Reach for the Moon and Land Among the Stars This Awards Season!

Book contests are a wonderful way for self-published authors to build upon their platforms and cultivate credibility. And yes, while they’re occasionally the hallmark of snootiness, awards ought not to be overlooked as the fantastic marketing tool they are! Not only will winning a book award (or two, or three) boost an author’s physical and social presence, they also create cross-searchable entries online and, as such, play a big role in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies.

Yes, winning awards make for a great addition to your book listings on Amazon, Goodreads, and other websites, and they also give you a great excuse to throw a party or a book reading and possibly even release a new celebratory edition of your book! Awards do all these things–and they also perform a truly critical service in affirming your hard work.

It has been hard work, what you’ve accomplished. But awards aren’t just about you, they’re also about your readers! There are so many books in the world, and such fierce competition online and in bookstores for customers’ attention, that readers can easily be swamped by the sheer number of options available. Awards lend distinction, dare we say credibility, to help your book stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Book Contests

An award win or nomination increases your exposure in several key ways, including:

  1. Fleshing out your resume, biography, and social capital;
  2. Boosting your book’s marketing presence with feature articles in publications or online, in press releases, and elsewhere;
  3. Award badges which can be featured on your book’s cover, rendering it eye-catching both in stores and in online retail listings;
  4. Last but not least, several contests (including those held by Writer’s Digest and ForeWord Magazine) are attached to cash winnings, which can go a long way toward further marketing efforts for your award-winning opus.

It’s true that many contests have deadlines based upon the book’s publication date, so it is in every author’s best interest to enter as many contests as possible as soon after publication as possible.  But there are other contests that don’t depend upon publication dates (or at least, not as strictly), so even if your book has been published for a few years, your marketing efforts would be well-served to enter contests for which you are still eligible.

Published Outskirts Press authors can browse through the free Top National Contests & Awards ebook in their Book Marketing Bookshelf from within their Publishing Center for a vetted listings of many of the best book awards to enter (many of which have upcoming deadlines for submission).   Here’s just a sample of some of the awards with upcoming deadlines:

Top National Contests and Book Awards

USA Best Book Awards

  • Deadline: Fall
  • Website:
  • Details: This contest is another option to spread your marketing dollars, as they accept manuscripts up to two years after publication. All winners receive industry and media exposure.

Benjamin Franklin Awards

  • Deadline: Fall/Winter
  • Website:
  • Details: Held by the Independent Book Publishers Association, the annual Benjamin Franklin Awards is one of the premiere contests in independent publishing today, where Gold Medal winners in each category receive an engraved crystal trophy acknowledging their accomplishment.

Reader Views Literary Awards

  • Deadline: December of your copyright year
  • Website:
  • Details: With numerous categories and various awards per category (including cash prizes and publicity packages), the Reader Views Literary Awards should not be missed. And it’s easy to miss them! They have the earliest deadline among all these contests, so plan early.


Deadline: Dec/Jan
Details: Held by the prestigious review journal Foreword Reviews, the INDIEFAB Awards are a cornerstone of the independent publishers marketing foundation. Not only are winners featured in the print and digital editions of Foreword Reviews, but they play a role in a national publicity campaign.

Eric Hoffer Book Awards

  • Deadline: January
  • Website:
  • Details: One submission automatically makes you eligible for numerous category considerations, including most-thought provoking work, best cover, best first-time author, and best over-all book, which comes with a $2,000 Grand Prize.

The Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Awards

  • Deadline: By invitation only
  • Website:
  • Details: Every year Outskirts Press recognizes one book as our official Best Book of the Year with this prestigious award that comes with a $1,500 Grand Prize for the winning author. The prerequisite for becoming one of the three special Semi-Finalists in this contest is winning a Colorado Independent Book Publishers Association EVVY Award.

Each award presents its nominees and winners with unique advantages, from cash and promotion in print and online magazines to possible literary representation in areas such as film and foreign rights, to promotion at public events such as the Book Expo of America.  But each award submission process also presents its own unique challenges, from entry fees to stringent eligibility requirements to the logistics of producing and mailing book copies to reviewers and judges–and as with many other marketing opportunities, this process can eat up a lot of a self-publishing author’s time, money, and energy. And with the holiday season rapidly approaching, it’s easy to get distracted and miss the submission deadlines entirely.   Don’t let that happen to you!

