Best Book in Self-Publishing 2009

In December 2009, Outskirts Press announced a monthly promotion in which we were seeking the best manuscript to publish for the author without cost. Once published, the best book would receive a refund equal to 110% of the publishing fee. That’s right! Free publication and an “advance” of sorts, just like a traditional publishing contract (only with us, our authors still kept all their rights).

A lot of manuscripts were submitted and a lot of books were published. We reviewed the published books among all those December manuscripts and have decided upon what we feel is the best all-around publication.

Congratulations to Mark Irving, aka Irv Sternberg, and his book The Persian Project.

From the author: “The Persian Project is my third book with Outskirts Press, but the first to be described as ‘a tour de force.’ I’m surprised and elated, and can’t stop pinching myself.”

The Persian Project

In a timely and perceptive prequel to his popular Clint Jagger series of international thrillers, award-winning author Mark Irving mines his public affairs experiences and expertise in Tehran in the mid-1970s to create a work of fiction that brings alive the people, places and events of that period, and the threat of a nuclear catastrophe in the Middle East.

Irving introduces the indefatigable Jagger, the former Special Ops veteran of Vietnam, who has settled in the Colorado Rockies to escape his wartime demons. Savoring the solitude of his new lifestyle, Jagger reluctantly accepts a special assignment from his former Marine commander to investigate the failure of secret underwater detection devices monitoring Soviet activity in the Caspian Sea.

Why It Won

The Persian Project is an excellent example of the type of exemplary work traditional publishers are on the look-out for. It features a finely-crafted and timely plot, an engaging, sympathetic character, and deft writing.

Like many talented authors who write in multiple genres, Mr. Sternberg uses a pen name for some of his books. “Mark Irving” is the pen name under which he wrote The Persian Project. Some authors are secretive about their pseudonyms; Mr. Sternberg is not. His dust jacket reveals all, perhaps to leverage his past credits. Mr. Sternberg has also published two other books with Outskirts Press under his actual name: No Laughing Matter and Neptune’s Chariot, both of which appeared on the Denver Post‘s bestseller list when they were published.

Last year, Neptune’s Chariot was a Colorado Book Awards finalist. Each year, the Colorado Humanities recognizes the best books from Colorado authors. This year, Outskirts Press is a sponsor of the Colorado Book Awards, and the 2010 awards are being presented in Aspen on June 25th.

In this day and age, publishers are looking for more than just an outstanding book — although that certainly helps! They want to work with professionals who “bring something” to the table. Mr. Sternberg is the consummate professional, the best selling author of four award-winning novels, and a tenacious marketer.

He released the hardback edition first (dust jacket edition, naturally), followed-up with the paperback, and already has book signings scheduled at the Tattered Cover bookstores in Colorado. Understanding the importance of the perfect cover, he opted for the Custom Cover design from Outskirts Press and received the free e-book edition, standard with the Diamond publishing package.

Congratulations, Irv!

Books published with Outskirts Press in 2010
are automatically eligible to win $1,500 in the 
2010 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Awards.
So start publishing today.

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