Your Quick-Start Marketing Guide, Complements of Outskirts Press

So, you’ve self-published your book, put out a press release and announced your news on Facebook … now the book flies off the shelf, right? Not so much. Before royalties can start rolling in, it’s important to understand the link (and the gap) between marketing and sales. The first step is to get real about what marketing is — and what it is not.

As you may know, book marketing is a “long game” that plays out over the life of your book — often a multifaceted one — but there are things every author can do to make progress on their own. Think of marketing as a series of building blocks in an overall promotional structure. Each task you undertake to promote your book builds upon the last and sets the stage for the next. No one component completes the structure, but with time and effort you’ll see something beautiful take shape.

Remember, a single marketing push won’t usually pay off in immediate sales. The goal of marketing is to consistently generate name recognition for you and your book so that that growing awareness eventually inspires readers to learn more and buy. This doesn’t happen overnight. So, to ensure the time you spend on your book marketing is as impactful as it can be, here’s what to expect and how to make the most of every minute.

Assess Your Assets
Once your book is published, the hard part begins — raising awareness. This is a time to take personal inventory of a few components vital to your marketing.

  1. Determine what marketing assets you currently have at your disposal. Social media accounts (and connections), friends, business acquaintances, personal and professional memberships each present opportunities to connect, share and even sell.
  2. Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses. Are you articulate and warm? If so, radio or TV interviews might be a good forum for you. Perhaps you’re shy but still great with technology. Then maybe social media marketing is more your speed. Be honest with yourself and focus on the things you do well.
  3. Assess the amount of time you can spend marketing your book each day/week/month.
  4. Set appropriate goals for promoting your book and yourself as an author. Use your skills and time assessments to identify where you’ll begin your marketing efforts. If you’ve decided radio is the way to go, set a goal to query a certain number of radio programs each week offering yourself as a guest, based on the time you have available. If social media is your bailiwick, make a point to post something relevant to your social media accounts each day, or week — or whatever schedule fits into your busy calendar.
  5. Be patient … but not too patient. Be consistent in your marketing efforts but willing to change direction. If months of one approach don’t move the needle, it may be time to try a different tack.

Finally, if you’re already published through Outskirts Press, become familiar with the resources in your Author Publishing Center. Many of the questions you have about book marketing can be answered within the Book Marketing Resource Center there. If you have questions that aren’t answered there, email marketing@outskirtspress.com.

Still unsure about where to start? Consider hiring a Personal Marketing Assistant to get you pointed in the right direction for long-term success. Log in to your Publishing Center at www.outskirtspress.com and select Personal Marketing Assistant from the Marketing Solutions menu.

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Boost Your Summer Sales With 10% Off Our Promotional Materials Bundle!

Have you ever promoted your book at a local fair? What about at the library? At the movie theatre or a local restaurant? Summer is a season of promotions, book fairs, and festivals–making it the perfect time of year around which to build your own marketing plan! And the perfect event requires, even demands, the perfect complementary takeaway for attendees to remember you and your book by.

I’m talking about promotional materials! During the month of June, we’re offering our Promotional Materials Bundle for 10% off of an already discounted price. You get great savings on the design and printing of five different types of materials, all of which adds up to a fantastically useful and affordable range of over 1,525 custom promotional items featuring your book’s beautiful cover! More specifically, this package provides:

  • 500 bookmarks
  • 500 business cards
  • 500 postcards
  • 25 small posters

But … what do you do with these items? Where does an author get started? We’ve put together a list of our top five tips for getting the most out of your promotional events and materials!

    • Use the 500 bookmarks included in this package to stock the counters of local businesses, libraries, and bookstores; anywhere that people read, or have to take a pause while reading, is perfect
    • Hand out the 500 business cards at public readings, book signings, and other events where you’ll meet potential future readers
    • Mail the 500 postcards to distant friends or to those likely to purchase copies of your book, or recruit friends and family to use them in place of regular correspondence! Two birds with one stone, right?
    • Use the 25 small posters to paper the town! Inquire at local businesses, including grocers, movie theaters, and restaurants, if they wouldn’t mind you putting up a poster on their public bulletin boards or paste it in their shop front windows!
    • Whatever else you do, make sure it’s portable! You literally want your promotional materials to walk out the door, so make it easy! Stock materials that will really move, tucked away neatly in a wallet or pocket or book, and stock them in places or at events where people won’t hesitate to grab one and take it home!

