Resolutions Every Author Should Have for the New Year!

Structured and manageable goals are important to those of us who consider ourselves works in progress. Well, it’s that time of year when we all start thinking about those goals — in this case, New Year’s resolutions. They’re especially necessary to moving a book from an unknown publication to a chart-topper. It’s a big project!

But, whether you’re just starting to figure out marketing or already a best-selling author, there are simple things you can resolve to do in 2019 that will make you an even better at selling … or simply a better you. Here are resolutions for published authors or anyone bent on self-improvement.

  1. Set goals. “Wait, I thought a resolution was a goal!” Well, yes, it is, in a sense. Ideally, your New Year’s resolution is the culmination of your goals throughout the year. It’s important — and ultimately more productive — to make goal-setting a habit, not just a tradition we do once a year and promptly forget. So set lots of small, attainable goals rather than one insurmountable to-do you never actually do. For example, if your resolution is to sell 2,000 copies, break it down into smaller goals. Resolve to promote one giveaway in January, schedule a book-signing in February, then a book fair in March and so on for the entire year. Or, set a goal to schedule 20 book-signings next year and average 10 sales per event. Way less intimidating, right?
  2. Facilitate goals. If you’ve resolved to sell big in the new year without so much as a marketing calendar in the house, you’ve not facilitated your goals or your year’s resolution. Remove barriers to progress and instate conditions that help you achieve. Buy an entry-level PC for getting on social media to promote or gather a list of bookstores you can call to set up events. Then, resolve to reach out until you get the bookings you need to fulfill your resolution.
  3. Make marketing a priority. Once you’ve divided your marketing resolutions into smaller goals, it’s much easier to give them top priority. Knock out those little to-do’s first thing in the morning!
  4. Read, read, read. Top-notch authors are always top-notch readers. Get to know your genre not just by practicing it but by being an avid consumer of it. That way, you’ll get to know your audience and what appeals to them.
  5. Master the basics of social media. No matter what your stripe, there’s are many others with similar interests on social media. Facebook “friend” other authors and readers, and learn from them. Follow publishers. Rub elbows with book clubs. You’ll find kindred spirits in the virtual world who can enlighten you with real wisdom. Use that wisdom to refine how you communicate with potential readers.
  6. Try something new. Make 2019 the year you branch out. Start a blog. Meet new people with similar interests. These new experiences will all enrich and inform so many other aspects of your life. At the very least, you’ll be a more social and well-rounded person. Hey, you might even discover a whole new audience for your book!
  7. Just do you. Yes, you should be reading a lot, meeting people and making connections that pay off in sales. Ultimately, you’ll assimilate all these influences into a voice that is uniquely yours, and you’ll find your true audience. Don’t fight it — feed it.
  8. Consider “cheating” a little. Many of us are afraid to ask for help. It feels lazy, like we’re cutting corners. Let us put your mind at ease: It’s not cheating to ask for help reaching your marketing goals! In fact, it’s pretty smart, if you ask us. And, if you’ve tried new things, delved into social media and checked off other goals, you likely have crossed paths with new people who may be able to help you get past the hump. Reach out to friends and family to help you get the word out or purchase inexpensive marketing service options to help you reach the goals you set on the road to your resolution. (Even full-time professionals parse out their duties from time to time.)

Whatever your resolution, the important thing is to keep moving, to take whatever steps necessary to move you toward fulfilling the great things you planned for your life.

Need help moving toward your New Year’s resolution? Consider hiring a Personal Marketing Assistant for 5 hours of expertise and a Custom Marketing Plan. You can log into your Publishing Center to see what book marketing options are available to you or chat with us using the live chat option on our website (www.outskirtspress.com).

 

Author Poll: R.C. White Wants Your Help With His Cover

R.C. White is self-publishing a book with Outskirts Press, and he wants your help deciding his upcoming book cover.

Book Summary:

Real or hoax? The Vatican reacts!

The sound was barely a whisper, but the impact would rock Brittany’s soul. The crystal-clear photo that had never been taken would create an obsession that would consume her through much of the next decade. The family never saw it coming, but when the lava reached the surface, it erupted like none had ever seen. Brittany was adamant. She demanded an explanation and set out to get it. And Nana was with her at every step. Nana knew the history first-hand; she had been there when the photo wasn’t taken. Together they were determined to accomplish what Papa had been unable to do, even if it took them five thousand miles from the safety of home. Would they be successful? Could they solve the mystery? Where would it lead?

