Self-Publishing Author Spotlight: Ben J. Cox

We love to celebrate the work of our successful self-publishing authors, and we do so each week through our Self-Publishing Author Spotlight. This week we highlight self-publishing author Ben J. Cox, who has published four titles with Outskirts Press.

Ben offers readers thrilling suspenseful mysteries with three of his books while also giving us a glimpse into what made him the exciting writer that he is through his memoir. Learn more about Ben through this week’s Self-Publishing Author Spotlight.

About the Author:

Benjamin James Cox, writing under the pen name, Ben James, disliked writing until he was forced to take a writing class to enter college in 1973 Ben Cox Division Tto which he quickly realized writing was a natural talent as he scored an A+ on his first paper. Since that time he has written many poems and short stories and the novels.  Currently he is retired and lives with his wife, Betty in Pryor, Oklahoma but he is still plenty busy.

When Ben is not busy writing he enjoys activities, such as the President of Mayes County Writers Club, Treasurer of Pryor Creek Investment Club, being an active member of Will Rogers Toastmasters Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma and all the while he still has the energy to run five miles most days.

10007aInsider Dreams

Insider Dreams is a 911 thriller that pulses with drama and excitement as
it follows 50-year-old computer engineer Wade Foster through the ride of his life. What Wade originally thought would be a grandiose trip across the northern most United States in his new Jaguar, quickly turned disastrous through a number of confrontations with his independent and wealthy wife of a year, Amanda Rutherford. He also faces several close encounters with Islamist radicals while experiencing a series of strange dreams he can’t explain.  At the same time his oldest daughter, Megan receives a promotion and moves to New York City.  Then two weeks later, when the terrorists hit the World Trade Center, Foster fears Megan may be in one of the towers.

Product details…
5.5 x 8.5 paperback cream, 412 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (May 21, 2006)
ISBN10: 1598004905
ISBN13: 9781598004908
Genre: FICTION/Thrillers/Suspense

10007bTo Mama: The Long Road Home

Ben J. Cox was born in a sawmill camp on a dirt street in Waldron, Arkansas in 1943. When his mother abandoned the family in 1953 and his dad was unable to work and properly care for the children, Ben, his brother and two sisters were placed in an orphanage in Monticello, Arkansas.

In his book, To Mama, The Long Road Home, Cox attempts to reason with all that has happened and struggles to reap the best from a lifetime of both gaiety and sorrow until his mother dies in 1998.

Product details…
6 x 9 paperback cream, 520 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (June 18, 2008)
ISBN10: 1432722824
ISBN13: 9781432722821
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

10007cTall Order

This book brings readers through a hair-raising journey into a past filled with mystery, dead ends, and plenty of detective work. As Jake Foster, a retired computer geek, begins training for the 15K Tulsa Run, he discovers a deep, dark secret along his training route, on the banks of Pryor’s Creek. It’s a horrifying secret that will change a town’s history-and his own-forever.

Jake must use every tool available to him as he begins to reveal reveals the surprising truth about lore that has remained hidden for more than half a century.

A Tall Order mixes small-town intrigue, old-fashioned mystery, and plenty of twists and turns for a page-turning experience that will leave you hungry for more.

Product details…
5.5 x 8.5 paperback cream, 469 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (March 23, 2011)
ISBN10: 143276974X
ISBN13: 9781432769741
Genre: Fiction / Juvenile Fiction / Action Adventure


A Winding Road

A true poet can describe a lifetime with just a few lines.

When the Cox graduated from Tulsa University a member of the EE National Honor Society, Etta Kappa Nu, it appeared that he had done very well. But, his stint in college didn’t begin with a bang. His counselor explained that he would not need to take the college entrance exam, which included an English test, and when he failed, he was advised to still enroll but to take a writing class. It was that simple failed test that would lead to one of his greatest accomplishments – his first piece of writing titled “The Greatest Work of Art,” which was about the creation of man. That story can be found within The Winding Road along with the many poems and songs written throughout the Cox’s time spent in Oklahoma since 1969.

Product details…
6 x 9 paperback cream, 165 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (April 22, 2014)
ISBN10: 1478707879
ISBN13: 9781478707875
Genre: Poetry / American / General

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Self-Publishing Authors Can Now Capture Hollywood’s Attention More Affordably

Now Outskirts Press offers all authors (self-published and otherwise) an affordably unique opportunity to garner the attention they deserve from Hollywood producers with a brand new option called Book Your Trip to Hollywood – Hollywood Action Plan.

Hollywood CoverageThe Hollywood Action Plan offers authors who believe their book would make a great movie or television series a more affordable way to get their book in front of Hollywood producers. Each purchase of the action plan includes an industry logline, suggestions for adaptation format, creative adaptation recommendations, a market analysis of sales potential and audience appeal, and the next steps for turning a book into a Hollywood-ready screenplay.

“It’s very common for authors to dream of seeing their books on the big screen,” states Outskirts Press Manager of Author Support Elise Connors. “The Hollywood Action Plan takes authors one step closer to realizing that dream.”

This service solves a real problem for many authors who dream of making it big in Hollywood. In fact, just getting Hollywood’s attention is nearly impossible, but with the Hollywood Action Plan from Outskirts Press, authors receive turn-key, full-service assistance with the push of a button. And with each option, authors receive the feedback and/or participation of a real Hollywood producer and production company; the final results are added to a Hollywood database that is perused by industry professionals for new projects; and exclusive efforts to option the author’s book are immediately set into motion. The author doesn’t have to lift a finger!

