Children’s Book Week May Be Over, But Writing One Is Just the Beginning!

If you are one of the many writers around the world finding themselves stuck at home with more time to write, you may be one of the many children’s book authors who started writing a new book for kids last week in celebration of Children’s Book Week (May 2–8).

Children's Book Week Logo
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Well, Children’s Book Week may be over, but writing a book for children never grows old because there are SO many possibilities! And nowadays, children’s books are more popular than ever, with more lucky parents spending more time with their children.

Children’s books are shorter and quicker to write and edit! They are easier and faster to publish. They are simpler to market and promote. And they are more popular than ever! So, if you’ve never fancied yourself a children’s book author . . . maybe it’s time to rethink that.

Let’s look at six things to keep in mind when writing and publishing children’s books:

  1. Mind your length. As any preschool teacher or children’s librarian can confirm, reading with children is most enjoyable for both parties when the book in question contains just enough text to carry the story along without exhausting a child’s attention.
  2. Pick a timely subject. Picture books are more likely to be picked up by parents, teachers, and librarians on the prowl if they tackle topics these adults want to prepare their children to face. Take advantage! Talk about a perfect time to write about the “boogy monster” or “having cooties”!
  3. Don’t dumb it down. You heard right—baby talk doesn’t carry as compelling of a story as a book that treats its younger audiences with a rich vocabulary and age-appropriate but sophisticated sentence structures. Kids who are learning to read are much more accepting of new information than when they become kids who are reading to learn.
  4. Voice morals carefully and cleverly. Few will argue against picture books as excellent tools for teaching sound decision-making skills, but most of these success stories find clever, quiet ways to do so without alienating readers by being too “preachy.” Use subtle metaphors for more significant issues (ahem, like boogy monsters and cooties, for example).
  5. Think about those end materials! Many of today’s best picture books include a few pages at the end, which include notes for adults on how to best use the book to teach a skill or an idea to young readers. Hint: this is especially useful to parents grappling with becoming educators due to stay-home directives.
  6. Humor them! Children have a keen sense of humor and often embrace farce and comedy with zeal and a hearty squeal. While the story itself can’t always be humorous, more often than not, the illustrations can be.

At Outskirts Press, we are here to support you during every stage of the publishing process, whether you’re using our One-Click Publishing suite to publish your next children’s book or if you need custom-drawn, full-color illustrations. In addition, we offer a comprehensive list of services that we hope you’ll take advantage of as you work to translate your vision to the page! Your kids, grandkids, and even their friends and family will thank you!

An Interview with Award-Winning Author Ellen Deery Freeman, author of Just George

Ellen Deery Freeman has just won a 1st Place EVVY Award for her most recent book, Just George, published by Outskirts Press in December 2015. Her next book, Duke (Plus One)  will be published soon.  Will it also be nominated for a coveted EVVY Award? We’re keeping our fingers crossed!

Ellen Freeman is a retired public-school science teacher who has always loved animals. In fact, she has rescued many over the years, including a Pileated Woodpecker, several Mocking Birds, baby possums, and even a baby deer! Her classroom always housed live animals, including snakes. In 2005 she moved into her Grandmother’s 100-year-old home, fulfilling her lifelong dream of living in the country where she can enjoy nature to its fullest. She lives there with her husband, Buddy, and two rescue dogs, Duke and George.  Ellen is donating ten percent of the profit from the book sales of Just George to the current management of the Hampton County Animal Shelter in Varnville, South Carolina.

In honor of World Animal Remembrance Month all September long, Outskirts Press has donated $1000 to the Dumb Friends League at this link and invites other animal lovers to join us.  In the meantime, we had an opportunity to ask Ellen Freeman a few questions about her award-winning book, its sequel, and her love for animals:

OP: Your story, Just George, is heart-wrenching as well as heart-warming. How long did it take you to write your story?

EDF:  I am not sure how long the writing of Just George took, but probably in the range of six to eight months. Because it is a true story, the writing consisted of remembering and describing the events of his first year after being rescued and correlating the pictures with the script….which was possibly the most difficult part!

OP: You’ve rescued a baby deer? Tell us about that…?

EDF: I did, indeed, rescue a baby deer, but that’s one chapter in the sequel to Just George, entitled  Duke (Plus One), and you need to read it!

OP: What advice would you give to someone who discovers an injured animal in need of rescuing?

EDF: In Just George I stressed a strong warning to children when it comes to sick or injured animals and told them to NEVER attempt to help, but to CALL AN ADULT and let them take care of the situation!

OP: How can others help in the support of animals?

EDF: Buying a copy of Just George and the soon-to-be-published sequel, Duke (Plus One) is one quick way you can help homeless animals, because 10% of my profit from every book sold goes to the Hampton County Animal Shelter in Varnville, S. C.

