information or to contact the author, visit

This author purchased the Virtual Book Tour marketing option, which allows self-publishing authors to connect with bloggers and harness the power of the blogosphere by taking their book on the “virtual road”.  Learn more about this service by visiting your Publishing Center and reviewing the available marketing options.

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