Traditionally published and self-published authors interested in “making it big” in Hollywood can learn more about the Hollywood Action Plan option here:

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Top 3 Self-Published Mexican Cookbooks to Enjoy for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for May 5) is a time to celebrate the defeat of the French Army by soldiers of the Mexican Army. While not an American holiday, many Americans celebrate this day, and what better way to celebrate than with food? To prepare you for your day-long celebration, here are our top 3 books that have Mexican recipes listed (in alphabetical order):


Are you ready to start publishing your Mexican Cookbook for next year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration?

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Top 8 Ways to Boost the Sales of Your Self-Published Book In the New Year

As a self-published author, it is reasonable for you to continuously look for ways to boost your sales. After all, you didn’t write your book so that no one would read it – right?

So, to kick off the new year, we’ve prepared a list of things that will be helpful in getting your book marketing on the right track in 2011.

  1. Create a marketing calendar that will allow you to keep track of when you should be doing certain promotional activities. Outskirts Press published authors can get our custom-created marketing calendar for FREE if they use promotion code Free2011 before January 15, 2011.
  2. Sell your book on consignment. This doesn’t make you any money upfront, but it increases your exposure and can boost your sales as a book that someone can touch and flip through has a greater likelihood of selling than an “online only” copy.
  3. Get involved in Social Networking sites. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. will not only allow you to interact with others who may be interested in purchasing your book but also learn from other writers/publishers.
  4. Make sure your book is available in various electronic formats. E-Readers are becoming increasingly popular and if your book isn’t available (especially on Amazon Kindle), you are missing the boat.
  5. Create a book trailer for your book and distribute it via YouTube and other video sharing sites.
  6. Hire a marketing coach if you don’t have time for and/or don’t have any marketing experience (or willingness to learn).
  7. Take your book on tour. This can be a rather costly option, unless you take a virtual book tour at various websites/blogs.
  8. Get your book reviewed. This will help not only build exposure for your book but also help when potential buyers are researching your book to see what others think before they buy.

The biggest piece of advice to take away from this is to make a plan. Have a list of items to conquer in the New Year to make your book a success! Whatever you do, please don’t be like this guy:

Is your New Year’s resolution to self-publish a successful new book?

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5 Ways that Offering Books on Consignment Helps Self-Published Authors

If you’re like many Outskirts Press self-published authors, you may be seeking creative ways to increase your book sales. You may have tried contacting the big box stores (Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Borders Bookstores, etc.) but haven’t had much luck. You may already be successful at online sales but want to tap additional sources of revenue.

Either way, offering your book on consignment is a great way to achieve your goals. But, let’s take a step back and discuss exactly what consignment is — it is the process of stocking your book in a local (most likely independent) bookstore at no cost to the seller. Once the book sells, you and the store owner split the earnings.

Here are some key benefits to setting up such an arrangement:

  1. You get added exposure in your local community. People you know or with whom you share a personal connection (i.e. same hometown, etc.) will be more willing to try and buy your book than others.
  2. There is no risk for the retailer so they are more willing to display your book. You don’t have to worry about paying extra fees to ensure your book is returnable because the store owner doesn’t have to pay anything upfront to stock your book.
  3. You can usually keep a short trade discount. Of course, this is dependent on your goals for the book. If you’re still planning to approach the big box stores as a part of your book’s overall marketing strategy, you may consider maintaining at least a 50% trade discount. However, consignment arrangements can be setup independently of trade discount amount since the store is paying nothing to acquire your book.
  4. The independent bookstore that is consigning your book will be more open to scheduling a book signing event with you if sales are on target. Book signings mean an opportunity to meet new people that could be interested in buying your book.
  5. The more places your book is being sold, the greater the likelihood for sales.

For this to be most effective, you have to come to an agreement that is fair for both parties. In some cases, this may be a 50/50 split and in others a 70/30 (author advantage) may work. The specific pay plan should be discussed with the store owner in advance.

To locate local bookstores in your area, you can visit: Indie Bound.

If you need assistance with this technique, 5 hours with a Personal Marketing Assistant or a 30-minute Marketing Consultation may benefit you.

Have you ever tried to sell books on consignment? How did this work out for you?

Happy Marketing!

New York Times to showcase Outskirts Press books

The December 13th issue of the New York Times Book Review focuses on the top 10 books of the year. This issue follows the Holiday Buyer’s Guide issue of December 6th. Each edition of the New York Times Book Review represents an opportunity for self publishing authors to get in front of over 4 MILLION book readers.

For the following 12 Outskirts Press authors, the December 13th edition promises to be an exciting one, when these 12 books will appear toward the front of the New York Times Book Review section:

With any extensive amount of exposure, progressive self-publishing authors are well-advised to start laying the ground work early, either through the distribution of a new press release, or by contacting bookstores where the media exposure will take place. In this case, New York City bookstores would be a good target for direct sales efforts. For instance, NY City’s largest independent bookstore chain is Strand Books and their website is at

All these books, and other Outskirts Press titles, are available from all major online retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells, Books A Million, and others, plus conveniently from the Outskirts Press bookstore at (or in quantities of 10 or more for full wholesale trade discounts at Outskirts Press Direct (where the retailer saves money and the author still get their full royalty):

Not yet a published author receiving post-publication opportunities to appear in the New York Times?

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7 Book Marketing Tactics for Successful Self Publishing Authors

Version 3.0 of the Outskirts Press website launched on Saturday at

For a run-down of the new features and benefits, click this previous posting here.

Version 3.0 wasn’t just for new and current authors. The Marketing Options screen of the published authors’ toolkit was also enhanced and new promotional products and services were introduced, along with a new book marketing video:

Has your publisher let you down with the post-publication support? It’s never too late to switch. Outskirts Press offers the most promotional products and services for published authors in the industry.

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