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!

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5 Benefits of Book Awards (and How to Get One)

Book awards are so much more than a pat on the back for an author – they’re an underutilized marketing tool with many benefits besides the recognition. (More on that in a bit.) The 2017-2018 Reader Views Literary Awards are right around the corner, and we at Outskirts Press don’t want this valuable exposure to pass you by.

The Reader Views Literary Awards recognize writers who self-published or had their books published by a subsidy publisher, small press, university press or independent book publisher. If you copyrighted a self-published book in 2017, you are eligible to submit your book for the 2017-2018 awards and the cash prizes and kudos that come with a win. The deadline for submitting through Outskirts Press is coming soon! Let us know you’d like to enter, and we’ll take care of the details for you!

Other than full-service awards submission, what’s in it for you? Turns out, plenty! Here are five ways book awards benefit self-publishing authors like you:

  1. You score media visibility. A book award can create big media buzz – and there’s no better marketing than that. Where the media goes, readers will follow.
  2. Readers take notice. Book buyers look to award wins and reviews to help them determine the quality of a book before they make a purchasing decision. So, it stands to reason that the more recognition you get – and the more of them that come from reputable sources – the more value potential buyers will ascribe to your book.
  3. The domino effect. Awards inspire reviews. The more awards you have, the more likely you are to get noticed by other book award panels and reviewers. Prospective readers will take notice!
  4. Amazon shows support. Once a book begins to catch fire with book awards, reader engagement and reviews, Amazon will want to back that book. After all, all that activity influences purchases, and Amazon wants its sellers to succeed.
  5. The bottom line grows. More awards means more visibility, which is likely to translate into more sales. Of course, there’s no guarantee but a feather in your cap is a huge step toward turning pageviews into follow-throughs.

See? Win or no win, book competitions get your title in front of savvy literary professionals and eager readers. To submit your book to the Reader Views Literary Awards, log into your Publishing Center and select the Reader Views Literary Awards from the Marketing Solutions menu. We’ll take care of the rest.

Submit Your Book

Making the Most out of Book Fairs

Book fairs are a great way to promote your book and learn about the publishing industry. No book fair is more central to the publishing year than the giant annual international get-together known as the Frankfurt Book Fair which takes place October 11th through October 15th.

The Frankfurt Book Fair has over 7,300 exhibitors and approximately 290,000 visitors. The exhibitors and visitors travel from over 100 countries to attend more than 3,000 events occurring at the book fair. This makes the Frankfurt Book Fair a great place to make deals and meet contacts. The featured events such as seminars, conferences, readings, and more are great learning opportunities.

How do you get the most out of the book fairs?

  • Take plenty of business cards, and make sure your cards are professional and eye catching
  • Find out which journalists, bloggers, and other influencers will be at the event and send them a copy of your press release in advance
  • Host an event at your stand. Be sure to advertise your stand event
  • Join the Book Fair group on Facebook and LinkedIn to connect with contacts
  • Do your research. Find out as much as you can about the scheduled events, market audience, attendees, etc. before the event
  • Don’t forget to market on social media before, during, and after the event

For more information the Frankfurt International Book Fair, visit http://www.frankfurt-book-fair.com/en/. While it’s too late to get in on this year’s event, we can help get your book ready to exhibit in the 2018 Frankfurt International Book Fair.

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How Custom Sales Sheets Help You Sell Your Self-Published Book

First impressions are so important! A custom sales sheet helps you create a great first impression that instantly sells your book to reviewers, news outlets, booksellers, librarians, and more. Here’s just a few ways a custom sales sheet sells your book.

1. Cut through the clutter.

Bookselling is a competitive market, and it’s easy for information to get lost in the piles of solicitations. A custom sales sheet helps cut through the clutter so your book catches the attention of the right people.

2. Catch the right people’s attention.

Again, this is a competitive market. A custom sales sheet features enhanced copy and eye-catching professional graphics to make your book stand out.

3. Set a professional tone.

As a self-published author, you want to make sure people take you and your book seriously. A custom sales sheet sets a professional tone that book reviewers, news editors, booksellers, and more are looking for and lends credibility to your work.

4. Provide all the right information.

A custom sales sheet features an image of your book cover and custom graphics that are unique to your book as well as provides book buyers with everything they need to know to make a purchasing decision and follow through. This significantly increases the effectiveness of selling your book.

Here is a sample of a custom sales sheet:

Outskirts Press now offers Custom Sales Sheets to self-published authors. To purchase a Custom Sales Sheet for your book, simply login to your Publishing Center and place the Custom Sales Sheet option in your shopping cart.

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‘Have I said too much …?’ How to preview your book without revealing it all

As an independent author, you’re all too familiar with the quandary of marketing: When, and to whom, should I send free copies of my book? Hardcopies have a small printing cost per book for self-publishing authors, and many fear that an ebook could end up in the hands of someone who might otherwise buy.

The Flipbook First Chapter Excerpt delivers the power of “try it before you buy it” marketing to hook potential readers, anywhere and everywhere you choose to share it … but without sending more complimentary copies than you can afford. Outskirts Press recently introduced this marketing option as a highly cost-effective way to market without incurring printing costs, while still allowing you to display a portion of your book exactly as it was intended to be viewed.

