What’s on your giving list this holiday season?


We get it—finding the right gift for some people is just plain brutal! Their wish lists are too short or vague. Their wish lists are too long and difficult to prioritize. They’re your kids or your grandkids who you don’t live near, and you wonder if their favorite color has changed . . . or if they still need that one thing they needed the last time you visited . . . or—wow!—so many ifs when it comes to those busy, ever-changing kids and grandkids!

So, let Outskirts Press help!

Our $99 self-publishing gift certificate is an excellent gift for any writer in your life!

For the new writer, it can help them take that first step toward self-publishing. Knowing that money is sitting in a brand-new Publishing Center account, just waiting for them, is practically guaranteed to motivate them to make the next move.

For the published writer, this gift can allow them to take their book to the next level. For example, it can help them add a marketing service or a new format for their book or to buy extra author copies.

Outskirts Press can’t help you with your baking to-do list (though we’d sure like to) or clean your home before the relatives visit (we have our own terrifying dust bunnies to vanquish, thank you very much!). But we have your back with your holiday shopping list—and unlike baking and cleaning, you can buy an Outskirts Press gift certificate in the minutes right before gift unwrapping!

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays Outskirts Press

No matter what holiday you celebrate (including the Binge Hallmark Movies Holiday), we wish you a happy, peaceful one!

If you exchange gifts to celebrate, may there be plenty of books with bows tied around them. If you use this time for quiet contemplation, may you find some of that at your laptop, notebook, or typewriter. Our best wishes for now and into the new year!

Staying at Home or Headed to the Beach? Check out our List of Summer Must Reads!

June 20th marks the summer solstice, and with summer comes a wave of new feelings and new hopes. The damp and chilly days of spring give way to sunshine and a need for new reading material, whether the celebrated “beach read,” a stunning debut, an insightful nonfiction work, or all of the above! What’s more, you can also celebrate the work of self-published authors at the same time and, by golly, do we have some book recommendations for you:

Desert Mountain Enigma by B. H. Luther (Thrillers/Suspense)

Romancing Midnight A Collection of Short Stories by Estela Vazquez Perez (Romance)

DEMONS’ LAIR Teddi McCoy Horror by David Brookover (Horror)

Dragon Games Based on a True Story of Sergei Millian by Regina Mouradian (Historical Fiction)

IN THE BLACK by Andrew Ceroni (Thrillers/Suspense)

Templym’s Protectors by Matthew Nichols (Epic Fantasy)

Life with Bingo by Jim Black and Jim Lewis (Fiction/Coming of Age)

Tasting Death A Veronica Howard Vintage Mystery by E. J. Gandolfo (Mystery & Detective)

This may not be just another summer, but then again … this is not just another list! These books represent the intersection of high-quality self-publishing with some of the most exceptional, compelling, and immersive writing that you can enjoy this summer. There’s always something exciting happening in the Outskirts Press bookstore, where you can find all of the titles we’ve mentioned here today, and more, for sale for up to 55% off. And if you haven’t yet published a book yourself, there’s never a better time than now to inquire. Visit us online today at www.outskirtspress.com, where you can chat with a Publishing Consultant with no obligation.

5 Ways to Market for the Holidays – and How to Get Them Started

Many sellers large and small do more business during the holiday season than during the rest of the year, and self-publishing authors are no different. But the holiday magic usually doesn’t just happen. It takes clear goals, planning, focus and commitment to reap the greatest profits during this key time of opportunity.

