7 Reasons Why You Should Publish Your Book in Multiple Formats

As a self-publishing author, you have complete control over how your book is published and distributed. That’s good, because your ultimate goal is to reach a wide and diverse audience, and connecting with readers who prefer different formats is perhaps the best way to do this. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is what formats to publish your book in. Here’s why publishing your book in multiple formats is the most effective way to reach the biggest audience possible and increase the chances of your book becoming a huge success!

Catering to Reader Preferences
Every reader has their preferred format for enjoying books. By offering your book in multiple formats, you provide the flexibility to cater to various preferences. Some readers relish the tactile experience of holding a paperback, while others prefer the convenience and portability of ebooks, the immersive nature of audio books, or the durability and quality of a hardback. By accommodating different preferences, you ensure that your book resonates with a larger audience.

Increased Accessibility
Different formats make your book accessible to individuals with diverse needs and circumstances. For example, ebooks allow readers to carry an entire library in their pocket, making it convenient for those who are always on the go or prefer reading on digital devices. Audio books, on the other hand, open up your story to individuals with visual impairments, those who prefer a hands-free listening experience, or those who are learning to read (young children, for instance).

Expanding Market Reach
Each format represents a distinct market segment. Offering your book as a paperback allows you to target traditional bookstores, local libraries, and physical retail spaces, attracting readers who enjoy browsing shelves and discovering new titles. Ebooks provide access to a global market through online platforms, reaching readers across borders and time zones. Audio books tap into the rapidly growing audio content market, where listeners can consume your story during their daily commute, workouts, or while relaxing at home. Hardbacks are meant to endure (and/or meant to take a beating), so they’re ideal for memoirs, coffee table books, cookbooks, or children’s books.

Boosting Discoverability
Being available in multiple formats enhances your book’s discoverability. Readers searching for books online or browsing digital bookstores like Amazon will see all editions of your book, so having multiple formats increases the “appeal” of your sales page. Audiobook enthusiasts, on the other hand, can find your title on audio-specific platforms like Audible. Expanding your reach across various formats increases the chances of your book being “spidered” and listed by Google, and therefore discovered by readers who may not encounter it otherwise. This heightened discoverability is a key factor in achieving long-term success as an author.

Synergistic Marketing Opportunities
Having multiple formats creates synergistic marketing and selling opportunities. Promoting your book across different platforms and formats allows you to reach diverse audiences and leverage the unique strengths of each format. A successful ebook promotion can drive interest in the paperback or audio book versions, and vice versa. Cross-promotion across formats boosts visibility, generates excitement, and encourages readers to explore your book in different ways, maximizing your marketing efforts. That child who is just learning to read probably needs both the audiobook AND the hardback (for all your glorious illustrations). Bundle them together along with a teddy bear!

Meeting Industry Expectations
The publishing industry has evolved to embrace multi-format offerings. Readers now expect to find books in exactly the format THEY prefer, and not offering that option will put you at a disadvantage. By aligning with industry expectations, you demonstrate professionalism, adaptability, and a commitment to providing an exceptional reading experience. Meeting reader expectations reinforces your author brand and strengthens your reputation as a versatile and accessible writer.

Future-Proofing Your Book
Publishing with multiple formats future-proofs your book against changing market trends and technological advancements. The publishing landscape is constantly evolving, and new technologies and reader preferences emerge over time. By having your book available in different formats, you position yourself to adapt to these changes and stay ahead of the curve. Your book remains relevant and accessible to readers, ensuring its longevity and continued success.

When choosing a self-publishing company, make sure it offers multiple formats including paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks, and audiobooks.
Then, market your book in each format using different strategies. For example, you might promote your print book through traditional bookstores and online retailers, and you might promote your ebook and audiobook through social media and email marketing.

Be sure to keep track of the sales in each format so you can see which formats are performing the best. This information will help you make decisions about future marketing and publishing strategies.

If you’re serious about self-publishing your book, it’s important to consider publishing it in multiple formats. This will help you reach a wider audience, increase your sales, and build a stronger brand for yourself as an author.

Have you written a book that you’d like to publish?

