Don’t Let That Blank Page Scare You!

There is nothing more frustrating to an author than a cursor blinking on a blank page. You sit and wait for inspiration, drink too much coffee, and yet that cursor winks…mocking and teasing you.

This horrifying experience can only be matched by getting midway through a manuscript, the first pages a masterpiece, only to get stuck and wonder where to go from there.

Every writer has been there; these moments define the term “self-doubt” and, if the block is really bad, a possible forehead on the desk and a wail of “what am I doing?”

Since we’ve all experienced this, we know that there are really only a couple of options when these moments happen: you either have to walk away from a manuscript that’s keeping you up at night or seek help.

And that’s where Outskirts Press comes in.

Because our main goal is to get you to the publishing finish line (hopefully without a forehead dent on your desk), we have established a team of skilled, professional writers to help you over that inspirational hump with a one hour Writing Consultation. We not only want you to be able to hold your hard work in your hands in the form of a published book, we want you to be excited and proud of what you’ve accomplished.

After all, isn’t that why we’re all here?

For $99 per one-hour block, our time is yours. You can work through things like:

  • Troubleshoot plot, characters, technique, or execution of your ideas
  • Work through writer’s block
  • Take inventory of usable book materials
  • Organize book ideas into a usable outline
  • Get ideas on how to proceed with a book
  • Gather ideas on how to finish
  • Negotiate tricky passages
  • Ask for general writing advice
  • Get help moving to the next step in writing

Once your consultation is complete, your consultant will provide you with a summary of what you’ve discussed so that you can reference it as you successfully move forward with your manuscript.

As many authors know, it’s not the overall concept of a book that’s hard — the challenges lie in the details. So let us help you work through them and possibly expedite the writing process for you so that that moment when you’re holding that book in your hands comes quicker than you imagined.

After all…you’ve waited long enough to make your dreams come true.

Editing Tips for Busy Writers

When readers are browsing for a new book, they’re going to be drawn to a great book cover and a catchy title. They’ll read the blurb on the back cover, but before actually taking the plunge and hitting the BUY button, most readers will skim the first few pages of a book that interests them… And if these pages are riddled with errors, the consumer is off to the next title.

In order to be taken seriously, self-published books must be professionally edited.

Often authors are so anxious to get their books in print that they skip this crucial step. Others feel their book is fine because their mother or their next-door neighbor checked it over… But take a look at Amazon reviews, and you’ll find that the biggest turnoff to a reader is a poorly edited book filled with silly mistakes and serious flaws — problems that an editor would never let slip through the cracks. If the reader is preoccupied with incorrect punctuation, word choice, and grammar, they won’t be able to focus on what your book is trying to say.

Most importantly, no matter how thrilling your thriller or educational your how-to, if your book is unedited (or edited by your former first-grade teacher), you will very likely be perceived as an amateur.

Many authors feel confident in their own editing abilities and believe their book is fine without a fresh pair of eyes to review it. They might run a spellcheck, check for typos, and call it good. But a professional editor does so much more than check for spelling.

What can an editor do for you?

A good editor keeps the rules of the English language in mind but also preserves the writer’s unique voice. Each writer is different, and sometimes their style overrides mandates handed down by the grammar police. A good editor will recognize and nurture individual style.

Copyeditors focus on a book line by line, looking for spelling and grammatical problems, consistency, clarity, word choice, sentence structure, verb tense, dialogue, and other issues of style. They also look at the big picture and flag general problem areas in plot, character, point of view, and overall flow.

Did your main character’s name change halfway through your book? An editor will catch it. They’ll also catch embarrassing errors like anachronisms (a smartphone in 1932?) or plot problems (how can your heroine be in two places at one time?). Does the book switch back and forth from past to present tense? Is it filled with long, confusing sentences and page-long paragraphs? An editor will fix these problems.

It’s difficult to edit your own work, as just about any author will tell you. Whether you’re a bestselling author or a brand-new writer with your first book, having an objective professional review work that is so close to your heart is a crucial step. And the readers you’re hoping to attract will be more willing to hit that BUY button if they’re not distracted by poor presentation and awkward sentence structure!

***

Outskirts Press offers high-quality copyediting services for manuscripts of all lengths and types, regardless of whether you plan on publishing your book with us or somewhere else. Click the button below to get started and to connect with your personal copyeditor today!

