Your Quick-Start Marketing Guide, Complements of Outskirts Press

So, you’ve self-published your book, put out a press release and announced your news on Facebook … now the book flies off the shelf, right? Not so much. Before royalties can start rolling in, it’s important to understand the link (and the gap) between marketing and sales. The first step is to get real about what marketing is — and what it is not.

As you may know, book marketing is a “long game” that plays out over the life of your book — often a multifaceted one — but there are things every author can do to make progress on their own. Think of marketing as a series of building blocks in an overall promotional structure. Each task you undertake to promote your book builds upon the last and sets the stage for the next. No one component completes the structure, but with time and effort you’ll see something beautiful take shape.

Remember, a single marketing push won’t usually pay off in immediate sales. The goal of marketing is to consistently generate name recognition for you and your book so that that growing awareness eventually inspires readers to learn more and buy. This doesn’t happen overnight. So, to ensure the time you spend on your book marketing is as impactful as it can be, here’s what to expect and how to make the most of every minute.

Assess Your Assets
Once your book is published, the hard part begins — raising awareness. This is a time to take personal inventory of a few components vital to your marketing.

  1. Determine what marketing assets you currently have at your disposal. Social media accounts (and connections), friends, business acquaintances, personal and professional memberships each present opportunities to connect, share and even sell.
  2. Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses. Are you articulate and warm? If so, radio or TV interviews might be a good forum for you. Perhaps you’re shy but still great with technology. Then maybe social media marketing is more your speed. Be honest with yourself and focus on the things you do well.
  3. Assess the amount of time you can spend marketing your book each day/week/month.
  4. Set appropriate goals for promoting your book and yourself as an author. Use your skills and time assessments to identify where you’ll begin your marketing efforts. If you’ve decided radio is the way to go, set a goal to query a certain number of radio programs each week offering yourself as a guest, based on the time you have available. If social media is your bailiwick, make a point to post something relevant to your social media accounts each day, or week — or whatever schedule fits into your busy calendar.
  5. Be patient … but not too patient. Be consistent in your marketing efforts but willing to change direction. If months of one approach don’t move the needle, it may be time to try a different tack.

Finally, if you’re already published through Outskirts Press, become familiar with the resources in your Author Publishing Center. Many of the questions you have about book marketing can be answered within the Book Marketing Resource Center there. If you have questions that aren’t answered there, email

Still unsure about where to start? Consider hiring a Personal Marketing Assistant to get you pointed in the right direction for long-term success. Log in to your Publishing Center at and select Personal Marketing Assistant from the Marketing Solutions menu.

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Launch Kids Into Literacy Heaven!

Marketing books can be difficult, especially when you have to market to two dramatically different groups of people: children and the adults who buy books for them!

It’s no secret that children want a few specific things from the books they read, and those things can be boiled down to beautiful, eye-popping illustrations and a quirky, fast-paced story which will keep them on their toes. But adults? They want to buy books for their kids which are instructive as well as entertaining, and thoughtful as well as funny. Both children and adults love smart, horizon-expanding picture books, but that horizon sometimes looks a little … different.

So how do you market your picture book so that it shows off all of these various facets? We have a few thoughts on how to kickstart your promotional campaign this May!

  1. Start your campaign with a memorable—and thematic!—event. In that the book you’re promoting is a kid’s book, it probably taps into some great themes as well as some exciting visuals thanks to your illustrations. Use this to your advantage! Kids love parties of all kinds and the themes which go with them, and you can usually rely on your local library or your local independent bookstore to welcome a literary event, like a book reading or launch party, for kids. Go straight to the people who will know best how to incorporate picture books and fun activities—your children’s librarian! Seriously. They do this all the time. Even if you don’t hold your event at the library, these folks are a great resource for ideas.
  2. Take the book to school. Like, a literal and actual school! It can be hard to break into the schools since the curriculum is often developed by people higher up in the academic hierarchy than the teachers themselves, but there are still ways to raise your book’s profile among school-aged kids! One of the most reliable ways to promote a children’s book is to put together a thirty to fifty minute workshop which you can scale up or down to any group of school students of any age (or at least a range of ages). Keep it portable, and flexible enough to adapt to a variety of classroom setups and sizes, and reach out to a couple of your local teachers and administrators to see what kind of needs a workshop around your book can help meet. Think big!
  3. Market to both children and the adults who will be paying for the book. Children’s books are unique in respect to the fact that the person who will be reading the book most often and the person who is paying for it are often not the same person. In many cases, too, adults are a necessary part of the child’s reading experience as well–picture all of those Story Times in the library, with grown-ups reading to little ones in their laps–so a book must have shelf appeal to both little ones (make an eye-popping display!) and their parents or caregivers (make it relevant and funny!). Use social media local parenting-related groups to reach out to these folks. Whatever you do, make sure your marketing strategies are reaching out to those who buy the books as well as those who read them!