Connect with a Publishing Consultant today to learn how Outskirts Press can help YOU publish YOUR masterpiece:

Finish Writing Your Book This Summer: 10 Inspiring Thoughts

As the warm rays of summer beckon, it’s the perfect time to finish that manuscript you’ve been working on. Summer is a time for relaxation, fun, and adventure. But it’s also a great time to finish writing your book. Here are ten motivating tips to help:

Embrace the Season of Renewal
Summer is a time of renewal and energy. Nature bursts with life, and there’s a palpable sense of possibility in the air. Harness this vibrant energy and infuse it into your writing. Let the warmth and sunshine fuel your imagination, giving your characters the vitality they need to come alive on the page.

Set Clear Goals
Define your writing goals for the summer with clarity and purpose. Break down your book into manageable milestones, such as completing chapters or reaching a specific word count. Setting clear goals helps you stay focused, measure progress, and build momentum, bringing you closer to the finish line.

Create a Writing Routine
Establish a writing routine that works for you. Dedicate specific blocks of time each day or week to immerse yourself in your writing. Consistency is key. Treat your writing time as sacred and non-negotiable, guarding it against distractions and interruptions. The more you commit to your craft, the closer you’ll be to completing your book.

Find Your Writing Space
Identify a writing space that inspires and stimulates your creativity. It could be a cozy corner in your home, a peaceful park bench, or a vibrant coffee shop. Experiment with different environments until you discover the one that ignites your writing muse. By creating a dedicated space, you signal to your mind that it’s time to dive into your story.

Overcome Writer’s Block
Writer’s block can be a formidable adversary, but don’t let it hinder your progress. Embrace techniques like freewriting, brainstorming, or taking a short break to recharge your creative batteries. Seek inspiration from books, movies, art, or simply stepping into nature. Remember, the key is to keep writing, even if the words don’t flow effortlessly at times. Trust that the breakthrough will come.

Find an Accountability Partner
Enlist a writing buddy or join a supportive writing group. Sharing your goals and progress with someone who understands the creative process can provide accountability and encouragement. Celebrate each other’s successes, share writing challenges, and offer feedback. Together, you can navigate the writing journey and cheer each other on towards completion.

Reward Yourself
As you reach significant milestones or complete drafts, reward yourself. Treat yourself to something you enjoy, whether it’s a relaxing day at the beach, a favorite meal, or indulging in a new book. Celebrating your achievements along the way boosts motivation and reminds you of the joy that comes from accomplishing your writing goals.

Embrace the Imperfections
Remember that writing is a process, and your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. Embrace imperfections and allow your creativity to flow without constraints. Give yourself permission to write without self-judgment, knowing that revisions and edits will refine your work later. Focus on capturing your story’s essence and let your unique voice shine through.

Visualize Your Success
Close your eyes and visualize the moment when you hold your finished book in your hands. Imagine the sense of accomplishment, pride, and fulfillment that washes over you. Use this vision as motivation during challenging times, reminding yourself of the incredible journey you’re on and the impact your words will have on readers.

Believe in Yourself
Above all, believe in yourself and your writing abilities. Embrace your creativity with confidence, knowing that your voice deserves to be heard. Trust in your unique perspective and the power of your story. Embrace the summer writing challenge with unwavering belief in your ability to finish your book and share it with the world.

This summer, let your self-publishing aspirations take flight. Embrace the energy of the season, set clear goals, establish a routine, and surround yourself with supportive peers. Overcome obstacles, celebrate milestones, and believe in the power of your story. The journey to completing your book may have its ups and downs, but the reward of seeing your book published and touching the hearts of readers around the world is immeasurable. Embrace the challenge, seize the opportunity, and let this summer be the season you unleash your creative potential and finish writing your book.

Have you written a book that you’d like to publish?

Connect with a Publishing Consultant today to learn how Outskirts Press can help YOU publish YOUR masterpiece:

Is It Better to Self-Publish or Get a Publisher?

If you are an aspiring author, you may have wondered: is it better to self-publish or get a publisher? This is a common question that many writers face when they want to share their work with the world. There are pros and cons to both options, but in this article, we will focus on why self-publishing may be a better choice for you.

