Quick Survey: Do you want a new Featured Book-of-the-Week option?

A couple days ago we sent an email through Amazon to all our published authors announcing the availability of Royal Flush (our new anthology featuring over 40 of our published authors) on Amazon.

The Featured Book-of-the-Week email looked like this:


Clicking on any of the links in the email took you to the book on Amazon, making it very easy to purchase. Amazon offers this functionality for free from the “Share” link on every book’s detail page, and we encourage all authors to use it for their book promotion.

The hard part is coming up with a large enough recipient list to make the tactic really effective, and that’s where our Featured Book-of-the-Week option comes in.

If we get enough interest from our valued family of published authors, we are considering adding a new Featured Book-of-the-Week option as a new marketing tactic. Every Friday, our published authors would receive an email spotlighting a FEATURED BOOK-OF-THE-WEEK that is available on Amazon for purchase.  This would allow our authors to see new books coming out by Outskirts Press authors.

This option would also allow participating authors the opportunity to promote their published books to an ever growing list of writers/readers.

Help us determine if this is an option you would like added to the Outskirts Press list of post-publication marketing services by answering this quick poll:

Thank you.

82 thoughts on “Quick Survey: Do you want a new Featured Book-of-the-Week option?

  1. I concur with the previous posts- cost is definitely a factor! I have invested way too much money already with poor results. I paid $249 for the Publisher’s Weekly Co-op and did not sell one book! I will only participate if this is free and not attached to a publishers package!

    1. I agree Brenda. The cost of everything today is having an affect on all of us. Not all of us have money to spare when there is no promise of selling your books. This new idea sounds good but the price will determine if it flies or not.

    2. I agree with you Brenda. Everytime I get an e-mail fron Outskirts with a new way to promote our books,the cost is outrighteous. I would participate in more of these if,one,the cost wasn’t so high for basically a one time event and if like you said this should be free and included in the cost of having our books published. My book “The Dreams That Changed My Life” By Deborah Hodapp,has hardly sold at all and I have put business cards with the book and info on them everywhere I go and still there is nothing. So if you don’t have at least $500.00 or more everytime OUtskirts wants to “help” us sell our books,your book never gets noticed,and I hate to have to do this but I have tried to tell people about my book on Facebook,where other peoples books were advertised,and I did apologize to those people and have even bought a couple of them. I just bought 30 of my own books to sell at a book read I plan to have very soon. While I appreciate all that Outskirts did for me and my book,I haven’t seen it advertised anywhere and I guess that is because I didn’t pay them more money. My husband recently passed awayand it him who paid to have my book published.I am working on 2 more books right now,one is fiction and the other is about myself and my husband and our 35 yr. love story.The book that they already published is available on amazon.com just like everyone else’s,but if you don’t have the money they want for every little thing they say they will do your book will not do well,mainly because they haven’t done anything to help sell my book.Noone has seen anything about it where I live or not even in book stores.So I probably won’t go back to Outskirts unless they change what they will do for you for the money you give them.

      1. Hi Deborah,

        You’re right, Facebook is a wonderful platform and we encourage all our authors to communicate actively with their social networks to promote their books. Several of our responses to comments below have outlined the many, many ways we already promote many of our authors’ books for them for free, but like anything, there’s a limited amount of exposure we can provide for so many books each month. All POD publishers face the same problem — so many great books to promote and not enough avenues to do it. When we compare our services with those of our competitors, we feel our offerings (both the free and paid variety) are far superior.

        That said, your book is exactly the type we love to promote through our various channels — it’s a Diamond book with a gorgeous cover and an inspirational message. Our apologies for the oversight. It will be included in the next email newsletter. We appreciate and value your business and thank you for your vote.

        Sincerely,
        Outskirts Press

  2. I think the Featured Book of The Week is a great idea. I also can truthfully say I have not had one single regret signing with OP – This is quite a statement considering all the phases a story must go through to become a saleable book in prominent book stores. I signed in March and it was published in July – Beautifully done. And it is selling! 148320A “Hattie She Was Wired Differently”
    Lois Reimers

  3. I must concur with the previous posts- cost is definitely a factor! I paid $249 to have my book included in the Publisher’s Weekly Co-op ad, and did not sell one book!! I’ve invested too much money that I have not recovered. I will participate only if it is free and not attached to a publishing package!

    1. I fuly agree with the previous post. Money is an issue and in today’s society there isn’t much to go around. I too had my book included in the Publisher’s Weekly Co-op ad and did not sell one book. Free is good, if that is the way it is.

