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.

Have You Published a Children’s Book? Here’s How to Market It.

Children’s books may just be the purest distillation of self-publishing perfection: they’re beautiful, they have universal appeal to readers of all ages, and they pack an emotional punch which leaves readers hungry for more. But if you’ve recently self-published a children’s book, you already know that marketing your book successfully can still pose some unique challenges, regardless of these qualities. It’s time to put your creative gifts back to work, and to take advantage of your book’s unique place in the self-publishing marketplace. But how? Here are three simple suggestions to get you started.

ONE: Think of your book as an event, not an object.

Children’s books are best enjoyed collectively, aren’t they? Whether we’re talking about a grandparent reading aloud to a pack of children on the couch; or a librarian holding forth to a cluster of kids during Story Hour; or an educator teaching sight words to a roomful of young, eager minds, children’s books are events, not just physical objects that one can hold in the hand. When it comes to marketing, spend some time early on brainstorming all of the various contexts in which you see your book being enjoyed … and then start planning how you can make those events happen. And don’t just think analog … digital context matters, too! Think of all those book reviews on YouTube and TikTok; and look at all those readers on Goodreads who might love discovering your book with their children or grandchildren.

Nowadays, holding a book-reading event may not be enough to motivate parents to open their pocketbooks; they want to be convinced that there is more to your book than what can be experienced in a single reading. Many children’s are easy to pick up once and never again. So when you think about hosting an event, think about how to ensure it’s an engaging one that inspires children to enjoy it over and over again. Find ways to make clear connections to ancillary materials like related activities, website material, and educator-friendly resources. The point is to demonstrate that your book is worth coming back to, time and time again.

TWO: Schools are key, and schools are hard.

If you haven’t already developed educational supplements around your children’s book, that is a good place to start. For instance, collect activities and further readings, media, and so forth that relates to your children’s book. Package it as an educational unit. That way, when you arrange to visit a classroom or run a workshop for local teachers, you have already made it easy for them to meet state and federal core requirements.

Yes, schools are a difficult nut to crack, but if you really want your children’s book to move, you need to access them. Since teachers typically rely on resources that have been approved by, or perhaps even provided by, large traditional publishing houses and their marketing teams, gaining credibility is of utmost importance.  Level the playing field by winning a few awards, such as garnering recognition from the Mom’s Choice Awards, for example.  The opportunity schools offer makes the effort worthwhile.

THREE: Make hay while the sun shines … and the sun shines around the world!

Some of the most underutilized opportunities for children’s book authors are book fairs, and there are so many wonderful ones around the world to choose from! These days, it’s easy to take part, too, as self-publishing companies like Outskirts Press offer Global Book Tour packages designed to get your book in front of and into the hands of educational administrators, librarians, retailers, parents, and readers in an efficient and effective way.

If you are looking to market your children’s book, there’s never been a better time than now to inquire. Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com and check out our Marketing Solutions menu. And to see our staff picks of amazing children’s books from many of our authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here.

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Top 5 Benefits of a Virtual Book Tour

Book marketing has changed due to the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic. However, thanks to modern technology, you can take your book on tour without ever leaving your home. Take your book on the virtual road and connect with bloggers and readers all over the globe with the Virtual Book Tour Launch.

Being able to market your book efficiently while following social distancing guidelines is just one of the benefits of a virtual book tour. Following are five additional benefits:

    1. It’s faster, less expensive, and more convenient to “tour” from in front of your computer than from town to town in your car.  (That’s 3 benefits right there, and there are still 4 more to go!)
    2. It’s an opportunity to engage with readers.  Your appearance on blogs may generate reader comments, which you are encouraged to respond to.
    3. More book sales and book reviews. The whole point of going on a virtual book tour is to generate book sales, but you may discover an added benefit- the resulting book reviews, which will, in turn, become MORE book sales, and so on and so forth.
    4. Virtual Book Tours last “forever.”  On a “real” book tour, it’s over the minute you get home.  But a virtual book tour is archived and searchable online forever, available for search engines (and your readers) to discover days, months, or even years later.  And due to the power of POD and distribution-on-demand, your book will still be available for sale when those orders come in.
    5. Word of mouth.  While the initial “tour” may be a whirlwind, you may discover an additional benefit due to word-of-mouth.  Bloggers know each other, which can turn into more “appearances” down the road; and readers know each other (just ask members of GoodReads), which may turn into additional sales and reviews down the road, even if those secondary readers didn’t see you “on tour.”

Speaking of road, it used to be a long, hard road to put together a Virtual Book Tour on your own.  But Outskirts Press makes it easy with our Virtual Book Tour Launch…and for a limited time, you can save 10% on this valuable marketing opportunity!

To save 10% instantly on your Virtual Book Tour Launch, enter promo code savetenvbt at checkout. But hurry, this incredible offer expires soon!

10% off Your Virtual Book Tour Launch

Are you looking for new ways to market your book while following social distancing guidelines? Thanks to modern technology, you can take your book on tour without ever leaving your home. Outskirts Press makes it easy with our Virtual Book Tour Launch…and for a limited time, you can save 10% on this valuable marketing opportunity!

