Self-Publishing Author’s Book Becomes World-Premiere Documentary

Last year, this blog reported on the inspirational true-story of Amy Jordan and her triumph over tragedy that she shares in her autobiographical book, Dance Because You Can (a 2019 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Finalist). We also announced that a documentary was in the works based upon her book and her life.

It’s done, folks!

Amy’s Victory Dance will premiere in New York City on April 5th, 2020 as a selection of the ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York, which was founded in 2007 and is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with disabilities.

Amy’s Victory Dance is directed by two-time Emmy Nominee Brian Thomas (who has previously worked with Michael Jackson, Pink, Jaimie Foxx, and Beyonce), produced by Spinkick Pictures, stars Amy Jordan and Chita Rivera, and runs 74 minutes long.

Click on the image below and watch the trailer. For tickets and showtimes, click here.

Are we looking at the next Documentary Oscar winner? Who knows! But with an inspirational force like Amy Jordan behind the scenes, we wouldn’t bet against it. Congratulations on all your successes and joys, Amy!

 

Review Blurbs for Self-Publishing Authors

Positive book reviews are great for any book, and they are particularly helpful for self-published books, where the quality from book to book can be so disparate that readers often rely upon online reviews from either 3rd party readers or established reviewers to help them make their purchasing decision.

Enter Kirkus, Foreword, and Blue Ink, three established magazines that cater to book buyers, wholesalers, libraries, and readers as the sources for unbiased book reviews. All three offer guaranteed book reviews, if you know how to get them. And as we’re about to demonstrate, getting a positive book review from a source like this can provide an author with an arsenal of promotional power.

See Exhibit One, below, the Blue Ink review of Brad Anderson’s When Is Sylvia Wallace? (Outskirts Press, 448 pages).

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How many blurbs or excerpts can you extract from this review for the purposes of marketing? Let’s see…

“…adrenaline-fueled thriller…”
“The pacing is relentless…”
“…a highly appealing fusion of time-travel adventure and post-apocalyptic thriller…”
“…impossible to put down.”

Can’t you see any one of those excerpts featured predominantly above the title? Or all of them on the author’s webpage and used in all promotional material (blurbs like that are particularly effective on posters). We can! What’s more, once you’ve received a review like this, with blurbs like that, you can parlay them for the remainder of your career to further enrich your author biography on future book covers, your author webpages, and your online social media author profiles — all of which helps you promote your “author platform” and all your future books, too.

Speaking of books, Brad Anderson is the author of 9 books (so far) with Outskirts Press, including the award-winning Guardians Trilogy. Brad Anderson lives and works in San Antonio, Texas. He spends most of his longer vacations hiking and camping in America’s National Parks, including Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Anderson is the author of Ribbon Falls, After the Falls, and The Janus Project, among others. Visit him at https://outskirtspress.com/guardians.

Congratulations on a great review, Brad, and on an amazing writing career. We’re with you.

To join us, and Brad, on your own writing, publishing, and award-winning adventure, visit OutskirtsPress.com today.

 

Self-Publishing Author Success Story: Maureen Scanlon

author (5)Outskirts Press takes great pride in celebrating the accomplishments of our successful authors, and today we celebrate all the media and marketing success author Maureen Scanlon has enjoyed since publishing her book, My Dog is More Enlightened Than I Am last March.

Maureen Scanlon is the founder and CEO of Maureen Scanlon Life Coaching. She is an author, relationship expert, motivational speaker, positive change integrator, and spiritual coach who has successfully helped many people, from experienced professionals to young adults, make positive changes to overcome past experiences and negative thinking. When Maureen is not working to change the world, you can find her at home relaxing in Mesa, Arizona, with her husband, Dennis, and her furry babies, Jade and Brodie. She is also the mother of three adult children and grandmother to three grandchildren whom she adores.

TV appearances:

Radio, podcasts:

Magazines and Features:

About the Book:

cover (39)My Dog is More Enlightened Than I Am

Most of us go through our daily routines oblivious to the beauty of life and others around us—oblivious of the impact we have on the world. So it’s only natural that we consider patterning ourselves after our pets! These beautiful furry creatures are fully connected to their highest selves while giving unconditional love to those who cherish and care for them. By taking our lead from the animals in our lives, we learn how to live our best and fullest lives as well.

My Dog Is More Enlightened Than I Am examines the ways we all struggle and experience difficulties in our journey. You will learn to understand the lessons and meaning behind each past moment you have endured thus far and how to change your mindset and focus on the change you can make. You will come to admire the ways our animals live a life of purpose and how to be more like them.

This heartfelt, enlightening guide also offers tips on relaxation, spontaneity, developing an appreciation for our differences, caretaking, and nurturing relationships. Readers will feel a renewed sense of well-being and knowledge of how to embrace the journey like the pure souls of our furry companions.