  4. Hi, I suggest that the OP Bookstore top 100 be grouped first by “genre” (with a max of 100/genre), that will give new pieces longer exposure and will help the bookstore visitors to review just the books they are interested in. And maybe the Featured Book of the Week could also be grouped by genre? What do you think?

  5. Seem like visual mass media is the answer to the Featured Book of the Week. Maybe the library of Congress maybe interested in running a video at the entrance to the library or Starbucks while customers drinking coffee featuring the authors and book covers. All future and past authors work can be featured with-out a time limit and included in the packages.

    New Author: Black Tigers

  6. Would this new feature apply to new releases or would backlisted authors be included also? Just wondering because new releases receive publicity through the OP bookstore. Best sellers also receive additional publicity. So, I find this especially appealing for those of us who don’t fit either of those categories, but then that’s just my two dimes worth — inflation. 🙂

    1. Hi Hollie,

      Yes, this is always the problem with introducing a new marketing service. The up-coming and recently published authors long for it — but so do the thousands and thousands of authors published last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the ….

      With so much demand and limited supply (4 Fridays a month), we have our hands full trying to price this right. But we appreciate all these candid comments. They’re helpful.

      Thank you for your vote.

      Sincerely,
      Outskirts Press
      http://outskirtspress.com

  7. Wow! Lots of responses. The issue of cost is important because I think, even taking no royalty, the books are priced far more than a traditional publisher. This concerns me a lot, because I don’t see how my novel is going to sell when others sell for significantly less than mine. If I chose a smaller size, it would cost more to print, etc., so I couldn’t come up with a better way to make it appear worth its cost. I use my bookcover as my wall on twitter, and had it on Facebook, but I recently disengaged FB because I really don’t like FB. I’m curious to see if it peaks anyone’s attention.

  8. Here’s my wish list:
    I wish that OutSkirts would have a more affordable representative to help you establish book tours across the country, if that’s what you wish to do, and/or attend Author’s conventions and seminars if that’s your desire also. I’m a people person, and I don’t like my book appearing here, there, and everywhere unless I can be there to talk to my potential readers, doesn’t that make for more sales and higher author popularity?!
    The other wish I have is, it takes so long from start to finish to get a book released? I understand that there maybe thousands of would-be authors, but could we speed it up a little, please? Other than that, I will say the cover designers are top notch and by far the best I’ve ever come across, I was flawed and in complete awe when I saw what the designer did for my cover of the first in a series of three books. Great job cover designers, way to go!

    1. Hi Klacey,

      You’re right, your cover is spectacular! Custom cover designs take a bit longer. We wish that wasn’t the case, but it’s unavoidable. You may also be happy to know that we do have affordable methods of getting representation after your book is published. Look into this very popular option: http://outskirtspress.com/p/pma

      Thank you for your vote and your compliments for the designers. They love reading those!

      Sincerely,
      Outskirts Press

  9. I paid my $35 last week and was told to pick three times so you folks could get in touch with me and start the publishing process. I suggested Wednesday, Thursday and today, Friday. anytime between 10 am and 2 pm. No one has bothered to call.
    This so -called promotion is the first time I have heard from you.
    In contrast, this week I also published with CreateSpace. I have received 8 emails and two phone calles. I have uploaded my cover information and photos and I have uploaded my manuscript.
    I am curious to know when I will hear from you folks. In one week, if I dont hear from anyone, I will have Bank of America cancel the $35 you took from my visa account a week ago.

    Focus on publishing, not promotion.

    Thanks
    Steve A. Mizera
    Book Title: Pedophilia: A Cause and A Cure.

    1. Mr. Mizera,

      With all due respect, your title may shed some light on the issue: “Pedophilia: A Cause and a Cure.”

      We do not publish first-person memoirs involving pedophilia. We have already rejected your book and informed our accounting department to refund all your money. While it’s unfortunate the manuscript review specialist and Publishing consultant didn’t get back to you right away, it could be because they were… creeped out.

      Fortunately, you’ve stated that Createspace is very anxious to publish your book. Pedophiliacs and CreateSpace — Sounds like a match made in heaven. This isn’t the first time CreateSpace has published pedophilia and it probably won’t be the last. (Check out – http://articles.cnn.com/2010-11-10/us/amazon.pedophile.guide_1_amazon-com-boycott-pedophiles?_s=PM:US for another example, a book which, interestingly enough, was also submitted to us first. We rejected it also and he turned to CreateSpace.)