There are many things an Outskirts Press author can do to boost profits, but let’s focus on this peak spending season. Here are five ways to market your book for the holidays:

  1. Build flexibility into your holiday marketing approach. While Christmas is the primary money-maker for sellers of all kinds, it’s not the only game in town. Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Kwanzaa—even New Year’s Day—are occasions when millions of people will be buying for others and themselves. Reach out to these audiences every chance you get.
  2. Offer holiday-themed specials. Hold a Christmas flash sale on Amazon or host Turkey Day giveaways on Facebook. Get creative! The idea is to encourage engagement with your readers and entice new readers.
  3. Create a social media plan. People love to mingle on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites – and they’re quickly becoming the go-to places to exchange information, too. Join the massive, online conversation by regularly “checking in” on social media as often as you can.
  4. Recycle review and media queries. Most of your existing outreach to book reviewers and contacts in print and broadcast media can be repurposed and tailed to your holiday campaign. (If you don’t already have a great query letter, write one!) Grab attention with holiday-themed buzzwords and keywords that will keep your copy relevant.
  5. Organize book-signing or book-reading events. If you want to get into those brick-and-mortar bookstores in time for the influx of holiday shoppers, start now. November and December are hot months for book-signing events, so available dates are booking up quickly. Consider focusing specifically on mall bookstores, where shoppers will be converging by the hundreds.

Of course, none of these techniques happen in a meaningful or organized way without a well-defined strategy to guide you. Outskirts Press can get you started on holiday marketing with a Custom Marketing Plan that not only helps you capitalize on seasonal spending but provides a solid all-around plan for the rest of the year.

The Marketing Consultation with Marketing Plan Development begins with a 30-minute, one-on-one phone consultation with a professional Personal Marketing Assistant to learn more about the author’s book, marketing preferences and goals. The marketing assistant will take these factors into account to craft a unique marketing approach for you that includes actionable and achievable marketing techniques, time-saving tips and techniques to boost profits during the holidays and beyond.

After the initial consultation, the Personal Marketing Assistant will send your Custom Marketing Plan to you within just 48 hours! That means if you place the option in your cart today, you could have a clearly defined marketing plan before another weekend passes. Then if you decide you want more assistance you still have the option to hire a Personal Marketing Assistant for a five-hour block of time to begin tackling those marketing steps.

Don’t let the holiday frenzy overwhelm you. Get your Marketing Consultation with Marketing Plan Development, and put in place the steps you need to take for a successful season of selling!

Learn More

Give Yourself the Gift of a Haunting Halloween

Have you been feeling a little … spookier than usual lately? It may just be that time of year to pull up a chair, munch a pumpkin spice scone, and crack open the cover of a brand-new haunting read. Readers of all shapes and sizes and ages and tastes love getting a thrill this time of year, reading mysteries and suspenseful novels as bare branches blow in the wind and strange noises make the mind soar with what could be lurking in the shadows. Are you one of them?

You’re in luck! From Fiction to Non-Fiction to Memoir to Children’s books, the Outskirts Press Bookstore is packed with great selections, both holiday-themed and haunt-free alike, that will enrich those long golden Fall afternoons and luxurious nights.

This October, we’d like to recommend a few of our favorite Halloween picks!

The Ghosts of Paw Paw Lake, written by Mark Simone & illustrated by Dan Simone

Something is afoot near Paw Paw lake. Over the decades, residents near the lake have noticed that some things don’t make complete sense: Sometimes, things are seen that should not be there. Rational minds encounter impossible specters as the sun drains from the day. And while everyone seems to have a story of a ghostly encounter that should not be possible, they struggle to share these stories with each other and the world. That’s where Mark Simone’s haunting book comes in; in this collection of short stories, his belief that occasionally ghosts share the same spaces we occupy breaks through in a series of thrilling, mysterious, and profound tales sure to delight readers of both holiday fiction and short story collections.

Maggie: Trick or Treat by L.S. Davis

No Halloween would be complete without a great picture book for young readers, and L.S. Davis delivers in his whimsical and delightful Maggie: Trick or Treat. This makes for Maggie’s third appearance—Maggie and MAGGIE are both available through the Outskirts Press bookstore but are not holiday-themed—and she just gets more and more interesting with each book! After all, who can’t relate to a little girl with a big appetite for food and for life? That’s right, nobody! Especially during the holiday season, what with all those pumpkin spice lattes and pies and whatnot!

