Amazon Featured Book of the Week

Now available on Amazon.com!


The Senators’ Suitcase

by Mitch Engel

(5 Stars – 19 Customer Reviews)

Price: $22.95

Mitch Engel’s “The Senators’ Suitcase.” Intriguing and satirical, this thought-provoking book is about Senator Beth Davenport, a revered statesperson with a spotless reputation. As the nation mourns her passing, Troy, her son, finds a suitcase among her belongings. Curious, he opens it and finds millions of dollars in cash. He now questions whether his mother was just another dirty politician. He wants answers as he tries to reconcile her public persona with her private one. The Senator’s Suitcase weaves contemporary themes with timeless values and an unexpected conclusion.

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Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time of this posting; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon.com.© Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Amazon, Amazon.com, the Amazon.com logo, and 1-Click are registered trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon.com, 410 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-5210.

 

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Announcing the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalists from Outskirts Press

The Next Generation Indie Book Awards remain the largest nonprofit book awards program for independent or self-published authors and publishers. Now almost fifteen years old, the NGIBA was founded in order to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books in 74 different content and 4 additional design categories. And, once again Outskirts Press is well-represented, with a number of brilliant self-published authors taking home honors in several categories.

The awards are presented by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group in cooperation with Marilyn Allen of Allen O’Shea Literary Agency. Congratulations to the following Outskirts Press authors for your amazing work and boundless talent! As a side note, now might be the perfect time to reach out to the Allen O’Shea Literary Agency with a carefully crafted query for representation if you’re on this list…

Have you written a potentially award-winning book that needs high-quality publishing & marketing services to help you on your way toward possible agency representation? If so, join award-winning authors like these by publishing with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively.

 

Publish Today and Receive up to 30 Copies and an Amazon Kindle Edition Free

They say good things come in threes. That is certainly true when you publish with Outskirts Press. Purchase the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color or any One-Click publishing & marketing suite today and Outskirts Press will triple the number of free author copies you normally receive with your package (up to 30 free paperbacks!)

Having extra paperback copies of your book on hand lets you nimbly respond to promotion opportunities, and make plenty of unanticipated sales. Even during social distancing, you will need plenty of paperback copies to send to reviewers and submit to book awards; not to mention giveaways for contests and to family and friends.

As if that weren’t enough, we will also format, publish, and distribute a FREE Amazon Kindle eBook Edition when you start publishing your book today. Simply enter triplebkkind at checkout.

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:

“Thanks to the entire team at Outskirts Press! As a first-time author, there’s been much I’ve learned about getting a book published and I am glad Outskirts Press was recommended to me by an author friend who was published with Outskirts Press. Indeed, my publishing experience with Outskirts Press has been rewarding and positive; and, I received guidance and assistance along the way. The quality of my book in all versions is outstanding.” — Brenda Marie Black, author of The Bella Rose & Dianthus Bobby

 

Amazon Featured Book of the Week

Now available on Amazon.com!


The Attitude Influence: Creating a positive life by taking accountability, building connections, & discovering how attitude influences everything

by LeAnn Shaw

(5 Stars – 9 Customer Reviews)

Price: $16.95

LeAnn Shaw’s “The Attitude Influence: Creating a positive life by taking accountability, building connections, & discovering how attitude influences everything.” Discovering the attitude influence is the foundation for an extraordinary life. LeAnn Shaw shares more than a decade of research and observations about the attitudes most affecting our lives as well as her real-world experience for making our attitudes work for us rather than against us. You will discover ways to use the GREAT attitude toolbox – Gratitude, Relationships, Energy, Authenticity, & Thoughtfulness to strengthen the power of your attitude as well as strategies to capitalize on ways to influence your environments.

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Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time of this posting; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon.com.© Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Amazon, Amazon.com, the Amazon.com logo, and 1-Click are registered trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon.com, 410 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-5210.

 

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Introducing Handbook for True Democracy: How the Grassroots Can Create a Nation Of, By and For All the People Through the Evolution of Individual and Organizational Behavior by John G. Mentzos, PhD

Author John G. Mentzos, PhD is taking his latest book Handbook for True Democracy: How the Grassroots Can Create a Nation Of, By and For All the People Through the Evolution of Individual and Organizational Behavior on tour — a Virtual Book Tour, that is, with Outskirts Press! Technology has created a wide variety of ways to reach audiences all over the world. All it takes is a little thinking outside the box, and nowadays you can market a self-published book in a variety of affordable and impactful ways. Virtual book tours, for example, are a great way to connect with readers from all corners of the globe, all from the comfort of your own home. Join John G. Mentzos, PhD and Handbook for True Democracy as they appear in features and interviews (such as the one below) in the weeks and months ahead!

