Congratulations to Becky Kueker’s Award-Winning Cover Design

Book_Cover_AwardsCan a custom cover make your self-published book an award-winning book? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Just ask Becky Kueker, who’s book, A Classic in Clown Shoes, was determined by TopShelf Magazine to feature the winning cover in the self-published non-fiction category.

After ordering the Professional Custom Cover Design option for her book with Outskirts Press, Becky went one step further and engaged the services of our Marketing Research Option. The 37,000+ readers and followers of this very blog were presented with all the details of the book and the author and presented with two different cover designs. A public poll allowed everyone to choose their favorite and, if they wished, provide personal feedback to Becky and the cover designer.  See that posting here.

76% of the voters chose the winning cover. Becky thanks you for your help and feedback.  Let’s learn a little more about her…

Becky is a Tucson-based, nationally known speaker and author traveling around the U.S. providing presentations that relate to her personal journey about retirement and long term financial planning. She retired from a 20-year career as a partner in a woman-owned, commercial architectural and interior design firm. Leading business development and forming strategic relationships with Fortune 500 companies around the world, she also chaired the firm’s Corporate Advisory Board. Becky was named a top Woman of Achievement, received the “Star Catchers” Award from St. Louis County Library, and is a recipient of the YWCA President’s Award honor. Becky is the author of the highly popular book Hiding in My Pajamas.

Let’s take a look at that winning cover, shall we?

Love, Life and Money: a hilarious journey of coming to terms with a brand new you.

Becky Kueker thought she had it all, publishing a new book, Hiding in My Pajamas, three years ago, and launching a national speaking career traveling the country at 75. What more could you ask coming off a two year low after she retired struggling with the emotional stereotypes that deal with retirement and aging. It was not until a complicated surgery requiring six months in a wheelchair and endless rehab, turned her life in a new direction she could never have expected. Fighting fear, depression and the realization that she would once again have to start over, Becky shares her journey facing a new beginning discovering that it’s laughter that changes everything. Meeting passionate people who inspired her, chapters are filled with poignant stories from women and men who have proven that aging does not have to define you and new beginnings are possible. Their stories are powerful and highlight the determination it takes to live your best life and what the passage of time means to how capable we are of embracing change. Not being financially prepared for retirement has become a national epidemic. Her chapter, Learning to Live After Retirement, features stories from those who were unaware that not planning was just speculating and rolling the dice on what might be. The shock that their savings will not be sufficient to retain the lifestyle they lived before offers a glimpse of a generation not prepared. Interviewing her husband and other men about retirement and aging highlights the unexpected marital turbulence that finds its way into very personal struggles that no one saw coming.

Congratulations from all of us at Outskirts Press, Becky!

See all the details at TopShelf Magazine here.
Order the book for up to a 50% discount at Outskirts Press here.

Interested in publishing your own award-winning book with professional services like custom cover design and market research available? Visit Outskirts Press today.

Enjoy Free Shipping and Receive a Free Holiday Book Marketing Guide

We’re 50 days from the start of the holiday season, so there is no better time than right now to stock up on copies of your own books before the printers and shipping companies become swamped with holiday orders.

Throughout September, Outskirts Press authors can enjoy free shipping within the continental United States when ordering 50 or more copies. And with every 50+ book order in the same format, not only can you enjoy FREE SHIPPING, but you will also receive our definitive Holiday Book Marketing Guide:  50 Secret Tips to Market Your Book During the Holiday Shopping Season. 

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Free shipping on 50 copies! 50 ways to market them! And all within 50 days until the busiest book-buying time of the entire year!  Click here to order your copies now and get a head-start on the holidays.

Andrew Ceroni is the 2019 Best Book of the Year Author

The votes are in and for the third time in nine years the winner of the 2019 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year is Andrew Ceroni, author of the CIA thriller, The Red Shore!

The three finalists in our annual Best Book of the Year contest all won First Place EVVY Awards during the Colorado Independent Book Awards Gala in their respective categories, so they’re all winners in our book; but only one can claim our highest honor: The Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year!

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As all the finalists will no doubt attest, winning the Best Book of the Year is no small feat, so to accomplish it three times with three different books (Snow Men, Meridian, and The Red Shore) is truly a remarkable achievement. Andrew earned 70% of the votes in the public poll last week at SelfPublishingNews.com.

