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!

Amazon Featured Book of the Week

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

The Pearl of East Texas

by William D. Albright

(5 Stars – 20 Customer Reviews)

Price: $23.95

William D. Albright’s “The Pearl of East Texas.” This book tells of Mattie Pearl Albright’s remarkable and extraordinary story of love, charity, compassion, and leadership during the Jim Crow era. Moving from Louisiana to California to Texas, Mattie Pearl Albright achieved the impossible in every environment and circumstance and greatly impacted her community. Mattie Pearl had vision for the African-American people and she became a hero.

 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.


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4 Fresh Ways to Market Your Spiritual or Christian Book

No matter what a book’s genre might be, an age-old question emerges: “What makes my book unique? How do I find my ideal readers?” When it comes to Christian and Spiritual books, however, whether fiction or non-fiction, the answer seems deceptively simple. After all, who reads books with a Christian focus? Very likely, people who are Christians themselves. And what about, more generally, Spiritual books? As with Christian literature, works with a spiritual bent tend to appeal to a specific slice of the population. Simple. Straightforward. Easy. Right?

The difficulty with taking this simplistic approach is that both populations (people of faith and people who are spiritual) are enormous! This offers both unique challenges and opportunities for authors looking to market their books in these categories. There are a lot of potential readers out there, and they’re just as diverse a group as any other, in age and origin and interests. Here are four ways to refocus your marketing strategy and reach your ideal readers!

ONE: Don’t be afraid to go social.

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of a well-developed social media campaign before. But did you know that most social media platforms have built-in as well as grassroots options which will give your book, specifically, the boost it needs to reach more readers? Consider Facebook, which has countless book groups you can join, from Avid Readers of Christian Fiction to Christian Fiction Writers to Christian Fiction Fans, and many, many more. Goodreads, too, offers book clubs and social groups along these lines where your book can find a home. Meanwhile, Twitter features a number of important hashtags you can use in your tweets in order to promote your book on that platform, including #InspirationalFiction and #ChristianBooks. Readers of these genres know to follow tweets which are gathered under these hashtags, and to parse them for new books they might be interested in. Instagram works the same way! Many readers, writers, and fans are already collecting Christian and Spiritual books and pinning them to their boards (see our links at the end of this piece for an example!), and this creates a uniquely sharable digital space for promotion. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the platforms which work the best for you, and generate the most traffic!

TWO: Find those niche bookstores.

At this point, you’re probably already aware of the thriving Christian book industry, and Spiritual bookstores like Namaste in New York are also doing very well for themselves. Work on getting your book placed into these bookstores! Start with your local indie bookstores, both Spiritual (they often have “metaphysical” in their name!) and Christian … and don’t forget about your local church bookstores, which are often embedded with coffee shops in large church buildings. As with any indie bookstore, the worst the manager can say is “no,” but very often they’ll be excited to feature local talent. They will be much more open to give local authors shelf space, especially if you can pair your books with a book signing or reading event. Once you have your book in one store, encourage as many readers as possible to buy it from that store … and then, use those sales numbers as justification when contacting other bookstores to join your sales team.

THREE: Break out the press release!

Get the word out in the news! Send out a news release to Christian media outlets, not just the standard universal press release indices. The websites associated with pretty much every Christian or Spiritual newspaper, TV show, and radio program have links to where you can submit a release for your book. You can also send out news releases to other media that have Christian or Spiritual sections, even if the whole institution is not dedicated to faith-based material. If you feel a bit out to sea when it comes to writing and distributing press releases, don’t worry! Outskirts Press offers a fantastic and thorough press release service which will ensure news of your book reaches exactly the right ears.

FOUR: Craft original content for your blog.

Your author website is an oft-untapped opportunity to reach readers specifically interested in Spiritual and Christian topics. Readers with an interest in these subjects are already well-trained in locating and reading original content, and amongst these readers longform blog posts are a perennial favorite. Consider crafting original blog posts, reflective or faith-based or inspirational in tone, and posting these to your personal blog and author website. Don’t replicate the content of your book, but write materials which complement the content of your book, and whet readers’ appetites for more! Make sure to use keywords and enrich your metadata so that your audience will find your blog easily when searching on search engines like Google and Bing for Christian and Spiritual topics.

Still not sure where to start in marketing your book this Spring? Log into your Publishing Center to view all of the marketing services that Outskirts Press offers.

To see our staff picks of amazing Christian books from many of our authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here. We keep a separate Pinterest page for additional Spiritual books, which you can find here.

Feel the Spirit Move You With These 6 Writing Tips For Your Next Christian or Spiritual Book!

Once upon a time, an American schoolgirl wrote to eminent Christian scholar C.S. Lewis. The year was 1959, and she wanted to know if he had any suggestions for her on the art of writing. He sent her a list of eight rules, including admonitions to turn off the radio and dial out the white noise of daily life, write with the ear and not the eye, write about the things which interest you, and know the meaning of every word you use. His most revealing point of advice, however, was to be clear, and to remember that readers can’t know your mind. “Don’t forget to tell them exactly what they need to know to understand you,” he wrote. And if you’re the author of a Christian or Spiritual book, this advice resonates with a special power. After all, there’s a lot at stake when it comes to misunderstanding our place in the world and in relationship to the divine.

