Guest Post: The Success of Self-Published Outskirts Press Author Ronnie Lee

Today we are pleased to be joined by Ronnie Lee, an Outskirts Press published author. Below he shares a few details about an exciting milestone in his career as an author.

I shall start though with my trip to Jerusalem in October 2010.

Between the 19-25 October 2010, I went to Israel for the Jerusalem International Conference on Integrative Medicine and had a wonderful time, both at the conference and on the tours. I am an Ambassador for Outskirts Press and so I took some booklets and distributed them to a gift shop and another publishing contact who was based in China. I also had brought my own book The Science Of Life and my manuscript that I had bound locally, in Hong Kong, for the conference that I wanted to give to the organizers. I did manage this at the end of the conference and so most of my objectives were met. I had also found great theories for my medical biology studies and so the whole trip was a great success. Whilst I was there, I met some really nice and kind individuals who I began to know and discuss the issues that concerned us. The first lady I met was Cristina from Canada and we toured together for the first few days. Another person was from Hong Kong, Lawrence whom I had never met before but he had immigrated to Canada for work as a chiropractor. But also I had met Tali who lived in Jerusalem and she started to show us the sites around the great city.

By the time I had seen the sites in the first couple of days, I wanted to see if could deliver my book to the Hebrew University Library for them to approve in their catalogue as I had already had my first 8 books accepted into the Hong Kong Central Library. When I told this to Tali she said she knew a librarian there and could submit my book to see if it could be approved. I eagerly agreed yet there was still a lot to do at the conference. By the time it was over, I said I would send Tali The Science Of Life as I had already given my original one to the organizers of the conference.

When I had arrived back into Hong Kong, I sent Tali The Science Of Life and soon after she received it, she gave it into the Hebrew University Library. I had given her a herb book later for being so friendly to me whilst I was in Israel as she studied herbs as a hobbie.

Later as we connected on LinkedIn and Facebook she emailed to say it had been accepted into the Hebrew University Library. This was on the 28th February 2011 and I felt so ecstatic because it was such a historic and important university because it was founded by Einstein and had his general theory of relativity stored in it as well as it being in the greatest Holy City in the World. It was a great success!

Then a few days later on the 2nd February, my poem ‘Christmas Day’ was published in Outskirts Press Facebook Anthology called ‘Fandemonium’.

Then today, literally a few hours ago, on the 3 February, I had news I had reached the Finals of the Reader Views Literary Awards for my 7th book, Philosophy : Back to Basics and that the winner would be announced later.

I waited and a few hours later, only this morning on the 4th February 2011, was informed that I had come 3rd in the ‘poetry’ genre, which is a difficult genre to win. I was given an award with an ‘honorary mention’ in the list.

My amazement and astonishment at this week’s events creates a milestone in my life’s work adding to its honor of being a writer, a poet and a philosopher, and the privilege of being related to some good and great people both socially and professionally.

I sometimes think I have lost my way and that life has too much to overcome but I realized that there is always hope somewhere along your destiny even if they are just glimpses at a time but I know that if you work hard enough, and put your trust in the Lord and have faith in life and bravery in yourself, then you can not just progress but succeed in ways to your dreams.

I have not always imagined these events but I have wanted to write a book through my early twenties and had imagined honors along the way.

I realize love is not always an individual truth, but also a united truth. It can come singularly or as a community. Sometimes it doesn’t come at all by anyone, but in these cases you have yourself, the environment and God on your spirit. It is then you realize the importance of life. The honors are great as it shows you made your good influences and worths in your life through your choices and actions showing a person as intelligent, beautiful and respectable. But in the midst of wilderness with only a pen and paper, you realize the honor is in your own courage. The week has been a great honor and success seems to make your destiny, work and life finalized, giving satisfaction and stopping regrets. These are all important yet we must be prepared to work hard, love readily and think realistically. Beyond our honors we still have to survive, be healthy, happy and hopeful both singularly and as a community. This reality keeps us humble. It is the reality of a writer wanting to know a way to cope with life and to make life easy and happy yet the words that come out are only stabilizers for my mind and crutches for my spirit. It has been a successful day and this is my blog. It is a blog of a tremendous week that I will remember with awe, love and happiness. It is a time of hope for me.

Ronnie Lee.

Author Ronnie Lee

Ronnie was born in Hong Kong. He is a Chinese poet and philosopher who is achieving his enlightenment through truth, knowledge, and reason. From his Western education, he has developed his style of poetry to incorporate modern philosophy into a foundation for universal understanding.