Independent self-publishing is the process of publishing your book by yourself, without the involvement of a traditional publisher. You are responsible for everything from writing, editing, formatting, designing, printing, distributing, and marketing your book. You also get to keep all the rights and royalties from your book sales.

Getting a publisher is the process of finding an agent or a company that will accept your manuscript and publish it for you. They will take care of the editing, design, printing, distribution, and marketing of your book. They will also pay you an advance and a percentage of the royalties from your book sales. However, they will also have control over your book and its rights.

Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Control: Do you want to have complete control over your book, or are you willing to give up some control to a publisher?
  • Time: How much time are you willing to commit to the publishing process? Self-publishing can be a lot of work, and having a book traditionally published can take a long time.
  • Money: How much money are you willing to invest in the publishing process? Both options can be expensive, but for different reasons. Self-publishing can be expensive up front while traditional publishing can be expensive on the back-end, like for example, if you’re paying 15% of your earnings to an agent. Both options will have some marketing costs.
  • Goals: What are your goals for your book? Do you want to make money, or do you want to share your story with the world?

If you are willing to put in the time and effort (and absorb the learning curve), independently self-publishing your book by yourself can be a great way to get your book published. However, if you are looking for the support of a team of professionals and you are not interested in doing all of the work yourself, traditional publishing may be a better option for you.

A viable third option that more authors are choosing is using a full-service self-publishing company like Outskirts Press, which combines all the benefits of independent self-publishing with the convenience and expertise of traditional publishing.

So, which option is better for you? Here are some reasons why self-publishing may be a more successful and convenient (not to mention more likely) option for you than trying to get an agent or traditional publisher:

  • You have more creative freedom. When you self-publish, you can write whatever you want, however you want. You don’t have to follow any rules or guidelines from a publisher. You can choose your own genre, style, tone, length, title, cover, and content. You can also make changes or updates to your book anytime you want.
  • You have more control over your book. When you self-publish independently or with most self-publshing companies, you own all the rights to your book. You can decide how to price, distribute, and market your book. You can also choose which platforms and formats to publish your book on. You can publish your book as an ebook, paperback, hardcover, audiobook, or any combination of these. You can also sell your book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play, or any other online retailer. You can also create your own website or blog to promote your book. Independent self-publishing requires knowing how to do all of that yourself. Self-publishing with a self-publishing company requires having the budget to pay for the services you desire.
  • You have more potential income. When you self-publish, you keep all the profits from your book sales. You don’t have to share them with anyone else. You can set your own royalty rates. You can also earn more money from other sources such as ads, sponsorships, merchandising, or crowdfunding.
  • You have more flexibility and speed. When you self-publish, you can publish your book whenever you want. You don’t have to wait for months or years to get approval from an agent or a publisher. You can also publish as many books as you want in any quantity, frequency or order. You can publish a series of books in quick succession or publish standalone books in different genres or niches.
  • You have more chances of getting published. When you self-publish, you don’t have to face the rejection and competition that comes with getting a publisher. You don’t have to query hundreds of agents or publishers and hope that they will like your book enough to offer you a contract. You don’t have to worry about meeting their standards or expectations. You don’t have to deal with their feedback or criticism. You don’t have to compromise your vision or values for their sake.

No matter which option you choose, the most important thing is to write a great book. If you have a great book, you will have a better chance of success, whether you self-publish or get a publisher.

Have you written a book that you’d like to publish?

Connect with a Publishing Consultant today to learn how Outskirts Press can help YOU publish YOUR masterpiece:

Amore, Amore, Love Is in the Air! Tips on Writing a Successful Romance Novel

Roses on book near scattered petals

Have you ever considered writing a romance novel? . . . If not, what are you waiting for?

Romance is one of the best-selling genres and has a built-in audience addicted to the drama, intrigue, and complex characters created specifically for them. Danielle Steel is one of the highest-paid authors globally, with Nicolas Sparks as a close second.

Maybe it’s time to add YOUR name to that list . . .

