Necessity & Invention: 5 Reasons to Get That Custom Book Cover Design

bookstore

Appearances matter, and so do first impressions! They matter in day-to-day life, they matter in terms of putting together a marketing strategy and, most importantly for us, they matter when book lovers run their hands along the bookstore shelves–or their thumbs along the page listings assembled by their favorite e-book distributor. A colorful, eye-catching book cover is the key to prompting that oh-so-vital moment of hesitation, when a potential reader’s attention is caught and transformed into movement towards the checkout counter or button.

No matter what a book contains in respect to content, a well-crafted custom cover always plays an integral role in the successful sale of a book. There are, however, five specific benefits to opting for custom over a basic template:

  1. Credibility: A professionally designed cover serves as a hint that the same care that was put into crafting the cover was also taken in the crafting of the book’s content. Your book’s cover speaks for your professionalism as an author and the quality of your work–not to mention your dedication to pleasing your readers.
  2. Visibility: Just writing your book isn’t enough; you have to sell it, too. But if no one picks up or views your book, it won’t matter how much time or effort you’ve put into the writing process–a cover which prompts even the slightest pause will increase the odds that a reader will investigate further, and ultimately make a purchase.
  3. Information: Readers like to know what they’re getting when they buy a book, and your book’s cover gives clues as to its content and tone. If your book cover resonates with readers by hinting at its content accurately, they’re more likely to buy.
  4. Targeting: An arrow is all well and good, but if it doesn’t hit the target it’s no use to anyone. It’s not enough to have a pretty cover; your cover must reach the right people. A professional book cover designer is trained to craft artwork that appeals specifically to the people your content is meant to entertain or inform, whether they’re war veterans who enjoy biopics or women in their 40s who enjoy spiritual devotionals.
  5. Marketability: The sum total of the first four points, above, add up to a package which is infinitely more marketable than any one point alone might do. And in a competitive market like the one you’re bound to enter, that boost to your marketability isn’t something you can afford to pass by.

Of course, the outcomes of book sales are about as easy to predict as working out Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, which is to say: the evidence adds up, but there’s no such thing as a guarantee that any one cover will immediately lead to a spike in book sales, while another will leave a book moldering in the forgotten far-reaches of the internet. However! Your attractive, custom cover will increase your odds of reaching the right readers–and more of them.

Are you ready to self-publish your book with a beautiful, professional cover?  Call us at 1-888-675-6657 to talk to a Publishing Consultant or visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com to chat via our live chat option.

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Options for Spending Your $300 Promo Credit When You Self-Publish in February

money

How does Outskirts Press love thee? We’ve counted 300 ways!

Outskirts Press is showering you with $300 spending money during our February promotion, and we hope you’re choosing exciting ways to spend it. (Authors who purchase the Ultimate or Full-Color publishing package in February with the promotion code 300Feb17 are rewarded with a credit of $300, applied to their Outskirts Press shopping cart accounts, to purchase or pay down any Outskirts Press service their hearts desire.) It’s one of the many ways we show our self-publishing authors our love.

But with so many attractive book publishing, customization and marketing services from Outskirts Press, how do you know which one is “The One”? We’ve made it easier for you by narrowing down the list to four popular publishing, book customization options and book marketing services that will give you the most bang for your buck.

  1. Professional Copy Editing. One of the smartest partnerships you can enter into is a partnership with a professional copy editor. An experienced copy editor will ensure that you have a polished manuscript that is free of any errors that could destroy your credibility.
  2. Custom Cover Design. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so make sure potential readers behold an eye-catching book cover. Your book cover design can be as important as your content in reeling in readers and increasing your odds of selling your book.
  3. E-Book Publishing. While we all adore being able to see our manuscript in print, remember there are millions of readers who download e-books each day, and the numbers are growing. An e-book edition of your book opens up huge selling potential, so consider it an essential part of your self-publishing plan.
  4. PR Publicist Campaign. Use a professional press release and distribution service to get the word out about your book quickly to thousands of editors and news programmers throughout the U.S. The PR Publicist Campaign disseminates information about your book to decision-makers so they’ll know precisely what makes your book special, how it’s distributed, where to order and how to contact you for interviews.