Whatever path you choose to pursue in marketing your children’s book, we hope you’ll take advantage of the resources available through our website at, or make use of a five-hour session with one of our expert Personal Marketing Assistants, each of whom can walk you through the necessary steps to set up a rigorous, flexible, and far-reaching marketing plan suited to you and your book’s unique needs. At Outskirts Press, we’re here to help you at all of the different stages of being an author, from publishing to marketing to getting started on your next children’s book!

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Best of Luck to the Official 2017 Outskirts Press EVVY Award Nominees!

This year, we have a brand-new batch of quality EVVY Award nominees to brag about! The EVVYs are an acclaimed annual award program sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers’ Association, or CIPA, which recognize and raise the profile of excellent independently published books. The EVVYs are judged by a panel of professionals on a qualitative scale of merit in a set of categories which broadens each year. As of 2017, there are fifty-one of these categories!

Each year, Outskirts Press officially nominates a small percentage of the books published during the year for submission to the EVVY Awards. Since a nomination is the first step toward receiving the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award, the standards are exceedingly high; we nominate, on average, just 2% of the books we publish each year-and these nominations represent the very best of our publications as determined by our executives and members of our production teams.

Outskirts Press official nominees and winners receive additional exposure of their books in featured Outskirts Press marketing channels, including our blog, social media networks, and in our email newsletters. The winners are announced during an awards ceremony hosted by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association in May.

Congratulations to this year’s Official Outskirts Press EVVY Award nominees, presented alphabetically below:

There’s more!

As a result of being nominated for the EVVY Awards, these Outskirts Press authors have taken the first step toward winning the coveted Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award. Three of the nominees above who subsequently win an EVVY Award during the CIPA banquet this coming May will be selected as Semi-Finalists for our annual Best Book of the Year Award and its $1,500 Grand Prize. Stay tuned.

All of these books, along with other Outskirts Press titles, are available from the major online book retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, Books-A-Million and others, plus conveniently from the Outskirts Press bookstore. To learn more about our products and services, as well as upcoming and current promotions, visit us online at or call us at 1-888-672-6657 to speak with a Publishing Consultant.

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Prepare for a Summer of Book Sales with FREE Shipping In May!

Spring is an exciting time for those of us involved in self-publishing, with many authors taking advantage of phenomenal promotional opportunities such as spring book fairs as well as laying the groundwork for a summer of book sales and promotions of their own.

Stocking up for the big book-selling push can get pricey, however, and we at Outskirts Press want to lift some of the burden so that you make the most of the spring and summer seasons. To this end, we will be offering all currently published authors FREE SHIPPING on orders of 50 or more copies of their books within the continental U.S during the month of May.

It’s a good idea to have extra copies of your book on hand for those upcoming promotional events, including readings, giveaways, book fairs, and tours! By combining this free shipping offer with our bulk order discounts, you’ll be thoroughly prepared for whatever the summer throws your way— all without unduly depleting your bank account!

Here’s how to get that free shipping:

  1. Log in to your author account at, select “order books” and place an order for 50 or more copies of your book(s) in a single format before May 31.
  2. Select normal ground shipping with a delivery address within the continental United States and proceed with checkout.
  3. That’s it!

No promotion code is necessary. You will see the free shipping offer reflected in your total once you place your order.

If you’re not sure how to approach marketing your self-published book and haven’t yet taken advantage of Outskirts Press’ many promotional services, consider contacting a Personal Marketing Assistant to come up with a solid action plan for this summer!

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Get Thee to BookExpo, Post-Haste!

If you’ve spent much time investigating the best ways to market and sell your self-published book, then you’ll already know that the value of a tactile face-to-face encounter is simply unmatched! What if you could get your book in front of agents, scouts, movie or TV production and development professionals, as well as scads and scads of potential new readers? This is what BookExpo can do for you!

Every year, the BookExpo (formerly Book Expo America, BEA) attracts over 100,000 attendees from all over the world and is the largest gathering of authors, booksellers, publishers, and industry professionals in North America! This year, the three-day expo will take place in New York City and conclude with BookCon, a signature two-day event for fans “where storytelling and pop culture collide.”

The BookExpo kicks off on Wednesday, May 31st at 9:00 AM and concludes on Friday, June 2nd at 5:00 PM. If you’re in the New York area (or can arrange to be in the New York area) we highly recommend that you stop on by the exhibition space and peruse both our display and the others available! Registration is now open for attendees through the BookExpo website.

But … what about your book?

