Once Upon a Cover: The Power of Eye-Catching Copy

There once was a time when you might venture forth to browse the shelves at your local bookstore or library, run your fingers along a hundred or so spines, and snatch up the book that most grabbed your attention. These days, the process has a digital equivalent, and many of us readers lose hours upon hours of our lives scrolling through listings on Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s online stores before settling on the books which pull us in. But in one thing, we haven’t evolved. Despite mostly eschewing cliches, one continues to haunt us: “don’t judge a book by its cover!”

These words haunt us because of their impossibility. We do judge books by their covers, and in an era of rapid digital evolution, we’re still drawn to books with interesting cover art over those with basic or template designs. And while e-book formats sometimes require less emphasis on physical appearance (interior formatting is simpler and a full cover design is not always necessary), they still need distinctive, eye-popping cover artwork. And since the reader will be viewing the cover on a screen–often the size of a business card–it is very important that the design is appealing and captures the essence of the book.

If your front cover is your book’s first impression, your back cover synopsis is a very valuable second; you’re targeting your reader, pulling them in, and convincing them that this is a book worth investing in. One typo or missing element could make the difference between your sales being “okay” and “wow!”

And, it’s important to realize that this back cover content isn’t solely for the actual back cover — it is also the sales copy (otherwise called “the annotation”) for the detailed sales page on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble! Most book buyers thoroughly read the sales copy of the books they are considering, so this is not a detail you can ignore.

But should you write your own sales copy? Writing something that educates or entertains is different from writing something that sells. As a professional author, it’s important to know when to ask for help.

The skilled team behind our “Cover Text Refinement Option” knows what it takes to transform a browser into a buyer! With this optional production option, you’re telling your readers that your book is worth their time and money because you’ve made it the best it can possibly be–both inside and out. Meanwhile, the Outskirts Press copywriters will do what it takes to hook your readers by professionally summarizing your manuscript, creating eye-catching headlines, and writing a compelling author biography.

You’ve spent so much time and energy creating your masterpiece–don’t let your hard work go unnoticed! An amazing back cover and sales annotation can make the difference between someone scrolling past your book…and someone buying it.

Have questions? For more information about self-publishing with Outskirts Press, get in touch with a 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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Spring Into Some Savings This May!

Spring is a time for renewed hopes, and a time to dust off those projects which have been sitting in the back of your mind–or in the far recesses of your computer’s memory–over the chilly winter months. You’ve had time to let the ideas percolate, like snowmelt through warming soil, and things are starting to come together to grow your dream into something magnificent. Now that May has arrived, spring is officially underway–and your prospects are coming up all roses!

We at Outskirts Press would like to invite you to make good on your desires, and to that end we are offering a spring savings discount of $250 off either our Ultimate Publishing package or our Full-Color Publishing package!

You are an author who knows the virtues of patience—after all, waiting through the cold winter months for a sale like this one is no easy thing!—and you are committed to doing the necessary research to ensure you pick the right self-publishing company for your needs. We hope that, with our phenomenal offerings and equally phenomenal spring savings discount, you’ll choose to publish with us—the one Top Consumer Reviews rated #1 Self-Publishing Company for 2016!

Here’s how to do it:

From now until the end of May, log onto our website or get in touch with us over the phone and add one of these two packages to your shopping cart. Then, enter the promotion code 250May17 at checkout.

That’s it!

If you have any questions or, if you want to find out more information about either our Ultimate or our 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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Great Things Follow Just One Small Click

Struggling to balance your writing time with the sometimes overwhelming process of publishing and marketing your own book? You might just appreciate the value of what we at Outskirts Press call “One-Click Publishing.” All of our One-Click Publishing suites share the same core DNA—an understanding that indie authors shouldn’t have to shoulder the entire publishing burden and go it alone, foregoing professional insight just because they’ve chosen to leave the traditional publishing path. And what better partner in walking that path than the self-publishing company ranked #1 by Top Consumer Reviews?

Since Outskirts Press offers separate One-Click Publishing packages for Fiction, Non-Fiction, Spiritual, Christian, Children’s, Cookbook and Memoir book genres, you can always be sure that the services included will be useful and not just throwaway extras.