Dutch River by Charles Ayer

When NYPD Detective Lieutenant Walter Hudson’s wife, Sarah, unexpectedly inherits a family farm in the tiny upstate village of Dutch River, New York, their first thought is to sell it as soon as possible. But they are immediately charmed by the village and its residents, and Sarah’s great-uncle, Armin Jaeger, leaves them a letter too puzzling to ignore. They are soon stunned to find that Sarah has been left more than a simple farmhouse in a quaint village; and matters turn even more intriguing when Walter discovers a mysterious connection between Dutch River and the murder of a prominent Boston philanthropist, Charles Martin Sewall. And matters take an even more deadly turn when Walter’s family is threatened. Walter will need all his skills and all the help he can get from his good friend, Leviticus Welles, as he desperately races against time not just to solve a hideous crime but to save his family as well. It’s a race he can’t afford to lose.

Priscilla Willa, Party Planner: Night at the Haunted Motel by Michelle McCormick

Juvenile Fiction readers should check out Night at the Haunted Hotel. Ten year-old Priscilla Willa is at it again! This time she and her partners are in charge of a murder mystery party at the old River Rock Inn. They’ve got their hands full with menus, costumes, and silly guests. But what are they supposed to do when a grumpy ghost shows up? Join the fun as Priscilla and her friends plan their most spooktacular party yet!


Ghosts of Mayflower & Ghosts of Mayflower II: Pennhurst by Tamera Lawrence

Do you believe in ghosts? In the 1980s, the Pennhurst State School and Mental Hospital was shut down due to resident abuse. Fast forward twenty-five years, and the Mayflower building hosts a number of resident ghosts. Author Tamera Lawrence, an orderly working on the grounds, documents many of these hauntings—ones that she has experienced personally as well as those experienced by others—and traces the history of what is now known as Pennhurst Asylum. This book holds a lot of cross-genre appeal and is sure to be a hit with lovers of both memoir and the paranormal. Lawrence leads her readers on a thrilling journey of discovery, documentation, and brushes with forces that defy human understanding—and her books, Ghosts of Mayflower and Ghosts of Mayflower II: Pennhurst make the perfect platform to launch your Halloween reads in October!


There’s always something exciting happening in the Outskirts Press Bookstore, where you can find all of the titles we’ve mentioned here today, and more, for sale online. While we’ve provided you with a few suggestions, the Outskirts Press bookstore is filled with books of all genres, certain to satisfy your craving for mystery and thrills. So, now it’s time to find your favorite afghan, heat up your mug of tea, and nestle into your new favorite book! And if you haven’t yet published a book yourself, there’s never a better time than now to inquire. Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com where you can chat with a Publishing Consultant or call us at 1-888-672-6657.

An Interview with Award-Winning Outskirts Press Author Landria Onkka

The movie based upon Landria Onkka’s Outskirts Press book, The Rooftop Christmas Tree, premieres tomorrow night on UP, so we caught up with Landria to find out more!


Outskirts Press: You published your first book, The Rooftop Christmas Tree, with Outskirts Press in 2014.  When did you first get a sense that you had written something really special that was going to touch a lot of people?

Landria Onkka: I knew immediately that this was different because it is based on a true story that, simply put, is proof of miracles. The world seeks hope and one of my missions is to share the message that ‘all things are possible.’ I spent quite a bit of time watching holiday movies to get a sense of what was out there, and recognized that there is a huge market for family and inspiring content. When I sat down and wrote both “The Rooftop Christmas Tree” and the sequel, “A Bell for Christmas,” I never doubted that they would end up on television throughout the U.S. The first time I told the story to friends, every one of them cried! I still cry at the ending and I am so excited to see it come to life with the awesome actors the production team chose!

Outskirts Press:  The Rooftop Christmas Tree has won a number of awards and recognition. Please tell us about that. 