Technology has created a wide variety of ways to reach audiences all over the world. It just takes is a little thinking outside the box and you can market a self-published book in creative, affordable, and impactful ways. Consider book tours! Tours are a great way to connect with your readers and technology has made them easier and more cost effective than ever!


OP: Tell us a little bit about Handbook for True Democracy: How the Grassroots Can Create a Nation Of, By and For All the People Through the Evolution of Individual and Organizational Behavior. What is it about?

John: It’s about American political transformation from oligarchy to true democracy. True democracy is not just a set of laws and a government structure it’s a collective consciousness. The collective consciousness of true democracy arises out of human nature when called forth by group psychology and the social constructs and cultural artifacts of a nation. The appropriate collective consciousness for an effective democracy (a true democracy) is one that yields culture and process that manages human diversity in equitable ways. But group psychology and the social constructs of a nation can serve as countervailing forces to effective democracy as well. To the extent that such elements create consciousness focused on producing inequity and perpetuating the conflicts that arise out of human diversity, the public consciousness needed for true democracy is lost. Corporate oligarchy is the leading instigator of group psychology, social constructs and cultural artifacts that threaten democracy. Consequently, this book is about true democracy vs. corporate oligarchy. In the book I explore this ongoing struggle over power where the winner will control the foreseeable future of civilization. Power in its most naked form is control of energy-the energy that powers our cars, homes and militaries but more importantly the energy that we human beings represent. To control the energy that we humans represent one must control human consciousness. To control human conscious, one must control the four pillars of power-control of information, control of leadership, control of economics and control of organization. So, the question is who shall control these pillars of power for the foreseeable future-will it be corporate oligarchy or We The People? The answer to that question is found in the emerging evolution of human psychology and behavior. Human psychology and behavior will either evolve toward greater democracy or greater totalitarianism. This book is about how we the everyday man, woman and child can pursue the former. It is about how each one of us can contribute to creating a true democracy.

OP: Why did you decide to write this story?

John: The simplest way to explain why I wrote this book is to reference our current state of affairs as a nation. We The People are moving closer to a violent and deadly chasm. The chasm is over our worldviews. One position offers a psychological outlook that could be described as centered on an “I, Me, Mine” worldview. The opposing position strives to impose an “Us, We, Ours” worldview. True democracy brings balance to these divergent views because it is designed to manage human diversity in equitable ways. True democracy pursues this balance through prioritizing win-win propositions over zero-sum approaches. It achieves this balance through a specific style of leadership, structure and process as well as individual initiative. The United States is at a crossroads. It is paramount that the people become aware that there are alternative worldviews that offer balance to our thinking before our divisions completely destroy our republic.

OP: How did you get your book published?

John: I published it through Outskirts Press.

OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?

John: Handbook for True Democracy will be of interest to anyone pursuing a greater understanding of the underlying reasons for the turmoil occurring in our nation, especially those who feel an obligation to do something constructive about it. This includes readers of social philosophy; individuals open to personal wellness and intrigued with practical ways to oppose corporate influence through actions compatible with their daily lives; leaders within civil society committed to equity, participation, and socially responsible organizations; and scholars and educators interested in the roles of evolutionary psychology and national culture in understanding the dilemmas of society and/or the role of the nonprofit sector in addressing these dilemmas.

OP: What is special about your book?

John: Encapsulated in the pages of this book are the great underlying questions (and potential answers) that we as a society are struggling with at this very moment-Trump and the death of democracy, socialism vs. capitalism, political divisions based on identity, our health and even the future of our economy. What is special is that this book relates these issues to humanity’s ongoing psychological evolution and then helps establish how that evolution could lead to a national culture that supports true democracy.

OP: What differentiates it from other books in the same category?