Resolutions for 2016 That Every Published Author Should Make

We’re halfway through the month… Are you still on track with your New Year’s Resolutions? Don’t let the momentum of your resolve slow down! Here are some goals specifically tailored to the self-published author:

  1. Make yourself accessible. If you don’t already provide readers, media contacts, and others several ways to contact you, get cracking on it. The easier you can be reached by important movers and shakers, the better your chances of moving forward as a successful author.
  2. Go digital. Take your title to the e-book market and resolve to get a piece of that profitable pie. E-books make up about 20% of the book buying market!
  3. Make a video. A Book Video Trailer belongs on every author’s list of resolutions. It’s an instant and visually stunning way to let readers and booksellers know what your book is all about and why they should buy it.
  4. Research. Resolve to spend this year researching your genre, honing your craft, learning about the publishing industry, and familiarizing yourself with book trends and marketing tips.
  5. Keep a journal. If you’re serious about writing, keeping a journal can help you create new ideas, expand on other ideas, or simply inspire you to keep going. (A notepad by the bed is also a good idea for those middle-of-the-night flashes of brilliance!)
  6. Sign away. Resolve to set up book signings at your local bookstores. Independent stores are your best bet, but reach out to specific locations of the big chains as well. Even if your title is not on their shelves, they may let you sign and discuss your book to draw in customers.
  7. Keep it fresh. Plan to update and refresh your Amazon listing periodically throughout the year. This keeps search engines interested as they scan your new content, and it could get you bumped up in the search engine listings.
  8. Go Hollywood. Want to take your book marketing to a new level in 2016? Outskirts Press has relationships with Hollywood insiders that can help you get your book to the silver screen.
  9. Go on tour. You can personally visit book fairs around your region — or even around the world. Or you can consider sending your book on a Virtual Book Tour. With this option, you and/or your book can make “appearances” on blogs and social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube — while you stay in the comfort of your own home!
  10. Be a mentor. Most writers have benefitted from the wisdom and advice of other writers. As a published author, why not help a newbie out as they negotiate the writing and publishing process?
  11. Retool. When sales stagnate, play around with pricing, marketing strategy, even the book itself if necessary. Sometimes a little tweak like a discount or a re-release with bonus material can make a world of difference.
  12. Get reviewed. Submit your book to book review sites. Resolve to submit once or twice a month, or whatever schedule you can manage.
  13. Polish your proofreading. This year, resolve to make your writing as expert as possible. If you’re having trouble, consider hiring a professional editor to clean up the typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors in your writing.
  14. Promote yourself. You’re taking all the right marketing steps for your book, but don’t forget to market yourself. Resolve to position yourself frequently as an author — it’s part of your identity!
  15. Join a writer’s group. If you’re serious about becoming a successful author, it’s crucial to continually work on your craft. A writer’s group not only provides support; you can get tips and feedback and like-minded writers who can help promote your work.
  16. Book it. Set up a schedule for contacting local and regional bookstores about carrying your book. Be sure to stock up on author copies so you’ll always have one on hand to provide to interested book sellers.
  17. Take some time for YOU. A healthy, well-rested writer is a more successful writer!

Let Outskirts Press help you with your marketing this year! A Personal Marketing Assistant can help you with a plan or opportunities if you need some assistance.

GET A MARKETING CALENDAR

Successful book promotion requires an organized plan. Let the Outskirts Press annual Marketing Calendar draw your attention to some of the most important deadlines and most helpful marketing options/services in the industry.

Click to order
TOP 10 DIAMOND BOOKS FROM OUTSKIRTS PRESS AUTHORS

Resolutions for 2016 That Every Aspiring Author Should Make

self publishing newsletter

We’re halfway through the month… Are you still on track with your New Year’s Resolutions? Don’t let the momentum of your resolve slow down! Here are some goals specifically tailored to writers who want to become published authors:

