Editing Tips for Busy Writers

When readers are browsing for a new book, they’re going to be drawn to a great book cover and a catchy title. They’ll read the blurb on the back cover, but before actually taking the plunge and hitting the BUY button, most readers will skim the first few pages of a book that interests them… And if these pages are riddled with errors, the consumer is off to the next title.

In order to be taken seriously, self-published books must be professionally edited.

Often authors are so anxious to get their books in print that they skip this crucial step. Others feel their book is fine because their mother or their next-door neighbor checked it over… But take a look at Amazon reviews, and you’ll find that the biggest turnoff to a reader is a poorly edited book filled with silly mistakes and serious flaws — problems that an editor would never let slip through the cracks. If the reader is preoccupied with incorrect punctuation, word choice, and grammar, they won’t be able to focus on what your book is trying to say.

Most importantly, no matter how thrilling your thriller or educational your how-to, if your book is unedited (or edited by your former first-grade teacher), you will very likely be perceived as an amateur.

Many authors feel confident in their own editing abilities and believe their book is fine without a fresh pair of eyes to review it. They might run a spellcheck, check for typos, and call it good. But a professional editor does so much more than check for spelling.

What can an editor do for you?

A good editor keeps the rules of the English language in mind but also preserves the writer’s unique voice. Each writer is different, and sometimes their style overrides mandates handed down by the grammar police. A good editor will recognize and nurture individual style.

Copyeditors focus on a book line by line, looking for spelling and grammatical problems, consistency, clarity, word choice, sentence structure, verb tense, dialogue, and other issues of style. They also look at the big picture and flag general problem areas in plot, character, point of view, and overall flow.

Did your main character’s name change halfway through your book? An editor will catch it. They’ll also catch embarrassing errors like anachronisms (a smartphone in 1932?) or plot problems (how can your heroine be in two places at one time?). Does the book switch back and forth from past to present tense? Is it filled with long, confusing sentences and page-long paragraphs? An editor will fix these problems.

It’s difficult to edit your own work, as just about any author will tell you. Whether you’re a bestselling author or a brand-new writer with your first book, an objective professional review/edit of your work is a crucial step. And the readers you’re hoping to attract will be more willing to hit that BUY button if they’re not distracted by poor presentation and awkward sentence structure!

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Outskirts Press offers high-quality copyediting services for manuscripts of all lengths and types. This May, we will edit the first 15,000 words of your manuscript for free when you purchase the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package.  Yep! That means most full-color children’s books will receive free editing of the entire manuscript all month long! Just enter promo code coverkdedi in your shopping cart during checkout.

5 Reasons to Fall in Love With Self-Publishing

Times have changed, haven’t they? And self-publishing has changed the world … and the publishing industry right along with it. There are so many reasons why authors, including those who may have previously been traditionally published, are eschewing the old ways and trying something new, and February is the perfect month to try it out yourself. Once you learn more about self-publishing, you may even find that you love this option, too! Here are five reasons why publishing in the lead up to and in the immediate aftermath of Valentine’s Day might just be exactly what your year needs to kick into gear.

1. Timing

It’s a new year, yes, but it’s also not quite brand new anymore. Which is to say, the hectic holidays are past, and the doldrums of spring are opening up before you. What better time of year to knock out that project you’ve always wanted to? Finishing your book and preparing it for publication takes a lot less time than it used to with the advent of self-publishing. The period between mid-February and Memorial Day is an excellent time to finally complete your manuscript and submit your book for publication … just in time for a late spring or early summer debut!

2. Velocity

Traditional publishing is a slow process. There are the dreaded query letters, the time spent waiting to hear back from agents or editors, and the time spent agonizing revising your manuscript to meet someone else’s editorial suggestions. If your book does get picked up by a firm, it can take over a year to see your book in print … and that’s a best-case scenario! The self-publishing process is often completed within a few months, as we’ve indicated above. Not only does this mean you don’t have to wait to see your book in print, but it also opens up even more doors for writing adaptive, timely, and responsive works that touch upon issues still being actively discussed in the public sphere. You can now publish books that are current and in response to readers’ desires!