Congratulations, Maureen! You’re an inspiration.! And so is your book!

Are you ready to publish your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively?

Start Publishing Today

2019 Self-Publishing Retrospective. A Year in Review and a Look Ahead

2019 was another banner year for self-publishing and for Outskirts Press authors specifically. Thanks to the talents and determination of the writers who published with us in 2019, many were rewarded with multiple awards and recognitions, which as we all know can be next to priceless when it comes to marketing a book in this competitive industry, where once again, the quantity of self-published books overshadowed the 5 large publishing houses.

If our authors’ accomplishments in 2019 are any indication, 2020 will be an amazing year indeed.  With so many authors publishing so many stellar books, and receiving so many awards, selling so many copies of books, we can’t possibly identify them all. So if we aren’t able to name you personally, please know that we are equally impressed with all you’ve accomplished this year.

Outskirts Press Author Awards

The Colorado Independent Publishers Association holds the annual EVVY Awards every year and once again Outskirts Press was honored to receive the most finalist nominations and the most awards among participating publishers. Winning an EVVY Award is a prerequsitte to winning the Outskirts Press Book of the Year Award and claiming its $1500 Grand Prize.

Three First Place EVVY Award winners were in contention for the Book of the Year:

E.J. Gandolfo won a 1st Place EVVY Award in the Mystery/Crime/Detective fiction category and was one of three finalists for the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year for her mystery To Paint a Murder. E. J. Gandolfo is a former advertising agency copywriter and sales executive. She is an artist, antique dealer and world traveler and resides in the Boston area.

Amy Jordan, author of Dance Because You Can, won a 1st Place EVVY Award on her way to becoming the second of three finalists in the Book of the Year contest. 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.

The Third Finalist, Andrew Ceroni, is no stranger to 1st Place EVVY Wins, or Book of the Year awards, for that matter, having won both for his previous two books, Snow Men and Meridian., He completed his hat trick by claiming the 2019 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year with The Red Shore. Andrew Ceroni served a distinguished career as a Senior Supervisory Special Agent in the conduct of global counterespionage and antiterrorism operations. He received his BS degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy; MA from Case Western Reserve University; and studied several foreign languages at the University of Maryland. He lives in Colorado with his family.

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Outskirts Press President Brent Sampson joins Three Time Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Winner Andrew Ceroni at the 2019 CIPA EVVY Awards Banquet where Andy picked up his 1st Place EVVY Award for The Red Shore in person.

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Perennial EVVY favorite and prolific novelist Gabriel F.W. Koch learned that he was once again a finalist in the Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards when he scored a Merit Award for his latest novel And Comes Day’s End.  He walked away with a 2nd Place EVVY Award a few years ago for his science fiction novel Paradox Effect (not to mention an Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year nomination). Last year he picked up an EVVY Merit Award for Emma and the Dragon Tooth Sword

Speaking of repeat EVVY Winners, Jeanne Blanchet discovered that she won 3rd Place in the Science Fiction category at the EVVY Awards, for her book Forger of Empire. She won last year for her book, Cursed.

What’s Coming in 2020?

With global distribution through Ingram and worldwide availability through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere, it’s easy to think your Outskirts Press publication is everywhere (because it is!). But sometimes the most loyal readers and most engaged customers will be right on your street, at your church, on your softball team, or listening to a local radio program.  One of our most exciting marketing services in years launches in 2020 and focuses specific, surgical targeting on the full gamut of local media like newscasts, morning shows, radio programs, newspapers and magazines. But that’s not all. We’ll also locate influential bloggers who write about the same subject matter as you and pitch your book for an article, feature, review, or interview. Playing a big role in the Media Marketing Blitz is a new series of webinars and videos. Consider it a master class on publishing and marketing. Keep an eye out for the launch of the Media Marketing Blitz coming soon.

We will be attending the annual CIPA EVVY Awards, of course, and holding our own Best Book of the Year Awards.  Once again, many of our books will be on display and represented at the world’s leading book fairs and events including London, BEA, Bologna, Frankurt, and Beijing.

Come and join us! And to our growing family of writers, thank you for an amazing 2019!

How would it feel to publish in 2020 with the A+ Rated and 1-Rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively? Find out more about publishing, marketing, promoting and submitting your book for publication, reviews, and awards.

Self-Publishing Author Spotlight on T.D. Arkenberg

At Outskirts Press we take great pride in celebrating the work of our successful self-publishing authors, and we do so in many ways, including through our Self-Publishing Author Spotlight blog series. Today we shine the spotlight on T.D. Arkenberg, the 2018 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Winner for his memoir, Two Towers.