      Notice to everyone: If you write about pedophilia, please join the other pedophiliacs on CreateSpace and publish it there, not with us. Thank you.

      Sincerely,
      Outskirts Press

  10. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one that thinks Outskirts is always out to make money off its authors! Wonder how much this feature will cost?

  11. This sounds like something you should have been doing for every New author.
    Any kind of advertising you can do to help authors sell their works will in the long run help Outskirts Press.
    If you gain a reputation for going out of your way to help authors sell their books, more potential authors will come to you to publish.
    Probably most new authors are like me and can barely afford to have their works published and can’t afford a lot of advertising.
    Ray

  12. Correction to my earlier email:

    For the record I have almost $2000.00 invested in this project.

    1. Good Idea, but if it costs me, I’m out. Anything Outskirts doe’s to help us market books, makes them money when we buy or sell books. If we pay for a lot of services, there goes our skimpy profit.

  13. Guess I’m feeling like everyone else;good idea but what is the cost to the author?
    Joyce Klein
    author-The Choir Ladies

  14. Getting exposure to a broad audience is a challenge. Support in the marketing area is greatly appreciated. I agree with many of the comments above, the feature should be included free in the author package. Wondering how the books would be selected and if new releases would get priority.

    1. Hi Diane,

      Your last sentence summarizes the exact problem with it being included free in the package. We publish too many books a month to make that realistic. But we’ll work on figuring out a way to price this so it is available to as many of our authors as possible. We’re valuing all these comments. Thank you.

      Sincerely,
      Outskirts Press

  15. Unfortunately I have had prior experience with expensive promotional offers, all of them virtually worthless. I regretted spending the money.
    Any promotional work of any value whatsoever was performed by myself and my friends.
    So my vote is based upon what, if anything, this is going to cost me.

  16. This is my fourth book to be published, my first with Outskirts. I have found publishers make there money from the authors not from book sales. It is like the big push about the grand announcement of a new book – this is nothing more than an email sent to NUMBER OF RADIO STATIONS AND TV STATIONS. The stations receive so many email every day it is going to file 13 and never seen, but all publishers charge for that email! My question would be, who will receive this list of books of the week? will it be to the same people you are charging to send it out? Will it reach any new markets? If you can show results with this type of advertising like the NY Times, I am sure we all would be happy to send you the price to have our books displayed.

    Thank you “Understanding God II” Michael O’Brien

    1. Hi Michael,

      You’re exactly right – in order for the Featured Book email to have any value, there cannot be too many of them sent. That’s why we wish to limit the number of emails to one per week, so that those receiving it won’t feel overwhelmed by the volume and will be more likely to act upon it (read it, look at the book on Amazon, “like” it on Facebook, hopefully buy the book, hopefully write a review, etc.). Of course, limiting the number of Featured Book emails also reduces the “supply” of this opportunity for those interested in pursuing it.

      As mentioned in some of our previous responses to this comment thread, the Featured Books would receive other exposure in addition to the email blast to 6000+ authors/readers who have the opportunity to Feature their books. It will receive a posting on this blog every Friday, get exposure on our iPhone app, and be shared as links through Twitter, Facebook and our many other social channels.

      Thank you for the vote.

      Sincerely,
      Outskirts Press
      http://outskirtspress.com

  17. I am one of the contributors to “Royal Flush”. My first novel was published by OP and I’m considering having my second one published by you as well. I find your publicity packages to be quite expensive, with no guarantee of an improvement in sales. Why must there by a cost to your “Featured Book of the Week?” You’re constantly doing promotional e-mails that we don’t pay for. Couldn’t this new option simply be added to whatever publishing package is selected? You promote new books on your own now. Consider adding this feature without additional cost to your authors. I personally would not consider it if there was a cost involved.

    1. Hi Jeanette,

      You’re right, we already do an extensive amount of exposure for many of our books without additional cost to our authors. These free opportunities include:

      – the 100 most recent featured books on our bookstore (http://outskirtspress.com/bookstore)

      – books in the “Recently published” section of our newsletter (https://selfpublishingnews.com/2011/08/15/outskirts-press-presents-royal-flush-now-published/)

      – top 5 Amazon bestsellers at (http://outskirtspress.com/newsletters)

      – and top 10 monthly bestsellers. https://selfpublishingnews.com/2011/08/16/top-10-best-selling-books-in-self-publishing-for-july-2011/

      Even so, we feel many of our authors will appreciate an additional avenue for exposure. This new idea is yet another method for authors to garner specific exposure for their book.

