Prepare for National Poetry Month this April

Did you know that the month of April is, among other things, National Poetry Month? This makes April the perfect month to publish that book of poems you’ve been thinking about for a while, and not just because this month provides some great marketing opportunities; it’s also the perfect month to think about the reasons why we write, and the ways in which we put words together on the page. It’s a month to re-envision our craft as wordsmiths!

First, I might point you to the experience of Mirtha Michelle Castro Marmol, whose first book of poems, Letters, to the Men I Have Loved, did more than moderately well … it did so exceptionally well as to remain on Amazon’s bestseller lists for months! Mirtha Michelle Castro Marmol published through Outskirts Press, and in our interview with her on our blog, she said that the most rewarding part of being published “is and will always be” the ability her book had “to touch people.” Said Ms. Castro Marmol, “It’s crazy because I didn’t think people really read books anymore. But for me, having these girls go and buy my book, and spend their twenty dollars or so on Letters … it’s amazing, that someone believes in things still.” Readers have been snapping up copies of her books, both in physical and digital forms, at such a rate as to firmly prove that people still “really read books” … including poetry!

So how do successful poets do it?

Success as a self-publishing poet is all about consistency, commitment, and personal development. To help you become the best poet you can be, here are three ways to improve your writing as well as self-publishing your work.

  1. Read, Read, Read! Any time you want to improve your skills and become more successful, reading can help. Read poetry! Read books and articles about writing and publishing poetry! Read information about self-publishing! Read anything that inspires you to write and become the best poet you can be, but don’t limit yourself to poetry and industry-related books. Read fiction, non-fiction, magazines, newspapers, blogs, and advertisements. Read everything and anything you can get a hold of. You never know what will inspire you!
  2. Stay Committed: If you want to be successful, you need to commit yourself to your craft. Make time to write every day. Look for ways to continue to learn and grow. Figure out what motivates you and include those motivations in your daily life. Share your goals with others so they can help you accountable. Never give up on dreams.
  3. Be Consistent: Whether you are writing, editing, or marketing, be consistent. Work on your poetry every day. Set a schedule for when you will write, edit, or market your work. Set goals for yourself, and make a plan to achieve them. Successful writers don’t write sporadically; they work on their craft in some way every single day.

Supposing that these three suggestions have provided you with the motivation you need, what next? Well, turn this list on its head and consider it a starting point … and a list of tips for starting your next book! The path to publication may not always be smooth, but there are ways to make sure it is well-lit and passable. And that’s why we’re here to provide you with the services and resources you need to move from a grand idea for your next book to a finished, published book of poems for the next generation.

Not sure what you need to get started publishing your poetry? 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 poetry books from many of our authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here.

The Best Reasons to Self-Publish … Are Free!

While print books are likely to always have a place with readers, ebooks are more than just the wave of the future … they’re the wave of the now. Each year, the market share for ebook publishing and consumption grows, and self-publishing authors like you are leading the way. And during the month of March you can take advantage of this trend by receiving a free Kindle eBook Edition and a free Barnes & Noble Nook eBook Edition with the purchase of an Ultimate, Full-Color or Basic publishing package from Outskirts Press.

If you’ve spent much time researching the ins and outs of self-publishing, you already know there are more benefits to ebooks than just market share and the ability to tap into the massive international popularity of the Amazon Kindle store and the device’s many millions of users.

The true magic of the Amazon Kindle and other dedicated e-readers is that they allow avid readers to instantly download books and newspapers, and carry a large library of reading materials with them in one compact device. Only books that have been submitted to the Amazon Kindle using their required process and in their required format are available for Kindle readers to purchase and enjoy, so professionally formatted ebooks are essential to success in the Amazon Marketplace. This holds true for the Barnes & Noble Nook Store, as well. Kindle editions of books appear on Amazon and in Amazon search listings just like hardbacks, paperbacks and any other format out there. More formats on Amazon means more exposure on Amazon, and the Kindle is heavily promoted by Amazon. Thanks to Google search rankings and algorithms, ebooks also have a better chance of showing up in general web indexing. Practically speaking, it’s always a good idea to take advantage of the Internet’s invisible paths to promotion.

Providing an ebook edition of your book is an important and valuable step towards rendering your book accessible to those readers who can’t read regular print — including children and seniors — and to whom an e-reader’s text size and other various graphical controls make the difference between reading and not reading. Ebooks are also far more accessible an option to readers of impaired mobility and to whom a trip to a physical bookstore or library is prohibitive, and to readers whose work schedules and home life likewise prevent them from making it into a store. There’s also the matter of the commuter, to whom ebooks are the only truly portable option in a busy day spent running from bus or train to work and back again. When you look at the various annual reports breaking down ebook readership, these groups lead the pack. And to these readers, an ebook edition is more than just a nice gesture … they’re necessary!

