Capture the Magic in Your Next Children’s Book!

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who might claim that writing children’s books is easy; in fact, most people in the know will tell you exactly the opposite. Publishing professionals, editors, and authors alike must face up to the peculiar challenges of the genre, which include writing a captivating story, generating eye-popping illustrations, and creating a marketing strategy which will appeal to both the children who make up your primary audience—and the adults who must pay for its purchase. And here’s a fun fact: sometimes children and adults like different things!

There is no other book genre out there which has such a division between its readers and its purchasers … but don’t let that get you down! There are ways to write and publish children’s books which will sell well to folks of all ages, and here we have put together a top six tips list to help you create your own.

  1. Mind your length. As any preschool teacher or children’s librarian can confirm, reading with children is most enjoyable for both parties when the book in question contains just enough text to carry the story along without exhausting their attention. The amount of text you can get away with per page will lengthen as your target audience grows older, but a general rule of thumb is to start with two lines of text per page for toddlers and to go from there.
  2. Pick a timely subject. Picture books are more likely to be picked up by parents, teachers, and librarians on the prowl if they tackle subjects which these adults want to prepare their children to face. In 2014, for instance, one of the most popular subjects was bullying. In 2015, diversity and Civil Rights spiked in popularity. In 2016, picture books featuring public service and leadership frequently hit the bestseller lists. One of the strengths of self-publishing is the fact that books can respond to current events, go to press, and hit bookshelves much more quickly than their traditional counterparts. Take advantage!
  3. Don’t dumb it down. You heard right—baby talk doesn’t carry as compelling of a story as a book which treats its younger audiences with a rich vocabulary and sophisticated sentence structure. Embed what some writers call “gift words” throughout your book, and elevate the beauty of your lines the same way you would for adults. After all, it’s very likely adults will be reading your book aloud to or alongside their kids, and this will transform your book from pure entertainment to a learning opportunity.
  4. Voice morals carefully, and cleverly. Young children will often miss the meat of your agenda, and adults may be turned off from purchasing your book for their kids because it strikes them as “too preachy” or because they disagree with your point. Many of the most successful picture books are indeed rich with moral material, and few will argue otherwise than that picture books are prime tools for teaching sound decision-making skills, but most of these success stories find clever, quiet ways to do so without alienating readers.
  5. Think about those end materials! Many of today’s best picture books include a few pages at the end which include notes for adults on how to make best use of the book in teaching a skill or an idea to young readers. These thoughtful additions often help parents and educators to recognize the care which went into writing and publishing the book, and to put it to work in a more intentional way.
  6. Humor me. Or rather, humor them! Children have a keen sense of humor, and are particularly sensitive to farce and comedy. Adults are more attuned to situational and other forms of irony. A good picture book will entertain everyone by tapping into intersectional forms of humor, just as a good children’s movie usually has some sort of mature subtext embedded within it to keep parents awake in the theater. You can also use humor as a teaching tool, so everyone wins!

In an ideal world, you would be able to focus on the act of writing your picture book, and not have to worry about the complicated minutiae of publishing and marketing your book which you may or may not feel prepared enough to tackle. Luckily, we already live in that world! At Outskirts Press, you can turn to us at any stage of the publishing process, whether you’re reading this newsletter and finding tips on how to move forward with your writing, or using our One-Click Publishing suite to publish your next children’s book, or exploring your options for illustrations and interior formatting. We offer a comprehensive list of services which we hope you’ll take advantage of as you work to translate your vision to the page!

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Spring Into Some Savings This May!

Spring is a time for renewed hopes, and a time to dust off those projects which have been sitting in the back of your mind–or in the far recesses of your computer’s memory–over the chilly winter months. You’ve had time to let the ideas percolate, like snowmelt through warming soil, and things are starting to come together to grow your dream into something magnificent. Now that May has arrived, spring is officially underway–and your prospects are coming up all roses!

We at Outskirts Press would like to invite you to make good on your desires, and to that end we are offering a spring savings discount of $250 off either our Ultimate Publishing package or our Full-Color Publishing package!

You are an author who knows the virtues of patience—after all, waiting through the cold winter months for a sale like this one is no easy thing!—and you are committed to doing the necessary research to ensure you pick the right self-publishing company for your needs. We hope that, with our phenomenal offerings and equally phenomenal spring savings discount, you’ll choose to publish with us—the one Top Consumer Reviews rated #1 Self-Publishing Company for 2016!