      When one considers that there are 4 Fridays in a month and we publish 100-150 new books a month (plus 7,500 that are already published, a certain percentage of which will also want to do this), it’s a matter of supply vs. demand that determines the cost of this option. It has to have some level of cost to control its use. Otherwise all our authors would receive 100-150 emails every month. As a result, no one would read any of them, and this option would lose its very value.

      True, this won’t be an option for everyone – but we hope it will be a viable method for many of our authors to increase their exposure and gain feature status with our authors and in our social channels, iPhone app, and on this blog. The majority of the comments and votes, thus far, seem to indicate that is that case.

      Thank you for your vote.

      Sincerely,
      OP Support

      P.S. Believe it or not, the promotional services and packages we offer are considerably less expensive than through our competitors.

      1. OP Support: If I understand you correctly, only those who subscribe to have their book featured on Friday (Book of the Week) will have this done, and they will also be the ones who receive the Friday e-mail with the week’s featured book. The rest of us who have published with you but did not pay for this option will not receive any notice of the week’s featured book. This still represents quite a few books vying for one of the Friday features, which will be a one-time-only spot for the selection, and a limited e-mail distribution, based on your reasons for not doing it without charge – 100-150 new books and e-mails each month.

  18. I think this is a great way to showcase the many successes of Outskirts Press, and to help the authors of Outskirts Press to get their work out there, great idea!

  19. This is fab that you are polling us! I think this would be great as part of the diamond package – – there is more exposure. As an Amazon shopper and searcher, seeing this would elevate the marketing to what it should be.

    thanks,

    1. I too think that it is a good idea, but I think that it should be included in the cost of the publishing. I find that everything done through Xulon is very expensive – at least any extras. Writing and publishing a book is easy enough, but marketing is sooo expensive and as a foster mom trying to write for charity causes, it isn’t easy. I was hoping that with Xulon, I would have gotten some kind of free marketing with my book, as I am trying to raise money to liberate child slaves in Africa through the selling and exposure of my book, but it just isn’t happening. The book markup is so low that I haven’t even gotten my expenses back and I just don’t have the time it takes to market my book – sad.

      1. Henry Banville

        I hear you, Linda, and I agree. I am in the same boat with my self-help high school mat book. Maybe I should have thrown in some sex instead of making math fun!

  20. I concur with the other replies about the cost factor. Otherwise it sounds like a very good marketing tool.

  21. I am not interested in this product. However, a product of this caliber designed to advertise your book inventory is way more beneficial all the way around to you as the publisher as well as the author. In other words, program your existing inventory of books to cycle endlessly so that a book in your inventory is featured for a few hours or a day. In this manner, all books get equal time of exposure and advertisement/publicity extremely benefitial to the publisher and the author. You have a great inventory, just like amazon and all the others, but no equal time exp[osure to the public of each product at a time. Otherise the products stay burried deeper and deeper and becomes a collection, rather than an inventory of products for sale to the public and not just the author. Arnold T. Serrata ID#158346A

    1. Hi Arnold,

      That’s a great idea and different from the Featured Book of the Week concept being discussed here, since we know our authors would dislike receiving constant emails on 7,500 books that are rotating on an hourly basis.

      We do feature many new books at the front of our Bookstore at http://outskirtspress.com/bookstore and that exposure lasts until 99 new featured books push them down.

      We also feature selected books and authors bi-weekly in our email newsletters and on our blogs and other social media channels. And of course, the top 5 bestselling books on Amazon and the top 10 bestselling books of the month all get extra exposure, too.

      There’s no cost to authors for any of this kind of extra exposure and perhaps is more along the lines of what you were suggesting? Thank you for your vote.

      Sincerely,
      Outskirts Press

  22. Excellent idea. Would I use it? Depends on cost. Some idea of price range will help me make an informed decision.

  23. Obviously, your approach is, indeed, intriguing. However, as several of your respondents have noted, the cost of such a service from you needs to be considered: first, the cost of the service you provide, and second, the benefits to the participants in your program in order to evaluate whether or not it is truly a worthwhile investment. I have had similar proposals suggested by other self-publishers and have participated in them with no positive results accruing.
    So, once you lay our what you are proposing, how you will promote the program, and to what extent your authors will be expected to participate, your answers will determine my participation.
    Donald F. Megnin, PhD

  24. Although this may be a good idea. I have had a book out since dec.2010 and being disabled and poor with one more great possibility for selling my book.Too my sister and my Mom. I would like to see you show a little more concern towards helping with the new authors such as myself who truley are trying and can’t get anybody to talk to except. Go to the help page or go to or facts page. I wish I could be as anthusiastic as the marketing department that sells all of your products. By the way, How much do they make?