Which isn’t to say that tech-savvy readers who simply prefer ebooks aren’t also an important readership to whom you ought to market your book. Plenty of vacationers also prefer ebooks.

In addition to broadening your audience and raising your digital profile, electing to publish an ebook version of your book is a wise choice for authors looking to lower costs (as ebooks cost nothing to print) and lower their carbon footprint (ebooks save paper). Of all the options available to you, ebooks offer the highest return on your investment.

There are so many reasons to publish an ebook edition of your next book … and now there is one less reason not to by erasing the cost and offering you an ebook edition for free! To take advantage of this offer, all you need to do is add the Ultimate, Full-Color or Basic publishing package to your Outskirts Press shopping cart, then enter the promo code Ebooks-Free at checkout. The free ebook editions will automatically be credited to your account. But don’t delay! This offer is only available during the month of March.

For more information about self-publishing and book marketing services from Outskirts Press, visit us at www.OutskirtsPress.com! For professional advice, contact an Outskirts Press 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

The Votes Are In! The Winner of Our 2018 “Show Us Your Love” Contest Is …

Each year, we at Outskirts Press are impressed — and overwhelmed — by your entries in our annual “Show Us Your Love” contest. The level of interest we see affirms our dedication to providing a rich and varied range of self-publishing services to authors looking to take the next step toward publication … and it inspires us to outdo ourselves, year after year, in making your dreams a reality. Thank you, one and all, for the love you’ve shown. You are our very reason for being!

This year, we received extremely creative submissions, and are happy to announce our winner, the video that received the most votes across our social media platforms.

And the first-place winner is …

Jackie Fisher “The Lost Branch”

In her video, Jackie regaled us with the many reasons she loves Outskirts Press … and all in rhyming verse, no less! For her efforts, Jackie received the most votes and takes home a brand new, Microsoft Surface Pro Touchscreen Laptop. Congratulations, Jackie!

Jackie Fischer “The General” is 47 years old and lives in Coram, New York. She is a full-time Clinical Exercise Physiologist in Cardiac Rehabilitation for the past 20 years. She is married and has one son. Her interests include hiking, skiing, playing piano, tennis and walking her dog, Woody. She loves to travel when time allows.

Book description …

The story of my Sicily connection is fun to tell. I hope you enjoy learning a little bit about Sicily, and how our family in America reconnected with our relatives across the sea. There were two brothers that were separated at a young age because of the strict rules of immigration back in the early 1900s. A hundred years later, a reunion of two families finally took place. There were sad times, happy adventures and special moments and memories that will last a lifetime.

Even if you couldn’t submit a video this year, you can still promote your book across your social media accounts. Consider creating a video about your book and posting that. Ask your friends and family to view your video and to “like” it. Any amount of promotion helps your book to sell and social media is a great place to start. Who knows? Maybe you’ll submit the winning video to next year’s Show Us Your Love contest!

A Sweetheart of a Deal: 20% off Ultimate or Full-Color Packages for One Day Only!

Valentine’s Day may not be an official holiday, but it more than makes up for its lack of official state recognition by being the one day in which love is the central theme of celebrations across the world. What better way to celebrate your labor of love as an author or to show your love for the author in your life than to invest in a self-publishing package?

In addition to the positive associations with the month of love, there are practical reasons to publish in February: It’s the perfect time of year, just past the bustle of the winter holidays and still early enough in the year to publish in time for the summer book-buying rush! Summer provides countless opportunities for marketing, too. So why not think ahead to summer and share the love!

This Valentine’s Day only, we’ll be giving you the necessary leg up on your competitors. How? On February 14, Outskirts Press will be offering a Flash Sale of 20% off the purchase of our Ultimate Publishing package or our Full-Color Publishing package! It’s the ultimate sweetheart of a deal.

Taking part in the Flash Sale is easy … far easier than braving the cold and icy roads for a bouquet of roses. There’s nary a snowbank in sight with this deal. All you have to do to take part is:

  1. Select the Ultimate or Full-Color Publishing package by clicking the “Add to Cart” button on our website
  2. Enter the promo code Sweet-Savings at checkout
  3. Get started on your publishing journey!

For more information on our publishing packages, visit us online at www.OutskirtsPress.com, call us at 1-888-672-6657, or chat with a Publishing Consultant using the live chat option on our website. Just remember, this is a limited-time offer that is valid on February 14 only.

We can’t wait to celebrate your labor of love!

One Outskirts Press Author Will Win a Microsoft Surface Pro in the ‘Show Us Your Love’ Contest

We are excited to hear from our authors always, of course, but we are extra-excited to invite you to join us in sharing those experiences during our 7th Annual “Show Us Your Love” social media event and video contest. All you have to do to be eligible for a win is count the ways you love Outskirts Press!