About the Author

R.C. (Ron) White holds engineering and business degrees and has enjoyed a progressive career in the petrochemical industry, capped by a CEO position in a multi-million-dollar corporation and front-page coverage in the Wall Street Journal. His initial novel, Amanda, Papa’s Story, was a finalist in Inspiring Voices’ 2012 Contest sponsored by Guideposts. His latest novel, Brittany, Nana’s Story, will soon be available from Outskirts Press. He has also written several dramatic religious scripts, including This Is Your Life, King David and The Gospel According to Harry Potter. Ron is currently an adjunct professor at Lone Star College in Houston, teaching business and math classes. He is a widower enjoying a great family with three terrific grandchildren.

Please take a look at the two possible covers below and then vote on the choice you recommend.

Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge each cover.

Cover A

Cover B

Cover C

Cover D

 

 

While Justice Sleeps by Jerry Snodgrass

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!

Author Jerry Snodgrass is taking his latest book While Justice Sleeps, on tour — a Virtual Book Tour with Outskirts Press. This will allow Jerry to take his book into the far corners of the globe, all from the comfort of his own home! Keep an eye out for Jerry’s book as he will be featured on several blogs over the weeks and months ahead!


Luckily for us, Jerry was kind enough to answer a few questions as the tour was getting started so that we can give you a sneak peek into the mind of the creator of While Justice Sleeps.

OP: Tell us a little bit about While Justice Sleeps. What is it about?

Jerry: A murder mystery in a small town.

OP: Why did you decide to write this story?

Jerry: I enjoy writing stories about crime in sleepy towns.

OP: How did you get your book published?

Jerry: I self-published my mystery novel through Outskirts Press.

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

Jerry: Due to the content of my book, I believe adults, military, and former military, along with law enforcement personnel will be interested in this story.

OP: What is special about your book?

Jerry: The suspense! A murder mystery must have suspense.

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

Jerry: I write from the experience I’ve gained in life- of course, not from a criminal’s point of view.

OP: Have you published any other books?

Jerry: Yes, I have 12 self-published books.

OP: Do you plan to publish more?

Jerry: Yes, there are many more stories to be told.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jerry Snodgrass was born in Butler, Missouri in 1938. He entered the military after graduating from Indianola, Iowa high school in 1957, and for over fifty years, he lived his dream, serving in military and federal service, traveling to exotic locations. Jerry is a Vietnam veteran and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. Jerry currently lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Rosemary and their Yorkie, Stormy. While Justice Sleeps is the first novel in the new Jake Walker series, inspired by his fascination with the modern Texas lawman.

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

This author purchased the Virtual Book Tour 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.

Are you an author looking for help to market your self-published book?

Learn More

 

Why Audiobooks Are a ‘Sound’ Decision

Successful self-published authors know their odds of earning sales increase with every new format or buying method they offer to their readers. Paperbacks, hardcovers, ebooks and downloadable PDFs are all par for the course; likewise, big booksellers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, etc., are requisite selling venues. For many authors, it’s almost unthinkable to leave out any of these options.

But there’s one oft-overlooked publishing option we haven’t yet mentioned — and it’s on the cusp of making the must-have list: audiobooks! It’s not just commuters who are looking for good books to listen to. Audiobooks are ideal for:

  • Visually impaired book enthusiasts
  • Educators who play audiobooks in the classroom
  • Churches offering spiritual/Christian book passages in their Bible study
  • Storytime for youngsters who cannot yet read
  • Instilling the love of reading in children through professionally delivered tales

When you make your print book available as an Audiobook, you open up availability to all of these audiences! This month, Outskirts Press is offering 50% OFF our Audiobook Publication and Distribution option — so you can have your book ready for a growing audience of literary audiophiles.