Landria Onkka: Although I never let ‘one thing’ dictate whether or not my story is a success, awards can be good indicators. I sought out those contests that had positive reviews and credible critics. My first award was the East Coast Writers Award in Boston. It was honorable mention. I didn’t get a notification and at midnight of the day of the announcement I thought, “what the heck, I’ll go online to see who won” and was ecstatic to see my name! This was, after all, my first book and first contest! The book went on to win the Grand Prize at the Hollywood Book Fest last year. They flew me to Hollywood to accept the award and it really sunk in that I had a marketable and appealing story. “A Bell for Christmas” just took Grand Prize in Hollywood this past July. The judges said it’s the first time they had an author win two of their awards. I didn’t realize the depth of the accomplishment until a well known sportscaster attended the ceremony told me that it took him 15 years to get an award for his writing! That brought it home that I was on the right path.

Outskirts Press:   That is impressive! And, as you mentioned, the big news is that The Rooftop Christmas Tree was optioned for a movie! Congratulations! Tell us about how that happened.

Landria Onkka: I spent 20+ years in investment banking with a specialty in entertainment. So, I had a good handle on what producers and investors liked. I had worked on some major, well known movies and television series, but always on the business side. Now I was the writer and it was a totally different ball game! I stuck to what I knew would have a chance at an option which is why my first book reads a bit like a screenplay. I made it easy for a producer to translate it into a movie. In fact, they kept my title, most of the character names, and stuck very close to the story (which is unusual).  I got optioned within a few months of submitting my work to an agent and a few months later they went into production. My agent told me that she has never had that happen! If a ‘first book’ writer is fortunate enough to get optioned, they usually sit on it for a few years and most of the time it never makes it to the screen. I am thanking the Universe every day for my success!

Outskirts Press:   How involved were you during the production of the movie?

Landria Onkka: I had no involvement in the movie! As a former investment banker, I was able to quickly sign off on my contract because I already knew that the book writer is separate from the screenplay writer and the producers. It was important to hand it off to the pros which includes multiple award winning producer David Winning and let them do their magic. Once I establish my track record, I can then request some involvement in the production. However, I don’t recommend writers do that. Writing a story and producing a movie are two different things. Writers own their books and producers own the movie. That’s a good thing! Producers don’t want writers telling them what to do! “A Bell for Christmas” ‘first right’ went to my producers. I will know shortly what they will do with it. In the meantime, I have five more books coming out!

Outskirts Press:  What marketing efforts did you take leading up to the movie’s premiere?

Landria Onkka:  None! I made announcements, but thank goodness Outskirts Press has marketing programs and advice that they share about all of this! While UP TV handles all of the movie marketing, this is an incredible opportunity for me to promote my books! I’m still learning and now I have a Mini-course for writers, blogs, and Facebook set up to share with readers and writers! I have been invited as a guest writer for various websites, so I expect to continue to grow my fan base. It’s been a big learning curve for me! That being said, I already knew that my friends who went with traditional publishers had very little control over their marketing which posed issues. If the publisher doesn’t put marketing efforts into their books, then nothing happens. I learned from their experiences. They were tied to long contracts, had little control, small royalties, and marketing efforts were non-existent in the case of my friends. What money they earned upfront went into their own marketing efforts. Outskirts doesn’t place one author’s importance over another’s. They extend their support equally to ALL of their authors!

Outskirts Press:  The Rooftop Christmas Tree is a heart-warming tale, and ideal for this season. Any stories of how its message positively affected your readers and/or movie viewers?

Landria Onkka: I wrote the book as a fiction story because I wanted to add a romance. We all love romance! That part was fabricated. However, the most powerful message is “Miracles ARE Possible!” which is played out by one of the lead characters, Mr. Landis (beautifully played by Tim Reid). Year after year, he places a Christmas tree on his roof and spends Christmas in the courtroom and sometimes, jail. He is the rock throughout the story that reminds us that no matter what happens outside of ourselves, if we have faith, everything works out in ways that we sometimes can’t imagine. My friends would often say, “The ending wasn’t true, right?” The answer to that is that it ‘is’ true! Many people cry at the ending because it’s so powerful and positive. This is the first of what I call ‘The Miracle Series’ that demonstrates that all things are possible.

