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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How Authors Just Like You Found the Path to Success!

picture1With all of the amazing services and options Outskirts Press provides, it can be hard to know what to choose what will work for you and your project. And who better to tell you the most effective and popular options than other Outskirts Press authors?

So, here is a quick list of what authors just like you chose during the month of December 2016 to help get their books into their readers’ hands!

  • Amazon Kindle Submission Service
  • Amazon Extreme Package
  • Personal Marketing Assistant
  • Foreword Book Award Contest
  • Virtual Book Tour
  • Google Books option
  • Custom T-Shirt option
  • Custom Press Release
  • PR Publicist
  • Marketing Telephone Consultation

Some of the other services that our authors were excited about were options that were already included in the comprehensive packages that Outskirts Press provides, such as the Standard Press Release and Audio Excerpt. But, as you know, one of the best things about working with Outskirts Press is that we not only provide you with so many options to assist you with the publishing process…we also help you with what comes after your book has become a reality.

Always remember that you’re not alone. Because you chose Outskirts Press as your publisher, we’re here to help you every step of the way!  For more information on the marketing services offered by Outskirts Press, log in to your Publishing Center at and go to the Marketing Solutions menu.

Book Marketing Solutions

The Outskirts Press Book Launch Kit: Success is in Your Hands


So, you’ve written your manuscript. The Outskirts Press team has helped you create a professional book. You’re sitting in your living room, book in hand, and one thought crosses your mind.

Now what?

You’re not alone. Most authors go through that moment of uncertainty, wondering what they need to do next. And we can sum that up for you in one word.


That’s right. It doesn’t matter which publishing avenue you decide – whether it’s self-publishing or traditional – every author is in many ways in charge of his or her own publicity. And figuring out how to go about it can be an overwhelming task.

But don’t panic. Outskirts Press is here to support you long after your book has gone to press because you’re not just an author to us…you’re part of our publishing family. And we celebrate your success.

That’s why we’re excited to announce that we’ve created comprehensive marketing assistance for our One-Click, Ultimate, and Full-Color authors. This Book Launch Kit is included with your package and offers guidance on publicizing your book and getting it into the hands of your future customers.  Here’s what it includes:

  1. An official gold-sealed Certificate of Publication, recognizing and acknowledging your accomplishment.
  2. The 7 Tactics of Successfully Published Authors, which outlines 7 major marketing considerations
  3. A congratulatory letter outlining your next steps and how to take full advantage of all the free marketing assistance in your Publishing Center (like access to the new Book Marketing Bookshelf).
  4. An example of a custom bookmark, which details how you can create your own branded marketing materials.
  5. Details about the Personal Marketing Assistance available at Outskirts Press.
  6. The 28 Day Book Launch Calendar. (The first month of publication can be the most important, and sets the stage for long-term book marketing success, so we tell you exactly what to do every day for the first 4 weeks.)
  7. The Book Marketing RoadMap – an infographic to hang up on the wall of your office as you check-off important marketing milestones like identifying your audience, creating a marketing plan, hosting a book. launch party, acquiring book reviews, attending author events, and so much more.

As you move forward through your next steps, always remember that you’re not alone. Our team is here to help you. We celebrate when you win awards. We cheer for you as you earn 100% of your royalties. We love it when our authors keep in touch and tell us all of the great things that have happened since their book has been published.

And many of these things are made possible by the tools above – things that other publishers charge hundreds of dollars for – that we’re giving you with the amazing package you’ve already purchased.

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Get Priceless, FREE Marketing Advice from Outskirts Press


You’ve heard the best things in life are free, right? Well, Outskirts Press is giving away some of the best book marketing advice for free! Authors published through Outskirts Press have access to the growing ebook library in our Book Marketing Resource Center at no charge. It’s our way of saying thank you for putting your faith in us, and of helping pave the way to your success as a self-published author.