Ready to self-publish in 2017? Why not do it now and get one of these valuable options for free? It’s a great way to heat up book sales with a higher-quality, more marketable book you can be passionate about!

Learn how to claim your $300 spending money from Outskirts Press.  Call us at 1-888-672-6657 to talk to a Publishing Consultant or visit our website at www.outskirtspress.com to chat via our live chat option.

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REMINDER: Our Annual “Show Us Your Love!” Video Contest Ends Soon!

suyl-fb-graphicIf you’ve spent much time on the Outskirts Press website or any of our social media accounts recently, you’re probably already aware that our 6th Annual “Show Us Your Love” video contest is open for entries. What you may not remember is that all-important end date, the last day you can submit your videos for inclusion: Friday, February 17thtomorrow–at midnight MST, no less!

To make things a little easier to access and remember, we’ve put together a short video detailing all of the things you need to know about the “Show Us Your Love” submission process. Take a look!

The contest moves into its second stage, the voting stage, on Monday, February 20th. The deadlines loom close, there’s no mistaking that, but you still have time, and we’d love for you to submit your video–even if it’s just under the wire! We’ve posted about the rules at length in previous blog posts here on Self-Publishing News as well as on our Facebook page, but the basics are as follows:

  • FILM: a video between 1 and 3 minutes long which demonstrates—creatively—your deep and abiding love for your book, your publishing experience, and Outskirts Press.
  • EMAIL: your video file to love@outskirtspress.com.
  • We at Outskirts Press will SHARE your video on our Facebook page, YouTube channel, Twitter feed, and Google+ page, increasing exposure for you and your book (Please Note: By submitting a video for this contest, authors grant Outskirts Press permission to post videos to our YouTube channel, on our website and other social media platforms for promotional purposes).
  • VOTE: by reaching out to friends and family! The three finalists receiving the most “likes” on our Facebook page from among all the posted entries will be selected for a public vote on our blog to determine the winner.
  • WIN: a splendid new laptop computer (see last week’s post for full specs) when we announce the most-”liked” submission to our blog on Wednesday, March 1, 2017!

As they always say, “Better late than never!” We hope you’ll take a moment out of your day to enter, and to help us share your work with the world in yet another innovative way!

Submit Your Video
Publish Your Story

Submit Your Book Before March 15th to the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards – Deadline Extended

readers-favoriteWith so many books on the market, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. That’s why adding “award-winning” to your book’s description is not only an honor…it can boost sales, too!

By submitting the book you copyrighted in 2015 or 2016 for the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, you’ll not only potentially win the appreciation you deserve, you’ll also receive…

  • Award-Winning Author Recognition— Each winner/finalist will be able to promote themselves and their book as an award-winning author and award-winning book.
  • Medal Award Ceremony— Winners and finalists are invited to the Readers’ Favorite Medal Award Ceremony during the week of the Miami Book Fair International, the largest book fair in the nation.
  • Book Review and Mini Critique— All entrants receive a complete book review which will be posted on the Readers’ Favorite site, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest.
  • Professional, High Distribution Press Release— Both Readers’ Favorite and Outskirts Press announce the results of the competition through premium press releases and blog posts sent to a variety of media contacts and other authors.
  • Chance to have your book made into a movie or TV show by Wind Dancer Films!

And because Outskirts Press is here to help you through the publishing process and beyond, we’ll take care of the submission details for you by….

  • Printing copies of your book for the judges
  • Mailing your book to the judges
  • Paying your award submission fee, and
  • Completing the entry forms for you.

Just click the button below and you’ll be on your way to adding “award-winning author” to your professional biography. But don’t delay – the deadline for submission is March 15, 2017!