John: Where Handbook for True Democracy differs is that it places themes championed in the books listed below squarely in the context of America’s political divide and then interweaves them into a comprehensive worldview pertinent to current efforts to achieve authentic democracy in the United States. Titles that explore subject matter that relate to Handbook for True Democracy include The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins; The Evolution of the Mind by Robert Townsend; Not by Genes Alone by Richerson and Boyd; The Age of Empathy by Franz De Waal; Personal and Planetary Wellness by Marilyn Cornelius; Nonprofit Management: A Social Justice Approach by Elaine P. Congress; and Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind by Geert Hofslede. Books and researchers on these subjects paved the way for much of the conceptual framework found in Handbook for True Democracy. Some of these books explore how organizations shape us, others explore how our wellness and grassroots organizations can shape the world we live in. Others explain how evolutionary processes shape the values, norms, and assumptions of humanity and therefore our society.

OP: Have you published any other books?

John: Yes. Organizational Culture for Successful Democracy: Participatory Nonprofits That Advance Their Missions, Build Political Community and Initiate the Evolution of Society, POCD Publishing (2013) – Examines how organizational culture in nonprofit organizations can establish highly efficient and effective democratic movements; Characteristics Associated with Not-for-Profits that Successfully Involve Clients in Shaping Their Programs, ProQuest (2009) – Examines performance management, internal and external community building, organizational ethics and entrepreneurship/innovation in the context of participatory organizational behavior and development in public service nonprofit organizations; Way to the River Source, COMPAS (1997) – A training handbook on diversity, community building and parent involvement in schools. Co-authored by Judith Katz.

OP: Do you plan to publish more?

John: It’s likely that I will.

OP: Thanks for your time, John! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

John G. Mentzos earned his Ph.D in Organizational Behavior and Development from the Union Institute. For more than 25 years he has consulted with leaders in non-profit management, government, foundations, business, education, human services and religion. His work has focused on grassroots efforts to build community, develop youth, address social injustice and advocate for the arts at the local, state and national levels.

Press play to watch the book video for Handbook for True Democracy

For more information or to contact the author, visit https://www.outskirtspress.com/HandbookForTrueDemocracy

This author purchased the Media Marketing Blitz marketing option, which allows self-publishing authors to connect with bloggers and harness the power of the blogosphere by taking their book on the “virtual road.” Learn more about this service by visiting your Publishing Center and reviewing the available marketing options.

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The Value of Self-Publishing Multiple Formats/Editions

We all remember the fervor that overtook the publishing industry when e-books hit the mainstream. Suddenly, it was the fastest growing segment and everyone was anxious to make sure their books had an Amazon Kindle e-Book Edition, a Barnes & Noble NOOK Edition, an e-book edition that was available on iTunes, and through Apple iBookstore, etc.

photo of person s hand holding ipad
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

And the excitement of the new e-book market lasted for several years, in fact, to such a degree that some authors began publishing their books ONLY as e-book editions, because they liked the speed and convenience of it.

But then a funny thing happened. With the exception of a fortunate few (you know, the e-book authors you’ve read about in the news), e-book-only editions failed to reach the lofty promises of all that hype! It turns out, people still like touching actual books. So the publication of paperbacks and hardbacks jumped back into the fray, along with their newfound format–the e-book!

And then, almost overnight, another new format caught readers’ (or should we say listeners’) attention: audiobooks.  With longer daily commutes, not to mention the convenience afforded by Audible, and the tendency of people to multi-task more than ever, audiobooks soon became the fastest growing segment.

white headset
Photo by Sound On on Pexels.com

Add Large Print and/or multi-media-enabled editions, and traditional publishers were looking at greater complexities and thinner profit margins for each book they gambled on. Soon, in many cases, particulary for the “mid-listers,” traditional publishers were having to make tough choices about which format(s) they would publish/maintain, and which format(s) they would allow to “expire” (much to the chagrin of their authors). Without the zero-inventory convenience available through POD self-publishing, traditional publishers frequently could not justify the time/expense of supporting a growing family of formats for every book. It just stopped making economic sense.

Which is why more books are now self-published than are published by all the traditional publishers combined! With print-on-demand (POD) self-publishing, you never have to worry about your publisher expiring one of your editions, ceasing future print runs, or not helping you pursue each and every format you are interested in.

Hint: You should be interested in all of them.

After all, you never know whether the potential reader you reach via your marketing efforts is going to prefer a paperback, an e-book, a hardback, a large print edition, or an audiobook; so make sure all those choices are available. Once the initial cost of publishing each format is absorbed, the economies of scale in the POD self-publishing world allow authors to affordably maintain all the formats they want, for as long as they want.

