Vote Now for Your Preferred Delivery of the Book Launch Kit!

We love our authors and are constantly looking for ways to help you succeed. If you’ve published with Outskirts Press, you already know we start you off with a ton of priceless information in our beautiful Book Launch Kit: things like simple marketing suggestions, effective tactics successful authors use to sell, a marketing roadmap, and an easy-to-follow book launch wall calendar with 28 days of doable action items you can check off as you go.

In addition to equipping you with these tools for success, it’s important to us to present them in a format that is most useful to you. For some of you, that may mean a slick hardcopy Book Launch Kit you can keep at your desk; for others, perhaps an emailed electronic document you can print at will—or not at all—is more suitable to your working style. So, let us know how we can deliver a Book Launch Kit that will serve you most effectively in those critical first days …

Outskirts Press Proudly Sponsors the 2018 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 2018 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 2018 Colorado Book Awards are due January 8, 2018, and should be submitted directly to the Colorado Book Awards. Judging generally occurs in April, and the awards are presented at a ceremony in Aspen 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.

Get Published

Why Your Book is Like a Start-Up Business

Have you recently self-published a book? The more time you spend exploring your options and opportunities, the clearer it becomes that self-publishing a book is a lot like launching a start-up business … and that the more you plan, the more you’ll get ahead.

There are countless considerations and decisions to make once you make that big commitment to self-publish! And if your new book is your new business, you need to keep many things in mind prior to, during, and after publication. First off, you absolutely must take some time to sit down and plan out your next steps. Planning is something you’ll need to return to, as well, throughout the process! Taking time periodically to evaluate, and possibly re-evaluate your plan, is necessary to ensure that you are still on the right track.

Looking for some ideas to get started? Ask yourself these questions and you may just find the answer that will keep your book, and you as an author, in business for a very long time:

  1. What business are you in? This is an important initial question and everything you do should build from this. What things are you interested in? Will your book be a product of your interests? This question may seem deceptively simple, but it’s foundational to literally everything else.
  2. What is your product? Again, this may seem like a simple question but it really isn’t. Can you describe your book as if it were a product? What are its major features? Is your book a niche product?
  3. What are your goals and objectives? Determining where you want your book-as-a-business to go is an important step when starting off. Consider if you want to market this book locally, regionally, nationally, or even globally. Set goals for yourself and for the sale of the book itself. Sit down every now and then and find out if those goals are reasonable, or perhaps they need to be changed.
  4. Who do you want to buy your book? Every business needs a target market. We all would love to say that everyone will be interested and want to buy our books, but the reality is that this is never, and will never be the case. Now is the time to think about who that market will be for you. Think about your customer’s characteristics, their geography, age, gender, possibly even their income status.
  5. Who’s your competition? Scope out your competition. Has someone written anything similar? Do some research at your local bookstores and libraries and find things out about other books that compare to yours.
  6. How will you price your book? Pricing is an integral part of being able to set a budget for your book. You don’t want to set the price too high, and you certainly don’t want to short-change yourself by setting it too low. Thinking of the previous question you asked yourself, consider your competitors when setting your price. When determining your budget, be sure to set this to your comfort level and to a price that marks it as a quality entry in the genre. Pricing and budget ought to be evaluated on a continual basis, as the market changes rapidly.
  7. What’s your inventory? The last thing you want to happen is to not have books available when a person wants to buy. On the other hand, you don’t want to have too many on-hand. Look into the advantages of print-on-demand (POD) publishing, and make sure to inquire after discounted author copies!
  8. Have you crafted a strategy? Answering all of these questions can generate some complicated, even overwhelming to-dos, but crafting an overarching strategy to cope with your new business responsibilities is a vital part of the process. Start by taking all of these questions and letting them percolate for a while. Everything that follows needs to go hand-in-hand with the answers to achieve all of the goals and objectives you set out to accomplish
  9. What’s next? Usually, the fun part: marketing! There are so many things that go into marketing your book and your business, including creating your brand, launching promotions, sales, and advertising as well as navigating distribution channels and much more. Create a plan that satisfies all these things, and all things you want to do to market your creation. Where do you want to make your book available for purchase? Who will sell your book? What avenues do you want to use to advertise your book?

Always be sure to keep in touch with your fans and followers. After the success you’re bound to have with your latest book, you’re going to write many more … right? Keeping in touch with your fans will make selling that next book that much easier.

Need help? Our Personal Marketing Assistants are ready and eager to help you figure out the perfect way to build your self-publishing business! You can also get fresh marketing ideas any time in the FREE Book Marketing Resource Center.

Make Some New Plans for Your Book in the New Year!