OP: Any additional books about animals in your future?

EDF: Yes! Duke (Plus One) will be published in the next few weeks. It is the true story of Duke’s life, as told by Duke, and if you’ve read Just George, you can probably guess who the “plus one” is! I hope that everyone reading this will get a copy of Duke (Plus One), and of Just George if you haven’t already. Both are books that will be enjoyed by animal lovers from the school-age child to senior adults!

OP: We’ll have to read them both! Thank you, Ellen.

MYW: Thank you! This is so exciting!

Click the cover for more details or to order…

Save $500 at the New & Improved Outskirts Press!

Everyone likes a good make-over story. We’re all addicted to home improvement shows and look forward to seeing a newly designed home after the construction dust settles. We can’t wait to see a woman walk through a curtain, her hair freshly styled and wearing a dress she never thought she could. Even kids love seeing an old car on the road with a fresh paint job and new interior.

Outskirts Press has decided to join the makeover movement.

Now, if you haven’t yet published with Outskirts Press, you will see a fresh new look when you click on

  • A user-friendly site that is easily viewed on tablets and mobile devices
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  • New & improved customizable packages that let you to make your book your way

We realized that if we were going to upgrade our look, we needed to upgrade your publishing process as well. While many people get excited about publishing a book, it can be daunting to wear all the hats of a writer, editor, graphic artist, book formatter, distributor, marketing expert, and royalty accountant all at the same time.

Now our One-Click publishing take care of everything for you. These all-inclusive packages include:

  • Original Custom Cover Design (with 2 unique concepts to choose from)
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  • Professional Copyediting
  • Expedited Service
  • Amazon Kindle E-Book Edition
  • Free Author’s Copies
  • Exclusive Marketing Guides designed to kick start your book promotion
  • A Personal Marketing Assistant

…as well as many other features.

You’ll always have a personal publishing professional to help you every step of the way.

We are so excited about the New & Improved Outskirts Press that this week we are inviting all non-fiction writers to experience our brand new One-Click Non-Fiction publishing package for an introductory offer of $500 off the normal price.

This means that while other writers are spinning their wheels trying to do everything by themselves, all you need to do is enter code Save500Aug16 at checkout and have an entire team behind you, working toward the success of your book…while you relax and enjoy your discount.

So what are you waiting for? Millions of people are looking for your book right now.

Win $1500, Just by Publishing Your Book

Every author dreams of generating revenue from their life’s passion – writing. But did you know you could win $1,500 just by self-publishing your book? It’s true! Your high-quality work (and our help) could net you a nice bit of cash in our Best Book of the Year contest.

Every year, Outskirts Press recognizes the best book we publish with our annual Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year award, which pits just three finalists against each other in a public poll on the Outskirts Press Self-Publishing News blog. Here’s how it works:

  1. Authors who order the Diamond or Pearl publishing package and are published in 2015 are automatically entered for consideration.
  2. Outskirts Press production and marketing teams and executive staff hand-select up to 5% of the books we publish over the course of the year for consideration. These titles are nominated by us for the Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards, held in Denver each summer.
  3. Books that win EVVY awards will be considered for Best Book of the Year. Contenders will be chosen as finalists, and will receive promotion in Outskirts Press newsletters and social media channels.
  4. Readers of the blog will determine the Best Book of the Year winner in a public vote.

You hold your fate in your hands: Publish now, promote shamelessly, and be ready for consideration for the Best Book of the Year – and possibly $1,500 – in 2015!

Save 10% instantly when you choose to publish with our industry-leading Diamond publishing service or our full-color Pearl publishing service.

 The Ultimate Diamond Publishing Service
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  • Included Amazon Distribution and ISBN
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Watch the Diamond video here

Promotion Code: 10DSCT2015
Promotion Dates: May 1-14!
For all the promotion details, please click here.

Isn’t it time for you to get started today?

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  The Ultimate Pearl Publishing Service
Was: $1099
Discounted Price: ONLY $989!

  • Included Amazon Distribution and ISBN
  • Browse our illustration package
  • Get a free author webpage

Watch the Pearl video here

Promotion Code: 10DSCT2015
Promotion Dates: May 1-14!
For all the promotion details, please click here.

Isn’t it time for you to get started today?

Click to order the Pearl Package

I am very happy that Outskirts Press exists. My cover design is incredibly professional. As soon as I show my children’s book to someone they become overjoyed. The color, the illustrations, and the book itself is so admired.

L. Gina Davis attended York College in 1997, where she studied child psychology. She is the author of a poem entitled “Sweetheart,” featured in Moonlight Wishes, a collection of poems published in 1996 with the National Library of Poetry. She is happily married with three children and lives in Queens, New York.