Like Amazon Search Inside the Book, the Flipbook First Chapter Excerpt allows you to provide a preview of your book to encourage your audience to buy, cover or review your book. But the Flipbook’s distinct advantage over Amazon is its flexibility: It’s not tied to the Amazon bookstore so you can use this option to preview the first chapter in many formats and venues …

  • Embed a link to your Flipbook in Custom Press Release that media contacts in radio, TV and newspaper can automatically view
  • Post it on social media as an effective tool in your marketing plan
  • Supply a Flipbook to bookstores to encourage ordering
  • Submit to reviewers to gauge interest
  • Place it on your website and/or blog to entice readers
  • Post your Flipbook anywhere you want your amazing writing front and center
  • You can even let others share your Flipbook preview so you can truly reap the benefit of word-of-mouth marketing!

In addition to this product’s flexibility, it’s also ideal for authors who wish to give readers, media and literary players a tantalizing taste of their work while maintaining close control over how many promotional copies are circulating.

Getting readers hooked is easier than ever with the affordable Flipbook First Chapter Excerpt marketing option from Outskirts Press! To purchase the Flipbook First Chapter Excerpt, simply login to your Publishing Center, place the Flipbook First Chapter Excerpt in your shopping cart.

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Get Thee to Beijing!

The Beijing International Book Fair is just around the corner in August, and while it’s too late to get your book in the mix to exhibit at this year’s fair, you can already purchase the option to exhibit next year in Beijing! After all, you don’t want to miss the chance to display your book before more than 2,000 publishers and 200,000 other attendees!

Book fairs are an excellent way for self-published authors to promote their books and network with industry professionals, and the Beijing International Book Fair is the largest publishing industry event in the Asian Market! This event provides a huge opportunity for self-published authors like you, especially considering China is the most populous country in the world and has one of the longest literary legacies. This market is interested in books translated into their local language as well as the rights to distribute English Language content. English language titles are at the forefront of the market growth in China.

If you write children’s books, we have good news for you! Children’s books authors can be especially lucrative in Beijing, since the government mandates that all Chinese children learn English at an early age. STEM material, academic areas, sports, sports medicine, and military history are also areas that have been in high demand in past years.

Should you invest in our service to exhibit your book at the Beijing International Book Fair, your book will receive valuable exposure with other Outskirts Press titles. A representative will be available to personally answer questions about your book. Outskirts Press will provide the necessary copies of the book and all the necessary contact information for both the author and publisher, so interested parties can make further contact, during or after the fair. All inquiries Outskirts Press receives about your book will be forwarded directly to you for personal follow-up.

The Beijing Book Fair is August 23-27. Hundreds of thousands of visitors attend the show annually to see the books from dozens of different countries. Your book could be there in 2018!

It’s never too early to invest in your book’s future. Now is the time to reserve your spot. Space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Reserve Your Spot

Stock Up on Hot Marketing Materials at an Even Hotter Discount

There are gadgets, and then there are gadgets which change the face of publishing. The Espresso Book Machine is not just a pretty gadget that happens to churn out new books as quickly as the average human takes to brew an espresso; it’s a gadget that has the potential to close the last leg of the loop and put full creative (and financial) rights into the hands of those who have historically been excluded from the publishing process.

I’m speaking of you, the self-publishing author.

While the Espresso Book Machine’s many bells and whistles are nice features — like the database of rare or out-of-print books you can resurrect in all their original glory — the real appeal of the EBM is that it literally as well as physically puts a high-quality printed book in your hand in around seven minutes. For the average self-publishing author, the experience of holding and experiencing the weight of all those sleepless nights and odd hours writing is simply unattainable — that is, without a service like the EBM making a limited run financially manageable. Holding a clean and professional copy of your book is a reward in and of itself, and the expediency for which the EBM is renowned makes it easy to share the joy of your book.

That’s the magic of the Espresso Book Machine — and it’s magic you can put to work for your book with our Espresso Book Machine edition & distribution service!

Sound interesting? Perhaps you might hunt one down yourself. Every year, they’re becoming less of a trial to find, and cropping up in new and exciting places. There’s one at work in the University of Arizona’s library, for example, where undergraduates printed out copies of research-related texts, graduates printed out beautiful bound editions of their thesis projects, and professors printed out volumes of their own masterworks-in-progress.

Members of the public, too, have made the EBM a game-changer! According to Canada’s The Windsor Star, the Windsor Public Library’s EBM alone produced “10,699 books” within a three-year span. And best of all, according to the website WorldCrunch, the EBM and its competitors are on track to “save” the print publishing industry! At the Paris Book Fair, the CEO of the EBM’s main shareholder (reinsurance company SCOR) went on the record to say that the Espresso Book Machine and those who use it “will be the invisible hand that will adjust the market” by making it possible to print either 1 copy of a book or 1000 without the gymnastics of traditional publishing arrangements.

Maybe it’s time to pour a shot of espresso into your book marketing strategy-and we know just how to help! To make your book available through the Espresso Book Machine, log into your Publishing Center and select Espresso Book Machine edition & distribution service.

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