  1. Remember why you became a writer. Sure, there will be times when you don’t feel like writing or you’re frustrated with what you’ve written. Remind yourself why you feel passionate about writing and resolve to reach your writing goals in 2016.
  2. Use tools. There are tons of apps that can help you make and keep your writing resolutions. We like WriteOMeter, which lets you set up goals, timelines, and writing prompts.
  3. Make yourself accountable. Whether you’re stalled out halfway through your book or still in the planning stages, let people know you plan to finish your book this year. They’ll help hold you accountable when your own motivation is flagging.
  4. Polish your proofreading. This year, resolve to work on the basics and make your writing as expert as possible. If you’re having trouble, we can help! Check out our services here and hire a professional editor to clean up the typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors in your writing.
  5. Promote yourself. You may not be a published author YET…but it’s never too early to define yourself as a writer. Resolve to position yourself frequently as an aspiring author — it’s part of your identity!
  6. Join a writer’s group. If you’re serious about becoming a successful author, it’s crucial to continually work on your craft. A writer’s group not only provides support; you can get tips and feedback from like-minded writers who can help promote your work.
  7. Business cards. Get a jump on marketing your book and have professional business cards printed. Use them to self-promote as you progress through your writing.
  8. Make yourself accessible. Make sure there are plenty of ways for people to reach out to you —  phone, snail mail, email, social media, etc. This will prove vital, even long before your book is finished.
  9. Find your platform. If you don’t already have a writer “identity” on social media, get going on that. This should be separate from your regular social media pages. It’s a great space for you to poll potential readers, gauge interest in your project, and create a buzz, even before it’s published.
  10. Research your market. Resolve to learn all you can about your chosen genre. Now, while you’re still developing your project, is the perfect time to find out what’s big and what’s burgeoning on the book market so your work will be timely when it’s finally done.
  11. Go NaNo. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a writing challenge that takes place throughout the month of November each year. The contest challenges writers to produce 50,000 words in 30 days, and many a novel has come to fruition because of NaNoWriMo. Sign-ups start in October, so resolve to get on board this year.
  12. Enter contests. Short story contests, essay contests, poetry contests —  they all validate us as writers. Resolve to enter a competition several times a year to keep you writing and maybe even win some money!
  13. Be open to advice. If you’re unsure of your path, Outskirts Press has a staff of experienced book gurus who can advise you on how to proceed. Even if you’re not done writing, an assistant may be able to offer you advice or services that you didn’t know were available to you —  assistance that could get your book to market much sooner and with much greater success.
  14. Go “ghost” hunting. If you’ve come to the conclusion that a book is too big of a project for you, resolve to get help. A ghostwriter can write everything from small edits to entire passages and chapters to a full book from scratch.
  15. Back up often. Don’t lose valuable data that could set you back. Resolve to back up important files to a cloud service or external hard drive so you’ll never lose data —  and you’ll sleep better at night.
  16. Be a mentor. Most writers have benefitted from the wisdom and advice of other writers. Why not help share what you’ve learned about the writing and/or publishing process with someone else?
  17. Take some time for YOU. A healthy, well-rested writer is a more successful writer!

The New Year is the perfect time to either start that writing project or finish it — and get it published! Not sure where to start? Let Outskirts Press help!

RECEIVE OUR AUTHOR PLATFORM SET-UP, FOR FREE ($499 value) WHEN YOU START PUBLISHING TODAY!

This month you can get the effective Author Platform Set-up Through Social Media service FREE when you start publishing today. Start right now and choose to publish with our industry-leading Diamond publishing service or our full-color Pearl publishing service.
Outskirts Press can launch your book into the social media landscape with the following services included in the package:

  • Establish author accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and WordPress
  • Set up social media profiles on each platform
  • Identify and establish relevant connections with users on each social media platform
  • Assist you in building their unique online presence

Start today with the promotion code FreeSocial2016 when you choose to publish with our industry-leading Diamond publishing service or our full-color Pearl publishing service to receive the FREE Author Platform Set-up Through Social Media option.

In addition to receiving a FREE Author Platform Set-Up, you’ll also receive the following with your Diamond package:

  1. Standard Press Release. $99 value included free when you order your Diamond publishing service today.
  2. Audio Excerpt. $99 value included free with your Diamond order today and a great way to share your voice with your readers, literally!
  3. E-Book Edition (pdf). $99 value included free with your Diamond publishing service.
  4. Cover Image. $99 value included free and a great way to enhance your cover.
  5. Spring Arbor additional distribution. $99 value to complement the Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Ingram availability already included with your Diamond publishing service.

All in all, you’re looking at almost $1,000 of free stuff in January!

Click to order the Diamond Package
Click to order the Pearl Package
TOP 5 PUBLISHING HEADLINES
AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT & SUCCESS STORY

“I find that working with the publishing staff is a pleasure. Dana and her staff are all highly competent and thorough in the performance of their duties. I hope to work with them again in the near future.”

James C. Maddox grew up in Florida, where he still lives today. He retired after 27 years at a high-tech plant for the Department of Energy. At almost the same time, Jim completed another 27-year career with the Florida National Guard. He began as a private and worked his way up to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Jim’s love of the outdoors and wildlife knowledge is expressed in his other books, Lake Pan and The Dream.