Outskirts Press:  Your second published book, A Bell for Christmas, is also Christmas related, and was published by Outskirts Press in May 2016.  Do we sense a theme here?

Landria Onkka:  When I read my movie contract, it requested ‘first right’ on the sequel. What? A sequel? Because “The Rooftop Christmas Tree” was based on a true story, it didn’t occur to me to write a sequel. So I got busy and within a few months of the movie production, I published “A Bell for Christmas!” My goal is to write a television series based on this quirky, small town where anything is possible! Outskirts Press made it incredibly easy to get the book out quickly. Once I approved the final copy, it was available worldwide and on Amazon within two days! While I personally shot the cover for the first book, I couldn’t do the same for “A Bell for Christmas” because we don’t have snow in Atlanta. Outskirts sent me to a free site with thousands of possible covers that didn’t require royalties or a release. I couldn’t have envisioned a better cover, that depicts an actual scene in the story. I have researched many publishers and I am so glad that I went with Outskirts. I have full control and 100% royalties. When I signed the movie contract, I didn’t have to check with my publisher to get a release, or get permission. I own my books! It doesn’t get easier. This is what I teach other writers because most aren’t thinking about having a movie made! The speed, quality, and control I gain from Outskirts is unmatched in my opinion.

Outskirts Press: You mentioned five more books. Are these all written for The Miracle Series?

Landria Onkka: Wooden Mistletoe is going to press within the next 60 days. Yep, another Christmas story that is ideal for television. I have many more Miracle Series stories and plan on releasing 2 to 3 annually in this uplifting series!

Outskirts Press: Do you have more books planned and/or already written on other topics or subjects?  What are your plans for publishing them?

Landria Onkka: The Mystery Series and The Mystical Series were just added! My biggest problem is keeping up with all of the ideas that are flowing. One of my books in the Mystery Series is another ‘based on a true’ story and is a murder mystery. Because it is a long book and well suited for the Big Screen, I considered taking it to a big publisher and found out that the process can take, and usually does, two years or more! It’s going to Outskirts the first of the year and then going to producers. Again, I can’t stress the benefits of self publishing enough! It has allowed me to accelerate my success!

Outskirts Press: If you wanted to offer advice to writers interested in following in your successful footsteps with an award-winning book that gets turned into a movie, what would you say?

Landria Onkka:  Every situation will be different, but there is one thing that every writer must start with – a commercially viable story. Know your network, study the subject matter, how long the movie plays and if there are commercials. Are you focused on ethics? Hallmark, UP TV and other channels love family values. Is it more ‘out of the box?’ Lifetime loves unusual stories. Think about your story and where it would be best suited. Is it a big screen candidate? That is a totally different strategy. I invite writers to sign up to my Newsletter that is packed with information on my strategy and advice on writing to sell to producers! I am also part of a group in Atlanta that seeks content and will be working in the role of producer next year. Most of all, do your homework, be prepared to present yourself commercially and don’t rely on your artistic talents. Film is a business! As for awards, Outskirts has an entire program that allows their authors to submit to credible contests and I highly recommend that authors use those services to validate their work! More information can be found on my site, http://landriaonkka.com 

Outskirts Press: Thank you, Landria. And congratulations on your success!  

Be sure to catch The Rooftop Christmas Tree when it premieres tomorrow night.  Click the screen-cap below for showtimes and the trailer.


8 Books Until Halloween

Or should that say 8 Days Until Halloween?  Both are correct, as Outskirts Press provides you with eight different books to enjoy, starting today, to tide you through All Hallows Eve!

Since Halloween is almost here, it is the perfect opportunity to curl up with a good (scary) book. Readers of all ages love getting that chill up their spine this time of year, reading mysteries and thrillers as bare branches blow in the wind and strange noises make the mind soar with what could be lurking in the shadows.