Here’s how to do it:

From now until the end of May, log onto our website or get in touch with us over the phone and add one of these two packages to your shopping cart. Then, enter the promotion code 250May17 at checkout.

That’s it!

If you have any questions or, if you want to find out more information about either our Ultimate or our 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
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Amazon Featured Book-of-the-Week

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


The Old Guy Goes
by Keith Elkins

(5 Stars – 2 Customer Reviews)

Price: $16.95

Keith Elkins’s “The Old Guy Goes.” tells the story of a college teacher from his prime at age forty to his death at eighty surrounded by loving family. With insight, he explores the later stages of life and the significant issues related to aging.

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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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Great Things Follow Just One Small Click

Struggling to balance your writing time with the sometimes overwhelming process of publishing and marketing your own book? You might just appreciate the value of what we at Outskirts Press call “One-Click Publishing.” All of our One-Click Publishing suites share the same core DNA—an understanding that indie authors shouldn’t have to shoulder the entire publishing burden and go it alone, foregoing professional insight just because they’ve chosen to leave the traditional publishing path. And what better partner in walking that path than the self-publishing company ranked #1 by Top Consumer Reviews?

Since Outskirts Press offers separate One-Click Publishing packages for Fiction, Non-Fiction, Spiritual, Christian, Children’s, Cookbook and Memoir book genres, you can always be sure that the services included will be useful and not just throwaway extras.

Consider, for example, our One-Click Publishing service for fiction books. It includes formatting, copyediting for up to 75,000 words, custom cover design, ISBN and barcode, wholesale distribution through outlets like Ingram and Amazon, an author webpage, one-on-one author support, a digital author galley as well as print author copies, tip sheets, 5 hours of consultation with a Personal Marketing Assistant, a press release, e-book editions, and a whole host of other features that would take too much room to list here.

Our One-Click Publishing suites are easy to use, and by virtue of what economists call “Economies of Scale,” they also make products and services more affordable by bundling them together! They also help save you time and energy. Indie authors have a tremendous drain upon both in the form of publishing and marketing minutiae. After all, it’s unusual for any adult person to possess the skill to execute a beautifully designed book cover as well as the experience necessary to purchase an ISBN without hassle and to construct an effective social media marketing strategy.

A carefully-chosen publishing package sets you free to do what you love most—write—without sacrificing something else important, like eating well, or sleeping eight hours, or time with your family. If you find yourself in a tight spot, we hope that you add our One-Click Publishing services to your list of possibilities.

While our services and packages are all great, our people also shine. We’re proud to offer top-rated self-publishing services to some of the world’s most interesting and innovative authors. We’re here to make your job easier—and yes, to make sure you get to do the things you want to do, not just the things you have to do in order to sell your book.

Talk with a Publishing Consultant to get exactly what you need — and get the most out of it! 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

Amazon Featured Book-of-the-Week

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


The Vicissitudes of Fortune

by Bob Siqveland

(5 Stars – 3 Customer Reviews)

Price: $18.95

Bob Siqveland’s “The Vicissitudes of Fortune.” Five teenagers from diverse racial backgrounds who are brought together by a war in Vietnam remain best friends for decades. They grow from boys to men of great character and encounter life. There is only one adversity they cannot overcome.

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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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Mediocrity in America: A Point of View by Andrew J. Rodriguez

With the abundance of self-published authors, you have to come up with creative ways to market a self-published book. While book tours are a great way to connect with your readers, they aren’t the most affordable method of promotion. However, technology has made it possible for an alternative.

Take note from self-publishing Outskirts Press author, Andrew Rodriguez, who is taking his latest book, Mediocrity in AMERICA: A Point of View, on tour — a virtual book tour, that is. He will be featured on several blogs over the weeks and months ahead so keep your eyes peeled to learn more about him and his book.

Luckily for us, Andrew was kind enough to answer a few questions as the tour was getting started so that we can give you a sneak peek into the mind of the creator of Mediocrity in America: A Point of View.

OP: Tell us a little bit about Mediocrity in America: A Point of View. What is it about?
Andrew: In my book, I examine the cause-and-effect relationship between generalized mediocrity and American democracy. I also look at democracy’s core values and traditions, as well as the factors upon which, ultimately, its very survival depends.