  25. Being a new author of “Love From the Other Side” exposure is important to me. I’m for the “Book of the Week” I’m also wondering about the cost factor.

  26. Most “writer/author” are not what you would call independently wealthy. Although I would be grateful for any favorable exposure to my book, my wallet says to be on the cautious side. It’s a great idea for people who can afford it. Outskirsts Press is cool and has great iniatiatives, that’s why I’m a client.

    I have a great idea that wouldn’t cost any money to authors. Like to hear my idea? Email me NYMIKE27@aol.com

    1. Hi Michael,

      Yes, we love hearing ideas from our authors. Please send your idea to our marketing department, or you can reply to the next COACH email you receive and share your idea with us that way.

      Sincerely,
      Outskirts Press

    2. will this getr us more exposure to increase sales? ifit makes more people aware of our book than yes i am for it otherwsise what is the benefit?

  27. You seem to be avoiding the cost issue. What is the projected cost of this option?

    Thanks!

    Nancy Baker

    1. Hi Nancy,

      You’re right, we don’t yet know the cost. Costs are determined by formulas of “supply & demand” and right now we’re determining the “demand” part with this poll. We only know the supply: there are 4-5 Fridays in a month and we publish roughly 100-150 books every month.

      Thank you for your vote.

      Sincerely,
      Outskirts Press

  28. A great book cannot reach readers on its own. It needs exposure. Yea, I am for Featured-book-of-the-month. What is the cost?

    Therese Park, author of The Northern Wind

  29. Before I can vote, I’d need to know how many folks and who this is distributed to, how much it will cost, and how many Royal Flush books sold as a result of this promotion.

    Thanks,

    Bob Tyler

    1. Hi Bob,

      All great questions. Our “test” featuring our Anthology only went to roughly 1000 people, because Amazon’s “share” function has a quantity limit. But when/if we launch this new option, the Featured Book of the Week announcement would be sent via email to just over 6,000 people currently, and that number grows every day as more authors publish with Outskirts Press. It would also be featured on our iPhone app and throughout our social community.

      Costs are determined by formulas of “supply & demand” and right now we’re determining the “demand” part with this poll. Right now we only know the supply: there are 4-5 Fridays in a month and we publish roughly 100-150 books every month.

      We also don’t know the number of books sold as a result, as those 1000 emails were send just two days ago. I hope that gives you enough information to provide us with your vote on this new option. We love providing our authors with what they need and want. Thank you.

      Sincerely,
      Outskirts Press
      http://outskirtspress.com

    1. Hi Frederick,

      You’re right, in addition to our authors receiving the announcement, the Featured Book of the Week would also get a blog posting on this blog every Friday. And it would be featured in our iPhone app, and receive social community blasts linking to it from our entire social media community (Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Myspace, etc, etc). Thank you for your vote.

      Sincerely,
      Outskirts Press
      http://outskirtspress.com

  30. Love the idea. As fred said, anything to help us would always be welcome. I am just waiting to get my story published, so need all the help available. Jerry L. Showman

  31. I would appreciate it if you would advertise my book in this way. It is excellent exposure, and could attract many readers. Thank you.

    regards
    Jacob Singer

  32. It’s an excellent idea with several positive aspects. I can’t imagine Authors not wanting to participate.

  33. I love the idea of a FEATURED BOOK-OF-THE-WEEK! I think it is a great way to help others and I am all about helping others.

    Sandra Mizell, author of Live! You Didn’t Die!

    1. Hi Lori,

      The “example” book was our anthology, which was a collection of poems and stories. This just shows roughly what the Featured Book of the Week email looks like. When other Featured Books are announced, the cover graphic and title will be different. I hope that helps clarify. Thank you for your vote.

  34. This is a no brainer:) Anything you can do to help us is ALWAYS appreciated. I have been too busy this summer with survival, so have not had a chance to follow up on much. Thanks.

    Best regards,

    Fred R. Schneider

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