Two More Outskirts Press Authors Have Just Won Awards

Congratulations to Katie Patterson and Debra Parker Oliver, two more self-publishing authors who have just won Next Generation Indie Book Awards for their Outskirts Press publications.


Everything Happens for a Reason in RIDE.

Seventeen-year-old Alyson Butler is living a dream life in Los Angeles, California, and she’s hoping for the perfect summer before her senior year. The daughter of two successful Hollywood professionals, she enjoys a life of privilege, wealth, parties, and independence—as she rarely sees her parents. But when an unfortunate decision lands Alyson in rural Minnesota as punishment to spend the summer with her grandparents at Davis Lake, she quickly realizes that living in this small town will be a far cry from the glitz and glam she is accustomed to. A slow start at the lake has Alyson believing she won’t survive beyond the first week, but things begin to change when the seemingly perfect Marc Maylore and his friends arrive a few doors down. As Alyson tries hard to keep her own secrets from those she meets, she soon realizes there may be more to this little town than she initially thought—and that anyone can be hiding something. Ride is a story of love, loss, friendship, lies, and self-discovery. As Alyson soon learns, moments in life define us, but it is our choice as to who we become.

Ever since she was born, Colorado native Katie Patterson has spent summers at her grandparents’ lake house in Minnesota. She completed Ride, her debut novel, years ago at the age of fifteen and now attends the University of Colorado, Boulder, studying Biology and Secondary Science Education. Katie hopes to complete her second novel soon.

legacieslivingroom Legacies From the Living Room is an emotionally powerful love story about family, commitment, and living in the midst of dying. It is a unique memoir written not by an individual who is dying, but by a spouse faced with caregiving and loss. It is targeted for family members facing the terminal illness of their loved one as well as the professionals who are responsible to care for them.

Debra Parker Oliver is the Paul Revare Family Professor of Family Medicine, in the School of Medicine, at the University of Missouri. She has a Masters of Social Work and a PhD in Rural Sociology from the University of Missouri. She was a hospice social worker and administrator in three hospice programs for a total of more than 20 years. After getting her doctorate she continued her commitment to the improvement of hospice care through research with more than 170 peer-reviewed articles related to palliative and hospice care. In an effort to teach and advocate for those facing cancer and terminal illness Debbie and her husband David created a blog to share their journey with others. The received the Project Death in America Community Education Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine two weeks before David passed away. Debbie now continues the journey through grief and bereavement, continuing her commitment to share her journey.

Please join us in congratulating them both!

Inspirational Self-Published Book Becomes Inspirational Documentary

It wasn’t too long ago we shared the news that Outskirts Press author Stephen S. Janes had a movie in the works based upon his book, The Prayer Wheel Odyssey; that Skip Stover had a movie in the works based upon his Outskirts Press book, The Ghost of Governor’s Bridge; and that A-list actor Chris Pine had just finished starring in a TNT mini-series based upon author Fauna Hodel’s remarkable memoir, One Day She’ll Darken, initially published by Outskirts Press before being picked up by a traditional publisher in time for the series premiere.

Here we are again, this time to announce another exciting project in the works, this one an inspirational documentary based upon the real-life trauma and triumph of one of Outskirts Press’s most motivating and captivating authors, speakers, and coaches: Amy Jordan.

The full-length documentary is based upon Amy Jordan’s autobiographical self-help book, Dance Because You Can: 5 Steps to Transform Trauma into Triumph, and is nearing completion. It is directed by two-time Emmy Nominee Brian Thomas, who has previously worked with Michael Jackson, Pink, Jaimie Foxx, and Beyonce, among many others.


Dance Because You Can is a direct pathway to getting through any obstacle and transforming trauma into triumph. Amy Jordan is a critically acclaimed award-winning author, speaker, coach, and choreographer,  and she passionately walks you through her five-step system of D.A.N.C.E.  By the end you have a tool kit that works for pretty much any adversity in life.

Her professional company, The Victory Dance Project, has honored legends of dance and stage including Chita Rivera. Jordan’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, NY Post, and FORTUNE magazine among others. Amy is an in- demand motivational speaker and coach speaking for groups from ten to ten thousand, including corporations, organizations, youth programs, leadership development, health organizations, and schools.

Her speaking, interviewing, and promotional circuit for both the book and the upcoming documentary is too extensive to list here, but you can find all sorts of interviews, behind-the-scenes showcases, and dance performances on Vimeo, including the trailer for the documentary, which you can watch right here:

What a true inspiration she is, to authors, dancers, and, in fact, to human beings everywhere. Way to go, Amy!  Outskirts Press is with you. Thank you for sharing your amazing story with the world.



Outskirts Press author lands a TV series and a traditional publishing contract with her book

Premiering on January 28, 2019, the television series I Am the Night, has recently finished its initial run on TNT in front of millions of people. The series was written by Sam Sheridan and stars Chris Pine (of the Star Trek reboot movie franchise), who also was one of the executive producers.