Two Towers is the fourth book and first memoir from award-winning author T.D. Arkenberg. Independent Publisher Book Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, National Indie Excellence Awards, and Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society have recognized his work. T.D. studied at The University of Chicago, London Business School, and Northwestern University. He lives with his spouse, Jim, and their cat outside Chicago. Visit www.TDArkenberg.com. Keep reading below to learn more about all the books he has published (so far) with Outskirts Press.

TWO TOWERS – In his poignant memoir, Two Towers, T.D. Arkenberg navigates readers through a personal perfect storm. A resurgence of his father’s long-dormant cancer and chaos at his job in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks serve as the backdrop for a private struggle with a secret hidden for thirty-seven years. The story opens on Christmas Eve, 2001. Alone, he stands in his empty childhood home. Two months earlier, his father succumbed to cancer after a lengthy struggle. Five weeks after that painful loss, his mother’s unexpected death shattered his world. The double-barreled blast toppled his towers of strength and unconditional love at a time he was barely treading water. Only weeks before his parents’ deaths, his professional life descended into turmoil. Nineteen hijackers commandeered four commercial jets, unleashing unspeakable terror on US soil. Two towers collapsed into piles of twisted steel, a dusty grave for thousands of innocent souls. Two of the planes belonged to his employer. Eighteen colleagues were killed and thousands of others were soon without jobs. His leadership would never be more severely tested. Friends don’t know how he survives. Neither does he, especially with the added burden of a dark secret. As his world starts to crumble, fate offers a lifeline. Jim, a facilitator of a men’s coming-out group guides him through the process of accepting his sexuality. With towers collapsing around him, Jim might be able to save him from becoming another casualty. Two Towers stands as testament to duty and the power of love. Visit the Two Towers Author Webpage for more details or to order.

A BELGIAN ASSORTMENT – Travel to Belgium, One Tale at a Time

A Belgian Assortment transports readers to contemporary Belgium, a vibrant and multifaceted nation in the heart of Europe. The country plays host to legions of expatriates. Award-winning author T.D. Arkenberg draws on his own experience as an expat in Brussels to craft this collection of twelve vivid and enticing short stories. The characters who populate the stories are as unique and as diverse as the inhabitants of Belgium. Among these is Sabine, an idealistic Flemish woman. Relocating to Brussels to teach young immigrants, she soon finds her broad-minded ideals compromised. An unexpected lover revives her wounded spirit, but can the couple escape the bias and terror that grip the city? Brothers Hasan and Kadar, transplants from Lebanon, struggle to assimilate. A dark secret threatens to isolate them even further, this time from each other. American Jack Ramsey, free of the fetters of his Catholic upbringing, lives openly as a gay man in Brussels. But a visit from his mother could push him back into the closet. Marion is a shop clerk who finds refuge from her lonely, drab life in the carnival atmosphere of Chatelain, one of Brussels’ afternoon markets. A chance encounter offers her a lifeline, but will she grab it? Then there’s Marguerite, a charming octogenarian whose quest to recreate the lavish dinner where she first met her late husband inspires an unexpected detour. These are just a few of the colorful and complex characters who await readers in the pages of A Belgian Assortment. 

NONE SHALL SLEEP – Opera is Life!

And life is opera. None Shall Sleep parts the curtain to reveal lives drawn together by one woman’s dream to sing. Isabella Fabrini, a discouraged Argentine-bred consultant living in London, has little to show for her forty years but a sputtering career, a string of unsatisfying relationships, and layers of cynicism. Her bold plan to reinvent herself as an opera singer has unintended consequences even before the reluctant diva sings her first note. “Every Italian town worth its weight in pasta has an opera house,” Isa says as she plans her debut. San Benedetto is no exception. The faded spa town of Isa’s birth, with its nineteenth-century theater, provides the setting for concert weekend, when anything can happen. Those gathered to hear Isa sing are as colorful as characters created by Puccini or Verdi. Their mirth and mayhem rival any opera libretto. There’s Telma Rossi. The fiery temptress stole Isa’s fiancé but wants more—a chance to steal the spotlight and maybe crush Isa again. Luca Caruso, a dashing restaurateur who fell in love with Isa at the start of her musical journey but harbors a painful secret, which sabotages their relationship. Can concert weekend liberate him from his tragic past? None Shall Sleep is a story of hope, perseverance, friendship, and love that will captivate anyone who’s ever dared to dream big. The novel was a 2014 semifinalist in the prestigious Faulkner-Wisdom competition.