Consider, for example, our One-Click Publishing service for fiction books. It includes formatting, copyediting for up to 75,000 words, custom cover design, ISBN and barcode, wholesale distribution through outlets like Ingram and Amazon, an author webpage, one-on-one author support, a digital author galley as well as print author copies, tip sheets, 5 hours of consultation with a Personal Marketing Assistant, a press release, e-book editions, and a whole host of other features that would take too much room to list here.

Our One-Click Publishing suites are easy to use, and by virtue of what economists call “Economies of Scale,” they also make products and services more affordable by bundling them together! They also help save you time and energy. Indie authors have a tremendous drain upon both in the form of publishing and marketing minutiae. After all, it’s unusual for any adult person to possess the skill to execute a beautifully designed book cover as well as the experience necessary to purchase an ISBN without hassle and to construct an effective social media marketing strategy.

A carefully-chosen publishing package sets you free to do what you love most—write—without sacrificing something else important, like eating well, or sleeping eight hours, or time with your family. If you find yourself in a tight spot, we hope that you add our One-Click Publishing services to your list of possibilities.

While our services and packages are all great, our people also shine. We’re proud to offer top-rated self-publishing services to some of the world’s most interesting and innovative authors. We’re here to make your job easier—and yes, to make sure you get to do the things you want to do, not just the things you have to do in order to sell your book.

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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Spring Forward, Bump Up: Get FREE Publishing Upgrades in April!

Want to have a hot new read out in time for summer book buying? All you need is a dream and great timing. Self-publish with Outskirts Press throughout the month of April, and we’ll upgrade your publishing package for FREE! It’s the perfect way to stay within your self-publishing budget, wisely use your tax refund and still get everything you want and then some. Talk about happy returns …

It’s simple, really: When you purchase the Ultimate, Basic or Economy publishing package in April, we’ll automatically bump you up to a better package at no charge. Interested in Full-Color Publishing? Pay for the Ultimate instead and get everything that comes with the Full-Color package. Did you only budget for the Basic package? If you purchase it now, you can claim all the extras that come with the more inclusive Ultimate Publishing. Or, purchase the Economy to receive all that the Basic includes.

In short, you’ll receive hundreds of dollars worth of extras that aren’t normally included in the package you purchased, including:

  • additional options for book formatting
  • more professional cover design choices
  • additional author copies
  • greater profit margins
  • other optional products and services

There’s no better time to self-publish. To claim your free publishing package upgrade:

  • Add our Ultimate, Basic or Economy publishing package to your cart
  • Enter the promo code 17FreeUpgrade at checkout
  • Within 48 hours, we’ll upgrade your publishing package
  • Enjoy more publishing services than you thought possible!

Need help deciding on the right publishing package? Call a Publishing Consultant at 1-888-672-6657 (OP-BOOKS), or chat with us using the live chat option on our website for help selecting the option that fits.

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Errors-B-Gone: How Can I Clear My Manuscript of Mistakes?

Errors are bad, right? Even though we’re often our own harshest critics, we often miss certain annoying little details. But the answer to our question is more life-affirming than you might think: the reason we slip up and our manuscripts include typos and other errors isn’t because we’re stupid — or even careless — but because we’re focused on conveying meaning, a high-level task neurologically speaking. To really catch errors, a person needs time, focus, and to be in the right frame of mind. So, what are some ways we can go about doing this?

Below are five tips you can employ to drastically decrease the chance of mistakes finding their way into your manuscript as you prepare to submit it for publication.

#1 — Have a professional copyeditor edit your manuscript
The most common mistakes are minor, such as misspellings or incorrect use of punctuation. Other common errors are incorrect word use (their, they’re, there). A professional editor is skilled at noticing and correcting these kinds of mistakes. Do not make the mistake of relying solely upon a computerized spell-checker, which cannot tell the difference between “worse” and “worst” since they are both properly spelled words. Use an editor — a human one.

#2 — Get a second (and third) set of eyes
Even if you do not wish to pay a professional, anyone who reviews your writing will find mistakes you invariably missed. Since you are overly familiar with your own work, you are much more likely to miss obvious mistakes because your mind already knows what the text is trying to say, rather than what it actually says. When someone else reads your work, they have no preconceived notions about your intent. In addition to finding mistakes, a professional editor can offer helpful suggestions to make your writing stronger.