How can you go about writing in a way that helps readers understand you? Here are six recommendations for getting started:

  1. Do your due diligence. Research, research, research. Knowing your readers, what they’re reading, and how they find their books is key to engaging your ideal readers, in Christian and Spiritual subjects more than most. Reader behavior in these groups is radically different from reader behavior in other genres, such as mainstream science fiction or romance.
  2. Know thy reader. Building upon the previous point, it’s really important to not just know your reader but be able to articulate the anticipated audience for your book. Who might actually pluck your book off of a bookstore shelf and spend money with your writing persona in order to truly understand what you have to say? The more specific you can be, the better, because this will help you refine your text before publication and market your book after publication.
  3. Polish those rough edges. Writing well and ensuring that your manuscript reads well before submitting it for publication are vital processes, as there’s nothing which will turn off readers so quickly as a poorly edited text. Don’t just depend on your own eyes, either, and expand your beta readers to include a professional who edits for a living. An expert will know exactly what works and what doesn’t, and will save you time (which is, ultimately, money).
  4. Know and love your material. If you don’t already believe that you are the best person to write this particular book, and that the world needs this book, then take some more time to spend with the material. Full immersion is often the only way to truly feel like an expert, and your book will most definitely benefit if you have the conviction that you and it are a match made in the stars, or Heaven.
  5. Write what’s next. It doesn’t take long to notice that there are a lot of books out there in the world; all it takes is a five-minute visit to your local public library or indie bookstore. There are practical as well as personal reasons to write something new rather than something which has already been written in twenty or a hundred other books: a book which dares to do what hasn’t been done will sell. Readers want the next new thing in their hands, not a threadbare trope or ten. And you, as an author, know when you’re departing from the “has-been-dones,” and it’s a rewarding feeling, isn’t it?
  6. Think big, and think ahead. You’re an author, which makes you a visionary. You’re able to imagine not just the outline for a book, but a world in which the book already exists, and you’re willing to make it happen. Some writers get hung up on the fact that one writing prompt or strategy which used to work for them doesn’t anymore, and fall into the black hole of the dreaded Writer’s Block as a result. Don’t linger on the past; think of what will work for you in the here and now, and don’t hesitate to experiment with form, style, and voice as you forge ahead in writing your manuscript. If you find yourself struggling, try something new … or try taking a moment to breathe. The most stifling of pressures are the ones we impose on ourselves!

And there you have it: six fresh ways to hone your craft as you draft your next book! Still not sure what you need to get started publishing your next Spiritual or Christian manuscript? 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.

To see our staff picks of amazing Christian books from many of our published authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here. We keep a separate Pinterest page for Spiritual books, which you can find here.

Be Prepared to Market Your Book with TRIPLE Author Copies for FREE!

Often, the biggest part of successful book marketing for a self-publishing author is simply being ready when opportunities to promote and sell arise. From having your book “elevator pitch” polished to learning to toot your own horn, this readiness will be your most powerful asset when the time comes to sell that book you’ve worked so hard to finish.

One of the best ways to prepare for selling is simply keeping your book with you as often as possible, just in case. Having paperback copies on hand puts you in an excellent position to nimbly respond to spontaneous opportunities. You’ll make positive impressions, important connections and plenty of unanticipated sales! By keeping copies of your book close-by you’ll be ready to make the most of:

  1. book-signing events
  2. radio, television and newspaper publicity outreach
  3. book award and review submissions
  4. book giveaways to promote on social media
  5. gifts to family, friends and influencers

Outskirts Press is helping self-publishing authors prepare for success in April. When you purchase the Ultimate Publishing or Full-Color Publishing package this month, we’ll triple the free author copies you receive with your package. For those purchasing the Ultimate package, that means 30 book copies instead of 10; Full-Color Publishing buyers will receive 15 copies instead of 5.

To triple your author copies, just place the Ultimate or Full-Color publishing package in your shopping cart and enter the promo code Triplecopies at checkout. It’s the easiest marketing move you could make!

Call an Outskirts Press Publishing Consultant at 1-888-672-6657 (OP-BOOKS), or chat with us using the live chat option on our website for information about which publishing option is perfect for you.

Amazon Featured Book of the Week

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

Rachel: A Satilla County Novel

by Oscar Patton

Price: $15.95

Oscar Patton’s “Rachel: A Satilla County Novel.” An aspiring young journalist Rachel Mellon collides head-on with a gang of good ole boys who are, in reality, a murderous crime syndicate selling bootleg whiskey. Armed with the law on her side and help from her best friend, Rachel takes them on and gives a death blow to the old Klan and brings about women’s rights and changing times.

 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.


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