JELL-O AND JACKIE O – Jet Set Dreams

Greek Isles, Capri, the Riviera, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Andy Warhol, Twiggy; people and places that conjure up the chic world of the jet set. To Tad Aldenburg, a child who discovers Jackie Kennedy on the cover of LIFE magazine, beautiful people provide escape from a world of canned soup, bickering parents, and Jell-O. Tad’s fascination with Jackie begins just as his mother announces the return of her younger sister. His aunt’s free spirit and globetrotting lifestyle open old wounds while secrets promise to cut even deeper. When Tad greets his aunt, he can’t believe his eyes. She’s torn from the same magazine pages as Jackie. The uncanny likeness sparks his imagination. We first meet Tad as an adult approaching his thirty-ninth birthday. After years of running from love, he may have found romance with Mike, a handsome CPA. But a ten-year age difference and suspicions planted by his over-protective mother and petulant brother stir anxieties. Can he accept the love that Mike offers? Temptation and doubt threaten his happiness, testing lessons learned in childhood. Tad awakens to news that a plane piloted by John F. Kennedy Jr. is missing. Stung by the recent deaths of his father and aunt, the unfolding Kennedy tragedy catapults Tad back to his youth. Could that turbulent journey help him find a path forward? Capturing the glamour and calamity of an era that includes the rise of Jackie Onassis into an international icon, Jell-O and Jackie O was a 2013 semifinalist in the prestigious Faulkner-Wisdom literary competition.

FINAL DESCENT – First Class Betrayal

Everyone hates the airlines, and Intercontinental’s no exception. Economic headwinds, executive infighting, and a concession-weary workforce generate turbulence, feeding the media and Congress a diet of sensational service failures. Richard Weston, Chairman and CEO, will use any means to crush dissent. His goal? Keep the company airborne long enough to sell it. Leaks of his scheme could send the airline into a graveyard spiral. Charting a course of deception, Weston enlists the aid of diabolical, Ingrid Shattenworter. The pair tap grizzled company veteran, Hap Sweeny to polish the airline. And Sweeny’s got just the guy to calm employees, Jim Abernathy, a young idealist who loves Intercontinental as much as Sweeny – perhaps more. Jim has an adoring wife, Julie and a satisfying job. One thing’s missing – a baby. Getting pregnant is their top priority, but Julie fears Jim’s job will make him an absentee parent, or worse, send him to an early grave like his father. Ignoring his wife’s warnings, Jim accepts Sweeny’s offer, pulling away just when the couple’s goal is within reach. At work, forces conspire; the current culture won’t surrender without a fight. And rather than pacifying employees, Jim stirs them up. Weston commands Sweeny, torn between love of the airline and loyalty to his boss, to rein in the maverick before the place ignites. A flight to Frankfurt provides the stunning climax. A story of love and betrayal, the book appeals to anyone who’s toiled in the corporate world, juggled home and work, or stepped onboard a commercial airliner. Visit the Final Descent Author Webpage here.

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.

Andrew Ceroni is the 2019 Best Book of the Year Author

The votes are in and for the third time in nine years the winner of the 2019 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year is Andrew Ceroni, author of the CIA thriller, The Red Shore!

The three finalists in our annual Best Book of the Year contest all won First Place EVVY Awards during the Colorado Independent Book Awards Gala in their respective categories, so they’re all winners in our book; but only one can claim our highest honor: The Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year!

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As all the finalists will no doubt attest, winning the Best Book of the Year is no small feat, so to accomplish it three times with three different books (Snow Men, Meridian, and The Red Shore) is truly a remarkable achievement. Andrew earned 70% of the votes in the public poll last week at SelfPublishingNews.com.

Congratulations, Andrew! Please enjoy the kudos and the $1,500 Grand Prize that accompanies it.

About the Author:

Andrew Ceroni served a distinguished career as a Senior Supervisory Special Agent in the conduct of global counterespionage and antiterrorism operations. He received his BS degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy; MA from Case Western Reserve University; and studied several foreign languages at the University of Maryland. He lives in Colorado with his family.

About the Book:

Dave McClure arrives in Bar Harbor, Maine, for some rest and relaxation before returning to the CIA-a world he left behind years ago. But he is unaware of the danger he’ll face in the days ahead as he discovers the secrets that lie in the deep ocean trenches of the Atlantic. Deadly secrets.

McClure is unexpectedly thrust into the middle of a vicious Russian plot and a harbor town’s lethal intrigue, each as perilous as they are startling, and struggles to make sense of all the jumbled pieces in this deadly puzzle. Is there a connection between Russian drone submarines probing the U.S. coastline, a Top-Secret, advanced technology Navy torpedo program, and the sinister secret behind Tamarack Harbor’s missing boys? Another brutal murder is the catalyst that finally leads McClure to the juncture of high-stakes espionage and an impending attack on American soil. As the CIA and the U.S. Navy race against time and the Russian threat, the powerful pull of emotion will test the limits of Dave McClure’s skill, strength, and courage.

Watch the book video on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/tBJERz2_QRc

Buy from Outskirts Press for up to a 55% discount at: https://outskirtspress.com/bookstore/details/9781977207005

Buy the Paperback or Kindle Edition at Amazon at: https://amzn.com/B07MF3R68V