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Guest Post: Nicole Sarkin on Why Self-Publishing Authors Should Get a Professional Book Review

Today we’re excited to be joined by Nicole Sarkin (from Pacific Book Review) who will be discussing the the importance of self-publishing authors obtaining professional book reviews:

Why Authors Should Get a Professional Book Review

By: Nicole Sorkin

The primary goal for a respectable book review service is to help you succeed as an author and provide honest, professional book reviews for their clients.  Book review services are just another avenue for the author, publicist, publisher, or literary agent to successfully market your book to its fullest potential.  It’s important for authors to get as many reviews as possible for their book.  One of the most effective ways to promote your book is to have a professional book review from a reliable source.  Having a book review helps lend credibility to not only the book but also to the author; resulting in having prospective buyers more inclined to purchase your book.  Book reviews are very affordable, especially given the exposure that authors receive from them.

Many different types of books are sold via the Internet. Of course, online web-based promotion is a great way to advertise.  Most creditable and reputable review companies also will place the review on their website once it has been completed.  Potential customers will have the ability to purchase your book on that particular reviewer’s website.  This is another portal for selling your book, and having a link to your website increases web traffic.  In addition, some review companies will post your review in multiple places, such as Amazon, or Barnes & Noble and many other places to help you get the desired exposure your book needs.

Once your review is completed you own the rights to your review.   You can use any part of it for your promotional materials as long as you credit the source.

We recommend including an excerpt of your review:

  • On the cover of your book, website, blog, and other marketing materials.
  • Post and distribute the review at your book signings.
  • In your press kit to gain media attention.
  • Send copies of the review in your email newsletters.
  • Post it to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ezine Articles, Authors Den, GoodReads, MySpace, etc. (Pacific Book Review automatically posts the review on these sites and many more.)

Nicole Sorkin

Nicole Sorkin with Pacific Book Review

Nicole Sorkin is the Managing Editor of Pacific Book Review, where readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also author publicity to help market your book more effectively.  Nicole Sorkin’s goal is to help authors succeed and will help you strengthen your credibility with a professional book review and give your book the attention it deserves.

If you’re a self-publishing author looking for a professional book review, you can contact Nicole using the information below:


Pacific Book Review
642 Riviera Circle
Nipomo, CA  93444
(805) 440-1787

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GUEST POST: Twitter 101 for Self-Publishing Authors by Michael Tasner

Many authors find themselves swamped when it comes to promoting their book online.  Addressing social media within the book promotion is a must, a must do and a must have!  Readers are looking to connect with their favorite authors through Twitter and Facebook more than ever before!  Twitter is proving to be a wonderful tool to stay connected with fans and grow your fan base even more!

I offer suggestions below on how to effectively use Twitter and how to gain the best benefits from it.

How to get started:

Step 1: Set up an account

Go to and click the big, green “Get Started -Join!” button.  Create a username that is related to you. This could be your name or the title of your book.

Step 2: Completely fill out your profile.

Click on the “Settings” tab at the top of your Twitter Homepage.  Make sure to add in your name, email address, website, online bio, and your location. In the bio, it is smart to make sure to add keywords that pertain to you as an author. You should upload a photo of yourself or even an image of your book.  Twitter even offers you control over the background image of your page.  Viewers tend to respond better to personalized pages, so go ahead and make it your own! You can Google “Twitter Backgrounds” to find web sites that offer free, custom backgrounds. You can also upload your own image as a background.

Step 3: Start Tweeting!

Keep your tweets rich with helpful or interesting information that your audience would care about.  One of the main rules when Tweeting is to keep your conversation to 140 characters or less!  At times this can be challenging, but after some practice it’s easy to adapt to this shortened thought pattern.  Twitter is also 100% about support and relationship building not just with fans, but with clients, colleagues and other like-minded people.  If someone comments on your tweet, write back.  If someone tweets something you like, retweet it!  To retweet, simply click the “retweet” button right underneath the tweet. Retweeting is a great way to build relationships on Twitter because when you retweet someone’s tweet it shows your support for him/her.

Provide live links in your tweets. Share your website, an interesting article that you found, or a cool video. Post a question to engage your audience.  If the url you’re looking to use is too long, go to this great web site called They shorten your long links (which you can also track how many people have clicked on the link) into smaller, twitter friendly links!

