Amazon Featured Book of the Week

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


Beyond Ragnarok

by Tore Olav Arnesen

Price: $16.95

Tore Olav Arnesen’s “Beyond Ragnarok.” Jens, a professor of linguistics at Trondheim University makes a breakthrough not only in bird communications but also with Kong, a rescued and rehabilitated dolphin. Jens and Kong develop a strong bond and Jens uncovers that dolphins have mythological historical beliefs about the world. Jens is kidnapped and Kong is the only witness. Kong must violate his survival instincts and communicate with Jens’ family and colleagues.

 

 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

Self-Publishing Mistakes You Can Avoid

If you’ve spent much time with your latest manuscript, you may have begun to notice that certain errors are both easy to make and easy to miss when revising. This is true of the self-publishing process. If you want to be taken seriously as an author, a professional author with a successful book, there are some common mistakes you can easily avoid when self-publishing your book.

Here are five recommendations to get you started:

1) Don’t feel pressured into formatting the interior yourself!

Just as our beloved Dr. McCoy on Star Trek had to remind his fellow adventurers often that he was a doctor, not a physicist (or engineer, or bricklayer, or a myriad other things), let us remind you that you’re a writer, not a book designer. (Unless you actually do design books for a living. In which case, move on to the second point.) There are few things as time-consuming as researching the stringent requirements of each publishing medium (print and digital) and then finding the software and the time to do it right. When it comes to book interiors, it’s best to leave this task to the professionals and focus your time on writing and promoting your book.

2) Invest in a Professionally Designed Custom Cover.

Most readers do, in fact, judge a book by its cover, so having an eye-catching, quality cover that professionally represents your book is essential. Most template covers will look and feel like cookie cutter designs with no effort put into them, even if you make small changes to it. It’s worth your while to invest in a professionally designed, dynamic custom cover unique to your book.

3) Don’t (just) edit the book yourself!

No matter how great of a writer you are, or how excellent of an editor you are of other peoples’ works, you cannot edit your own book! It is far too easy to miss mistakes because you are too familiar with your work, even if you take all possible precautions, like reading the whole manuscript aloud to yourself. No: when it comes to editing, this task requires a professional. And even if you are a professional editor, it requires someone who is not you and who will not be bogged down by the human brain’s predilection to fill in gaps when it knows where a story is headed. Those gaps may not matter to your subconscious, but they will most definitely matter to your readers! Pay for top-notch editing services in addition to your other beta readers, if you can; this means using a professional editor and not your sister-in-law or next-door neighbor.

4) Don’t neglect the back cover.

Once your manuscript is ready to go, as well as your front cover and interior formatting, and you are in all other ways ready to self-publish your book, one of the first things you’ll be asked for is your back cover synopsis and author biography. This isn’t something which can be rushed, unfortunately, so take a moment to slow down and breathe. Don’t just throw something together without much thought! Readers will look at your back matter and determine whether or not they should buy your book. Everything counts, from an ISBN number to a well-edited synopsis to a visually appealing author photo. Consult an expert if you need one!

5) Last but not least, don’t rush.

This may be the last recommendation on our list today, but it’s most definitely not one to be tacked on like an afterthought. In fact, learning how not to rush through the process may be the most important of all of the points we’ve included here today! Sure, you are anxious to self-publish your book (and we’re eager to help you do so speedily as well), but don’t rush. Producing a quality book, one with a great cover and copyedited pages, simply takes time. It’s a reasoned process! Be patient now, and considered in all of your decisions, and you will be glad you did once you have a finished, published, beautiful book to be proud of.

There are many great self-publishing success stories! You can be one of them by avoiding these mistakes and following the recommendations. 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.

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.

Bring in Bigger Sales with Banner Ads

These days, nearly everyone is on social media — tooling around on Twitter and Facebook, or mingling with other professionals on LinkedIn. At the very least, they are leaning heavily on Google to instantly find information and resources every day. Put these powerful tools to use helping readers find your book!

The truth is there are millions of readers looking for you — but are you making yourself visible to them? Fortunately, there are quick, easy ways to promote your book before thousands of avid readers in places they visit every day. With Custom Book Banner Advertisement from Outskirts Press, you can not only get the attention of your target audience but present a polished image to them via social media and Google.