But romance writing, unlike many other genres, usually follows a specific set of rules; some methods make some authors more successful than others. Here are some tips to consider as you embark on your career as a novelist:


As with any genre, it’s crucial that you read anything you can get your hands on, but it’s even more critical with romance. As you examine more and more books by different authors, you might see patterns that work for you and some that don’t. By reading the works of others, you’ll get a better idea of your own voice, and because romance is so personal, the result will be a book that will engage your reader and leave them begging you for more! And if you genuinely don’t love what you’re reading, then romance might not be the genre for you. Romance readers can tell when an author is not completely invested.


As with most fiction, there needs to be a conflict or problem that your characters must overcome, but with romance, you really need to think about what the issue will be because this will be the central theme of your book. It needs to be believable to the reader and falls somewhere in the middle of complex and simple. It can’t be a simple misunderstanding that could be solved in a short conversation. Still, on the other hand, it can’t be so complicated that it will get in the way of the couple’s happily ever after (which is an essential facet of romance writing).


Of course, your book will have secondary characters, but be careful how much you develop them. With romance writing, the focus should remain with the hero or, in most cases, the heroine. Generally speaking, most romance novels are told in first-person so that the reader will be truly invested in their story. Developing this point-of-view allows the reader to feel the emotional response you’re looking for when it comes to romance.


Yes, romance novels are all similar in some ways (for example, they generally all end with a happy couple). And while you should follow the general guidelines, make sure that your book is . . . well . . . YOU. While there might be comparable conflicts throughout many romance novels, you need to include your own twists and turns along the way that the reader doesn’t see coming. Be daring! This will keep the reader engaged and your novel moving at the perfect pace.


While romance always includes a physical relationship, pay attention to how this plays out in your book. Yes, you can include knee-weakening physical scenes, but an emotional connection between your characters is a must. This should be carefully developed, adding to the reader’s emotional experience and response to your book.

So, off you go! It’s time for YOU to face that blinking cursor on your screen and start writing the perfect romance novel you know you have inside of you. And if you’re not quite ready to start, maybe it’s time to settle on the couch with a novel that just might spark your own ideas!

If you would like to talk to an Outskirts Press Publishing Consultant about publishing YOUR romance novel or another book, call us at 1-888-672-6657 or visit our website at www.outskirtspress.com to chat with a Publishing Consultant.

We can’t wait to publish your masterpiece!

Go Wild, Then Write About It; Then Publish That Travel Book


Not every traveler is a storyteller, but every storyteller takes readers on a trip, whether it’s down memory lane or far afield, in far-flung places which may or may not be on their respective bucket lists. Writer J.E. Leigh observes that we all of us crave the feeling of being special, of reaching beyond our boundaries to seize on something grand and greater than ourselves, whether for a fleeting moment or the length of a book. Says Leigh, “This simple yearning is in us all, hardly recognizable, often only the merest hint that there is something more to us. This is why we seek out new places … we want to remember a somewhere that gave us the space to expand ourselves, to become a little more of who we truly are.”

Rather than reveling in our day-to-day lives, experiencing a travel book is often where we are most ourselves, our boundaries most vulnerable to being smashed. We remake our lives in reliving the travels of others, and we do so without breaking the bank.

But how does one write a good travel book? And how does one write a good travel book in the digital age, when one not only has other writers as competition but also bloggers, Instagrammers, and vloggers? We propose that there are three simple keys to writing and publishing a successful travel book that will set you apart.

ONE: Figure out what holds your experiences together. When you are traveling, often it’s enough simply to be on the move; everything feels like it holds together and makes sense together simply because it’s happening in sequence and to you. But when you sit down to write your book, whether you’re drawing on memory or your travel journals or your Instagram account, you’ll quickly realize that the story doesn’t fit perfectly together so easily afterward. So how do you keep all the various fiddly bits from flying to pieces? You figure out a narrative architecture, just as you would with fiction! Who are your characters, and what are readers meant to learn about them? Will you keep your book linear in time and place or will you let themes and life lessons be your chapter anchors? Diagram your various ideas and pick the one that feels right to you … and the most cohesive.