The goal of any Social Media outlet is to come across as authentic as possible.  That means that you need to be careful about how you self promote. For example, if you tweet ten times in a day, it may be a good idea to make only three or four of those tweets about your book. The rest of the tweets should be valuable, interesting information for your audience to enjoy.

Set 4: Find your target audience and start following them

Use to search popular Twitter topics. Start to search for people’s profiles that are similar to yours.  Look at that persons “Follow” list and start following their “Followers” if you like them.  Go to the person’s Twitter profile to see if he or she is a good fit for your audience. I advise checking out a person before following them.  Also, search for and add what interests you. For example, if you’re into real estate, follow Donald Trump or if your into Self Growth, find Louise Hay.

Following people in a sea of the 18 Million on Twitter will lead to people following you.  It’s really easy to get started and you will easily add followers everyday if you keep tweeting valuable content!

Step 5: Start the Conversation

As soon as you start getting followers, you can simply click on your new follower and say, “Thank you for following me” or something of that nature.  Continue to follow the Tweeting guidelines in Step 3 and make sure you retweet some of the posts from your Twitter followers.  It will help build your profile and get you more followers quickly.

Closing Notes:

You want to make sure your profile has solid, helpful and noteworthy updates and is constantly offering your follows good information.  Let your personality shine through.

About Michael Tasner:

Michael Tasner is an avid entrepreneur, author, speaker, investor, and charity proponent who specializes in helping people achieve their dreams in life and  goals in business. He founded Taz Solutions, Inc, in 2000, and has built it to a leading web marketing firm with more than 100 employees involved in all areas of online/Internet strategy, marketing and design. Michael brings a wealth of experience to the table as an expert within the Internet marketing and business development space. His true specialty is his mastery of the Internet as a complete tool to both grow new businesses and help them to thrive in a very crowded playing field. He is an author of several books (including Marketing in the Moment), a certified Guerilla Marketing Coach, and key advisor to several Internet businesses. He has consulted on online marketing with nine Fortune® 1000 companies.

GUEST POST: Literary Agent vs Publicist: What Is the Difference? by Lisa Orrell, The Promote U Guru

Many new authors are confused by the different roles of support professionals in the publishing world. It can be a very overwhelming world! So the goal of this article is to shed some light on the basic differences between 2 support professionals who often cause new authors to scratch their heads: Literary Agents and Publicists.

Literary Agent Overview:

You’ve written a book manuscript and you don’t want to self-publish it…your dream is to land a publishing deal with a major publishing house. Great goal, but what many new authors don’t realize is that nowadays you typically need to land a Literary Agent to represent you FIRST, and then they’ll shop your manuscript to Publishers. Most Publishers won’t even accept a manuscript unless a legitimate Literary Agent delivers it to them. And, quite honestly, finding a Literary Agent to represent you can take quite some time – months and even years. This is a big reason many authors choose the self-publishing route…out of total frustration!

But, for the sake of this article, let’s say you are totally determined to land a publishing deal with a traditional publishing house. Here is some general info you need to know about Literary Agents.

What exactly is a Literary Agent and what do they do?

In general, they are marketing and sales experts who know how to give your manuscript pizzazz. Their purpose is to determine the compelling pitch that (they hope) will make Publishers want to review your manuscript and offer you a publishing deal. Literary Agents also negotiate the book deals for their clients (often with an attorney involved).

How do they charge?

Like a Talent Agent, they work on commission based on the deal they get for you. So if you contact an agent and they say they will charge a fee to represent you, RUN! That’s a scam. Legitimate agents only get paid if they land you a publishing contract.

Here’s a bit more detail from about this: Literary Agents charge a commission whenever they sell the publishing rights (and various sub-rights) of a book. Standard commissions range from 10-15% for the sale of domestic rights and 15-20% for foreign rights. Major Publishers pay authors an advance against royalties. A Literary Agent negotiates the terms of the sale, and then collects a commission for their hard work.

Publicist Overview:

Whether you are self-published or traditionally published, you can hire a Publicist. And their main purpose is to get you, and your book, mass exposure. So a Publicist typically comes into the picture when your book is close to being published (or after it is).

What exactly is a Publicist and what do they do?

Basically, a good Publicist comes up with strategic ideas for event promotions, tries to get book reviews, finds opportunities where you and/or your book would fit nicely (like speaking at an event), contacts the media on your behalf to land interviews, and also “cooks up” interesting story angles to grab the media’s attention.