If you’ve published with Outskirts Press, why not let us take care of the details? We’d love to help you, and we’d love to take your book to the red carpet!  But even if you choose to do it all yourself, make sure you do it.  Winning a book award for your published book is truly one of the most amazing feelings! There’s nothing quite like it.  Here’s to your great success!




How to get published for free in our next anthology

Now Accepting Submissions for the Third Annual Fandemonium Anthology from Outskirts Press

It’s that time of year again! Fandemonium 3 is coming and you are invited to be a part of it!

Have you written a poem or short story that you would like to enter for a chance to be published for free in this new anthology featuring our talented Facebook fans?

Each year, Fandemonium brings Outskirts Press Facebook fans together to experience the joy of publishing with Outskirts Press first-hand, benefiting a great cause along the way.

Submitting your work for consideration is simple. Here’s what to do:

  1. Become an Outskirts Press Facebook fan by “liking” our Facebook page. If you’ve already liked us, great!
  2. Post your submission as a Note in Facebook. Then tag the Outskirts Press Facebook Page in your Note.
  3. Be sure to submit your entry before April 30th, and remember to tell your friends to vote for your submission by “liking” it.

Submissions with the highest number of votes will be considered for inclusion in our upcoming Fandemonimum Volume 3 anthology. Submissions can be fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. Short entries are best for anthologies, so submissions under 5000 words will be considered first.

You will retain 100% of the copyright to your material. By submitting content, you confirm that you are the sole copyright holder to the material you are submitting and that you grant us a non-exclusive right to use the materials you submit through our social media channels and within the Facebook Anthology when it is published and distributed. Furthermore, you understand that royalties from the sale of Fandemonium are not split among the contributors but rather go to the American Red Cross.

In fact, you can benefit the American Red Cross right now with your 10% discounted purchase of Fandemonium Volume 1 and Fandemonium Volume 2.

Ready to publish your own book as well?

Start Publishing Today
Receive $300 of Amazon marketing services when you start publishing today.

Jump-start your publishing marketing efforts with the Amazon Extreme marketing package and once your book is published, you will receive…

• An Amazon Kindle e-book edition of your book
• Amazon Search Inside the Book set-up
• An enhanced cover graphic on Amazon
• A free copy of “Sell Your Book on Amazon”

All this absolutely free when you start publishing your book with the popular Diamond package or the full-color Pearl publishing package by April 30, 2013 when you complete your shopping cart order with the promotion code: FreeAEApr13

In addition to receiving the free Amazon Extreme Package, you’ll also get the following savings with your Diamond package:

  • Standard Press Release. $99 value included free when you order your Diamond publishing service today.
  • Audio Excerpt. $99 value included free with your Diamond order today and a great way to share your voice with your readers, literally!
  • E-Book Edition (pdf). $99 value included free with your Diamond publishing service.
  • Cover Image. $99 value included free and a great way to enhance your cover.
  • Spring Arbor additional distribution. $99 value to complement the Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Ingram availability already included with your Diamond publishing service.

All in all, you’re looking at $800 of free stuff in April!

Click to order the Diamond Package
Click to order the Pearl Package

I will recommend Outskirts Press to my family and others! Very professional, efficient, knowledgeable and caring! I Love you all! I am looking forward to working with you on my 3rd book!

Sophia Santucci has been a yoga instructor for 11 years and involved in yoga practice for 20 years. She is a Reiki Master, a reflexologist, and a licensed cosmetologist; she also provides instruction and thought yoga to corporate environments and nonprofit organizations, and facilitates transformational seminars and meditation classes. She currently lives in Florida with her husband and a dog, surrounded by nature. Sophia’s first book is From Across the Ocean to Electromagnetic Energy in Motion to Waking up in Light.

Yoga is not about being able to wrap your leg around your neck. If you’re new to yoga and looking for a way to feel younger, healthier, and well balanced, Sophia Santucci’s latest book is for you. No prior experience is required, and it’s never too late to start. Take the first step to discovering a new you. Yoga Practice Demystified will take you through the gentle poses and stretches, the visualization, breathing, and meditation exercises that will bring balance to your soul and peace to your mind. With yoga, you can quiet the busy chatter of your mind, bring wellness to your physical body, and have more energy to accomplish your personal goals. Choose what works for you-this book has yoga recipes for everyone!