Are you looking for new ways to market your book while following social distancing guidelines? Thanks to modern technology, you can take your book on tour without ever leaving your home. Outskirts Press makes it easy with our Virtual Book Tour Launch…and for a limited time, you can save 10% on this valuable marketing opportunity!

Here’s how the Virtual Book Tour Launch works:

  • Outskirts Press uses the power of the blogosphere to launch your Virtual Book Tour with two guaranteed blog appearances on SelfPublishingNews.com and SelfPublishingAdvisor.com. Automated aggregation will then announce and promote those blog appearances to our Facebook and Twitter communities, resulting in a combined grand-total of approximately 60,000 “views” with active readers and writers.
  • Once your virtual tour appearances are scheduled, you will receive the dates along with a Virtual Book Tour Packet that contains all the materials and information you need to personally continue your Virtual Book Tour on additional blogs, websites and social networks.
  • Outskirts Press will register you with a “digital clipping service,” which tracks all of your book’s virtual book appearances. Each time your book is mentioned anywhere on the Internet, you will receive a notification so you can follow the buzz about your book and even participate in the discussion about your book through the comments sections.

To save 10% instantly on your Virtual Book Tour Launch, enter promo code savetenvbt at checkout. But hurry, this incredible offer expires soon!

 

3 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Plan in 2021

Almost every blog, workshop, and website on the subject of self-publishing advocates for creating a book marketing plan even before your book has been printed. You will already have read about a number of marketing methods, from virtual book tours to book signings to book fair partnerships to glossy mailings featuring your book. Have you followed that advice?

Sometimes, even when we answer “yes” to this question, our sales numbers may not reflect the hard work and the (usually) good advice. You might even be following every piece of advice you’ve received to the letter. So, how could this be? And more importantly, how do we fix the problem?

The simple truth is that your book’s marketing plan may have a fatal flaw, and this flaw may be costing you sales. And truthfully, this is a common problem among self-publishing authors, which means both that you’re not alone and that we’ve figured out a couple of surefire ways to troubleshoot the issues.

Instead of looking at your book marketing plan as an enemy which is actively working against you, ponder these three questions. Your answers might just help reshape your marketing plan to be more insightful, more effective, and more successful at moving your book off of the bookstore shelves.

  1. Have you clearly defined your target market? When you wrote your first book, you just knew that everyone would love it. It would make you the talk of the town (or maybe even the talk of the nation or globe). It would be the “it” book that everyone would want to read. But … that’s a rather lofty goal. Many might even say that it’s an impossible goal, in that even the most successful authors (like Stephen King, Tom Clancy, and Jan Karon) aren’t able to reach everyone with their books. And that’s fine; they have developed loyal followings among readers who are committed to them and their books. That’s where their success lies, and even if you’re not a blockbuster breakout success on the scale of a Stephen King, one can learn from that core truth: loyal followings sell books. How, then, do you seek them out? First, ignore all of the white noise, and dispense with the idea that your book is for everyone. There isn’t a book on Earth that’s for everyone. So, who is your book for? What is your intended audience? Start locking in the details, from demographic details like age and occupation to the qualities they look for in books. Define your target audience with care, and with specificity. If you can’t name some specific characteristics, you won’t be able to market to them.
  2. Have you figured out what differentiates your book from the other books available to your target market? Can you tell us why your book is both different from and better than any other book on the market in its genre? Is there a lesson taught in your book? Are your characters easier to relate to? There has to be a reason why readers want to buy your spy thriller instead of the latest from John le Carré. As daunting as it is to consider as a competitor THE AUTHOR who leads the pack in terms of sales in your genre, doing so will help you figure out your book’s strengths. You aren’t just churning out another Vince Flynn action book; you’re publishing a book with its own strengths of plot and character. Find out what makes your book special and use that as your unique value proposition … in marketing as well as every other context.
  3. Have you updated your book marketing plan lately? The book marketing industry, like any other, evolves with blinding speed. If you don’t keep your plans up to date, your plan can easily become irrelevant and your book sales will flag. We recommend that authors review and update their book marketing plan at least once per year, and that they make sure to get other eyes on their plan than their own as well. Having that external insight is vital and important to making sure that every detail of your marketing plan serves a purpose!

Have your book sales been flagging and you can’t figure out why? Perhaps it’s time to consult with one of our Book Marketing Specialists? Right now, Outskirts Press is offering an instant 10% savings off the regular price of $349 when you claim 5 hours of 1-on-1 marketing assistance with a book marketing specialist. Enter promo code savetenbms at check out to receive 10% off instantly.

How Book Marketing Specialists are Helping Self-Publishing Authors

As a self-published author, do you know how to develop a book marketing plan or even what should be included in it? Do you have the time and know-how to snag and schedule book signings? Are you confused about when, where and how to implement these and other elements of your book marketing plan?

A professional book marketing specialist can assist you with all these tasks, and more!

What, exactly, can a book marketing specialist do for you?