Even though a small part of us cringes at the thought of yet another to-do list, we can’t help but recognize that the recoil is somewhat a consequence of semantics: we may not have had much success giving up sweets or processed foods or otherwise accomplishing resolutions of years past, but we fully acknowledge the fact that structured and manageable goals are important and sometimes even necessary. They’re especially necessary to moving a book from ideation to final publication. If we divorce the word “resolve” from its holiday baggage, there’s no denying its powerful potential for instigating personal transformation. Just think of its straightforward and simple definition:

noun | re-solve |
: firmness of purpose : DETERMINATION

With a firmness of purpose firmly instilled in our hearts and minds, here are fourteen resolutions we propose to start off your New Year’s resolutions list. But don’t panic! While most of them are fully self-explanatory, a few do require a little more explanation, which you’ll find immediately after the list. So here it is!

The first four resolutions are designed to enrich yourself first. After all, you have to be in a good place if you want to publish a good book, right?

1. Set goals.
2. Facilitate goals.
3. Make writing a priority, and
4. Read, read, read.

The next seven resolutions have to do with your relationship to the outside world. How do you relate to it so as to make a strongly-rooted, deeply affecting book? Part of the answer may lie in being a strongly-rooted, deeply relational human being.

5. Master at least the basics of social media.
6. Research deeply.
7. Connect with other authors.
8. Embrace a good critique.
9. Learn to love rewrites.
10. Try something new, and
11. Stop comparing your achievements with others. (It’s just not life-affirming.)

And the last three resolutions? They have to do moving your book forward from manuscript to the printed (or pixeled) page. These are some of our favorite resolutions, too!

12. Seek help! Get that writing consultation.
13. Learn about self-publishing, and
14. Embrace your style!

We’re going to pull out the brass tacks and take a closer look at those final three points.

What is a writing consultation, and how can it help me? Have you ever been stuck in a rut? Is the dreaded “Writer’s Block” a regular or even constant companion of yours? There are untold untapped resources out there to help jump-start or fine-tune your writing and get your book back on track, such as the writing consultation service from Outskirts Press. A number of other indie, hybrid, and self-publishing companies offer similar services, and there are all kinds of free websites dedicated to the same thing — and the only downside to these free services is the fact that they can be hard to navigate. When you have thousands upon thousands of web pages to filter through for relevant bits of information, where do you get started? Herein lies the benefit of an actual, honest-to-goodness sit-down session with a live human being and professional: a consultation session gives you time with a skilled writer who is also an industry expert in order to address any writing issues you are experiencing. You should also emerge with a great deal of valuable advice and a plan of action for moving forward.

And what’s this about learning about self-publishing? Simply put, the more you know about the self-publishing industry and the options available to you, the author, the easier it is to find your way forward. You can’t afford to not know what you’re getting into, and if you find yourself overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the self-publishing community through web forums or even the experts that your prospective self-publishing platform keeps on hand for just such a moment. They’re there to help! And while we can’t speak for all experienced indie authors, the ones we have had the pleasure to meet and work with are unfailingly kind and generous with their time, advice, and feedback. So: do your research and learn what you’re getting into. Odds are it’s not nearly as scary a process as you may imagine.

Finally, embrace your style! As a writer, you may do things a little differently from the next writer at the imaginary conference table, but that’s what makes you so special … and it is also what sets you apart and what will help you sell books later on. Never give up. Never surrender to self-doubt. Your style and your choices as an author are valid. Not only are they valid, but they’re your greatest strengths and your greatest selling points. And selling points have everything to do with your success as a self-publishing author! If you’re doing things your own way and you feel like you’re writing the book you want to write, then we guarantee you that you’re writing a superior book. A book we can’t wait to help you publish!

For more information, call a Publishing Consultant at 1-888-672-6657 (OP BOOKS), or chat with us using the live chat option on our website (www.outskirtspress.com).

Learn More

How to Market Your Health & Fitness Book

Have you published a work of non-fiction lately that dealt with health, wellness, fitness, or a lifestyle regimen designed to reshape the body? If you have, you’ll already know how difficult it can be to find and build the perfect marketing strategy to sell your book. The good news is, there are ways and means of doing so, and we’re here to share a few of them with you today! So settle in, warm up your mental muscles, and get ready for our top three tips for marketing your wonderful book!