We’re excited to announce the addition of a new ebook in this ever-expanding resource library. With this book you’ll learn precisely what you need to do to get those desirable—and sometimes elusive—book reviews before readers on the largest book marketplace on the planet. Not only that, but you’ll learn how to increase the odds that these reviews will be positive.

This Amazon reviews resource is just the latest offering in our growing marketing resource library. From a one-stop listing of priceless marketing and promotional resources to a roadmap for a successful book launch party, the Book Marketing Resource Center from Outskirts Press is brimming with information you can put to use now to increase sales.

Each is downloadable and optimally organized for easy reference, so if you’re an Outskirts Press published author, you can log into your Publishing Center account to check out as many books as you’d like, whenever you’d like.  And did we mention it’s FREE?

This is just another way that Outskirts Press is providing exceptional service and help to their authors.  If you haven’t published with Outskirts Press yet, you can get started with a personal publishing consultant by clicking the link below.  What are you waiting for?


Announcing the New & Improved Marketing COACH

Long before Outskirts Press became the fastest-growing self-publishing company and became rated #1 by Top Consumer Reviews, we were doing something differently, something better: We were taking a serious interest in the success of our authors and their books after publication by providing each and every published author with consistent online advice, coaching, and help — the acronym for which we trademarked as The Marketing COACH.

Browse our testimonials or talk to our published authors through our Facebook community and you’ll consistently find rave reviews for this exclusive (and included) marketing offering from Outskirts Press.

Well, the Marketing COACH is about to get even better!  In January, the New & Improved Marketing COACH is launching for all our published and soon-to-be-published authors. Now, fiction writers will get marketing advice geared just for them, while children’s book writers will receive marketing tactics focused on promoting their juvenile books.  Different genres require different marketing tactics, and the New & Improved Marketing COACH will only send you the marketing information you need for YOUR book.

Of course, if you’ve published multiple books, in multiple genres, as so many of our authors have, the Marketing COACH will help you with each genre you’ve published under, from among four encompassing categories:





The New & Improved Marketing COACH joins the extensive array of included (free) book marketing support provided to all Outskirts Press authors, like…

  • The Free Book Marketing Resource and Bookshelf
  • The Book Marketing RoadMap and Tip Sheets
  • The 7 Tactics of Successfully Published Authors
  • The 28 Day Launch Calendar

If you’re an Outskirts Press author, keep a look out for your first contact from your New Marketing COACH during the week of January 9th. Happy holidays!

Master the Market with the New and Improved Author Marketing Calendar!

Have you ever found yourself on the far side of a deadline with no idea how you got there, and what you may have missed in the meantime? This isn’t an unusual feeling, especially in a world where the burden of keeping track of these deadlines falls on the very people–self-publishing authors–who are inevitably too busy to keep track or who don’t have access to the necessary information in order to keep themselves organized. It’s easy to lose track of deadlines when literally every day of every week of the year is packed full of opportunities!

This is where our 2017 Author Marketing Calendar comes in. At Outskirts Press, we know that successful book promotion requires organization, dedication, and access to resources. You supply the dedication–in spades!–and we supply the necessary organization and resources to keep you on track!


The Outskirts Press Author Marketing Calendar is a compilation of the most up-to-date, effective and actionable tactics available to help you market your book. It contains literally hundreds of promotional tips, advertising opportunities, important deadlines, social media recommendations, and information about marketing options and services available through Outskirts Press. It even includes photo opportunities for you to post to increase engagement on your social media sites and ideas on how to market your book when you’re on vacation! All of this information is organized in an easy to follow, month by month format including monthly marketing objectives and recommendations to help focus and direct your initiatives.

The Author Marketing Calendar is just one of many options that we offer to help our authors market their books! If you’ve published a book with Outskirts Press, you can purchase the new and improved 2017 Author Marketing Calendar for just $25 and it will become available for review and download immediately upon placing your order.

If you have any questions about the 2017 Author Calendar or any of our marketing options, please visit us online at, where you can view a complete list of our Marketing Services and engage in a live chat with our expert staff.

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