Submit Your Book

Show Us Your Love for a Chance to Win a New Laptop!

suyl-bannerThe “Show Us Your Love” campaign is going strong as it enters its sixth year, and we here at Outskirts Press couldn’t be more proud to host this phenomenal event yet again–and to celebrate the good, hard work our authors have been doing as they put together their videos for this year’s competition.

Last year, we had a bumper crop of video submissions. They were spectacular creations, each one–you guessed it! — a true labor of love. The votes came pouring in, and the front-runners were neck-and-neck through the final weeks of the competition. And when the chips fell as they might, as chips often do, our friends and followers on social media had voted for Rebekah Tyne McKamie’s video. McKamie, author of The Snow Fence, demonstrated a keen sense of what might appeal to voters, and a deft hand with the medium. It was clear from her brief video that she was eager to participate in a community which upheld her many fellow members as loved and appreciated.

As we move into the voting stages of our 2017 competition, we wanted to cast a glance back at the fine work done by McKamie and our other contestants in 2016. You can find the top three videos from last year here, below, as inspiration and affirmation for you as you put together your own videos to, you guessed it, “Show Us Your Love”!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwD17OCUOjI

https://youtu.be/4Ob-tkqvbMU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P27lyl7NQ8

The due date to submit your video for this year’s contest is Friday, February 17th. You can submit yours in an .mp4 or .mov format by email to love@outskirtspress.com, after which we will share it across our social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. For more information and a full set of contest rules, see our recent blog post on this subject.

We look forward to receiving and promoting your submissions!

Submit Your Video

 

Publish Your Story

The Rape That Lasted A Lifetime, by Jodi Morley

With the abundance of self-published authors, 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.

coverTake note from self-publishing Outskirts Press author, Jodi Morley, who is taking her latest book, The Rape That Lasted A Lifetime, on tour – a virtual book tour, that is. She will be featured on several blogs over the weeks and months ahead so keep your eyes peeled to learn more about her and her book.

Luckily for us, Jodi 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 Rape That Lasted A Lifetime.

OP: Tell us a little bit about The Rape That Lasted A Lifetime.  What is it about?

Jodi:  My book is a memoir of sorts. It describes my rape when I was in college and follows my life through the difficulty of dealing with the rape, both, physically and mentally throughout the next 20 years. It chronicles the difficulties of accessing both medical and psychiatric care in the United States. But more importantly, it is a story that others can connect with (I hope), and use to either understand what they are going through themselves or what their family or friends are experiencing after a rape.

OP: Why did you decide to write this story?

Jodi:  I started writing it more as a technique for me to process my own thoughts on the rape and find some way to relieve the tension and fear brought on as I delved into the memories of the rape with my therapist. After I finished writing, some family members read it and said I should publish it as a book. I considered this for some time because I knew that once it was published, it would be out there for all to read. I was nervous and embarrassed by this thought. However, I began to consider the impact it may have on someone that has been raped and how they may find some of it therapeutic. I knew at that point that I had to publish it. If even one person can benefit from the reading of my story, then it will have been worth it.

OP: How did you get your book published?

Jodi: I contacted Outskirts Publishing to see if it would be the kind of book they might publish. It was an easy process with their guidance.

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

Jodi: I believe that many different types of readers could possibly benefit from the reading of my book. The most obvious group of people that could benefit would be survivors of rape and their family/friends. Rape Crisis Centers may find it of value for their clients, as well as, therapists, and Behavioral Healthcare Centers. However, I also feel that it could benefit police officers, medical students, and university students that are majoring in the mental health field as they often do not understand how to interact with a survivor in an appropriate manner.

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

Jodi: The Rape That Lasted A Lifetime is more raw, meaning, I share all the horrible details about the rape itself and about the years following it. However, I also decided to throw in some humor, not because it’s a funny story, but because there needed to be some breaks from the awful truth that was my life. I needed to laugh because I couldn’t process what was happening with my current life situation, much less, with what happened in the past.