At Outskirts Press, we want you to enjoy this spooky time of the year! That’s why we’re providing you with a list of books that offer good Halloween fun:

For Monday, October 24th…

Non-fiction readers will love The World’s Most Haunted Sites which explores the history, legends, and ghostly happenings at the world’s most fascinating spectral landmarks. While researching this book, Mr. Bell visited more than 200 ghostly points of interest to find those which seemed the most authentically haunted. He interviewed historians, psychics, ghost-hunters and hundreds of people who believe they have encountered supernatural activity.

For Tuesday, October 25th…

When NYPD Detective Lieutenant Walter Hudson’s wife, Sarah, unexpectedly inherits a family farm in the tiny upstate village of Dutch River, New York, their first thought is to sell it as soon as possible. But they are immediately charmed by the village and its residents, and Sarah’s great-uncle, Armin Jaeger, leaves them a letter too puzzling to ignore. They are soon stunned to find that Sarah has been left more than a simple farmhouse in a quaint village; and matters turn even more intriguing when Walter discovers a mysterious connection between Dutch River and the murder of a prominent Boston philanthropist, Charles Martin Sewall. And matters take an even more deadly turn when Walter’s family is threatened. Walter will need all his skills and all the help he can get from his good friend, Leviticus Welles, as he desperately races against time not just to solve a hideous crime but to save his family as well. It’s a race he can’t afford to lose.

For Wednesday, October 27…

Catch up with Detective Lieutenant Walter Hudson once again and this time, he is in over his head (and he knows it!). As he begins to receive intense pressure to solve a new case from both Mayor Deborah Kaplan and Police Commissioner Sean Donahue, a judge’s beautiful daughter starts giving him more help than he’s looking for. He’ll need all the help he can get from Leviticus Welles, now a rising star in the NYPD’s Intelligence Division, to guide him through the maze of Teddy Braxton’s life as well as the tangle of his own emotions. But one thing Walter knows from the start is that there’s nothing placid at all about Placid Hollow.

For Thursday, October 27th…

Juvenile fiction readers should check out Night at the Haunted Hotel. Ten year-old Priscilla Willa is at it again! This time she and her partners are in charge of a murder mystery party at the old River Rock Inn. They’ve got their hands full with menus, costumes, and silly guests. But what are they supposed to do when a grumpy ghost shows up? Join the fun as Priscilla and her friends plan their most spooktacular party yet!

For Friday, October 28th…

The Not So Wicked, Wicked Witch is a charming story about a witch that is in image only. After reading the story and getting to know Carter’s witch, you realize that she has a heart of gold and is loving inside and out. A delightful book just in time for Halloween!

For Saturday, October 29th…

Police Chief Dexter Lowe enjoys his humdrum job in the sleepy little town of Gator Creek, Florida, until a kidnapper begins terrorizing the local women. FBI Special Agent Teddi McCoy arrives to help him hunt down the mysterious kidnapper. Aided by an eccentric’s  remarkable visions, McCoy tracks the kidnapper to an isolated island on the eastern edge of the Florida Everglades: Demon Key, a place where the kidnapper’s victims have mysteriously vanished… forever.

For Sunday, October 30th…

Tricks and treats fill the night in this bewitchingly spooky tale involving two little witches out to cause some mischief on Halloween. When they encounter a group of trick-or-treating children, they receive a surprise of their own! The clever rhyming text and delightful illustrations will make this book a Halloween treat for both young children and the adults who read it to them.

For Monday, October 31st…

A psychotic madman stalks the road ways of Bontonville for his next victim. He lures truckers and travelers into his private hell where he ruthlessly attacks them, hides their vehicles and disposes of their bodies in an immense underground lair where they become part of his deliciously macabre collection. For over twenty years not a shred of evidence has escaped his maniacal control. Until one day a federal agent on a case in the next county, stumbles on a clue that erupts into an intense, deadly chase to catch the most heinous killer in local history.