TWO: Craft the perfect name. Consider all the great titles to all of the equally great travel-related books you’ve read recently. Cheryl Strayed’s Wild comes to mind (short and sweet) but so does Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country (direct and evocative). There’s Stephan Braxton’s An American Nomad, which tells you everything you need to know; and Kay Peterson’s Chasing Rainbows, which raises images of light-drenched asphalt and lush hillsides rushing by. A good title is more than just a search term; it’s the anchor for your book, and central to how you conceive of your experience. Don’t wait to come up with a title. The moment you find your title is the moment you find the heart of your travel narrative.

THREE: Be authentic. You’ve heard it before, elsewhere, and often. But it can never be said too often that the most reliable key to success as a travel writer is to be true to yourself, and to your experience, and to your own voice. What do you have that an Instagram picture doesn’t? You have nuance. And what about the blogger? You have time and many, many more blank pages to unfold the nuances of your experience without the forced completion of the short post. Vloggers, too, rely on brief and to-the-point videos to highlight the visual impact of a place, but you get all of the beautiful intricacies of narrative, and characterization, and atmosphere, not to mention the opportunity to indulge in all the other senses that vlogging can’t capture — taste, smell, and the sense of touch.

Once you’re published, highlighting the manner in which your prose captures ALL the senses of a location makes for fantastic marketing opportunities since whoever said “a picture is worth a thousand words” was clearly a photographer instead of a writer. The weight of proof has become a burden, and no picture can make you feel what a powerfully atmospheric sentence can. Be authentic and bring your readers into your experience with all the power that words can muster!

Travel often brings out the best of us. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to further hone your craft and bring your unique world travels to your readers in new and fresh ways!

So, are you ready to publish your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively? If so, connect with Outskirts Press right now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

• Call 1-888-672-6657.
• Live chat at OutskirtsPress.com.
Schedule a no obligation consultation with a Publishing Consultant.

Time for a Spring Reset? Here’s How.

While spring often signifies new beginnings in literature and poetry (a rebirth, if you will), it’s often difficult to translate those slow and sudden changes which signify spring in the natural world into internal transformation, especially transformation of our work as writers. Here at Outskirts Press, we believe the charm and warmth of spring should not only put a pep in your step in your day-to-day life, but it should also be a time to pep up your writing and marketing efforts! Here are ten tips to get you started on resetting your writing during this season of rebirth:

  1. Let spring be a new beginning for you. Make a list of things you’d like to begin with a fresh start. Do you need to begin editing, creating a marketing plan, blogging, etc? Now’s the time to stop waiting for life to begin and just go ahead and get started.
  2. Use some springtime writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing and to help you “reset” after winter. Write about how the sunshine affects your mood and creativity, write about spring as a symbol of birth/life, write about your sensuous experience wandering around in the natural world in springtime, and so forth.
  3. Host an outdoor reading event in your community. Pick a nice sunny afternoon to encourage members of your community to get outside and share their love of the spoken and written word. This is a great way to network, to connect with other writers in your area and to have some fun in the sun. You might even make it a potluck and really break out the spring spirit!
  4. Start being more active on social media. Take pictures of the beauty around you, toss in a quote from a work of yours or from your recent read and share with your audience! Blog, post about new developments in your publishing process, connect with readers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  5. Spruce up your website. Who knows more about you than … well, you? And when has there ever been a better moment to give your digital image a refresh? Write up a fresh author bio that includes your recent accomplishments, publications, life developments, and so forth. Your latest hiking adventure counts, as does your recent reading list. Your readers want to get to know you, and your website is the best possible avenue for that!
  6. Join some forums, and join Goodreads! These are both terrific venues for marketing your book and they will help you connect more intimately with your audience. Goodreads, especially, offers some unique marketing opportunities.
  7. Host a drawing contest for the cover of your next book! The winner gets a free copy of your book and gets featured on your website and social media pages. What better way to drive traffic to your refreshed and revamped website than by seizing on the friendly competitive atmosphere of those recently freed from their winter doldrums?
  8. Add a “Store” page to your website. This is a great way to increase sales and to have your readers buy directly from you rather than some third party website. Monetization takes a small amount of effort, but a built-in shop or cross-linking to your Outskirts Press sales pages can do wonders for boosting access.
  9. Do some spring cleaning of your writing space and bookshelves. Decluttering your physical space is just as important as decluttering your emotional and digital spaces! Don’t forget to do the normal spring-cleaning to go along with your writing-specific spring-cleaning … after all, an uncluttered house is an uncluttered mind, and an uncluttered mind is able to focus on those details which really make a work come to life.
  10. Take advantage of this nice weather! Try writing outside, even if it’s just brainstorming. A little vitamin D and time in nature can go a long way. There’s science to prove this, but what more proof do you need than that rush of good feeling which comes from bringing your body back into the light and into balance with a world full of life?