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

Jodi: I have not published anything before but would definitely be open to writing more. 

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jodi Morley is a Licensed Professional Counselor in South Texas. She has been counseling mostly children and teenagers for the past nine years. She has recently taken a break from her career to raise her beautiful 3-year-old daughter and recover from her own mental health concerns. For more information or to contact the author, visit www.outskirtspress.com/therapethatlastedalifetime

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.

Are you an author looking for help to market your self-published book?

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The Best Investment Is Within One’s Self, by Dr. Carrie Register-Haley

With the abundance of self-published authors, 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.

362401a-coverTake note from self-publishing Outskirts Press author, Dr. Carrie A. Register-Haley, who is taking her latest book, The Best Investment Is Within One’s Self, on tour – a virtual book tour, that is. She will be featured on several blogs over the weeks and months ahead so keep your eyes peeled to learn more about her and her book.

Luckily for us, Dr. Carrie 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 Best Investment Is Within One’s Self.

OP: Tell us a little bit about The Best Investment Is Within One’s Self.  What is it about?

Dr. Carrie:  This book is about self-empowerment and self-investment.  It is a straightforward and powerful philosophy that builds on the deeply truthful idea that you are the expert resource for yourself and your life…all you have to do is learn to tap in to the wisdom and power that you already have. Everyone who is willing to put energy into self-discovery already has all the tools they need to succeed—and you get to define what success, happiness, and fulfillment look like in your life.

OP: Why did you decide to write this story?

Dr. Carrie:  This book was birthed originally out of a workshop I did in Columbus, Ohio for Federally Employed Women (FEW), using the same name as the title of my book. I complied information I was using to coach individual clients. After the FEW workshop, many of my clients heard about the impact of the workshop and wanted to know when I would do it for them. I began doing weekly brown bag lunch coaching session and pulled together enough content for this book.

OP: How did you get your book published?

Dr. Carrie: I researched online the best self-publishing companies and found Outskirts. It was a very easy process.

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

Dr. Carrie: The idea reader is anyone looking to show up better than they did yesterday! The person who knows the value of self-care and self-investment, and that it is important to have a checklist or reminders of how to ensure that process is continuous.

OP: What is special about your book?  

Dr. Carrie:  It is an easy read that hits all the major areas every people deal with! Basic things that anyone can do daily to show as the best version of their self and enhance their daily lives.

OP: What differentiates it from other books in the same category?

Dr. Carrie: It’s not over complicated and gives the essentials for help with self-investment, self-care, relationships, career and self-discovery.

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

Dr. Carrie: I plan to publish my next book within a year on a totally different topic. It has everything to do with growing up in a large family with limited resources, but a lot of love.  My childhood!

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

362401a-author-photoMy professional career includes a retirement from the Army after almost 21 years of service and nine years with the Department of Defense.  This career path has led to a life of living and learning in other countries, and a love of travel. Academically, I have obtained five degrees, culminating with a PhD in General Psychology from Capella University, Minneapolis, Minnesota.  I earned my Certified Professional Coach (CPC) certification and Energy Leadership Index-Master Practitioner (ELI-MP) at the Institute for Profession Excellence in Coaching (IPEC) and an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) certification with the International Coach Federation.  Additionally, I have certifications in Lean Six Sigma (Black Belt) and Human Resources Management from Villanova University, and a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville, Virginia.

In my community, I’ve served in various roles, such as Victim Advocate, Back to School Event Coordinator, Human Resources Trainer, and Facilitator for the young women groups Girl Power and Daughters of Destiny.  Each experience has afforded me a plethora of experiences in mentoring and coaching.  However, my greatest passion is being a Christian, mother, grandmother, and friend.

For more information or to contact the author, visit www.outskirtspress.com/drcarrieregister­_haley

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.

Are you an author looking for help to market your self-published book?

Learn More