Tip One: Boost your social media presence!
It’s the future, right? And the future is here, and it demands a fully-fleshed-out social media presence to launch both your personal brand and your book, regardless of its theme or content. Sound basic? It sure is! But there are plenty of ways to leverage your social media preference to the specific end of selling your health or fitness-related book. Consider where your book’s audience lives and works out, and where your readers are most likely to discover new health-related content. Do they use Twitter? Perhaps, but they’re less likely to use twitter than Instagram, where all of those delicious-looking smoothie pictures live, or Pinterest, where those delicious-looking smoothie recipes live. The same goes for pictures of you or your workout buddies, health compatriots, and fellow-travelers; those social media platforms which are image-driven are the most effective tools out there for selling future readers not only on your book but on the lifestyle it represents. Write down a quick schedule (smoothie pictures on Mondays, workout pictures on Wednesdays, game day pictures on Fridays, or whatever works best for you!) and stick to it.

Tip Two: Build your team.
Look, big publishing houses don’t have a patent on teamwork, and as an author concerned with health and wellness, you have just as much of the team-building mindset as anyone! Find a way to engage your customers, past and present and future, in spreading the word about your book by taking your lead from teams in the athletic and health communities … teams like the brand ambassadors for Nike and Adidas, for example: can you get your friends to wear book-branded tee shirts around town? And what about local business owners? If you can get your book into the local gym or health food store, and bring the staff on board as brand ambassadors for your book, that’s a fantastic start! And don’t forget about teams like the loose collections of people who participate in those “like and share” incentives on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and elsewhere. Word of mouth works in both digital and offline spheres!

Tip Three: Integrate, integrate, integrate.
No matter what specific steps you take to market your book, you should make sure they appear to your future readers as smaller parts of a larger, unified whole. Integrated marketing is centered upon crafting unified and seamless content across all of your platforms for communication, including any social media profiles, emails, blog posts, flyers, handouts, and other marketing materials you generate. Your public relations work and your marketing, your sales promotions and giveaways, advertising and store placement, as well as your social media presence, should all work together to build one aesthetic, and communicate one message. That message is your book!

Put these three tips together, and you’ll have a marketing plan with a firm foundation that simply can’t be beat, on the field or off the beaten track! But if you’re still not sure where to start, it may be time to lean on an expert. If you’re looking to market your health and wellness book, there’s never a better time than now to inquire.

Interested in learning more? Log into your Publishing Center and click on the Marketing Solutions menu for more book marketing ideas and services.

To see our staff picks of amazing health & fitness books from many of our authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here.

The Job of a Book Cover (and How to Get Yours Customized)

Who doesn’t love this time of year? The festive décor, the music, the lights … Oh, and the best part: mysterious stacks of colorfully wrapped packages under the tree, driving you wild with anticipation of what’s inside.

If you think about it, this is the same feeling of wonder an author should create with a book cover. An eye-catching professional cover design entices specific readers to take a closer look at what’s inside. Once you’ve attracted the right audience, your cover must also instantly impart vital information about your book: genre and content, intended audience, and even the quality of the writing itself. If your book cover does all that, your audience is more likely to buy.

So, how do you create a book cover that meets those lofty goals? Publish with Outskirts Press this holiday season and it’s our gift to you! We’ll give you a FREE Custom Cover Design (valued at $399) for your book when you purchase the Ultimate or Full-Color publishing package starting December 10th!

Just place the Ultimate or Full-Color publishing package in your shopping cart and enter the promo code Freecover-December at checkout. Your custom cover will be added to your account within 72 hours.

If you want to more information about this offer, or about 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
Learn More

Introducing High-Quality Audio Book publishing at Outskirts Press

Published authors, lend me your ears! Professionally-voiced audio book publication is now available at Outskirts Press. You asked for it, and we listened! Readers are listeners, and now it’s easier than ever to target that whole new market.

Contrary to popular belief, e-books are not the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry. Do you know what is? Audio books! Within the next five years, Amazon expects to have over one million audio books available through its partner Audible (up from just over 100,000 a year ago). And between you and me, even that estimate sounds low.

Now that Outskirts Press makes it so easy to turn your paperback or hardback into a professionally-produced audio book, there’s no reason not to add the most exciting format yet to your published arsenal. Approximately 50% of surveyed readers report they have listened to at least one audio book in the past, and those figures are only going to grow.

So which genre is best suited for audio books? Take a look at the top ten bestselling subjects, according to Amazon/Audible:

  1. Mystery and Suspense
  2. Bestselling books in any category
  3. Science Fiction & Fantasy
  4. History & Biographies
  5. Business & Self-Improvement
  6. Children & Young Adult
  7. Inspirational, Spiritual, and Religious
  8. Romance & Erotica
  9. Sports
  10. Westerns

Do you see the genre for YOUR book on that list? If so, now is the perfect time to publish an audio book. And it’s super easy. Just click that button below. We’ll handle the rest.

Audio Book