Sometimes, all it takes is a quick reset for you to get your feet back beneath you and to push your manuscript from the “incomplete” stack to a polished work ready to send off to publish. Not sure what else you need to get started publishing your own book? Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com to chat with a Publishing Consultant or call us at 1-888-672-6657 to find out how to finish your manuscript and get it ready for publication.

Children’s Book Week May be Over, But Writing One is Just the Beginning

If you are one of the many writers around the world finding themselves stuck at home with more time to write, you may be one of the many children’s book authors who started writing a new book for kids last week in celebration of Children’s Book Week (May 4-10).

Well, Children’s Book Week May be over, but writing a book for children never grows old because there are SO many possibilities!  And nowadays, children’s books are more popular than ever, what with more lucky parents spending more time with their children.

Children’s books are shorter and quicker to write and edit! They’re easier and faster to publish. They’re simpler to market and promote. And, they’re more popular than ever!  If you’ve never fancied yourself a children’s book author, maybe it’s time to rethink that.

Let’s look at six things to keep in mind when writing and publishing children’s books:

  1. Mind your length. As any preschool teacher or children’s librarian can confirm, reading with children is most enjoyable for both parties when the book in question contains just enough text to carry the story along without exhausting a child’s attention.
  2. Pick a timely subject. Picture books are more likely to be picked up by parents, teachers, and librarians on the prowl if they tackle subjects which these adults want to prepare their children to face. Take advantage!  Talk about a perfect time to write about the “boogy monster” or “having cooties!”
  3. Don’t dumb it down. You heard right—baby talk doesn’t carry as compelling of a story as a book which treats its younger audiences with a rich vocabulary and age-appropriate but sophisticated sentence structure.  Kids who are learning to read are much more accepting of new information than when they become kids who are reading to learn.
  4. Voice morals carefully, and cleverly. Few will argue against picture books as prime tools for teaching sound decision-making skills, but most of these success stories find clever, quiet ways to do so without alienating readers by being too “preachy.”  Use subtle metaphors for larger issues (ahem, like boogy monsters and cooties, for example).
  5. Think about those end materials! Many of today’s best picture books include a few pages at the end which include notes for adults on how to make best use of the book in teaching a skill or an idea to young readers. Hint: this is especially useful to parents grappling with becoming educators as a result of stay-home directives.
  6. Humor them! Children have a keen sense of humor, and often embrace farce and comedy with both zeal and a squeal. While the story itself can’t always be humorous, more often than not, the illustrations can be.

At Outskirts Press, we are here to support you during every stage of the publishing process, whether you’re using our One-Click Publishing suite to publish your next children’s book, or if you need custom-drawn full-color illustrations. We offer a comprehensive list of services which we hope you’ll take advantage of as you work to translate your vision to the page! Your kids, grand kids (and even their friends and family) will thank you!


Feel the Spirit Move You With These 6 Writing Tips For Your Next Christian or Spiritual Book!

Once upon a time, an American schoolgirl wrote to eminent Christian scholar C.S. Lewis. The year was 1959, and she wanted to know if he had any suggestions for her on the art of writing. He sent her a list of eight rules, including admonitions to turn off the radio and dial out the white noise of daily life, write with the ear and not the eye, write about the things which interest you, and know the meaning of every word you use. His most revealing point of advice, however, was to be clear, and to remember that readers can’t know your mind. “Don’t forget to tell them exactly what they need to know to understand you,” he wrote. And if you’re the author of a Christian or Spiritual book, this advice resonates with a special power. After all, there’s a lot at stake when it comes to misunderstanding our place in the world and in relationship to the divine.