While we’ve provided you with a few suggestions, the Outskirts Press bookstore is filled with books certain to satisfy your craving for thrills and chills.  So, now is the time to find your favorite afghan, heat up your mug of tea, and nestle into  your new favorite book!


Top 5 Ways to Promote Your Book on Labor Day Weekend

Happy Labor Day Weekend! What are your plans? Maybe some barbecued ribs, backyard bliss, and one last summer romp through the woods? These sound like wonderful options, but there’s more than one worthwhile way to spend your holiday hours. We here at Outskirts Press like to think you can both relax, kick up your heels, and enjoy a sumptuous day off—as well as be the engaged, insightful, and active self-publishing authors that we know you are! A more pertinent question to ask yourselves, then, might be: What can we do as authors to promote our books over the long Labor Day weekend?

Labor Day

Here are five ideas to get you started:

1. Labor Day Sweepstakes! Sweepstakes are both simple and highly effective, in that they use your existing social media followers to reach new potential readers. Both Facebook and Twitter are good places to start, since they will help you build and drive traffic, especially if you offer an attractive prize. How to do it? Make a few waves by announcing your sweepstakes online and by offering a chance for your followers (and their followers, and their followers) to win by liking or commenting on your Facebook post or retweeting your announcement. Some authors include the extra proviso that entrants must also follow them in order to be eligible to win, which provides a little extra boost to your online presence—for the duration of the sweepstakes, at least. Dig around online using Google or your other favorite search engine to look at a few example Terms & Conditions; both Facebook and Twitter provide handy promotional guidelines for you to take advantage of.

2. Labor Day Photo Contest! With so much going on over the long weekend—parades, picnics, concerts, and yes, barbecues—a photo contest provides a fun opportunity to take advantage of the good times people are already having. Encourage your followers on social media as well as your blog and newsletter subscribers to upload photos of themselves celebrating Labor Day—at the beach, at the park, in the backyard, with friends, with family, with a great steak. It’s worth asking them to take a photograph centering on a specific theme, either vacation-related or to do with your book. Are you promoting a mystery book? Have followers snap pictures of themselves reconstructing an investigation around the picnic table. What about a horror novel? Have them snap pictures of their own Labor Day disasters, big and small. Participation should be straightforward, easy, and fun—and any prizes you raffle off should combine the spirit of celebration with the theme of your book.

3. Cross-Promote! Look, Labor Day isn’t the sexiest holiday of the Fall bonanza. By the time Labor Day rolls around, most businesses are already looking ahead to Halloween and Thanksgiving. They devote a big slice of their marketing budgets to what follows, making September the perfect time to bring your book to market and to work with complementary businesses, organizations, and individuals—including other authors. It’s a blind spot for the big corporations—and corporate blind spots make room for the underdogs to thrive! Consider hosting a joint event, or offering a joint discount if readers purchase your book along with another author’s. You could even offer a discount if they purchase an item from your favorite local business and are able to furnish a receipt afterwards. As with every other marketing push, relevance really does matter; think of all possible partners with whom you and your work have a kind of synergy. If you work in partnership, you might even be able to split any printing and distribution costs—a boon for everybody.

4. Remember the Context! Since many businesses go easy on Labor Day sales and promotions, the downside is that the traffic produced by your own promotion (particularly if you’re going solo) may not be enough to drive traffic to your website or event. There are, however, plenty of other things happening at this time of year that bring in a lot of money and attention to local businesses: back-to-school sales, school sports kicking into gear, and fall workshops at area libraries, universities, and community centers. When putting together your promotions, take advantage of the context and the symbolism associated with these goings-on. Try designing your postcards and business cards as footballs or as backpacks brimming with notebooks, pens, and computers. Print limited quantities with some sort of promotional bent, such as the limited-time discounts mentioned above. Just because Labor Day doesn’t have intensely iconic imagery associated with it in the same way that Christmas does, doesn’t mean your giveaways have to be bland!