If you’re looking to get your book into the BookExpo to further launch your career as an author, Outskirts Press can help you get there next year. Every year, we send a cohort of five of our works to the BookExpo, providing them valuable face-out exposure. We also send a representative to answer questions about your book, and feature your title in the trade show catalogue as a “title on display” for the reference of industry professionals. Just keep an eye out for our registration service when it rolls back around in 2018, with a deadline in early April!

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Book Reviews: Do Self-Published Authors Really Need Them?

There are long and short answers to this question, but the general gist of both is yes. Yes, self-published authors most definitely should make book reviews a part of their larger marketing strategies, and yes, this is a need, an absolute necessity. And an entire industry has sprung up around meeting this need! When readers are polled to find out where they most often discover the books which they’re buying, an overwhelming majority point to reviews hosted on websites like Amazon and Goodreads, as well as on private blogs or professional websites.

Readers searching online for new books often credit these reviews—and their average star rating—with playing a decisive role in whether or not they actually click the “buy now!” button. Even brick and mortar bookstores have been known to get in on the trend, both at Amazon’s pilot physical bookstores and in local independent shops, where handwritten tags often point readers to well-reviewed books. These reviews help everyone—whether a reader or a bookstore owner—narrow down the available options to those which are more likely to strike the right note.

Book reviews are the most effective publicity a book could receive, since they are easily shared both online and offline, using social media and word of mouth to spread into new markets. Reviews are easily transferred between people, and their content is easily accessible to readers of all shapes and sizes! Reviews are a badge of credibility, and the building blocks of your reputation as authors of self-published works. Even poor reviews are good publicity, so it’s a win-win situation. They are also a major time-saver, since the burden of the work is shifted onto the shoulders of the reviewer instead of the author in this particular circumstance, freeing up more of your time to do what you love most—writing your next book!

At Outskirts Press, we recognize the value of reviews and want to make them accessible to you! We offer a guaranteed book review service for Kirkus as well as for Blue Ink Reviews. And since it’s always a good idea to keep spare copies of your book on hand to ship off to potential reviewers, we recommend taking advantage of our discounts and other services in order to do so!

Our guaranteed book review services are just two of many options that we offer to help our authors market their books! For more information about our book marketing services, log into your Publishing Center and select Marketing Solutions from the menu.

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April is National Poetry Month… Are You Ready?

National Poetry Month doesn’t have to be a time just to celebrate other authors’ successes–you can celebrate yours, too! And once you’ve published your volume of poetry, you’ll necessarily need to market it, and effectively.

So, how does one make that happen? Here are eight simple tips to get you started:

  1. Know your audience. Understand who your readers are and where they are. Find ways to connect with your target readers.
  2. Read it. As in, at a poetry reading. It’s likely there’s already an active poetry group running open mics near you, even if you live outside of a big city. Run a quick search for local hot spots for culture and the spoken word, and then … show up! It can be tough to find other local poets, but stepping out of your comfort zone can be oh-so-worth-it, even if the first couple of times you go, you simply listen. But remember: the goal is to get your words out there, too!
  3. Create a website. Create your own professional website for your work. Include samples of your poetry and your biography. Creating a blog helps to move you up in the search engine rankings.
  4. Enter poetry contests. Submit your work to various contests locally, regionally and even nationally. Winning, or even simply entering, contests draws attention to you and to your work. If possible, include your biography and your website.
  5. Promote on social media outlets. The best way to spread the news about your poetry and you as a writer is through social media. Join poetry and writing groups through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  6. Mix your media. Some of the most liked and re-shared images on Instagram and Pinterest, two very visual social media platforms mostly known for their artsy users, are graphical depictions of poems, quotes, and pithy sayings. There’s no better way to break into a new market than to take the time to learn how to make these graphics (hint: there’s an app or twenty for that) and sharing them with people who love bite-sized pieces of beauty!
  7. Engage in poetry forums. Join a poetry forum or poetry related website to share your work with other poets and writers. Be sure to engage others and invite them to participate in your poetry. Any time you post, be sure to include your website address.
  8. And last but not least, consider podcasting it! This one might seem a bit of a stretch, but really, the audio format of podcasts makes them the absolute perfect forum for sharing your poetry in a new context. Consider reading one poem per podcast, or inviting your fellow poets to collaborate in sharing and discussing your work. Podcasts are performance without the pressure of a live audience!

    There are dozens of ways to promote and market your book, and these are only a few of the effective ones you might choose. We hope you’ll dig into the opportunities provided during National Poetry Month in April to start marketing your poetry book. For more information on the book marketing services available through Outskirts Press, log into your Publishing Center on the Outskirts Press website ( and click on the Marketing Solutions menu.

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