How can you go about writing in a way that helps readers understand you? Here are six recommendations for getting started:

  1. Do your due diligence. Research, research, research. Knowing your readers, what they’re reading, and how they find their books is key to engaging your ideal readers, in Christian and Spiritual subjects more than most. Reader behavior in these groups is radically different from reader behavior in other genres, such as mainstream science fiction or romance.
  2. Know thy reader. Building upon the previous point, it’s really important to not just know your reader but be able to articulate the anticipated audience for your book. Who might actually pluck your book off of a bookstore shelf and spend money with your writing persona in order to truly understand what you have to say? The more specific you can be, the better, because this will help you refine your text before publication and market your book after publication.
  3. Polish those rough edges. Writing well and ensuring that your manuscript reads well before submitting it for publication are vital processes, as there’s nothing which will turn off readers so quickly as a poorly edited text. Don’t just depend on your own eyes, either, and expand your beta readers to include a professional who edits for a living. An expert will know exactly what works and what doesn’t, and will save you time (which is, ultimately, money).
  4. Know and love your material. If you don’t already believe that you are the best person to write this particular book, and that the world needs this book, then take some more time to spend with the material. Full immersion is often the only way to truly feel like an expert, and your book will most definitely benefit if you have the conviction that you and it are a match made in the stars, or Heaven.
  5. Write what’s next. It doesn’t take long to notice that there are a lot of books out there in the world; all it takes is a five-minute visit to your local public library or indie bookstore. There are practical as well as personal reasons to write something new rather than something which has already been written in twenty or a hundred other books: a book which dares to do what hasn’t been done will sell. Readers want the next new thing in their hands, not a threadbare trope or ten. And you, as an author, know when you’re departing from the “has-been-dones,” and it’s a rewarding feeling, isn’t it?
  6. Think big, and think ahead. You’re an author, which makes you a visionary. You’re able to imagine not just the outline for a book, but a world in which the book already exists, and you’re willing to make it happen. Some writers get hung up on the fact that one writing prompt or strategy which used to work for them doesn’t anymore, and fall into the black hole of the dreaded Writer’s Block as a result. Don’t linger on the past; think of what will work for you in the here and now, and don’t hesitate to experiment with form, style, and voice as you forge ahead in writing your manuscript. If you find yourself struggling, try something new … or try taking a moment to breathe. The most stifling of pressures are the ones we impose on ourselves!

And there you have it: six fresh ways to hone your craft as you draft your next book! Still not sure what you need to get started publishing your next Spiritual or Christian manuscript? Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com to chat with a Publishing Consultant or call us at 1-888-672-6657 to find out how to finish your manuscript and get it ready for publication.

To see our staff picks of amazing Christian books from many of our published authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here. We keep a separate Pinterest page for Spiritual books, which you can find here.

Write, Finish, Edit: A Writer’s Guide to Moving Forward and Finishing

We’ve all pictured the cloistered writer hunched in solitude over a notepad or laptop, furiously scratching out word after glorious word well into the wee hours. The brilliance flows faster than he can capture it on paper until the day he triumphantly types “The End” …

Well, that’s how we imagine it, but it rarely goes so smoothly! Writing a book is a big project and a long process, and the direction is not always obvious or easy. It’s common — even normal — for an author to hit roadblocks. Call it writer’s block, brain cramps or something else, but it gets us all at one time or another.