In this fast-paced, riveting tale, we meet a cranky old witch named Lolita who delights in being miserable. When she hears the laughter and witnesses the fun and merriment the children are having at the playground, she is furious. With the help of her loyal cat Bufu, Lolita comes up with a scheme to transform herself into a beautiful queen to lure the happy children away from the playground-and put an end to the joyful noise once and for all! Humorous and entertaining, Ooh Lolita also carries an important reminder for children about the dangers of putting their trust in strangers-even a strange and beautiful queen who asks for help to find a lost pet.

– L. Gina Davis, author of Ooh Lolita

Make Any Child a Literary Star with Custom Children’s Books from Outskirts Press

With vivid imaginations and a natural sense of adventure, children revel in creating their own make-believe worlds. Now, you can encourage the joy of childhood discovery with a gift that plays upon these creative inclinations — and satisfy your own desire to Fully illustrated custom children's bookbecome a self-publishing author! How? With a fully illustrated Custom Children’s Book from Outskirts Press.

This beautifully illustrated, 28-page children’s book is already written and awaiting only a few vital details from you. Simply choose a book for a girl or a boy, select the ethnicity of the characters, then provide the names of the child you wish to cast as the main character and the two supporting characters. Finally, add your own title and byline, and your custom book is ready to go. It’s that simple!

The best part is that within just a few keyboard clicks a precious keepsake is available for the whole family to enjoy. Friends and relatives of your little literary star can buy their own fully illustrated paperback or electronic copy of your book, and you can collect royalties on each copy you sell.

Want an simple, affordable children’s gift that will be cherished for years to come? Get started on your Custom Children’s Book from Outskirts Press today!

Click to order

Top 10 Best-Selling Books in Self-Publishing for February 2014

Outskirts Press, the fastest-growing full-service self-publishing and book marketing company, is pleased to announce its top ten best-selling titles for February 2014, according to combined data from Ingram Book Wholesalers and Outskirts Press Direct via These authors have likely created a solid book marketing strategy and put it into motion either by themselves or with the help of a Personal Marketing Assistant.

In alphabetical order, the top ten best-selling books in self-publishing during the month of February 2014 were:

Congratulations to our best-selling authors for the month of February 2014!

How can you get your book on the bestseller list? While we can’t make any guarantees on sales success, many of our most successful authors invest time and money in marketing themselves and their book. Authors who are in need of a marketing boost often turn to a Personal Marketing Assistant for help.

All of these books (and other Outskirts Press titles) are available from all major online retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells, Books A Million, and others, plus conveniently from the Outskirts Press Direct bookstore at for discounts ranging from 10% – 55%.

Are you ready to put a book promotion strategy in place for your self-published book?

Start Publishing

Top 10 Best Selling Self-Publishing Author Ed Kienzle Talks About Selling Success with ‘The Last Buffalo’

Outskirts Press 2013 Top 10 bestselling self-publishing author Ed Kienzle, 56, was inspired to pen The Last Buffalo after the ongoing slaughter of diseased buffalo in parkland near his Bar Nunn, Wyoming, home. The juvenile fiction, which chronicles a young boy’s mission to save the majestic buffalo, was some 15 years in the making, but the book is beginning to catch fire with readers.

Ed states he has sold thousands of copies of The Last Buffalo just since last August, and he continues to promote it in his own time with the help of his wife, Beth. “My market is usually schools and students, like 11-13 year-olds, so we picked schools [in and around Bar Nunn] and sent out 40 or 50 copies to a number of The Last Buffaloschools in the area, along with press materials,” he says. “We got a few spikes in sales after that.”

In addition to issuing a custom press release to announce the release of The Last Buffalo, along with a professional Outskirts Press book marketing video to promote it, Ed personally drops in KOA campgrounds and specialty stores to get the word out about his book. “I always keep books in my pickup,” he says. “I bet I’ve made a hundred or so sales that way, just talking to people. We go on a road trip somewhere and I’ll talk to a few people everywhere I go.”

Ed learned a great deal about taking advantage of promotional and marketing opportunities with his 2002 book Partners in the Wilderness, which garnered a few independent publishing awards. The experience taught him that success in book sales is an ongoing process. His advice for self-publishing authors with a new book to promote? “Jump on it,” he says. “If you get a chance to talk about your book, don’t be shy. And don’t be too unhappy if you don’t have a lot of results right away — just keep at it.”

“The biggest fear a writer has is that they’re going to put their story out there and nobody’s going to like it, or someone’s going to hate it,” says Ed. “Get over it — it’s your passion. Go forward. Once it’s done, you can’t think ‘I should have.'”