In total, the Promotional Materials Bundle delivers thousands of branded marketing pieces which you can use in a variety of promotions and situations! Each one features a high-quality image of your book, along with the necessary information to find and purchase it. Order online or log in to your Publishing Center account and enter the promo code PromoPack10 at checkout!

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We Can Cover That!

A book’s cover is one of its most powerful forms of currency, and each cover speaks volumes about its content and style. These days, it’s easy to tell a romance novel from a science fiction thriller by cover alone, and this visual shorthand is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to a reader’s heart … but it’s not the only important function of a book cover! Each cover is replete with ISBN numbers, biographical snippets, blurbs, summaries, and other vital components layered on top of its visually appealing elements, like the cover art and typography of its title, author name, and so on.

With so much at stake, how is a self-published author supposed to construct a cover which can hold its own among the thousands of other books out there on the market? First impressions matter in the world of book publishing, and self-published authors sometimes find themselves at a disadvantage. A custom cover, however, can help your book reap all the benefits of making a good first impression. And for a limited time this June, we’re offering a FREE Custom Cover Design (valued at $399) with the purchase of our Ultimate or Full-Color Publishing packages. Yes, that’s right — a free custom cover design is yours for the taking!

With this promotion, your book will:

  • look professional, lending you credibility as an author
  • be visible, hooking potential readers’ attention as they browse through their options
  • reach your ideal readers, and be encoded with all of the subtle visual hints specific to their favorite genres
  • be informative and comprehensive, providing all of the necessary components to make your book marketable, including details like ISBN numbers
  • and details to convey your book’s story, characters, themes, motivations and underlying messages

To take part, follow these two steps:

  1. Enter the promotional code of Cover4Free at checkout
  2. Then, once you connect with your Consultant, you will receive a second code which will allow you to add the custom cover to your purchase

If you have any questions or, if you want to find out more information about either our Ultimate or Full-Color Publishing packages, get in touch with your Publishing Consultant. There are three convenient ways to connect:

  1. Call us at 1-888-672-6657 (OP-BOOKS)
  2. Live-chat with us via our website
  3. Go online to schedule an appointment
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Introducing One-Click Publishing for Children’s Books Without Custom Illustrations

If you’ve spent any time reading our newsletters, blog posts, or emails, you are probably familiar with our suite of One-Click Publishing packages. If you’re new to Outskirts Press, let me begin by explaining that these packages incorporate a range of services that make up, in many ways, some of our finest offerings and keep us a top-ranked self-publishing company by authors and third-party evaluators alike. We are happy to announce that, due to popular demand, we have put together a new offering for children’s book authors who don’t need (or are providing their own) custom illustrations!

With the click of the mouse, you can set in motion a series of self-publishing events that is nearly as magical as the tale you’ve woven for young readers! The One-Click Publishing Suite for Non-Illustrated Children’s Books from Outskirts Press pulls together comprehensive production, print and marketing services into one all-inclusive self-publishing bundle. You’ll receive professional editing, custom book cover design, genre-specific marketing services and more, all with one-on-one service every step of the way. Visit our website for more information: www.outskirtspress.com/p/childrensnonillustrated

Our ever-expanding collection of One-Click Publishing suites are designed to lift the burden of detailed decision making from your shoulders and allow you to return to what you love most—writing —while the expert editors, designers, and Personal Marketing Assistants collaborate to produce a book that not only meets your expectations but exceeds them in all of the ways that matter most. With just one click of your mouse or touchpad, you get over a dozen bundled services!

To learn more, visit www.outskirtspress.com. You can also talk with a Publishing Consultant to get exactly what you need – and get the most out of it! There are three convenient ways to connect:

  1. Call us at 1-888-672-6657 (OP-BOOKS)
  2. Live-chat with us via our website
  3. Go online to schedule an appointment
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Meet, Greet, Read and Learn at the 2017 ALA Conference & Exhibition, June22-27

No one knows books like the American Library Association (ALA), so it makes sense that no one holds a book exhibition quite like the ALA either. The ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition takes place in Chicago June 22-27, with more than 25,000 library staff, educators, publishers, authors, exhibitors and special guests expected to attend. Whether you’re an Outskirts Press author, prospective self-published author, or simply a student, educator or business professional who’s passionate about reading, it’s a high-profile event that could forge new connections and opportunities for you in your own book journey!