Congratulations, Andrew! Please enjoy the kudos and the $1,500 Grand Prize that accompanies it.

About the Author:

Andrew Ceroni served a distinguished career as a Senior Supervisory Special Agent in the conduct of global counterespionage and antiterrorism operations. He received his BS degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy; MA from Case Western Reserve University; and studied several foreign languages at the University of Maryland. He lives in Colorado with his family.

About the Book:

Dave McClure arrives in Bar Harbor, Maine, for some rest and relaxation before returning to the CIA-a world he left behind years ago. But he is unaware of the danger he’ll face in the days ahead as he discovers the secrets that lie in the deep ocean trenches of the Atlantic. Deadly secrets.

McClure is unexpectedly thrust into the middle of a vicious Russian plot and a harbor town’s lethal intrigue, each as perilous as they are startling, and struggles to make sense of all the jumbled pieces in this deadly puzzle. Is there a connection between Russian drone submarines probing the U.S. coastline, a Top-Secret, advanced technology Navy torpedo program, and the sinister secret behind Tamarack Harbor’s missing boys? Another brutal murder is the catalyst that finally leads McClure to the juncture of high-stakes espionage and an impending attack on American soil. As the CIA and the U.S. Navy race against time and the Russian threat, the powerful pull of emotion will test the limits of Dave McClure’s skill, strength, and courage.

Watch the book video on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/tBJERz2_QRc

Buy from Outskirts Press for up to a 55% discount at: https://outskirtspress.com/bookstore/details/9781977207005

Buy the Paperback or Kindle Edition at Amazon at: https://amzn.com/B07MF3R68V

 

Promoting Your Outskirts Press Audiobook

One of the best ways to promote an audiobook is, not surprisingly, via audio (sound). Fortunately, when you publish your audiobook with Outskirts Press, a 5-minute retail sample is created for you and uploaded to sales partners like Amazon, Audible, and iTunes on your behalf. Your audio clips are also shared with you throughout the audiobook creation process. Be sure to keep them; you’ll need them for marketing.

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Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

Having your sample on Amazon and iTunes will carry the majority of your marketing weight, but there are other outlets you can pursue. Among them: YouTube, Facebook, and SoundCloud.

YouTube

The best way to use your audio sample clip on YouTube is to incorporate it with a book video. If you already have a book video, and some basic editing software, you’re 90% done. And if your book video doesn’t have any sound, you’re 95% done. If it does have sound, use your editing software to separate the audio track from the video track and then lay your audiobook track down onto the video instead. Rarely will the length of the audiobook track and the video match, so you’ll need to be creative to bring them in sync. Once you’re happy with your new audiobook video, upload it to your YouTube channel and other various video platforms.

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Photo by Perfecto Capucine on Pexels.com

If you do not have a book video, the easiest solution is to get one by clicking here. Or you can create a “video” by simply using a still image of your book as a static image for the video-length of your audiobook sample. Alternatively, and preferably, you could use your smartphone and a small tripod, and record yourself reading your book. Now that’s an audiobook sample that any YouTuber can enjoy!

In either case, don’t forget to take full advantage of the description field when uploading your video by making sure to include links to your author webpage and your product sales page on Amazon so they can buy your audiobook (or your hard copy alternatives if they prefer).

FaceBook

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Since Facebook makes it easy to post videos, the easiest way to promote your audiobook on Facebook is to use the same video you just created for YouTube and upload it to your Facebook page. Again, don’t forget to include the necessary purchase links in the “Write a post” box so your friends, family, and followers can easily find your audiobook and buy it.

SoundCloud

One of the newest ways to market audiobooks is via SoundCloud. Create an account at soundcloud.com and click “Upload” to upload your audiobook retail sample. You can also upload an image. Obviously, we suggest the cover of your book. Then complete the rest of the form, which includes the book’s title, the author’s name, and the narrator’s name. Just as with YouTube and Facebook, use the “Description” field to include links to your author webpage and Amazon product sales page.


Are you ready to publish your masterpiece with the A+ and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively? If so, click here to experience full-service, custom self-publishing the way it should be, at Outskirts Press.

Self-Publishing Author Spotlight on Bob Love

At Outskirts Press, Inc., we take great pride in celebrating the work of our successful self-publishing authors, and we do so in many way, including through our Self-Publishing Author Spotlight blog series. Today we shine the spotlight on Outskirts Press author Bob Love.