I Am the Night is based upon One Day She’ll Darken: The Mysterious Beginnings of Fauna Hodel, a memoir written by Fauna Hodel with  J.R. Briamonte and it documents Hodel’s search for her grandfather, George Hodel, who was a prime suspect in the Black Dahlia murder in 1947.

Reprint Edition, 2019

One Day She’ll Darken was published traditionally as a reprint edition by Graymalkin Media on January 26, 2019 in conjunction with the television series. But a little-known fact is that Ms. Hodel initially self-published the book with Outskirts Press.

1st Edition, 2008

Thanks to rave reviews and lots of book sales Graymalkin Media picked up the rights to the book, which required Ms. Hodel to terminate her non-exclusive contract with Outskirts Press (self-publishers usually allow non-exclusive contracts; traditional publishers rarely do). The rare 1st Edition of One Day She’ll Darken was terminated from Outskirts Press in October of 2018, and the 2nd Reprint Edition was published by Graymalkin in January of 2019 as the TNT television series premiered. Talk about acting fast!

Was it the rave reviews of the 1st edition, or the brisk book sales (which continued to grow quarter after quarter in the decade it was with Outskirts Press)? Or was it the heart-wrenching story itself and the personal strength of the author who wrote it?

Perhaps all of the above. Which edition do you like better, based upon each synopsis?

1st Edition

After her father, Dr. George Hodel, a prominent Hollywood physician was acquitted in a sensational incest trial, 16-year-old Tamar gave birth to a blue-eyed, white skinned baby girl. She insisted that the father was “Negro”. Outraged by the audacity of their daughter and the stigma attached to a mixed-race child within their midst, her mother quickly arranged to have the baby permanently given away to Jimmie Lee, a black maid in a Nevada casino.

Overwhelmed by the problems of raising a white-skinned baby in her black community, Jimmie spent the next twenty years struggling to secretly raise Fauna. Together they endured extreme poverty, alcoholism, starvation, sexual abuse, pregnancy and death, hopelessly bound and knotted together by relentless bigotry.

Fauna survived this difficult world with a vow to find the one person who knew her beginnings, her biological mother, Tamar, the woman of her dreams. Fauna sets out to discover the truth, only to uncover her family’s notorious secret: her extraordinary grandfather and the murder of the Black Dahlia.


2nd Edition:

The inspiration for the TNT series I Am the Night.

The Black Dahlia Murder is near-legend in the annals of true crime. But behind the shocking case of a young actress’s gruesome slaying lies the story of another woman.
Was Fauna Hodel the child of incest, and the catalyst for a sensational trial that left her well-to-do family scarred by scandal, even as the accused sexual predator walked free?

Taken as an infant from her teenage mother, Fauna was placed in the care of a working-class black woman, who raised the white child as her own.

Together, as a close-knit mother and daughter, they weathered years of poverty and bigotry, alcoholism and sexual abuse, pregnancy and even death until the time came for Fauna to seek out her real mother, and uncover her lost past.

But as Fauna will learn, some truths don’t want to be told.

. . .

In either case, the reprint continues to sell well, and is currently ranked #10 on Amazon in Ethnic Studies (which seems to suggest the 1st Edition synopsis may have favored a gritter, racially-charged approach while the reprint favors a more sensationalistic one).

And here’s some good news for collectors: While the 1st Edition is no longer available from Outskirts Press, it looks as if you can still get it used from Amazon for prices ranging from $120 to $500.

Congratulations, Fauna! All of us at Outskirts Press are extremely proud of you and the success you have found. You are an inspiration to survivors (and self-publishing authors) everywhere!

Indie Author Day Coming Soon!

The second annual Indie Author Day will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2017. On this one day, libraries around the world welcome local indie authors in for a day of education, networking, mingling, writing, open mics, panels, and more.

Last year, the event featured nearly 300 libraries, big and small, across North America, with thousands of local writers invited to join their communities for a day of celebration and inspiration devoted to indie authors.

Indie Author Day gives writers a chance to connect, network, and share experiences and advice with fellow local authors. It’s also a great opportunity to promote locally-written books to library patrons in the community. After the event, libraries can continue to find new ways to support and serve indie authors through upcoming webinars and events offered throughout the year.

Some of the activities that will take place on Indie Author Day include:

  • On-demand video workshops
  • Author panels featuring traditional, hybrid and self-published authors from the community
  • Presentations from local indie authors about writing, marketing and more
  • Book readings and / or signings from local authors
  • Presentations from local industry leaders
  • Writing workshops
  • Presentations and workshops to inform the writing community about tools available for them to use through the library
  • Author readings and open mics, featuring short segments of each author’s work

To participate in this year’s Indie Author Day and learn more about the event, visit

Learn More

We’re Rated #1 Because of You!

If you’ve stopped by the Outskirts Press website, you may have noticed the announcement that we’re still the #1 ranking self-publishing company according to Top Consumer Reviews, an independent organization and member of the Better Business Bureau that is dedicated to providing you–and consumers of all kinds–with unbiased reviews of the top products available for online purchase today. This is a big deal, but it’s not just a pat on the back and a wink for us; a high rating from a reputable third party has every bit as much to say about you, whether you’re already publishing through us or still considering all of your options.