How do they charge?

Unlike Literary Agents, Publicists do not work on commission. Most of them have an hourly rate or monthly retainer fee. However, there are some who charge based on “pay for placement” (i.e. charging $3000 if they secure you 10 radio interviews), but under those placement arrangements they are not helping with all the other services I mentioned above. And you typically have to come up with the “story angle” yourself to pitch the media and then they contact the media they think will be interested.

But, most authors I work with need help with more than just landing a few media interviews. They need help with Marketing, PR, Branding, and Social Media strategies, too. So I assess and strategize all of the elements needed to market the book and the author – and I consider “publicity” just one piece of the big puzzle. Therefore, I don’t just limit my services to being a “Publicist”.

I bring this up so you know what to ask a Publicist before hiring one! I know one author who was pitched by a Publicist and for $2500 a month all she was going to do was contact the media. This so-called “Publicist” had no experience with all of the other puzzle pieces needed to successfully market the author or their book, and my (now) client, who was new to the “publicity” world, came close to signing a contract with her. That could have been a very expensive lesson with very little return!

Bottom line? If you contact a Publicist and they don’t mention strategies beyond contacting the media (such as conducting a Virtual Book Tour, or assessing your marketing materials, website and positioning), don’t waste your money on their services.

In terms of retainer fees, they vary greatly. You’ll see some Publicists who charge $1,000 per month (for a limited amount of hours), and others who charge $25,000+ per month. Most of the “bigger” well-known Publicists I’m aware of won’t take on clients for less than $10,000 per month, and they require 6-month contracts – a pretty hefty price tag for most authors I know.

So, there you have it. I hope this snapshot of differences between Literary Agents and Publicists has given you some clarity. They each play very different roles in the publishing world, and (the good ones) can often make a big difference in your quest for publishing greatness!

AUTHOR BIO: Lisa Orrell, The Promote U Guru, is an in-demand Branding & Marketing Expert and Certified Success Coach with over 20-years of experience. For select clients, she also acts as their Publicist. Lisa works with small business owners, solopreneurs, speakers and authors. She herself is the author of 3 books and a professional speaker, and has been interviewed by countless media, including: NY Times, Wall Street Journal,,, ABC, MSNBC and NPR. For more info about her background and services, visit:, and you can follow her on Twitter and Facebook @PromoteUGuru.

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GUEST POST: 3 questions on Media and PR, and 3 fabulous answers from our “in-the-know” Author Sally Shields

This Guest Post was provided by Sally Shields, Outskirts Press Personal Marketing Assistant and published author of The Daugher-in-Law Rules and The Collaborator Rules


Q: Okay, so what is the #1 secret for getting PR? 

A: Be Timely, and have a great Hook!  Here are two examples of how I got booked by being timely:  I was able to successfully use the #1 secret to getting PR by being timely– and got 2 immediate bookings.

First I was quoted in (which is an offshoot of AOL Living) with this pitch during the primaries: 

Joe Biden’s Mother-in-Law Dies

How to Make Peace with Your Mother-in-Law, Before it’s Too Late! 

… and got booked on the nationally syndicated, The Daily Buzz with this one: 

October 26th is Mother-in-Law Day — How To Turn Your Mother-in-Law From Your Biggest Critic into Your #1 Fan in 3 Simple Steps!

I was able to get booked on Fox & Friends with this tweaked pitch: 

Barack Obama’s Mother-in-Law to Move into White House — How to Create a Lifetime of Peace With Your In-Laws!

So, try to have fun with it! You can set up a google alert with your keywords at For example, I have an alert with the keyword, “Mother in Law.” That way, I’ll be alerted to any breaking news story and can try to  creatively tailor my pitch so that I can be timely and present myself as a great source to the media! 

Q: You say that there are 2 ways to submit a media release. What are they, and to whom do you submit them? 

A: They are…

a) The Mass Media Approach in which you write one document and send it out to dozens, hundreds, even thousands of media at one time. Consists of a one page release and can be sent out through a free service such as Wireless Flash at (619) 220-8590 or  

b) The Custom Tailored Approach – in which you choose a publication or show that you want to give you publicity.  You study the kinds of things they like to cover and you send  them a personalized letter/email suggesting a particular story or show they could do around you as the expert. 

For example of the “Custom Tailored Approach,”  check out the next question and answer!!! 