In the highly anticipated sequel to Lake Pan, Jim and the gang are called upon to help when a rancher down in south Florida reports a problem: Something is eating the rancher’s herd of prizewinning experimental Brahma cattle. As the new director of the South Regional Fish and Game office, Anna Mae Jones knows that the rancher’s problem has landed squarely in her lap as he claims the marauding animal, whatever it is, is coming from her jurisdiction-the Everglades National Park. Anna sends one of her top park rangers to investigate the rancher’s losses, but he returns with disturbing news. The mysterious animal is big and unidentifiable, at least to Sgt. Wayne Shucks, who asks his new boss for help. Anna immediately thinks of the group of fishermen who helped further her career earlier at a lake called Pan. The men are ex-service members of the United States Armed Forces, and with their military skills and vast knowledge of the region’s fish, animals, and swamplands, Jim and his gang are perfectly suited for this assignment. If only Anna can drag them away from their bass fishing on Lake Pan.

– James C. Maddox, author of Bowfin

Get Professional Writing Help With the Writing Consultation Option!

Every writer needs a jump-start at one time or another. If you’re struggling with certain aspects of your book or you’ve simply run out of steam, the Writing Consultation service from Outskirts Press may be just what you need to fine-tune your writing and get your book back on track. This is your ticket to becoming a published author!

In a  Writing Consultation with one of our professional writers, you have a one-on-one brainstorming session to address the writing issues that have slowed your progress…or ground it to a halt. Our consultants are experienced writers with a thorough knowledge of grammar, composition, and other writing building blocks. You’ll also receive valuable advice and a plan of action for moving forward.

For $99 per one-hour block, you can use your Writing Consultation time to:

  • Troubleshoot plot, characters, technique, or execution of your ideas
  • Work through writer’s block
  • Take inventory of usable book materials
  • Organize book ideas into a usable outline
  • Get ideas on how to proceed with a book
  • Gather ideas on how to finish
  • Negotiate tricky passages
  • Ask for general writing advice
  • Get help moving to the next step in writing

Afterward, your writing consultant will provide a follow-up summary of your meeting, along with constructive information you can use to overcome personal writing obstacles and regain your forward momentum.

At Outskirts Press, we know how difficult the process of writing can be, and we want to see you succeed. Our Writing Consultation service is designed to help writers begin publishing.

Click here to find out how we can help you!

The Importance of Editing for Self-Publishing Authors

When readers are browsing for a new book, they’re going to be drawn to a great book cover and a catchy title. They’ll read the blurb on the back cover, but before actually taking the plunge and hitting the BUY button, most readers will skim the first few pages of a book that interests them… And if these pages are riddled with errors, the consumer is off to the next book. In order to be taken seriously, self-published books must be professionally edited.

Often self-publishing authors are so anxious to get their books in print that they skip this crucial step. Others feel their book is fine because their mother or their next-door neighbor checked it over… But take a look at Amazon reviews, and you’ll find that the biggest turnoff to a reader is a poorly edited book filled with silly mistakes and serious flaws — problems that an editor would never let slip through the cracks. If the reader is preoccupied with incorrect punctuation, word choice, and grammar, they won’t be able to focus on what your book is trying to say.

Most importantly, no matter how thrilling your thriller or educational your how-to, if your book is unedited (or edited by your former first-grade teacher), you will very likely be perceived as an amateur. Many authors feel confident in their own editing abilities and believe their book is fine without a fresh pair of eyes to review it. They might run a spellcheck, check for typos, and call it good. But a professional editor does so much more than check for spelling.

What can an editor do for you?

  • A good editor keeps the rules of the English language in mind but also preserves the writer’s unique voice. Each writer is different, and sometimes their style overrides mandates handed down by the grammar police. A good editor will recognize and nurture individual style.
  • Copyeditors focus on a book line by line, looking for spelling and grammatical problems, consistency, clarity, word choice, sentence structure, verb tense, dialogue, and other issues of style. They also look at the big picture and flag general problem areas in plot, character, point of view, and overall flow.
  • Did your main character’s name change halfway through your book? An editor will catch it. They’ll also catch embarrassing errors like anachronisms (a smartphone in 1932?) or plot problems (how can your heroine be in two places at one time?). Does the book switch back and forth from past to present tense? Is it filled with long, confusing sentences and page-long paragraphs? An editor will fix these problems.