First of all, in the theme of November and the upcoming holiday, let us take a moment to thank you–all of you. Your discerning taste and your commitment to excellence holds all of us–all self-publishing companies, actually–to a high standard. This is so important because it gives us and everyone who works in the publishing industry the motivation to consistently produce stellar books and provide exceptional service.

Our top rating is also the result of your engagement. Top Consumer Reviews conducts thorough research before awarding a ranking, and one of the metrics they measure is “success rate”–and in self-publishing, that has a lot to do with your satisfaction. There’s extensive product testing and product claim verification as well as a whole host of other metrics to be examined–all of which you can read about on the Top Consumer Reviews website.

Thank you, writers! Your choices make a big difference to us as a company. You challenge us to be better than the rest. You challenge us to be the best.

Stack of Books

So let’s take a moment to talk about what our #1 rating means for you now, and in the future. Once we have an award or a rating like this, we don’t like to lose it (and we’ve held this rating with Top Consumer Reviews for years!). So we will continue to develop our services, calibrating them precisely to your needs. We will continue to provide top-notch industry professionals–from our Publishing Consultants to our graphic designers to our executives to our  Personal Marketing Assistants–whose experience and expertise are unparalleled in the field.  We will continue to produce books that meet–or exceed–your expectations (as you can confirm via hundreds and hundreds of testimonials here). We will reach out to you for honest feedback and insight into your experience as you publish, and use your responses to diversify our offerings and improve every level of our services.

When push comes to shove, this #1 rating isn’t just about Outskirts Press. It’s about you, and what you deserve. You deserve the best. And we’re going to give it to you!

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.


The value of a self-publishing consultant

The ancient adage that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover has been thoroughly debunked in recent years, with software analytics proving a definitive link between a book’s attractiveness and sales figures. News outlets as wide-ranging and respectable as the Sydney Morning Herald and Psychology Today have run articles on the importance of first impressions in another arena—that of both personal and business relationships. “Qualifications count for nothing,” writes Sarah Hall of the Sydney Morning Herald, “if you don’t have social skills to match.”

In a sense, this is good news for the self-publishing author during the hunt for the perfect fit in choosing a book publishing company: You have permission to trust your gut, and the assurance that while first impressions never constitute a complete picture, they certainly tell you a lot about the other’s integrity. And if you’re on the hunt for self-publishing services, whether it’s a custom book cover design, a professional publication with legitimate chances of winning an award (or two), or assistance in putting together a well-orchestrated marketing campaign, your first impression of a self-publishing company will likely come in the form of those we at Outskirts Press call Publishing Consultants.

Tina, Jamie, Kirsten, and Allison:
Four talented members of our Publishing Consultant team.

Our Publishing Consultants are known for being personable and apt conversationalists, but their job requires something more than just an empty smile and a firm handshake. When it comes to shepherding your book safely through the hazards of the self-publishing process, they must also be able to prove their worth as experts in the field from the first moment of contact. And our Publishing Consultants consistently deliver; just ask any number of authors who publish through Outskirts Press each year, and they can recount for you the value of their consultations in transforming their books from manuscripts into complete packages, replete with eye-popping covers and interior designs. But our Publishing Consultants aren’t just there to generate visual appeal; they are also on hand to provide insight into issues as diverse as copyright (or more specifically, avoiding copyright infringements!), e-book editions, copyediting, and perhaps the most undervalued aspect of all — holding your hand as you pass your passion to the company best-suited to make it the book of your dreams.

By now you tend to know whether you’re just another number in the system or whether you’re receiving quality service. As Arthur Dobrin of Psychology Today puts it, “First impressions matter but substance has the final word.” Our Publishing Consultants aren’t just pretty faces at the front desk or friendly voices over the phone; their job means all the difference between a substandard do-it-yourself self-published volume that languishes in the dust of neglected shelves (or in the virtual cobwebs of the cloud)—and a masterpiece executed to meet your exact specifications that reaches its target audience. Your Publishing Consultant will help you weigh your budget against the options available, and choose from among the dazzling range of services on offer. All the while, they are there to cheerlead and advocate for your goals from start to finish.

Unlike some other self-publishing companies who require a 50% or 100% payment up front, Outskirts Press let’s you get started on book publishing with your very own Publishing Consultant with just a $35 down payment. You will receive truly professional guidance on choosing the best possible publishing package for your book, along with a Custom Publishing Profile, and matter-of-fact tips sheets (like The 7 Highly Effective Rules for the Perfect Book Title).

No matter which publishing package you choose, all of your publishing questions can be quickly answered, and you will quickly receive personal help getting started. Oh, and the deposit is included in the package price — no extra cost!

But don’t take our word for it. You’re the one who gets to judge the quality of our ability to make a good first impression. And when you’re ready to take the next step, we’re here to help. You can contact us at for more information about self-publishing or for inspiration in the form of our newsletters, emails, and social media accounts. There are ways to write us, email us, call us, chat with us, or browse our knowledge base and FAQ. All you have to do is click the “Contact Us” button below to find out more.