  • Develop a marketing plan. A book marketing plan is as vital to the marketing of a book as an outline is to the writing of it. And a marketing plan must be continuously tweaked to stay aligned with your goals. When you hire a book marketing specialist, you will receive a customized marketing plan with recommended actions and valuable information you can use TODAY to sell more books.
  • Arrange book signings. Book signings are special moments for any author, and for book fans. Your book marketing specialist will help you schedule these events and coordinate all the important details.
  • Develop your author platform. Your online presence says a lot about you as a person, and it can say a lot about you as an author. Having an internet presence that is tailored specifically to your needs will help you fine-tune your image, get the word out about your book(s) to a large, targeted audience and give readers valuable ways to find you and buy your book. Your author platform includes a website, social networking accounts and more. A book marketing specialist can ensure that you make the most of this valuable marketing medium!
  • Follow-up on marketing leads. When life gets busy, it’s nice to hand off the little details to someone else–like following up with potentially valuable marketing leads. Your book marketing specialist will chase down these leads for you and make sure you get ’em while they’re HOT!

Marketing a book is not a cookie-cutter science. The successful path depends upon the book, the author, and his/her goals. That’s why it is imperative to meet with your book marketing specialist first, typically via an initial telephone consultation. Once you make sure you and your marketing specialist are on the same page (pun intended), you can work together more efficiently, and effectively.

If you haven’t yet secured the services of a professional book marketing specialist to help you with the marketing of your self-published book, perhaps 2021 is the year to do it.

Right now, Outskirts Press is offering an instant 10% savings off the regular price of $349 when you claim 5 hours of 1-on-1 marketing assistance with a book marketing specialist. Enter promo code savetenbms at check out to receive 10% off instantly.

About Outskirts Press

Since 2002, Outskirts Press has helped thousands of authors just like you develop, publish, and market thousands of high-quality, award-winning books featuring…

  • exceptional cover design
  • professional interior formatting
  • high-quality printing
  • award-winning publishing
  • worldwide distribution
  • and extensive book marketing services

Outskirts Press is the only A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively, because we deliver outstanding customer service, affordable pricing, and industry-leading royalties.

 

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 2021 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 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 2021 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? Visit our website for our complete list of book publishing and marketing services and to schedule a consultation with a Publishing Consultant.

 

Outskirts Press Proudly Sponsors the 2021 Colorado Book Awards

Attention all Colorado-based authors, editors, illustrators and photographers: Outskirts Press is once again sponsoring the annual Colorado Book Awards, and we encourage your submissions for the 2021 Awards!

The annual event is run by the Colorado Center for the Book, the program department of the Colorado Humanities, which is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of Colorado’s outstanding authors, editors, illustrators and photographers.

The Colorado Book Awards — presented annually by Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book — were launched in 1991 with four categories of awards to recognize authors, illustrators, editors and publishers, and have since expanded to 10 literary categories. Many of Colorado’s most prominent authors have been recognized with awards, including David Milofsky, John Fielder, Tom Noel, Stephanie Kane and Linda Hogan, among others.

Applications for the 2021 Colorado Book Awards are due January 8, 2021, and should be submitted directly to the Colorado Book Awards. Judging generally occurs in April, and the awards are presented at a ceremony in late Spring.

Visit www.coloradohumanities.org for more information about the Colorado Book Awards.

Are you a non-Coloradan but interested in other book competition opportunities? Visit Outskirts Press to learn more about how book awards can help move your book to new levels of success.

 

Amazon Featured Book of the Week

Now available on Amazon.com!


Living on the Edge: Adventures of a Hunter

by Shannon L. Kollmeyer

(5 Stars – 2 Customer Reviews)

Price: $44.95

Shannon L. Kollmeyer’s “Living on the Edge: Adventures of a Hunter.” Adrenaline rush in every hard-core hunting adventure. Untamed wilderness, nasty terrain, daunting conditions, over 50 species-experience it all in one man’s lifetime hunting passion. Here are solid stories that show the hard work, research, planning, and perseverance that makes for good hunting. Kollmeyer is your guide through this spectrum of hunts in four countries, 20 locations, various geographies, different cultures, and every type of terrain and weather imaginable. Follow the author’s footsteps across the Yukon wilderness, the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, the United States, Africa, and New Zealand. A must-read for conservationists, hunters, and all lovers of this great planet.

 

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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.

 

Would you like your book featured here? Buy Now

 

Amazon Featured Book of the Week

Now available on Amazon.com!


Memoirs of a Life Shattered: Living With & Through a Pancoast Tumor

by Judith Dwyer Fugate

(5 Stars – 3 Customer Reviews)

Price: $24.95

Judith Dwyer Fugate’s “Memoirs of a Life Shattered: Living With & Through a Pancoast Tumor. “Being assaulted by a cruel and uncaring assassin: cancer. Numbness was my first reaction followed by fear, confusion, sorrow, anger, and pain. This intrusion had already threatened to not only shatter my life, but end it.

 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.

 

Would you like your book featured here? Buy Now