3. Rights

When a book is traditionally published, its author may have very little control over the fate of the manuscript. Editors and agents decide if a book is print worthy, while a publishing firm decides upon the book’s cover art, layout, and price point … all without consulting you, the author. Once you hand over your manuscript for a traditional publishing company to publish, you are essentially giving up all rights and control over the final product. Meanwhile, should you choose to self-publish your book, you remain in charge, and you decide when your manuscript is ready to be published. The final outcome and the final product are the product of your singular vision, not publication by committee!

4. Quality

The quality of print-on-demand (POD) books has come a long way since the inception of self-publishing more than two decades ago. In addition to higher quality printing methods and a wider variety of formatting options, many self-publishing companies now offer a variety of professional services such as copyediting and cover design to ensure that your book receives truly top-notch, red-carpet treatment. There are no barriers to a high-quality product anymore, and your book will positively shine in both digital and print formats.

5. Individuality

Traditional publishing is all about making money, and traditional publishing professionals end up choosing to publish “sure thing” bestsellers over unique, specialized works in order to cover their corporate bottom line and satisfy shareholders. To do so, they need books that appeal to the mass market, but not all authors are targeting the mass market. Self-publishing allows you to write for a niche market … and better yet, it allows you to print, distribute, and market for a niche market, as well! In the world of self-publishing, blockbuster success doesn’t have to come at the price of your book’s individuality, its unique voice and architecture. Everything special and unique which wrapped you up in writing can still be there in its final form, and what’s not to love about that?

So, are you ready 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? If so, connect with Outskirts Press right now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

 

Crisp Cover Copy That Crackles & Pops

There once was a time when you might venture forth to browse the shelves at your local bookstore or library, run your fingers along a hundred or so spines, and snatch up the book that most grabbed your attention. These days, the process of book browsing has become primarily a digital affair, and many of us now spend our time scrolling through book listings online with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. But in one thing, we haven’t evolved. Despite mostly eschewing cliches, one continues to haunt us: “don’t judge a book by its cover!”

These words haunt us because of their impossibility. We do judge books by their covers, and in an era of rapid digital evolution, we’re still drawn to books with interesting, professional cover design and sparkling cover content that convinces a book browser to become a book buyer.  While e-book formats sometimes require less emphasis on physical appearance they still need distinctive, eye-popping covers just like their hard copy counterparts because a viewer’s first look at a new book is often in online search results, where the cover thumbnail image is literally the size of a thumb.  The cover needs to bounce off the screen!

If your front cover is your book’s first impression, your back cover content (typically a synopsis, sales copy, and/or author biography) needs to make a lasting one. In a digital, print-on-demand, self-publishing world, it’s important to realize that this back cover content isn’t just for the physical book cover — it is also commonly used as the sales copy (otherwise called “the annotation”) for the detailed sales page on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Most book buyers thoroughly read the sales copy of the books they are considering, so this is not a detail you can ignore. Your cover copy needs to be pristine, persuasive, and perfect (not to punctuate a point).

And that leads many self-publishing authors to an inevitable question? Should you write your own sales copy?  Certainly you’re capable of it, right? After all, you wrote the book it’s for! But, writing something that educates or entertains is different from writing something that sells.  Different skill sets sometimes require different experts, and it’s okay to ask for help.

The skilled writing and editorial team involved in the Outskirts Press  Cover Text Refinement Option knows what it takes to transform a browser into a buyer! With this optional production option, you’re telling your readers that your book is worth their time and money because you’ve made it the best it can possibly be–both inside and out. Meanwhile, the Outskirts Press copywriters will craft compelling content (typically with fewer alliterative phrases than this blog positing) that hooks your readers and makes them want to know more about you and your book.

You’ve spent so much time and energy creating your masterpiece–don’t let your hard work go unnoticed! Amazing back cover copy can make the difference between someone viewing your book…and someone buying it.

For more information about self-publishing with Outskirts Press, get in touch with a Publishing Consultant. There are three convenient ways to connect:

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Claim 5 Complimentary Book Formats by Publishing Today

How do bestselling self-published authors sell so many books? Sure, they often use high-quality publishers like Outskirts Press, so their books look great on the inside and out, but most bestselling authors also have multiple formats of their book available for sale. When you have a paperback version, a hardback, an Amazon Kindle eBook, NOOK eBook, and Apple eBook, you provide discerning readers 5 different formats from which to choose. This translates to more availability worldwide, better search results, more browsers, and more buyers.

