Self-Published Author Ingrid A. Bough Teaches Us All a Lesson in Book Marketing

As they say on a popular HBO series, winter is coming. In fact, winter has come! So, is anyone else interested in taking a cruise to the Virgin Islands? If so, you may be lucky enough to run into successful Outskirts Press author Ingrid A. Bough as she promotes and sells her book, Violet Loves the Letter “V”: Virgin Islands Pride.

Fresh off her appearance at the National Book Festival at the end of August, Ms. Bough will be doing a book signing at the popular UnderCover Books & Gifts bookstore/giftshop on the island of St. Croix in 2 days (November 14th). Readers and residents of St. Thomas won’t be left out. Her delightful illustrated children’s book (available in paperback or hardback) can be found at the Owl and the Seahorse bookstore.

And as you can see from the synopsis of her book (below), there’s a reason Ingrid is targeting the Virgin Islands with her book promotion efforts.

Virgin Islands Adventure in V Words. Violet Discovers Her Virgin Islands Pride

In a story set in a tropical island paradise, we meet Violet who is named after the violet flower. She loves her name and discovers the colors violet and purple have long been associated with royalty and majesty. Violet tries to identify as many V words on her beautiful island and while creating a story using as many V words as she can, discovers her island territories are rich in history and culture.

Violet learns to appreciate her beloved islands even more as she learns that the United States Virgin Islands, once known as the Dansk Vestindien (Danish West indies) have been influenced by faraway places like Africa, Denmark, Spain, France, England, Vieques, Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands and many more.

So many V words, what is a girl to do? Throughout the day, Violet’s imagination takes her on an island roller coaster of twists and turns and she gains a sense of pride in herself and her homeland: Virgin Islands Pride. Violet takes pride that she is from such a unique place surrounded by the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

What is the book marketing lesson to be learned here? “Go where the story takes you,” to quote another maxim. In other words, if you’ve written a book about the Virgin Islands, sell your book in the Virgin Islands. If you’ve written a book about Paris… Texas, then, by all means, sell your book in Paris, Texas.  T-shirts, shot glasses, and spoons aren’t the only memorabilia tourists buy. They also buy books when on vacation to commemorate their travels. This is especially true for children’s books! Bookstores, gift shops, and certainly stores in the airport, are always interested in books specifically about the location they’re located in.

Congratulations on your success, Ingrid! And thank you for offering us a fun way to bring up an important marketing tactic for self-publishing authors everywhere. Happy (and safe) travels to everyone during this upcoming holiday season.

To learn more about the book, or to order it, please visit the author’s webpages at outskirtspress.com/violetlovestheletterv  or  www.noirillion.com .

 

Congratulations to Becky Kueker’s Award-Winning Cover Design

Book_Cover_AwardsCan a custom cover make your self-published book an award-winning book? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Just ask Becky Kueker, who’s book, A Classic in Clown Shoes, was determined by TopShelf Magazine to feature the winning cover in the self-published non-fiction category.

After ordering the Professional Custom Cover Design option for her book with Outskirts Press, Becky went one step further and engaged the services of our Marketing Research Option. The 37,000+ readers and followers of this very blog were presented with all the details of the book and the author and presented with two different cover designs. A public poll allowed everyone to choose their favorite and, if they wished, provide personal feedback to Becky and the cover designer.  See that posting here.

76% of the voters chose the winning cover. Becky thanks you for your help and feedback.  Let’s learn a little more about her…

Becky is a Tucson-based, nationally known speaker and author traveling around the U.S. providing presentations that relate to her personal journey about retirement and long term financial planning. She retired from a 20-year career as a partner in a woman-owned, commercial architectural and interior design firm. Leading business development and forming strategic relationships with Fortune 500 companies around the world, she also chaired the firm’s Corporate Advisory Board. Becky was named a top Woman of Achievement, received the “Star Catchers” Award from St. Louis County Library, and is a recipient of the YWCA President’s Award honor. Becky is the author of the highly popular book Hiding in My Pajamas.

Let’s take a look at that winning cover, shall we?

Love, Life and Money: a hilarious journey of coming to terms with a brand new you.

Becky Kueker thought she had it all, publishing a new book, Hiding in My Pajamas, three years ago, and launching a national speaking career traveling the country at 75. What more could you ask coming off a two year low after she retired struggling with the emotional stereotypes that deal with retirement and aging. It was not until a complicated surgery requiring six months in a wheelchair and endless rehab, turned her life in a new direction she could never have expected. Fighting fear, depression and the realization that she would once again have to start over, Becky shares her journey facing a new beginning discovering that it’s laughter that changes everything. Meeting passionate people who inspired her, chapters are filled with poignant stories from women and men who have proven that aging does not have to define you and new beginnings are possible. Their stories are powerful and highlight the determination it takes to live your best life and what the passage of time means to how capable we are of embracing change. Not being financially prepared for retirement has become a national epidemic. Her chapter, Learning to Live After Retirement, features stories from those who were unaware that not planning was just speculating and rolling the dice on what might be. The shock that their savings will not be sufficient to retain the lifestyle they lived before offers a glimpse of a generation not prepared. Interviewing her husband and other men about retirement and aging highlights the unexpected marital turbulence that finds its way into very personal struggles that no one saw coming.

Congratulations from all of us at Outskirts Press, Becky!

See all the details at TopShelf Magazine here.
Order the book for up to a 50% discount at Outskirts Press here.

Interested in publishing your own award-winning book with professional services like custom cover design and market research available? Visit Outskirts Press today.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 http://indieauthorday.com.

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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!