Bob Love was born in 1933 by a mid-wife at Mountain Home, Elmore County, Idaho, and raised in the territory in which this story is set. From age four years, he spent the summers with his aunt and uncle, the county road overseer, following along the 80-mile road through Pine Grove, Featherville, Rocky Bar, and over the summit of Mt. Baldy to Atlanta, opening and maintaining the corridor.

Love spent his 52-year career in law enforcement and the insurance industry. He served for 43 years as an independent adjuster/investigator including major case aviation, maritime and commercial risk cases. His research stretched from the conception in 1957 to the publication of his first non-fiction book, Destiny’s Voyage, in 2006.

Following his Korean War service in the USAF Love joined the Boise Police Department. He ultimately became the Chief of Police in Nyssa, Oregon, then served as a detective for the Ada County Sheriff in Idaho. Declining a bid to run for Sheriff, Bob entered the independent adjuster profession in Idaho. In 1967 he took a mid-winter trip with his wife and daughters to Fairbanks, Alaska. He also spent two and a half years in Hawaii handling major case claims, including aircraft accidents in the Marshall Island and during filming of the Magnum PI TV show. Love has been a student of journalism since he was editor of his high school paper, and his college major before the military draft interrupted his studies. Now retired Love resides with his lovely companion Patricia and their Bishon, Murphy, in Boise, Idaho.

Peg Leg Annie: Pistol Packing Madam, Rocky Bar, Idaho Territory

Annie McIntyre is a four-year-old girl from an Iowa farm, trekking across the vast uncivilized lands of the American frontier. This is a young girl growing up in an Idaho Territorial mining camp of Rocky Bar whose experience from the gunfight in the street involving her father, a marriage to an abusive man old enough to be her father, and the birth of her children, escaping the abuse of her miner husband, and leads Annie on a path to destiny. Being alone and in need of self-preservation she became a saloon dancer ultimately forming her own brothels. Becoming a strong gruff woman packing a .44 pistol, she still had a compassionate soul and humanitarian spirit, evidenced by her aid and financial assistance to miners. Then tragedy struck in the high mountains when caught in a snowstorm. Annie McIntyre Morrow’s story tells of the strength and resolve of this pistol-packing madam to survive. For the first time, this story lays to rest the identities of the two people who become the most intertwined in her life. The ending will perhaps pose controversy among those who hold Annie’s lifestyle in disrespect, but the author finds a deeper understanding through his personal faith. After hundreds of articles over the years this is the first book written about the life of Peg Leg Annie McIntyre Morrow. As her great-grand daughter in-law states, “she can now rest in peace.”

Mr. Love recently sent us an update on the exciting successes he has experienced with Peg Leg Annie:
“I want to tell you how pleased I am with my book. The cover has struct a chord and raved about in the local area where the story originates. My first book signing went off with a bang. Reception great, sold over $1300.00 in the 4 hours of the signing in Mountain Home, ID. The Museum Director, Debbie Sh0emaker, did a great job promoting including baking cookies in shape of the book with the cover in color projected on them. She baked a large 2 section cake, one with the book cover and one with an excerpt written in blue letters on white raised and scrolled page. It was held at the public library. More signings have been requested in the Boise (Treasure Valley) area and articles written. I was also invited and appeared on Boise State Univ. PBS Radio. I has been a thrilling ride and I hope it continues a little longer. The book quality is beyond my expectations and admired by all who have bought and read it. A plus side is I find readers saying it has enlightened their interest in researching more about the places I mention in the book as they read along with it. I am flattered by their comments and very pleased about the side benefit of education the readers are expressing. Thanks again for Lisa and the people of Outskirts Press.”

 

Thank you, Bob. And congratulations on all your successes.

Are you ready publish your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to The Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively? 

Start Publishing Today

What Does Self-Publishing Have to do with Economies of Scale?

Many writers enter the self-publishing industry with an expectation about what their published book’s retail price will be once it reaches bookshelves. This expectation is based upon their life-long experiences of buying books from authors like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling.

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They are often surprised and confused when they discover that their 300-page self-published print-on-demand paperback cannot have the same retail price as a paperback of comparable length that is published by Random House. “Why?” they ask.