And right now, all 5 formats are FREE when you publish your book with Outskirts Press. But hurry, this amazing deal, valued at an additional $1,350, won’t last long.

Simply publish your book today with the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color Publishing Package and you will receive:

  • A paperback edition
  • A hardback edition (with or without a dust jacket – your choice!)
  • An Amazon Kindle eBook edition
  • A Barnes & Noble NOOK eBook edition
  • An Apple iBooks eBook edition

Enter promotion code givingtues in your shopping cart when you place your order now to take advantage of this amazing, limited-time offer

So, are you ready 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? If so, connect with Outskirts Press right now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

“I am very familiar with the self-publishing business. I have written and published four prior books using another publisher. But the process with the other publisher was very complicated and at times even painful. I picked Outskirts Press for my last book and it was a great choice. My Author Representatives guided me through the publishing process and the process was the most efficient that I have experienced. And you produced a beautiful book.” – Dale Cathell, author of Pete the Greek: An Entrepreneurial Life

 

Did you miss our Black Friday deal to save $500 on publishing?

Cyber Monday has officially surpassed Black Friday as the biggest shopping day of the year. Not only is Cyber Monday the biggest day to shop but it is also the biggest day to save on publishing with Outskirts Press.

Today only, you can receive an instant $350 savings with your purchase of the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package (and receive a free Amazon Kindle eBook edition worth $299 in the process). Or receive a major $500 instant savings with your purchase of any of our One-Click publishing & marketing suites.

Just enter Promo Code cyberultfc into your shopping cart when ordering the Ultimate or Full-Color package. Or enter Promo Code cyberonecl when ordering a One-Click package.

But hurry! Don’t let this opportunity to save hundreds pass you by.

So, are you ready 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? If so, connect with Outskirts Press right now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

“I had no idea how to go about publishing a book, and Outskirts took me through the process step by step with clear instructions and explanations so that I never made a false step. I am tremendously pleased by all that Outskirts did for me, and the final product is exactly what I wished. I will certainly print my other books through them.” – John J. Wells, author of Die Like A Dog

 

[Black Friday Special] 50 included Author’s Copies when you publish today!

If ever there was a year worthy of a spectacular Black Friday promotion, 2020 is it! For the first time ever Outskirts Press is offering 5-times as many complimentary author’s copies with the Ultimate Black & White and Full-Color publishing packages!

  • That’s 50 included copies with the Ultimate package
  • That’s 25 included copies with the Full-Color package

This is a one-day-only Black Friday special, so order your publishing package right now, and lock in this deal with your Publishing Consultant or during check-out with promotion code: fivetimes.

When you’re ready 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, you may start via any of the methods below:

“Communication was swift and timely, recommendations were informed and helpful, and the publishing process overall was smooth. Mostly, it’s great just knowing I am working with a publisher who is handling the details to the point where the author doesn’t need to worry. Thank you once again, Outskirts Press!” – Eric B, author of Cult of Steiphen: Night Crusaders Series Episode 1

 

#1 Rated Self-Publishing Company — 4 Years Running!

With so many options out there, it can be hard to decide where to publish your manuscript. But Top Consumer Reviews just made it easier to identify who you can trust. For the fourth consecutive year (2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020), the consumer product and services review site has named Outskirts Press #1 in the self-publishing industry!

There are many reasons Outskirts Press has garnered this honor multiple years in a row, according to TCR, citing a wide range of affordable products, a high level of customer service and our 100% royalties structure. To quote TopConsumerReviews.com, “Everything you could need from a self-publishing provider can be found at Outskirts Press. This company’s strong reputation, excellent range of packages and a la carte services are just a few of the reasons why they remain at the top of our rankings. Outskirts Press continues to be our top pick among self-publishing services.”

Now it’s time for you to experience for yourself the service that is #1 in the industry. Our Publishing Consultants are waiting to help you get what you need to achieve your goals for your project. Your dreams of becoming a published author are just a click away!

So, are you ready 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? If so, connect with Outskirts Press right now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

 

Congratulations to Our Readers Favorite Award-Winning Self-Publishing Authors!