The annual event, appropriately enough, takes place around Valentine’s Day, and this time around we’re spreading the self-publishing love to you with a fabulous grand prize: a brand-new Microsoft Surface Pro. The deadline to enter “Show Us Your Love” is Feb. 16, 2018.

Showing your love is easy. Here’s how the contest works:

  • Record a brief video between 1 and 3 minutes long that demonstrates your deep and abiding love for your book, your publishing experience and Outskirts Press. The more creative, the better.
  • Email your video file in an .mp4 or .mov format to love@outskirtspress.com. The contest is open through Friday, February 16.
  • Outskirts Press will share your video on Facebook Page, YouTube Channel and Twitter Feed and Google+, increasing exposure for you and your book. (Please Note: By submitting a video for this contest, authors grant Outskirts Press permission to post videos to its social media platforms for promotional purposes.)
  • The three finalists who receive the most “likes” on Facebook for their entries will be selected for a public vote on the Outskirts Press blog from February 19-23 to determine the winner. Be sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere so you can “like” your favorite videos and visit our blog to vote!
  • The winner of the Microsoft Surface Pro computer will be announced via the blog on Feb. 28, 2018.

Last year’s bumper crop of video submissions displayed a true labor of love. When the dust settled, our friends and followers identified Jackie Fischer, author of The Lost Branch, who showed us all what love looks like ad won a new HP Touch-Screen Laptop in the process. You can see Jackie’s winning video here. Runners up were Patti Reim, author of I like Big Buts and John E. Peltier, author of The Thundering Herd.

We can’t wait to hear the stories you have for us this year, so submit your video as early as you can! The sooner your video goes live, the more exposure you’ll receive and the more “likes” you can collect. Share the link to your video once we post it to our Facebook page with all your friends, family members, fans and social media followers! (And of course, don’t forget to “like” your own video.) Contests such as this one serve as valuable — and free! — promotion for your books, so we hope you have a chance to sit down and whip up a great video in the days to come!

And that’s all the information you need to get started. We’ll be standing by to receive and share your videos, as well as to answer any questions you might have. Swing on by our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OutskirtsPress or our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/outskirtspress to get a glimpse of some spectacular self-publishing love!

Submit Your Video
Publish Your Story

 

How does Outskirts Press love thee? Let us count 300 ways!

Outskirts Press is showering you with $300 spending money in February, and we think you’ll find lots of exciting ways to spend it. Authors who purchase the Ultimate or Full-Color publishing package this month will be rewarded with a credit of $300 applied to their Outskirts Press shopping cart accounts to purchase or pay down any Outskirts Press service their hearts desire. It’s one of the many ways we show our self-publishing authors our love.

But with so many attractive book publishing, customization and marketing services from Outskirts Press, how do you know which option is “The One?” We’ve made it easier for you by narrowing down the list to four of our most popular publishing, book customization options and book marketing services that will give you the most bang for your buck.

  1. Professional Copy Editing. One of the smartest partnerships you can enter into is a partnership with a professional copy editor. An experienced copy editor will ensure that you have a polished manuscript that is free of any errors that could destroy your credibility.
  2. Custom Cover Design. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so make sure potential readers behold an eye-catching book cover. Your book cover design can be as important as your content in reeling in readers and increasing your odds of selling your book.
  3. Ebook Publishing. While we all adore being able to see our manuscript in print, remember there are millions of readers who download e-books each day, and the numbers are growing. An e-book edition of your book opens up huge selling potential, so consider it an essential part of your self-publishing plan.
  4. PR Publicist Campaign. Use a professional press release and distribution service to get the word out about your book quickly to thousands of editors and news programmers throughout the U.S. The PR Publicist Campaign disseminates information about your book to decision-makers so they’ll know precisely what makes your book special, how it’s distributed, where to order and how to contact you for interviews.

Ready to self-publish in 2018? Why not do it now and get one of these valuable options for free? It’s a great way to heat up book sales with a higher-quality, more marketable book you can be passionate about! To claim your $300 credit, simply place the Ultimate or Full-Color publishing package in your Outskirts Press shopping cart and enter the promo code Love-300 at checkout. You will receive a confirmation email when the credit has been added to your account.

Learn which publishing package is right for you and claim your $300 spending credit from Outskirts Press. Call us at 1-888-672-6657 to talk to a Publishing Consultant or visit our website at www.outskirtspress.com to chat via our live chat option.

Get Published

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?

Yes, February is the month of love, and we hope you take a moment to think what options might best suit the book that you have created as a labor of love! Not sure where to get started? Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com to chat with a Publishing Consultant or call us at 1-888-672-6657 to learn more about the self-publishing packages and options available at Outskirts Press.

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