Custom Book Banner Ads let you create a beautiful banner ad for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or the Google search engine platform — or all of them, if you really want to cast a wide net. Built specifically for you and tailored to the platform(s) of your choosing, your custom banner will make you more visible to the world and present a more professional image to discerning readers.

Outskirts Press has made it easy for you to set up your banner ad exactly as you like it. Once you have selected the option, you will be able to choose the platform for your ad — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google. You will also have your choice between three design styles for your advertisement, each proportioned for the format you selected.

A professional graphic designer will create three gorgeous, full-color banner ad images for you according to your style choice and tailored to the requirements of your chosen platform. Each platform has unique strengths:

  • Facebook — Facebook allows for a highly targeted approach to advertising. You can identify your audience by age, location, habits and interests to reach the people most likely to buy. Your custom ad can be used as your Facebook page banner, or to announce impressive reviews, awards, special promotions and more.
  • Twitter — Twitter’s superpowers are its real-time nature and global visibility. Authors can target the right readers at the right time with sales, announcements and more.
  • LinkedIn — Driven by a community of professionals, LinkedIn is a great place for non-fiction writers, authors of multiple books, businesspeople and individuals with subject-matter expertise to reach out to other professionals with similar interests. The blogging feature is a huge plus.
  • Google — It doesn’t get more global than Google! Authors with a website will want to make use of Google My Business, Google+ and other venues to get their ad in front of this powerhouse’s unrivaled audience. Google’s robust search engine helps readers zero in on relevant content — like your ad!

The Custom Book Banner Advertising option includes one round of revisions, so you can make sure your banner is perfect before posting.

To purchase your Custom Book Banner Ad, click the “Add to Cart” button below, select a platform and start marketing your book to the multitudes!

Amazon Featured Book of the Week

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


My Mom’s from Lublin My Dad’s from Seattle

by Gene Olson

(5 Stars – 1 Customer Review)

Price: $9.95

Gene Olson’s “My Mom’s from Lublin My Dad’s from Seattle” documents the vastly different childhoods of Olson’s parents. His mother was Norwegian and his dad was Swedish and living in Seattle. His in-laws were from Communist Lublin, Poland. This nostalgic and loving tribute is filled with photos and childhood memories.

 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

6 Keys to Promoting Your Self-Published Book on Google

The more time you spend among self-published authors, the more likely you are to realize that book promotion is just as often about finding the time to devote to the process as it is about who you know. When traditional publishing was the only route to publication, this may not have been the case, but in 2018 elbow grease and time are among the most important ingredients to successful book marketing.

With that in mind, wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple, easy, and quick way to find the people or places which were good fits for your book? Knowledge is power, in that spreading the knowledge of your book far and wide and making it easy to discover is a powerful element of your promotional arsenal. Google and other search engines have put the power of advanced Internet search algorithms at your disposal, but not all searches are created equal. In fact, Google makes it possible to promote your books using their search engine for free.

Here are six ways to make Google your ally in promotion:

  1. Help users discover your books by matching the content in your books with user searches. This ties into the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) process, which we have written about on our blog before.
  2. Keep your content protected. Users are able to preview a limited number of pages on Google Books using the preview function and determine whether they’ve found what they’re looking for. It’s useful to use Google to search for those unconscientious websites which mirror, or duplicate, the content of books and offer them for free download. Every few weeks, search your book’s title (with and without the additional term “free”) and double-check that no one is doing this. If they are, it’s time to send a cease-and-desist letter.
  3. Drive book sales by providing links to bookstores and online retailers at every opportunity when generating your own original content, whether on your blog or your website or your various social media platforms. Each link and mention you make of your book online is tracked and incorporated into the algorithms that decide search rankings, and search rankings determine what pops up first in the list of results whenever someone searches for your book or subjects related to your book.
  4. Become a Google Books Partner. Did you know Google is actively seeking partnerships with authors, and that they provide all sorts of resources for promoting your books on Google? Your new one-stop shop for know-how as an author interested in Google’s partnership program is: www.google.com/googlebooks/partners. If you visit this page, you’ll find links with recommendations for self-promotion, resources for authors and publishers, and a collection of success stories. (And let’s face it, we love tapping into the glow of success, if only to learn how others are finding ways to make it work.)
  5. Check out Google Play’s “Book Partners Center,” a separate (but linked) resource which provides step-by-step instructions on how to publish your book as an e-book in the Google Play store, and put your story on Android devices the world over. Of course, if you’re short on time, all the knowledge in the world won’t help you overcome that deficit. In that case, our last recommendation is to …
  6. Consider Outskirts Press’s various Google-related services, including the Google Books Preview Program Submission service, which interfaces directly with Google in order to render your book preview beautiful and findable, and the Amazon Listing Optimization service, which utilizes the latest advances in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies in order to boost your Amazon book listing in Google search results.