The answer is because the retail price must be higher than the sum of the trade discount (typically 50-55%) and the production/printing cost of the book.  Why are POD printing costs so much higher? The answer is: “economy of scale.”

Wikipedia has a fairly extensive article on economies of scale that can be found here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economies_of_scale

Most important among that information, as it pertains to self-publishing authors, is the following paragraph:

“The simple meaning of economies of scale is doing things more efficiently with increasing size.[4] Common sources of economies of scale are purchasing (bulk buying of materials through long-term contracts), managerial (increasing the specialization of managers), financial (obtaining lower-interest charges when borrowing from banks and having access to a greater range of financial instruments), marketing (spreading the cost of advertising over a greater range of output in media markets), and technological (taking advantage of returns to scale in the production function). Each of these factors reduces the long run average costs (LRAC) of production by shifting the short-run average total cost (SRATC) curve down and to the right.”

Basically, the more books that are printed at one time, the less expensive each individual book is to produce, which thereby allows the retail price to be lower. This is why a Harry Potter paperback is “inexpensive”, even at 600 pages, compared with a POD book of similar length. The publisher of Harry Potter printed 10 million copies all at once, thereby bringing the per-unit cost down to pennies. Of course, the publisher also made that sizable, risky, investment up-front – an investment that equaled millions of dollars.  Granted, that’s not much of a risk when you’re printing a Harry Potter book, but for 99% of the writers out there (even the ones who have traditionally published in the past), it is a risk few traditional publishers are willing to take nowadays and an investment even fewer writers are capable of.

Enter print-on-demand (POD) self-publishing. A book that is published POD operates on the exact opposite pricing model. Each book’s printing cost is based upon printing only one book at time, which protects the authors from making a sizable, risky investment up front.  Of course, that means the printing cost for each book costs dollars instead of pennies. And since the retail price must exceed the trade discount AND the printing cost, the retail price is naturally going to be higher.

The good news for Outskirts Press authors is that, when combined with EDI distribution through platforms like Amazon and Ingram, self-publishing writers never incur out-of-pocket printing costs for books sold wholesale, because the book is only printed after it is sold to the consumer. The printing cost is extracted from the retail price, along with the distributor/retailer’s portion, and the printing cost itself. Whatever is left is the “profit” from the book. The amount of “profit” that the author receives depends upon the self-publisher you’ve chosen, and varies from 20% – 100%. Outskirts Press is one of the few self-publishers that pays 100% of the profit to the author.

To publish your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively, visit Outskirts Press today.

New! Faster, Easier Book Ordering at Outskirts Press

At Outskirts Press, we are constantly working to improve the experience for our author-clients, whether it is with new services (like the recently launched AudioBook service), or new publishing packages (like our suite of One-Click bundles), or improvements to the website to make actions easier and more streamlined.

For example, this week, we are excited to announce that buying books from your Publishing Center is now easier and faster than ever before.  When it goes “live” this week, your page for ordering Author’s Copies will look a little different, and this blog post will help you identify all the improvements.

In the past, ordering Author Copies from your Publishing Center has been “split” between two separate pages, depending upon the number of copies you were ordering.  If you were ordering less than 100 copies, you would see the “main” ordering page, and select the format you wished to order, and enter the quantity.

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Even if you wanted to order copies of both formats (paperback and hardback, for example), you would need to place your order for each format separately. Time consuming, and certainly not ideal.

What’s more, if you wanted to take advantage of bulk orders for higher author discounts, you would have to go to an entirely different page:

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The discounts were great, but the process? Not so much.

This week, the new book ordering page will be uploaded to your Publishing Center to allow you to order multiple formats and receive your Author Discounts all at once.

If you only have one format, you will see this new page, which displays the cover of the book you are ordering, it’s format type/details, and the quantity discounts.  Black and white books still receive up to a 50% discount when ordering in bulk while full-color books still enjoy a discount of up to 35%!  Now you can enjoy these discounts all from the same page.

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If you have two formats, you will see all the relevant information for each format, and you can place orders for both formats simultaneously:

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To celebrate this exciting new improvement, please enjoy our popular FREE SHIPPING promotion throughout the month of September. Simply order 50 or more copies of any format and US Commercial shipping throughout the continental United States is FREE!

Stay tuned to this blog in the coming weeks and months for more announcements about other improvements coming to your Publishing Center.