The Last Buffalo

Little Kettle sadly watched the last buffalo fall lifeless to the ground in what he had come to call “The Winter of the Red Snow.” Sanctioned by the Interagency Bison Management Plan in Yellowstone National Park, the ongoing slaughter threatens the great beast’s very existence. Educated as a lawyer, Little Kettle has been waging a legal war to protect the buffalo but has been unable to stop the carnage.

When his nephew Wyman is born, Little Kettle proclaims the boy the “Keeper of the Buffalo” and instills in him a deep love for the animal that once ruled the Plains. But the youngster struggles under the weight of the mantle he’s been asked to bear.

At 12, Wyman sets out on a great adventure in the wilderness of Yellowstone to save the buffalo – a journey driven by vivid and compelling dreams. With help from friends, a peace pipe, an Indian maiden and a mysterious shape shifter, Wyman is determined to discover the secret of his dreams and fulfill his role as the Keeper of the Buffalo.

Format: 5.5 x 8.5 hardback w/ jacket, 213 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Jul 10, 2013)
ISBN10: 1478709448
ISBN13: 9781478709442
Genre: JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure / General

The Last Buffalo can be ordered by retailers or wholesalers for the maximum trade discount price set by the author in quantities of 10 or more from the Outskirts Press Direct bookstore at the OutskirtsPress bookstore. The book is available worldwide on book retailer websites such as Amazon and is being aggressively promoted with a focus on the juvenile fiction, action/adventure and nature categories.

Are you looking for ideas on how to boost sales of your self-published book? Outskirts Press can get the word out to millions of potential readers!

Market your book today!

Full Color On-Demand Printing is Now Just as Affordable as Black & White for Self-Publishing Authors

Self-publishing authors can now save even more
with new economic full-color printing options through Outskirts Press.

Outskirts Press, the fastest growing self-publishing and book marketing company, has announced the addition of an “economy” full-color printing option in a variety of trim sizes for full-color books. The economy formats offer self-publishing authors substantially lower per-unit printing costs, which in many cases, are nearly as economically priced as their black & white counterparts.

These new options give authors the additional flexibility to offer their books at lower retail prices, which can help increase sales. Alternatively, authors can select to make more money for each sold book. Such are the advantages of pricing flexibility, economic printing options, and self-publishing with Outskirts Press.

Economy full-color printing from Outskirts Press is available in a wide range of trim sizes, from 5×8 inches to 8.5×11 inches, and the advantages become clear with higher page counts. For instance, authors publishing a 25-page 8.5×8.5 full-color paperback book can now save over $3 per copy on the printing cost versus printing with the standard full-color printing options. This lower printing cost allows self-publishing authors to save money on author copies, offer their books at a lower retail price and/or earn a higher royalty for each book sold, all with minimal degradation in print quality.

“Our new economy full-color printing options offer self-publishing authors more choices based on their individual budgets, personal preferences and sales goals,” said Outskirts Press Director of Author Services, Jodee Thayer. “These new economic options give authors a lower-cost option for printing full-color books so they can sell more copies and earn more in royalties.”

View all of the book format options for full-color books at

About Outskirts Press, Inc.: Outskirts Press offers full-service, custom self-publishing and book marketing services for authors seeking a cost-effective, fast, and flexible way to publish and distribute their books worldwide while retaining all their rights and full creative control. Available for authors globally at and located on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, Outskirts Press, Inc. represents the future of book publishing, today.

Amazon Featured Book-of-the-Week

Here’s this week’s Featured Book-of-the-Week available now on!

Why the Wind Loves Children

by Fred Schlissel

(5 Stars – 6 Customer Reviews)

Price: $22.95

Fred Schlissel’s “Why the Wind Loves Children.” This book is about loving children. The wind loves children because it was the joy, happiness and laughter of the children that gave the wind the energy to become a force.

Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time of this posting; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit©, Inc. or its affiliates.All rights reserved. Amazon,, the logo, and 1-Click are registered trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates., 410 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-5210.

Amazon Featured Book-of-the-Week

Here’s this week’s Featured Book-of-the-Week available now on!

The Vase with the Many Coloured Marbles

by Jacob Singer

(4 Stars – 6 Customer Reviews)

Price: $21.95

Jacob Singer’s “The Vase with the Many Coloured Marbles.” Emmy was born Emily Kleintjies into the Coloured community of South Africa, which was discriminated against by the racial apartheid laws that became stricter with the election of Hendrik Verwoerd as Prime Minister. Emily, as a young Coloured girl, looked more like a WHITE (European) than a Coloured. Growing up, she found that she could ignore the ‘WHITES ONLY’ signs on benches, restaurants and beaches around Cape Town, without anyone challenging her.

Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time of this posting; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit©, Inc. or its affiliates.All rights reserved. Amazon,, the logo, and 1-Click are registered trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates., 410 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-5210.