These six tips will help Google users discover and access your book, as well as help you protect your rights and maintain creative control, and drive book sales. Google is so much more than a search engine, now! Have your book sales been flagging and you can’t figure out why? Visit your Author Center account online at www.outskirtspress.com to explore more marketing options and resources, including the chance to book 5 hours with one of our award-winning Personal Marketing Assistants!

Our Top Picks for Autism Awareness & Acceptance Month!

Much has been said and written about Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the decades since it was first codified in medical literature, but one thing remains true: the people with the most to say about it are often the ones with the fewest resources, the least support, and the most to lose. That is, those who are themselves on the Autism spectrum or who live with someone else who is. One of the finer aspects of self-publishing is that this industry has a special relationship with the ASD community and is able to provide a platform for those all-important voices to be heard, as well as amplify their stories.

Here at Outskirts Press, we would like to celebrate our thriving community of authors, many of whom are members of the larger ASD community or otherwise neurodivergent! This month, the month of April, is widely known as Autism Awareness Month by those affiliated with the ASD community, and is increasingly coming to be known as Autism Acceptance Month by those who place on the Autism spectrum themselves. Both aspects–that is, awareness about ASD and its potential presentations, as well as acceptance of those on the Autism spectrum–are incredibly important, as is the work done by self-publishing authors dedicated to them. This is one of many reasons we’re excited to shine some light on those of our authors who are writing on this subject!

Meet the Smunkarellies, of Alexander Stewart and Brandon Cute’s The Smunkarellies: Through the Eyes Of Children fame. These three siblings, as unique as unique can be, make for a fantastic focus for this picture book for young readers, a picture book dedicated to examining the ways in which ASD can impact both an individual and a family. As the book concludes, the things that make us different also make us special, and learning each day to deal with differences in people and in life, helps to make us better people.

Next, meet Mansah Gaisie Barnes’ fantastic book for readers of all ages, Yooku My Brother / The Enigma: Autism. Barnes puts her Master of Science degree in special education with a concentration in Autism to work in this special look at the effects of ASD on the individual as well as the joy that results from learning to understand those on the Autism spectrum. This book uses a fictional protagonist to guide readers through the experience, and backs up its conclusions with accessible research phrased in language we can all understand.

For a specifically treatment-centered approach, consider Soma Mukhopadhyay’s Understanding Autism through Rapid Prompting Method and the other fascinating books in this series, all of which center on the rapid-prompting method (RPM) mentioned in this book’s title, with the particular goal of improving academic success and communication for persons with ASD or similar disorders. The whole series is published by Outskirts Press and is available for purchase through the Helping Autism Through Learning and Outreach (HALO) website, which also offers a number of additional ASD-related resources.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) roughly 1 in 68 children has been identified with some form of ASD, and these are only the children whose placement on the Autism spectrum requires some form of treatment, educational assistance, or special care. The real numbers, which would include children who are considered “high-functioning” and who face fewer obstacles to self-determined success, are likely much higher. As activist and parent Kim Stagliano writes, those within the ASD community “need advocates committed not only to getting them the acceptance they deserve, but also the critical help they require to survive, in the form of social programs, education, safety and employment opportunities.” In short, they need action. Learning more about ASD and taking tangible action to help support those who live with ASD, research it, or are working to ameliorate the challenges it poses to those who have it, is paramount.

If you’re interested in learning more about Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in general, we highly recommend you check out our Pinterest page of ASD-related books published by Outskirts Press. Sometimes, buying a book can help change lives. These are some of those books!