Founded in 1876, the ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world and serves a mission of promoting libraries, enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. There’s more to the ALA Conference & Exhibition than we could ever list here, but even the highlights offer an impressive immersion into the literary world!

This year’s event features an impressive list of key speakers: actor Sarah Jessica Parker; entertainer Bill Nye (“the Science Guy”); Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code; and a host of accomplished authors, entrepreneurs and literary professionals. Exhibition attendees receive unprecedented access and insight into the literary world via seminars and networking events with some of the most powerful movers and shakers in the industry.

The 2017 expo includes a variety of opportunities for readers, writers and publishers to learn, look and liaise:

  • 500-plus informational programs and sessions
  • more than 900 exhibitors, including authors and publishers in a variety of genres
  • literary readings
  • panel discussions
  • networking events
  • awards presentations
  • And so much more!

ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition is an opportunity to tap into valuable industry knowledge and make priceless connections. While it’s too late to get involved in the 2017 ALA Conference & Exhibition, Outskirts Press can make sure you’re represented at next year’s event to get the most benefit from every exciting lead!

So, think ahead to 2018 and exhibit book at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition with representation from Outskirts Press.

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Amazon Featured Book-of-the-Week

Here’s this week’s Featured Book-of-the-Week available now on Amazon.com!


A Place To Call Home: Toby’s Tale

by G. A. Whitmore

(4.5 Stars – 88 Customer Reviews)

Price: $21.95

G. A. Whitmore’s “A Place To Call Home” is the heartwarming and inspiring story of an abandoned white German shepherd puppy named Toby and his cross-country search for a forever home. This book can be enjoyed by dog lovers of all ages.

 Learn More > 

 

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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Capture the Magic in Your Next Children’s Book!

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who might claim that writing children’s books is easy; in fact, most people in the know will tell you exactly the opposite. Publishing professionals, editors, and authors alike must face up to the peculiar challenges of the genre, which include writing a captivating story, generating eye-popping illustrations, and creating a marketing strategy which will appeal to both the children who make up your primary audience—and the adults who must pay for its purchase. And here’s a fun fact: sometimes children and adults like different things!

There is no other book genre out there which has such a division between its readers and its purchasers … but don’t let that get you down! There are ways to write and publish children’s books which will sell well to folks of all ages, and here we have put together a top six tips list to help you create your own.

  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 their attention. The amount of text you can get away with per page will lengthen as your target audience grows older, but a general rule of thumb is to start with two lines of text per page for toddlers and to go from there.
  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. In 2014, for instance, one of the most popular subjects was bullying. In 2015, diversity and Civil Rights spiked in popularity. In 2016, picture books featuring public service and leadership frequently hit the bestseller lists. One of the strengths of self-publishing is the fact that books can respond to current events, go to press, and hit bookshelves much more quickly than their traditional counterparts. Take advantage!
  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 sophisticated sentence structure. Embed what some writers call “gift words” throughout your book, and elevate the beauty of your lines the same way you would for adults. After all, it’s very likely adults will be reading your book aloud to or alongside their kids, and this will transform your book from pure entertainment to a learning opportunity.
  4. Voice morals carefully, and cleverly. Young children will often miss the meat of your agenda, and adults may be turned off from purchasing your book for their kids because it strikes them as “too preachy” or because they disagree with your point. Many of the most successful picture books are indeed rich with moral material, and few will argue otherwise than that picture books are prime tools for teaching sound decision-making skills, but most of these success stories find clever, quiet ways to do so without alienating readers.
  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. These thoughtful additions often help parents and educators to recognize the care which went into writing and publishing the book, and to put it to work in a more intentional way.
  6. Humor me. Or rather, humor them! Children have a keen sense of humor, and are particularly sensitive to farce and comedy. Adults are more attuned to situational and other forms of irony. A good picture book will entertain everyone by tapping into intersectional forms of humor, just as a good children’s movie usually has some sort of mature subtext embedded within it to keep parents awake in the theater. You can also use humor as a teaching tool, so everyone wins!

In an ideal world, you would be able to focus on the act of writing your picture book, and not have to worry about the complicated minutiae of publishing and marketing your book which you may or may not feel prepared enough to tackle. Luckily, we already live in that world! At Outskirts Press, you can turn to us at any stage of the publishing process, whether you’re reading this newsletter and finding tips on how to move forward with your writing, or using our One-Click Publishing suite to publish your next children’s book, or exploring your options for illustrations and interior formatting. 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!

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