Sophia Santucci, author of Yoga Practice Demystified

The Deadline for the 2013 Readers Favorite Self-Publishing Book Awards is coming up!

self publishingIf your book has a copyright of 2012 or 2013, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you don’t want to miss! Now that so many books are published each year, customers look for “award-winning” books to spend their hard-earned dollars on. The only way to have an award-winning book is to enter contests, and this is one of the most prestigious.

We can handle all of the submission details for you, including:

  • Printing copies of your book for the judges
  • Mailing your book to the judges
  • Paying your award submission fee, and
  • Completing the entry forms for you.

So what do you get when you win?

  • Award Winning Author Recognition — Each winner/finalist will be able to promote themselves and their book as an award-winning author and award-winning book.
  • Medal Award Ceremony — Winners and finalists are invited to the Readers’ Favorite Medal Award Ceremony during the week of the Miami Book Fair International, the largest book fair in the nation
  • Book Review and Mini-Critique — All entrants receive a complete book review which will be posted on the Readers’ Favorite site, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest.
  • Display of your Book Cover, Summary and Award Image — Winners and finalists will also be featured on a new Award Contest Results page via a link in the “Our Award-Winning Books” box on every page of the Readers’ Favorite site.
  • Professional, High Distribution Press Release — Both Readers’ Favorite and Outskirts Press announce the results of the competition through premium press releases and blog posts sent to a variety of media contacts and other authors.
  • Much, much more!

Don’t delay; the deadline for Outskirts Press published authors is this Friday, April 12, 2013.

Celebrate National Poetry Month With These Book Marketing Tips

Roses are red, violets are blue…I can finish this poem, I bet you can, too!   

April is National Poetry Month and a perfect time to market a poetry book or even write one of your own if you haven’t already.  Once you have published your volume of poetry, these 5 tips can help you effectively market it:

  1. Know your audience. Understand who your readers are and where they are. Find ways to connect with your target readers. 
  2. Create a website. Create your own professional website for your work. Include samples of your poetry  and your biography. Creating a blog helps to move you up in the search engine rankings.
  3. Enter poetry contests. Submit your work to various contests locally, regionally and even nationally. Winning, or even simply entering, contests draws attention to you and to your work. If possible, include your biography and your website.
  4. Promote on social media outlets. The best way to spread the news about your poetry and you as a writer is through social media. Join poetry and writing groups through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  5. Engage in poetry forums. Join a poetry forum or poetry related website to share your work with other poets and writers. Be sure to engage others and invite them to participate in your poetry. Any time you post, be sure to include your website address.

Keep in mind that there are many ways to promote and market your book. These are only a few of the effective areas. Celebrate National Poetry Month in April and start writing!

Poetry is a great way to inspire images through spoken word in the minds of the readers. Do you want to publish a beautiful, high-quality, professionally-formatted volume of poetry? Outskirts Press offers an exclusive Poetry Formatting Kit, which is the fastest, easiest way to literally “cut’n’paste” your poetry into a pre-formatted document that is already formatted and ready for printing!

Click to order

I just received the Author copies of my book and I can’t stop looking at the cover and flipping through the pages. I have handled and read hundreds of books and I can’t see a better work than what I have in my hand. The cover is just excellent and the interior exceptional.

Chuks Maduadi is the CEO of Mac-Adisons Ltd., a building/civil engineering company based in Nigeria. He is also the founder of Achievers Motivational Centre Ltd., a self-development resource dedicated to motivational writing, public speaking, life coaching, and publishing. Chuks holds a master’s degree in construction management, and is a corporate member of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE). He encourages everyone to look beyond their circumstances and pursue excellence and self-actualization. His passion is inspiring people to become their best by hard work, determination, persistence, and perseverance.

His life story, as revealed in this powerful book, demonstrates that it is possible to rise from poverty and climb the ladder of success. He emphasizes that no matter the obstacles stacked against you, you can actualize your life’s dreams. Mastering Your Destiny prepares and equips you to maximize your life experiences and become the best you are destined to be. Regardless of who you are or where you have come from, you will be enlightened, encouraged, and inspired to go beyond your limitations to fulfill your God-ordained calling in life.

Chuks Maduadi, author of Mastering Your Destiny