OP: Why did you decide to write this story?
Andrew: I wrote Mediocrity in America: A Point of View in order to leave a legacy for future generations. My book is intended to remind readers of the fragility of freedom and to describe the possible disintegration of a prosperous, civilized society. I also wanted to offer counsel in an interesting, perhaps sardonic way on how to prevent social apathy from destroying our country and Western Civilization as a whole.

There is a truism which I have often heard expressed, which says: “Democracy’s worst enemy lies within itself and not beyond its borders.” I wrote my book in order to open the eyes of the ignorant and ill-informed to the heart of this matter.

OP: How did you get your book published?
Andrew: Mediocrity in America: A Point of View is a timely book. Hence, instead of wasting precious time and resources seeking conventional publishers, I decided to speed up the process by self-publishing it through Outskirts Press, which is based out of Parker, Colorado.

OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?
Andrew: I firmly believe that my book will appeal to those who love America and the moral pillars upon which it stands.

OP: What is special about your book?
Andrew: The “point of view” referenced in my book’s title refers to Titan, a St. Bernard. Readers are led to see the world through his eyes, as he is presented with a wealth of information regarding the effects of widespread mediocrity—information which offers much to consider if America is to remain one of the greatest nations on Earth. Titan weighs in on the effects of envy—as well as the other six deadly sins—and on vulgarity.

Titan reflects upon the Humanities and offers his canine point of view on what he considers the scourge of our nation: Indifferent human beings sleepwalking through the various phases of life without teaching and without learning. Titan comes to understand that the greatest catastrophe occurs when bored and boring citizens such as these grow to immeasurable numbers and become the majority—providing the perfect environment for a dogmatic, narrow-minded, and inflexible group to fill the vacuum and establish a paralyzed society prone to disintegrate as mediocrity becomes its foundation.

This unique and thoughtful narrative is as spot-on as it is entertaining, and Titan as a benevolent narrator makes a compelling case against the dangers of mediocrity in America.

OP: What differentiates it from other books in the same category?
Andrew: My book is slimmer than most, and makes for a quick and easy read. Its message is user-friendly, simple, and straightforward.

OP: Have you published any other books?
Andrew: Yes, I have! My first book was The Teleportation of an American Teenager (2005). Later that year I also published the memoir Adios, Havana, winner of the 2006 Colorado Publishers Association’s Evvy Award for its genre. I also published The Incredible Adventures of Enrique Diaz (2006), a work of historical fiction and finalist for both the USA Book News’ Best Book Award and Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award.

In 2009 I published the mystery romance Helen’s Treasure: Odyssey of a Ladies’ Man, and in 2014 I published a collection of short works, Santa Rita Stories: Coming of Age in a Cuban Fishing Town. Mediocrity in America: A Point of View is my latest book, published in 2016.

OP: Do you plan to publish more?
Andrew: As an obsessive writer and student of the human condition, I will continue to publish many more!

OP: Thanks for your time, Andrew! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andrew J. Rodriguez is also the author of Santa Rita Stories, Coming of Age in a Cuban Fishing Town; Helen’s Treasure, Odyssey of a Ladies’ Man; and The Incredible Adventures of Enrique Diaz, a finalist for both the Book of the Year Award sponsored by Foreword Magazine and the Best Books Award sponsored by USA Book News. His second book, Adios, Havana: A Memoir, won the prestigious Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Award in 2006 as well as the Allbooks Reviews Editor’s Choice Award. Rodriguez and his wife live in Colorado and Florida.

For more information or to contact the author, visit https://www.outskirtspress.com/mediocrityinamerica

This author purchased the Virtual Book Tour marketing option, which allows self-publishing authors to connect with bloggers and harness the power of the blogosphere by taking their book on the “virtual road.” Learn more about this service by visiting your Publishing Center and reviewing the available marketing options.

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Amazon Featured Book-of-the-Week

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


God and the gods

by Genesis T. Yengoh

Price: $19.95

Genesis T. Yengoh’s “God and the gods” is a fascinating story of culture clash in contemporary Africa. Lydia Ngoske, the mother of a very successful son, believes in the protection of the Christian God but she demands a renowned traditionalist to provide protection for him through the occult. Beliefs shape destiny but one person’s mistake may have irreversible consequences. This book will draw you into a world of intricate ritual, family love and something very unexpected.

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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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