Talk about a happy ending!

 

Tips for Using Video to Promote Books

It probably isn’t news to you that video is an important tool in your toolbox as a self-publishing author, and a critical part of your ongoing marketing strategy. So what videos should you be making, and how do you put those videos to work to sell more books?

The Outskirts Press Book Marketing Resource Center offers the answers to these questions (and more) by way of a new flip book titled Using Video to Promote Books. This is just one of the many eBooks addressing aspects of book marketing in the Book Marketing Resource Center and this library of eBooks is FREE for all authors who publish with Outskirts Press.

Here are three tips for getting started with video promotions, inspired by this new flip book:

1. Different audiences call for different videos.

When people put “book” and “video” in the same paragraph, the kind of video they’re usually talking about is a book trailer. And yes, a book trailer is fantastic for helping to generate buzz in the lead up to a book’s publication. It is not, however, the only kind of video worth making! Fans and followers gravitate to “how-to” and “behind-the-scenes” clips as well, and as safe distancing becomes a part of daily life, short clips of you reading excerpts from your book can help you connect with readers in lieu of a live and in-person reading. The key is to ask for each of your social media platforms: What kind of video would have the most effect right here and right now?

2. Upload your video

Creating a YouTube channel is free, and it happens to come along with a bundle of customizations. It’s easy to look up templates and tutorials using YouTube’s own search function. Making your YouTube channel beautiful is secondary to making people aware that you have one, so make sure you not only upload your video, but that you promote it too.

3. Get social

Fans accessing links to online videos from Twitter and Facebook tend to finish videos more frequently than those who stumble across your book trailer via a search engine due to the simple fact that social context means everything to readers. After uploading your book trailer to YouTube and your personal website, tweet about it! Post it to Facebook! Most importantly, ask people to like and share your video. Spread the word across all of your social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Tumblr, and everywhere else you have a digital presence (even TikTok!). This will serve as part of your promotional strategy for raising awareness about your book video trailer, but it also will serve as a boost to your overall digital footprint.

When you are ready to write, publish, and market your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively, visit OutskirtsPress.com. And if you have already published with us, make sure to check out this and all of the other fabulous flip books available through your FREE Book Marketing Resource Center.

 

Amazon Featured Book of the Week

Now available on Amazon.com!


Return to Spirit

by Christopher B. Soltis

(5 Stars – 3 Customer Reviews)

Price: $22.95

Christopher B. Soltis’s “Return to Spirit.” This book gives a personal account of spontaneous Kundalini awakening, which is the physiological mechanism of union of mind, body and Spirit. Geared for anyone interested with increasing their understanding of Kundalini as well as practitioners of yoga, meditation, and other spiritual disciplines, Chris guides readers through many life experiences including battles with depression, substance abuse, chemical dependency and financial difficulties. With faith, hope, patience, love, and perseverance, Chris’s personal story proves this and is an inspiration to others on their path towards higher states of consciousness and spiritual growth and development.

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Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time of this posting; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon.com.© Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Amazon, Amazon.com, the Amazon.com logo, and 1-Click are registered trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon.com, 410 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-5210.

 

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Book Marketing Series 3 (out of 3): Implement

Over the last two days, we’ve discussed book marketing phases that all published authors (self-published or otherwise) would be wise to heed. Phase 1 involves planning, and includes 5 questions, which are:

1. What are your goals with this book?
2. What is your competition?
3. How will you and your book stand-out?
4. What is your “platform?”
5. What are your strengths and weakness?

Phase 2 involves answering those questions, assembling resources available to address them, and identifying holes that require professional 3rd party help.

red and black book on brown wooden table
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

That brings us to the 3rd phase: Implementation.

This is where the rubber meets the road, both literally and along the digital highway. It is important to realize that marketing a book is a two-lane street, as in, it’s a physical and virtual one. Not surprisingly, authors tend to gravitate to one side of the road or the other (and no, it doesn’t matter whether they live in the US or the UK). It depends upon the “type” (no pun intended) of person they are!

Very generally speaking, extroverted authors tend to like physical in-person marketing venues better. Think book signings, author events, in-studio interviews, book launch parties, physical book tours, bookstore appearances, book expos (BEA, Frankfurt, London, et al), library readings, etc.

