2017 Self-Publishing Retrospective – A Year in Review

What a year 2017 has been for Outskirts Press authors. With so many new options, impressive writers, amazing books, and industry accolades, it becomes impossible to highlight everything. So rest assured this is just a small cross-section of what made 2017 an amazing year for Outskirts Press and all our amazing authors. What you may notice as you revisit these highlights (and so many more are posted on this blog daily), is that Outskirts Press remains committed to providing excellence in both personal service and book production. Simply put, the professional quality of your book and your success matters to us. Here are just a few examples…

Brooke Lewis is not only a celebrity and marketing dynamo, but she is becoming a force to reckon with in the self-help, self-improvement, and guidance fields as well. Her two books, Coaching From a Professed Hot Mess and Ms. Vampy’s Teen Tawk may have been published in 2016, but 2017 is when her “author platform” really broke out, built upon the foundation of two well-received and highly-regarded works of non-fiction.

We’re always trying to make it easier for writers to publish amazing books. One way we do this is by identifying popular genres that are complicated to publish and then offering an elegant solution. A perfect example of this is cookbooks. Self-published cookbooks are very popular, but difficult to publish properly. For this reason, many delicious recipes still remain locked away in kitchen drawers everywhere. But with the 2017 introduction of our popular One-Click Suite for Cookbooks, we brought together all the necessary components for gorgeous and delicious cookbooks in one simple, inclusive bundle.

Outskirts Press author Jackie Fischer, author of The Lost Branch, became the most recent first-place winner of our annual “Show Us Your Love” video contest and won a brand new touch screen laptop computer as a result. Way to go, Jackie! Check out her video below:

Every year Outskirts Press makes charitable donations to, and partners with, organizations, associations, and foundations that look toward art & literacy’s future. One such organization is Colorado Humanities, which holds the annual Colorado Book Awards. The awards were launched in 1991 and many of Colorado’s most prominent authors have been recognized with awards, including David Milofsky, John Fielder, Tom Noel, Stephanie Kane and Linda Hogan, among others. Judging generally occurs in April, and for the past two years, the awards ceremony has been held in Parker, Colorado (home base to Outskirts Press) and awards have been presented by Outskirts Press president Brent Sampson. Congratulations to all of this years Colorado Book Award winners!

Perennial Top 10 monthly bestseller Chidozie Osuwa built upon an incredible performance in 2016 with more Top 10 Bestselling Titles appearances in 2017 for his bestseller What She Feels and this year published the eagerly awaited sequel What She Still Feels. Even more inspiring is that these are genre-busting works of poetry (although art might be more appropriate); If there were any doubts that poetry could succeed in the self-publishing world, Chidozie shattered them soundly.

Another popular genre in self-publishing that isn’t always the easiest to pull off with excellence is the illustrated Juvenile Fiction. The difficulty lies in the oft-times complicated combination of words and illustrations. The writer of the story is usually the one initiating the self-publishing process and in many cases may not even have the illustrations yet. This was the reason we launched the One-Click Children’s Book Publishing Suite last year, which includes 15 full-color illustrations and the almost mandatory custom formatting necessary to marry the words with the art. But frequently the author is also the illustrator or pursues publication with illustrations already in hand. So 2017 marked the year we added another One-Click for Children’s Books Suite, at a lower cost since it doesn’t include the illustrations. It was a hit! And speaking of children’s books, that brings us to our 2017 Best Book of the Year winner…

Once again Outskirts Press authors were the most-awarded among all participating publishers at the annual EVVY Awards, bringing home 15 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards, including multiple first-place wins in different categories for Gramma Darling, by Lisa Schroeder, with illustrations by Doron Ben-Ami. Lissa is a teacher, speaker, and licensed minister living in Alaska while Doron resides in Connecticut, thus proving that successful self-publishing is not restricted by borders or limitations. Winning an Evvy Award is a pre-requisite to be considered for the annual Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award and its $1500 grand prize. Gramma Darling won four! Therefore, it may not have been a big surprise that it went on to win the annual Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award for 2017, marking the first time a children’s book has taken home top honors. To see all the details of her win and her book video, visit the blog posting by clicking here.

Congratulations Lissa and Doron!

Interested in being in the running for the 2018 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award? Ultimate, Full- Color, and One-Click authors are all instantly eligible.

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4 thoughts on “2017 Self-Publishing Retrospective – A Year in Review

  1. Dear Outskirts Press,

    Please accept my congratulations. You have good reason to celebrate your success and your authors’ success. It has been my pleasure to be one of your published authors.

    As your records show, in 2015 you published my book — A Place of Miracles: The Story of a Children’s Hospital in Kabul and the People Whose Lives Have Been Changed by It. While my book hasn’t been a best seller, it has resulted in a significant accomplishment and opportunity for me to tell this institution’s remarkable story. I thought you might like to know about this.

    Because of my book being published, I am privileged to be sponsored on a global book tour. Attached is a log of the events I have participated in. As you can see, my tour, just thus far, has resulted in 46 presentations, in 21 cities, in 6 countries (Afghanistan, the UAE, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Canada, and the U.S. My events have been held at prestigious sites and co-sponsored by Universities (the University of Central Asia [Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan], the University of Alberta [Edmonton, Canada], USC, Stanford, Emory, and Augusta); French Consulates (New York City and Houston); religious centers; and the Mayor and City Council of the City of Fremont (California). Prominent individuals either participating in or attending my events include Ministers of Foreign Governments, Ambassadors, a former President (Kyrgyzstan), a member of the ruling family of Dubai, Consulates General, the Mayor of Fremont, and Ambassadors to the United Nations. Some of my presentations have been broadcasted on global webcasts and I have been interviewed by numerous TV and radio stations, some of which have also been broadcasted globally, e.g., the Voice of America. It remains to be seen whether they will happen, but future events are tentatively planned next year in London, Paris, and Lisbon.

    There can be numerous reasons one writes a book, including to sell books and to tell a story. While I am sure many of your authors sell many more copies of their books than I will, I doubt that many of them have such an incredible opportunity as I have had to tell a story.

    I have sold copies of my books at all my events. I have always been proud of their quality and have received positive feedback about them. Thanks to Outskirts Press for that.


    Lee Hilling 293298A


    1. Hi Lee,

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comment! We are extremely proud of the success you’ve had with your book! We appreciate you and thank you for publishing your book with Outskirts Press!

      1. i am busy getting my book written I will check back withyou at a later date thank you J oan

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