Let’s face it: We need more than an imagination and determination to get to the finish line. Sometimes we need outside intervention, and it comes in many forms. Here are some writer’s block-breakers you can seek out next time the creative juice stop flowing:

  • Inspiration. It can be as simple as a walk or a favorite song, or as stimulating as a brainstorming session with another writer. Enlist someone you trust to motivate you to think about your story in a different light.
  • Advice. Sometimes the inspiration is there but you just need specific, practical guidance to iron out the wrinkles in your plot, character development or story arc.
  • Unbiased feedback. Enthusiastic cheerleading feels good, but it’s not always what you need. If you’re relying on friends and family for feedback, you’re better off with brutal honesty … but how many people you know are willing to provide it?
  • Editing. Leave this one to a professional. While it’s fine to lean on friends, family and fans for the final proofread for typos, hire or trade services with a professional editor to do the heavy lifting. They’ll not only whip your grammar, syntax, punctuation and spelling into shape, but will also make sure your story is organized optimally for clarity and enjoyment.
  • Help finishing. There’s no shame in handing off your “baby” to another writer. Ghostwriters are a poorly kept secret in the literary world and extremely common. Odds are some of your favorite bestsellers were penned — either wholly or in part — by a ghostwriter. A talented ghostwriter is adept at adapting to your voice and creating a finished work that is everything you envisioned, or even better than you pictured!

When writer’s get stuck, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Writing consultants, editors, Publishing Consultants, proofreaders and ghostwriters all fulfill different needs, so figure out how extensive your manuscript issues are before deciding on a path to getting it back on track.

Not sure what you need to get over that writing hump? Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com to chat with a Publishing Consultant or call us at 1-888-672-6657 to find out how to finish your manuscript and get it ready for publication.


Prepare for National Poetry Month this April

Did you know that the month of April is, among other things, National Poetry Month? This makes April the perfect month to publish that book of poems you’ve been thinking about for a while, and not just because this month provides some great marketing opportunities; it’s also the perfect month to think about the reasons why we write, and the ways in which we put words together on the page. It’s a month to re-envision our craft as wordsmiths!

First, I might point you to the experience of Mirtha Michelle Castro Marmol, whose first book of poems, Letters, to the Men I Have Loved, did more than moderately well … it did so exceptionally well as to remain on Amazon’s bestseller lists for months! Mirtha Michelle Castro Marmol published through Outskirts Press, and in our interview with her on our blog, she said that the most rewarding part of being published “is and will always be” the ability her book had “to touch people.” Said Ms. Castro Marmol, “It’s crazy because I didn’t think people really read books anymore. But for me, having these girls go and buy my book, and spend their twenty dollars or so on Letters … it’s amazing, that someone believes in things still.” Readers have been snapping up copies of her books, both in physical and digital forms, at such a rate as to firmly prove that people still “really read books” … including poetry!

So how do successful poets do it?

Success as a self-publishing poet is all about consistency, commitment, and personal development. To help you become the best poet you can be, here are three ways to improve your writing as well as self-publishing your work.

  1. Read, Read, Read! Any time you want to improve your skills and become more successful, reading can help. Read poetry! Read books and articles about writing and publishing poetry! Read information about self-publishing! Read anything that inspires you to write and become the best poet you can be, but don’t limit yourself to poetry and industry-related books. Read fiction, non-fiction, magazines, newspapers, blogs, and advertisements. Read everything and anything you can get a hold of. You never know what will inspire you!
  2. Stay Committed: If you want to be successful, you need to commit yourself to your craft. Make time to write every day. Look for ways to continue to learn and grow. Figure out what motivates you and include those motivations in your daily life. Share your goals with others so they can help you accountable. Never give up on dreams.
  3. Be Consistent: Whether you are writing, editing, or marketing, be consistent. Work on your poetry every day. Set a schedule for when you will write, edit, or market your work. Set goals for yourself, and make a plan to achieve them. Successful writers don’t write sporadically; they work on their craft in some way every single day.

Supposing that these three suggestions have provided you with the motivation you need, what next? Well, turn this list on its head and consider it a starting point … and a list of tips for starting your next book! The path to publication may not always be smooth, but there are ways to make sure it is well-lit and passable. And that’s why we’re here to provide you with the services and resources you need to move from a grand idea for your next book to a finished, published book of poems for the next generation.

Not sure what you need to get started publishing your poetry? Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com to chat with a Publishing Consultant or call us at 1-888-672-6657 to find out how to finish your manuscript and get it ready for publication. To see our staff picks of amazing poetry books from many of our authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here.