It’s difficult to edit your own work, as just about any author will tell you. Whether you’re a bestselling author or a brand-new writer with your first book, having an objective professional review work that is so close to your heart is a crucial step. And the readers you’re hoping to attract will be more willing to hit that BUY button if they’re not distracted by poor presentation and awkward sentence structure!

Are you ready to edit and publish that book?

RECEIVE FREE EDITING WHEN YOU START PUBLISHING TODAY!


Any author who wants to publish a high-quality book and have it taken seriously needs professional copyediting.

This month you can get high-quality, basic copyediting service for up to 15,000 words for FREE (additional words will be billed at 1.6 cents per word).

The professional copyediting service provides a thorough basic edit of a manuscript’s punctuation, spelling and grammar. There is, of course, some variation in accepted styles these days, and elements like comma usage can be quite subjective, as well, so Outskirts Press editors use the “Track Changes” option in the original Word file to make recommendations or suggestions for an author. They do not change the original manuscript. This preserves the purity of the story and the individuality of the author’s voice.

Start today with the promotion code FreeEdit2015 when you choose to publish with our industry-leading Diamond publishing service or our full-color Pearl publishing service to receive the FREE Professional Copyediting today. Don’t delay!

Click to order the Diamond Package
Click to order the Pearl Package
TOP 5 PUBLISHING HEADLINES
AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT & SUCCESS STORY

“I have been a business consultant for over 30 years and have extensive experience marketing myself and evaluating the staff and processes that are in place in organizations with which I do business. When I started looking for a publishing company, Outskirts Press impressed me immediately. My decision to go with them was absolutely the right one. I am so impressed that I plan on publishing the sequel Dawn of the Tobacco Wars through Outskirts Press this fall.”

Peter Prichard has spent the last thirty-eight years helping thousands of individuals reach their goals. He has written dozens of articles and several book chapters on how to do that. He began his career by providing career guidance to college students, and he has been particularly interested in assisting young adults and those who want to drive positive change in their particular organizations, their community, and the world. As an acknowledgment of those efforts, he received the Youth Advocate Award from the town in New Jersey.

Dawn Mortenson moved to Fair Shore, Connecticut and within 24 hours of her arrival at Fair Shore High she realized that the town condoned the sexual assault of young girls. She alienated most of the population of the town after her confrontation with the All American football hero found him in the hospital. The ensuing battle landed many friends and foes in jail, the hospital or an early grave. Dawn uses music, the media, a team of young and old allies and a combination of personal courage and mental toughness to change the town’s attitude toward the sexual abuse of young people forever, although at a huge personal cost.
– Peter Prichard, author of Dawn of Hope

Ways a Virtual Book Tour Can Promote Your Book

Gone are the days when a writer must pound the pavement, toting hardcopies of their book and media kits from one book reviewer to another, one bookstore or news outlet to the next in order to get exposure.

Things have changed when it comes to book marketing. As a published author, you would be wise to tune into the changing methods by which news outlets and bookstores are getting information and exploit these changes in your marketing efforts. This is where a Virtual Book Tour can help.

A Virtual Book Tour can give you an edge in gaining visibility for your book when physical distance, time and budget constraints don’t allow for an actual physical tour. When you can’t travel from place to place, a Virtual Book Tour ensures you and your book are still making “appearances” on the blogosphere and social networking sites &mdash appearances that live online and in search engines forever (much longer than any in-person event lasts).

Here are the top 6 reasons to hold your own virtual book tour:

  • Spread word quickly over a wide range of venues and sites
  • Make multiple “appearances” on the blogosphere and social media
  • Capture attention and set your tone instantly
  • Have your message available forever on the blogosphere
  • Reach new audiences with little to no effort
  • Open the door to follow-up book reviews and interviews

If you’re too busy to put together your own virtual book tour or aren’t quite sure how you would begin, the Virtual Book Tour option from Outskirts Press can help you.

With the Virtual Book Tour through Outskirts Press, you receive the following:

  • Outskirts Press announces your Virtual Book Tour to the blogosphere
  • You receive every inquiry in response to the announcement about your book
  • Virtual Book Tour Packet, which includes all of the materials you need to follow-up with the bloggers quickly and easily in order to schedule your “appearance” on their blog, website, or social network
  • In most cases your appearance may include a book review and/or an author interview
  • Spotlight Appearance on the Outskirts Press blog, which receives its own announcements on Twitter and Facebook

Don’t wait to promote your self-published book!