#3 — Come back to it later
Do you wait long enough after writing something to begin editing it? Many writers edit their work as they write it. Not only does this slow down the creative process, it increases the chances that your mind will ignore blatant errors in deference to your intentions. Once your brain thinks a paragraph is free from errors, it tends to overlook any new errors that are introduced during the rewriting process. Put your writing away for several hours, days, or weeks and revisit it later. After some time away from your work, you will be more likely to read the words as they appear on the page, not as you envisioned them in your mind. The mind is error-free, the page is not.

#4 — Read your material backwards
You are only familiar with your writing in one direction — forward. Reading your material backwards makes it seem entirely different and fools your mind into ignoring the content and only concentrating on the reality. Furthermore, your critical view of the writing at its most technical level will not be corrupted by the flowing exposition you have massaged into sparkling prose. When you read your manuscript backwards, it becomes a collection of words. Without contextual meaning, the brain has nothing to focus upon other than the words and punctuation. Mistakes literally jump off the page!

#5 — Read your material out loud
When you read words aloud, your brain must slow down and concentrate on the material. How fast can you read the following sentence? The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs. Now how fast can you read it out loud? It takes at least twice as long, and those precious milliseconds sometimes make all the difference between a typo that is missed and one that is caught and corrected. An extra bonus for reading your material out loud is that you may discover stumbling blocks like awkward sentence structure and choppy dialogue.

As a popular Internet posting once informed us, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wtihuot any porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. So do yuorslef a fvaor and ivnset in prfoesisnaol eidtnig.

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The Outskirts Press Website Will Be Down Temporarily

Outskirts Press
Our Website will be shut down for a short time on Sunday, July 31st as we prepare for the re-launch of the new Outskirts Press website. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we think that you’ll be happy with our new, improved website that will be up on August 1st.

The new Outskirts Press will offer all-new publishing services, all-new branding, and an even deeper commitment to helping our clients publish the book of their dreams with personal service and quality products. We will continue to help authors develop and publish high-quality books by offering exceptional design, printing, publishing, distribution, and book marketing services.

You can keep apprised of these exciting changes as they occur by following us on one of our social media channels:

http://facebook.com/OutskirtsPress
http://twitter.com/OutskirtsPress
http://blog.OutskirtsPress.com

Steal the Limelight With a Custom Book Video Trailer!

Voices echo in the auditorium as audience members take their seats. As the orchestra is tuning up, the overhead lights flicker to indicate a one-minute warning and a hushed but expectant silence falls. All eyes turn forward as the heavy velvet drapes are swept aside, leaving your book alone center stage, shining under the warm spotlights. This is the kind of metaphorical attention a book video trailer would have gotten you in the late 1800s, when playwrights were kings — but today, as you might have guessed, the advantages are even greater!

In the modern world, a custom video trailer will put your book in front of countless new readers. It can be easily shared across any number of social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and many more — and embedded in your personal website, emails, or your Amazon and Goodreads book page listings. It’s an immediate, visceral way to showcase your work and hook the attention of new readers!

Video is an ambitious medium, however. You need equipment, you need expertise, and above all you need lots of time to clip and edit and curate. The planning process alone is a gauntlet of tough choices, from theme to soundtrack to shot sequence — and this isn’t even to mention the hazards of navigating the legal side of things, with complicated copyright restrictions tied to using any music or images you didn’t compose or take yourself. It’s a lot to take on.

So how do you get started?

The key is building a competent and creative team who can lift the burdens and leave you the fun choices — and this is where Outskirts Press can help! When you purchase the Book Video Trailer & Distribution package, we place the full power and expertise of our talented team behind your project. It’s as simple as 1-2-3!

“It’s never that simple,” I hear you saying. But it is, it really is!

  1. Click the “Add to Cart” button and finish the check-out process;
  2. Review and respond to the rough cut of your video; and
  3. Wait for the final cut of your book video trailer to be delivered to you by email and distributed to the public online!

See? 1-2-3…your book is now out there in the world, stealing the limelight and reeling in the new readers. What could be more exciting than that? This kind of exposure with all of its built-in “shareability” is the stuff of playwrights’ dreams, and all you need to do is select the Book Video Trailer & Distribution package online at Outskirts Press. The rest, as they say, is history!

Click here to get started commissioning your very own custom book video trailer! It’s Your Book’s Time to Shine.