The Outskirts Press custom audiobook starts with five narrator auditions and a 15-minute recording preview, so you can make any last-minute adjustments to tone and pace for the final edition. The Audiobook Publication and Distribution option also includes:

  • a properly formatted Audiobook file provided to distribution chains including: Amazon, Audible, iTunes, Audiobooks.com and Barnes & Noble
  • an Audiobook cover
  • a retail sample to use for promoting your Audiobook
  • industry-leading royalties paid to you directly by the audiobook distributors

Want to keep your book on-trend — and expand your revenue streams — by making your book available in Audiobook format? It only takes one click to get started at 50% OFF

  1. Add our custom Audiobook Publication and Distribution option to your cart.
  2. Enter promo code HalfOff-Audio at checkout.
  3. We’ll get to work on a professional Audiobook version of your book!

Need more details about this option before making your decision? Chat with a Publishing Consultant using the live chat option on our website – www.outskirtspress.com.

Hurry — this offer ends soon!

 

Feel the Power: Choose Your Own Promo for the Perfect New Year’s Savings

If you’re still mulling over plans to self-publish, let 2019 be the year you make it happen—on your own terms.

This January, there’s no need to settle for a deal that doesn’t fit. That’s why Outskirts press is giving you the freedom in this new year to select the best self-publishing savings for you. We’ve resurrected your favorite promotions from 2018 and offered them again—only this time you get to tell us what the deal is. This is your only chance to call the shots!

It’s very straightforward: Purchase the Ultimate or Full-Color publishing package during this limited-time offer, and you can choose the promotion that’s perfect for you:

  • 15% off plus free Kindle Ebook Edition – promo code: 15plus-Kindle
  • Free Kindle/NOOK/iPad ebook package – promo code: Ebooks-Free18
  • $300 spending credit – promo code: 300-Spending
  • 17% off Ultimate or Full-Color Publishing – promo code: LuckyDay
  • Triple author copies – promo code: Triplecopies
  • Free Custom Cover – promo code: Custom-Free
  • Free package upgrade (Buy Basic publishing, receive the Ultimate package. Or, buy the Ultimate, get Full-Color.) – promo code: Upgrade-July18
  • Free Amazon Launch Bundle – promo code: AmazonLaunch-Nov18
  • Free editing down payment plus copyright registration – promo code: FreeCopyEdit
  • Free paperback, hardback and Kindle – promo code: Buy1-Get3

Plus, if One-Click Publishing is more to your liking, here’s one more promotion you can choose:

Go ahead, let all that freedom go to your head—you’ve earned the privilege!

To claim any promotion your heart desires, simply:

  1. Purchase the Ultimate or Full-Color publishing package (or the One-Click Publishing package of your choosing, if that’s more your speed)
  2. Enter the corresponding promo code at checkout

Would you like help choosing your best self-publishing option? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

 

Ten Writing Resolutions to Jump-Start 2019

Why do we put ourselves through this whole “New Year’s Resolutions” process each year? Is it because starting a new year somehow frees us up to do things we weren’t able to do before? Unlikely. One working theory is that New Year’s Resolutions came about as a combination of cultural ceremony and human psychology, wherein people find it useful and perhaps easier to lay the groundwork for big tasks or challenging years if they do it all at once, while they’re in a certain amenable frame of mind. Holidays like the one we’ve just had give us some much-needed emotional perspective on our experiences, past and future, that can be fuel for making plans for change.

And with so many people setting the goal of publishing their next book in 2019, there are some specific resolutions which might be of use to you which we thought we might mention here–ways in which you can achieve your dream of book publication.