It’s that time of the year again — the 2020 Readers Favorite Award Winners have been announced. Below is a list of winners whose books are published with Outskirts Press:

CATEGORY: FICTION – MYSTERY – GENERAL


And Come Day’s End — Bronze

CATEGORY: CHILDREN – ANIMALS


Here Comes Ingo — Silver

CATEGORY: CHRISTIAN – DEVOTION/STUDY


Esoteric Christianity Made Simple — Honorable Mention

CATEGORY: NON-FICTION – MOTIVATIONAL


Conquering Life’s Course — Honorable Mention

Again, congratulations to all of our winners! If you want to purchase any of these titles, you can save between 10%-50% by ordering directly from the Outskirts Press Bookstore.

Are you ready to publish your own award-winning book? Let’s get started…

 

Holiday Book Promotion in the Time of COVID

Book marketing has changed due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving millions sick, jobless, and stuck at home.

Drastic times call for drastic measures and Outskirts Press wants to help. Has the financial uncertainty put a strain on your book marketing budget? Have social distancing measures put a hold on your book marketing efforts? If so, keep reading because there is a silver lining around this corona-cloud.

For many readers, writers, and book marketers, social distancing requirements can offer a lot more free time. Use that time productively by…

  • writing another book, since it is more efficient to market two books than one
  • using the “alone time” productively by completing book marketing tasks that might otherwise seem too time-consuming to be worthwhile
  • researching and entering book contests
  • investigating bloggers who write content similar to your book to write a guest post
  • researching podcasters who record content similar to your book to be a guest

Whatever your tactics are, it is important to have copies (some of them should be signed) of your book available whenever you need them. And now is the time to stock up, especially since holiday printing lead times will be longer than ever before due to the coronavirus (as long as two months). Who needs that extra stress? Stock up on books today!

Hint: Free Shipping Months are PERFECT times to load up on marketing copies and September is FREE SHIPPING MONTH for all Outskirts Press Authors!

Want more ideas? Create gift baskets! For example, if you’ve published a series of spy thrillers, put an AMC Gift Card inside each one (theaters will open up again someday, right??), along with a tin of caramel popcorn and a few Coca Colas, and a DVD of a 007 or Mission Impossible movie. Wrap each gift basket up with a bow. You can either sell your gift baskets outright from your website (for a higher price than all their parts, of course, like say … $39 or $49, depending upon your desired profit margin). Or give them away as gifts to winners of your social media contests or to followers on your blog.

The options are endless. In fact, our authors will immediately receive an exclusive COVID-SAFE Book Marketing Tip Sheet titled 19 COVID-Safe Ways to Promote Your Book During the Holidays and free shipping within the continental United States when they order 50+ author copies during the month of September.

 

Start publishing today and receive $648 of EXTRA services!

If you’re not yet published, this may be the perfect time to take the leap. Outskirts Press is offering the popular Amazon Launch Bundle absolutely free (a $349 value!) with your purchase of the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package! Enhanced Amazon marketing can help you get out of the gate with a newly published book in a much stronger selling position with the largest book-buying audience in the world.

The Amazon Launch Bundle is designed to increase visibility with tens of millions of readers browsing the Amazon bookstore. When your book is published, we will expertly boost your presence on Amazon with:

  • Amazon Search Inside the Book — This feature entices readers with preview pages, and we’ll submit it for you for free
  • Amazon Listing Optimization — Your book will perform better in search engine results when we optimize your book’s selling page with strategically chosen keywords, all for free
  • Amazon Author Profile — After we create and/or improve your Amazon Author Profile for you (and for free), you will be able to provide readers with key information about you and your book(s) to build awareness, fan loyalty, and new readers!

And if that’s not enough, start publishing your masterpiece today and we will also publish and distribute an Amazon Kindle eBook Edition of your book for free (a $299 value).
To claim all these additional Amazon extras at no additional cost, simply enter promo code amazonlaunch during check-out when you start publishing your book with either the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package today.

So, are you ready 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? If so, connect with Outskirts Press right now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

“Outskirts Press made it easy for me to get my book published. I could not be more pleased with Outskirts and will definitely use Outskirts again.” – Gordon Docking with David Smale, author of Blake and Me: The Life Lessons I’ve Learned From the Best Teacher I Ever Had