On the other side of the road, introverted authors prefer digital and virtual marketing tactics. Think book video trailers on YouTube, virtual book tours throughout the blogosphere, Facebook Groups, Goodreads Communities, lots of Amazon book reviews, lots of book award contests, Zoom book parties/readings/launches, affiliate & joint venture marketing, etc.

As you can see, regardless of what side of the road you prefer to drive on, you have the right-of-way.  But you need to drive down both sides if you want your book to succeed!  Half of it is going to be easy and fun for you (and you can hire another “driver” for the challenging parts of the drive that you are not comfortable with). Simply put, all you have to do is start your engines and realize that publishing a book isn’t the finish line—it’s the starting line! Marketing a book is like driving on the autobahn. Sure, there may be some bumps in the road, a few twists and turns along the way, but nothing blows your hair back quite like the feeling of knowing that there are people out there reading the words that came from your mind.  Now, that’s a goal every writer can relate to, and strategically marketing your book as early as possible is the best way to feel the roar of that particular engine.  Hint: It is NEVER too late to start marketing a book you have published.  Even if you published your book 5-10 years ago, if no one has heard of it, EVERYTHING you do will seem new to everyone else.  Don’t let the year of your book prevent you from revving its engine.

So, put your pedal to the metal (book award medals, that is) and tackle these three ways to market your book before, during, and after publishing it.  The only thing you’ll be found guilty of is a passion for writing, reading, and life.  What a way to live, and live-on, in infamy!

 

 

Book Marketing Series 2 (out of 3): Assemble

Yesterday, we discussed one of the first phases of book marketing on this blog: Planning. After all, for many writers, the idea of publishing a book they’ve written is exciting but rarely does the idea of marketing their book hold the same appeal. Many think it will just fly off the shelves on it’s own.

That is rarely the case. So yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we are discussing three different phases of successful book marketing.

Let’s continue with PHASE TWO: ASSEMBLING.

pexels-photo-704767.jpeg
Photo by Juhasz Imre on Pexels.com

Yesterday’s post discussed planning, and introduced 5 important questions, which, as a reminder, are:

  1. What are your goals with this book?
  2. What is your competition?
  3. How will you and your book stand-out?
  4. What is your “platform?”
  5. What are your strengths and weakness?

Once you have your answers to those five questions, you can begin to assemble information, resources, and “advantages” that already lay at your fingertips. You can also begin to identify “holes” in your plan that need to be filled in, either through time/effort on your part, or by 3rd-party assistance that you will need to budget for.

1. If your goal is to leave your legacy, what will you need to reach that goal? What materials need to be in the book to satisfy that goal? Pictures? Personal stories from loved ones? What does marketing to friends and family look like? Social media will probably be involved, so what is your comfort level with it? If your goal is to make gobs of money, how realistically does your book fit with that goal? What does marketing and promoting a bestseller look like? Do you have the time and resources to do that, or will you need book marketing assistance from someone who does that for a living?

2. How much do you know about your competition? Investigate your core competitors as thoroughly as possible. Check out their Amazon listing. “Stalk” them on social media. Learn as much as you can about how they market their book and themselves as writers. Read books that are in competition with yours.

3. What resources or accolades do you have to help yourself stand-out from the competition? For example, do you need to receive some book reviews and/or book awards to stand-out? If so, now you know where to start your marketing efforts, and you can even begin those efforts before the book is published. For example, once you have your proof copy from your publisher, you can email some ARCs (advanced review copies) to reviewers. Who knows? You might even get a blurb worth adding to your cover in advance of initial publication. Do you have a “hook” that identifies your USP (unique selling position)?

4. How are you going to establish your platform once you have envisioned it in your mind? Will your promotion efforts focus largely on the local stage, or be more focused nationally, globally, or universally?

5. What marketing strenghths and weakness do you have? Are you an accomplished copy editor, or would a professional set of eyes help you avoid post-publication embarrassment? Are you a Facebook fanatic, proficient with Pinterest, and twitterpated with Twitter? Those strengths are going to be invaluable when it comes time to market your book. On the other hand, if you don’t know YouTube from MySpace, you’re going to need marketing assistance. Find experts and solicit their help.

Stay tuned for part three tomorrow as we continue to discuss book marketing…