5. Host an Event! Last but certainly not least, consider the humble book signing or reading … but bigger. Labor Day is a low-key family holiday, just short enough that many people choose to stay in town instead of traveling. Take advantage of this impulse by throwing a Labor-Day-appropriate event, such as a reading event downtown with drinks for the after-dinner set, or a backyard event complete with kid-friendly snacks. Here’s where playing to the local crowd really matters: you know your target audience, and by paying attention to the prevailing winds and the existing traditions of your community you can turn Labor Day into something more than just an accidental long weekend. Dream up some good door prizes and whisk out a little live music, and the people will come.

Ultimately, these ideas mean nothing if you don’t make them yours. Find a way to be yourself this Labor Day—to be both a true-blue vacationeer and a dedicated self-publishing author—and we guarantee that this day will help you make a mark on the world and help you reach your book marketing goals.

We wish you an enjoyable, relaxing and wonderful weekend.

Top 10 Holiday Books

In the spirit of Christmas and the holiday season, we mark this occasion with a selection of significant works from self-publishing authors. Whether for you, or a last minute gift, there’s something for everyone in these Top 10 Books to commemorate the Holidays.

Do you have a compelling holiday story to tell? Let Outskirts Press show you how to share your story with the world!

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9 Reasons Independent Authors Can Be Thankful for Self-Publishing

Happy ThanksgivingThanksgiving is right around the corner — a time for family, friends, and reflection on our many blessings — and today’s self-published authors have more to be thankful for than ever before.

Self-publishing has empowered authors in exciting new ways. Self-publishing is quickly becoming the preferred publishing method for many authors — those who want to carve their own paths and create their own destiny. And the rewards are great.

Read on and be thankful for some of the wonderful blessings today’s independent authors enjoy.

  1. You’re in control. With electronic self-publishing, you retain complete control on the planning, editing, publishing, and marketing process. You set the pricing, you make the creative decisions, and you market on your own terms. No “artistic differences” with an editor who doesn’t share your unique vision! You — not an editor — retain the rights to your work and what ultimately becomes of it.
  2. Higher royalties. While traditional publishing houses net you somewhere in the ballpark of 15-20 percent of revenues, as a self-publishing author, depending on how you choose to set up your pricing/sales structure, you can keep much more of your book revenue.
  3. Print on demand. The ability to produce as many or as few books as necessary has opened the door for talented authors to realize their publishing dreams, even on a shoestring budget. No more astronomical upfront costs for printing, storage and shipping.
  4. Marketing help. While both independent authors and traditionally published authors must take control of their own self-promotion, Outskirts Press has resources specifically tailored for our authors.
  5. Digital editions. It’s a piece of cake to create a digital version of your book and tap into a huge market of e-book fans, increasing sales and exposure.
  6. Revisions. With a self-published book, it’s much easier to create a second edition or correct errors down the line than with traditionally published books. Again, you are in control.
  7. Support. Even if you write from a tiny corner of your living room, you can connect with the worldwide writing community with one tap of the mouse. Help, support, inspiration, and friendship are all available to authors online. (The Outskirts Press App can get you started!)
  8. You’ll get published sooner. A self-publishing author can write, design/format, and publish a book in the time it takes a traditional publishing house to review a manuscript and mail a rejection letter. While their authors wait for printing to commence, their self-published counterparts are already months into selling.
  9. You’ll get published, period. Of course, there are advantages to the infrastructure set up by most traditional publishers, but all of that is meaningless if they don’t agree to publish your book. Because a traditional publisher is focused on profit, they care less about the merits of your talent and ideas than they do about how much revenue those ideas will generate. Thanks to self-publishing, you can share your special talents with the world — on your own terms!

This Thanksgiving, take a moment between courses and reflect on the opportunities and freedom indie authors now enjoy. There’s never been a better time to self-publish! With e-books, social media, online payments, and other technology paving the way to wider audience reach, there’s more potential than ever for success. And for that, we are most thankful indeed…

Outskirts Press is thankful for YOU, our authors and soon-to-be-authors! Click here to see images of some of our authors.

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