Q: You say that there is a certain way to approach the media. How did you get in Star Magazine, for Example? 

A: Approach them in a fun, friendly way.  Here’s an example of what I sent to a Star Magazine editor:  

Dear Christina, 

Hi there! I absolutely LOVE your column and read the Hotsheet religiously. In fact, it is the first page I turn to when my mag arrives on Wednesday afternoon!  BTW, those Gracienne boots are to DIE for! You always pick out the BEST stuff––I am your biggest fan! (Of course, Fergie, Rachel and Kate would look good in army boots!) I wanted to suggest a cool new item for you – it’s called, The Daughter-in-Law Rules!  My vision is to inspire more harmony among mothers and daughters–in-law by teaching brides and wives the art of making friends with their husband’s mother.  This book is important for two  reasons; one, it helps  raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and two, it saves marriages. I thought that this book might be a great fit for your guide around Mother’s Day, as 55% of women surveyed have expressed a measure of tension with their future in-laws, especially during pregnancy, and after the baby arrives. I believe The Daughter-in-Law Rules will make a helpful book for moms of all ages!  Please note rule #22: Let Your Husband Be the One to Pick Out Gifts For Your MIL (Star Magazine is prominently featured) and Rules #13, 43, and 97 mention celebrities Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig, Sheryl Crow and Brad Pitt respectively. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and consideration in taking a look at my book, and I very much look forward to our continuing correspondence. 

With gratitude and appreciation,


And as a special guerrilla-marketing tactic, I attached a collage that I made, of me dreaming about my book on the Hot Sheet page of Star Magazine.

The results?…

As well, the number one thing that producers want to know, is that you’ve watched their show or read their publication. Nothing bothers them more  than an off-target pitch.

So, make sure to spend some time watching their show. Make reference to something they’ve covered, and how much you love their work. And make sure that if you’re pitching a book on dogs that do tricks, that you’re not contacting Downhill Ski Magazine! You get the idea!!!

Guest Post: Why You Should Consider Becoming an Amazon Bestseller

This guest post was provided by Outskirts Press Personal Marketing Assistant, Sally Shields.

Many of you either have a great idea for a book, or you’ve already written one.  You may be in the process of self-publishing or have a few hundred of them boxed up in your basement or garage, or sitting on Amazon, ranked in the millions. You’ve given away a few copies to your family and friends.  Very nice. Now what? 

One strategy is to use Amazon and best seller status to sell more of those books and I’m going to tell you about some the steps I took to get there so that you can apply them to your book.

Let me outline some of the benefits to an bestseller campaign.

It builds credibility and prestige. Being published alone, is a very substantial thing in people’s eyes because they realize it takes major commitment and dedication to finish, but being a bestseller gives you extra credibility.

When your book is a national bestseller, it generates more interest in your book and boosts its sales. 

When your book makes it to the bestseller list, influential members of the book world take notice. The media notices, as do industry insiders such as literary agents, book editors, and foreign rights buyers. The media loves to use that credential; it gets attached to your name, ‘bestselling author Sally Shields.”

It will help you acquire customers, and create hi-favorability among them.  You are now perceived as an expert and can then charge more for your services.

You have a much easier time selling your book to organizations and corporations in bulk.

You can become a speaker!  There are countless organizations who are looking for speakers everyday and you are much more likely to get booked if you have a bestseller status.  

So, how does this all work?

In short, the formula involves getting people with big email lists to send out an announcement asking people to buy your book on a given day at Amazon. This method isn’t “spamming” because only “opt-in” email lists are used.

To motivate people to purchase the book, you promise them a lot of digitally-downloadable “bonus gifts” for when they submitted their Amazon email receipt. For instance, buy a $20 book and you could get $500 of more of extra bonusesa tremendous incentive to buy the book. Even better, because the formula uses email, it costs almost nothing to promote the book!Contrary to what you may believe, to launch your own successful online email campaign

You do NOT need any previous online or marketing experience 

You do NOT need to personally be a web designer,

You do NOT need your own mailing list

You do NOT need a fortune in cash because this formula uses email marketing it’s almost free to implement)

You do NOT need to leave the comfort of your home office

What you DO NEED is the right guidance from someone who has launched a successful best seller online email campaign AND experienced the high level of success that you desire.

Amazingly enough, online marketing is likely one of the most effective methods for marketing books today … WHEN it is done right.  For more information on how to run your own bestseller campaign, please visit: for more details.


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