  1. Keep writing, and keep it structured. At least, you know, to the extent which is useful. But one thing is certain–no matter when you schedule yourself to write, make sure that you do make it a habit. Publishing means very little if you give up on the thing you love most: writing more books!
  2. Lock in a deadline for your first draft. If you write for an hour a day, you can reasonably expect to finish a first draft within two to three months of steady writing. It doesn’t need to be a full draft, but it does need to capture the main essence of what you’re trying to get at. You can go back and diagnose problems of plot and characterization later, but if you agonize over the details during the drafting stage, you’ll never get it done. We speak from personal experience.
  3. Lock in a deadline for your second draft, too. A second draft is where you fill in all the big blank spaces you left while drafting the first manuscript, and maybe address some of the larger issues of pacing and structure. We recommend allowing another couple of months for this process.
  4. Stop writing … and stop editing, too. Once you have a good second draft in hand, it’s time to leave the writing desk for a little while and look for some outside assistance. Layer your personal crew of early readers–family and friends–with the expertise of a professional editor. We can’t emphasize the importance of this professional help enough! Our friends and family are wonderful, but they tend to be bound by affection in some ways, or they might lead busy lives which prevent them from giving your manuscript their full, expert attention. And we recommend seeking professional advice at this stage because you still have the emotional room to make big edits and changes without feeling as though you’re butchering the text. A copyeditor, later on, can catch your spelling mistakes and so forth, but a true professional edit at this stage will help you fix character flaws, plot holes, and large-scale disorganization.
  5. You guessed it! Schedule your last round of edits. Give yourself that deadline, maybe a month or two out. This will bring you to six months from now–June of 2019.
  6. Read more. Yes, yes, it’s a bit trite to say that “good writers are good readers,” but there is some truth to the matter (as there often is, with trite statements). In general, we find that a deficit in input results in a deficit of output, and for us that translates to: “No reading, no imagination.” We don’t know if it’s the same for you, but we resolve that this year we will dedicate a part of our time to introducing our minds to the minds of others through the written word. (Or, more written words.) As with many things, we recommend trying to remember to practice the “quality over quantity” adage. It’s more important to have an enriching rather than a time-intensive experience!
  7. Try a new format. There are so many formats in which we can publish these days that the list can grow overwhelming — hardcover, paperback, Amazon Kindle editions, Nook editions, e-book editions, .pdf files, audiobooks, and et cetera. This year, resolve to try a new format for a book that you haven’t tried before. Let’s jump into 2019 by making it easier than ever for readers to access our work!
  8. Make more inspiration boards. Ever heard of an inspiration board? Essentially, it’s the practice of putting together a visual display of objects, quotes, and other things that create a focused touchstone for your writing. For example, an author who’s writing a book set in the cornfields of Nebraska might put together an inspiration board that has some pictures of corn fields in various lighting, a couple of quotations about the hardships and rewards of farming, and maybe a song or two that really captures the desired mood or atmosphere of the piece. In this day and age, it’s really easy to make inspiration boards. You can actually put one together physically or you can take advantage of tools like Pinterest. This year, resolve to play around more with this idea of the inspiration board.
  9. Build a community. Much of a self-published author’s success lies in his or her relationship with readers, and in establishing a community of people who are just as invested in consuming good writing as the author is in generating it. Over and beyond just creating more social media platforms to reach more social media users, this year, resolve to build and broaden your community of readers by reaching them where they are at and giving them what they need. Tweak your digital presence and refine your physical outreach to meet your readers’ needs.
  10. Celebrate success. Because writing and self-publishing is a job, not just a hobby, we sometimes fail to celebrate the successes we’ve already achieved. Perhaps you’re this way, too, in that it’s hard to justify taking a moment away from the stacks and stacks of to-dos in order to take pride in what has already been done. So, this year, resolve to celebrate each and every success, as we check items off of our list of resolutions, or bring other goals through to execution. You love to celebrate other people’s successes, so taking a few minutes to practice joy over your own shouldn’t seem like such an outlandish notion. Right?

And that’s it! We highly recommend keeping your resolutions simple and straightforward, and of course … don’t punish yourself if you perceive yourself somehow “falling short.” Resolutions are guidelines and motivators, and should not ever be a source of shame. Use what’s useful, and lose what’s a distraction, and may 2019 be a year of firm resolve for all of us!

For more information and help choosing your best self-publishing options, contact an Outskirts Press Publishing Consultant in whatever manner is easiest for you:

 

Resolve to Publish in 2019 – and SAVE 19% on Your Publishing Package

The New Year is the perfect opportunity to check the resolution to publish off your list and start the year as a published author. So, for a limited time, you can ring in 2019 with 19% OFF the Ultimate or Full-Color publishing package from Outskirts Press. It’s the perfect way to achieve one of your greatest goals early in the year … and meet a money-saving goal you didn’t even know you had.

Taking advantage of the convenience of a publishing package is as simple as a few clicks of the mouse. Simply enter the promo code Save19Now at checkout when you purchase the Ultimate or Full-Color publishing package from Outskirts Press.

It’s as easy as that! Resolve to publish in 2019 and Outskirts Press will be there to help every step of the way.

Not sure which publishing package is right for you? Call a Publishing Consultant at 1-888-672-6657 (OP BOOKS), or chat with us using the live chat option on our website www.outskirtspress.com. Just remember, this is a limited-time offer, so don’t delay!