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:

  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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The Importance of Custom Cover Design

Regardless of the content of your book, a thoughtful, beautifully-crafted cover plays an integral role in your book’s success. Many a self-published author (and many traditionally published authors as well!) lament that, while they poured their soul into every precious word, they didn’t give enough attention to the package. Well, looks matter.

Not convinced? Think about how you make buying decisions in your local supermarket. Perhaps you’re trying a new soup or selecting wine to go with dinner. How did you choose? Odds are it was an eye-catching label that drove you to pick up certain brands. Maybe you read a couple product descriptions, and then you placed the prettiest among them in your cart.

Readers choose books in much the same way. While they usually do read book summaries to help them make a decision, how do they decide which summaries to read in the first place? You got it – the cover! Professional custom cover design creates a number of advantages for your book in a crowded buying environment over plain looking covers:

  • Information. Custom covers convey important, specific clues to the reader about the content of your book. Clues imparted by color, theme, fonts and more, all tailored to your book, will instantly help buyers determine what your book is about and if it’s a good fit for their reading habits and preferences.
  • Credibility. Professionally designed book covers immediately prove to the reader – whether they’re aware of it or not – that the same care that was put into beautiful cover art was also taken in the writing of the book. It sends an instant message about quality – and you’ll want readers to perceive high quality right up front!
  • Visibility. While you may know your book is of high quality, if readers ignore it due a poor cover design, all that sparkling content won’t matter. A custom crafted cover gets a potential book buyer to slow down for a second or two, which greatly increases the odds they’ll investigate further. It’s the first and most important step to securing a sale.
  • Targeting. An important function of your book cover is not just to appeal to any reader, but to appeal to the specific type of reader your content is intended to entertain or inform. For example, when creating a custom cover for a romance novel intended for young adults, a professional cover artist will take a vastly different approach than he would when creating a cover for a romance geared toward middle-age readers.
  • Marketability. A book and its cover add up to more than the sum of their parts. Compelling content – packaged with an appropriate, targeted and smartly tailored book cover – makes for a marketable book that stands far better odds of selling than a strong book with a weak cover.

A professional custom book cover creates an attractive self-publishing package that readers will want to put in their shopping cart. While there’s never a guarantee that your stunning new artwork will immediately lead to an explosion in book sales, a poorly designed cover is all but guaranteed to get passed by time and time again. And, the best part about a custom designed book cover is that you don’t need an entire team of marketing gurus to make it a reality. One knowledgeable and skilled cover designer is all you need!

Watch this video to see a small sample of the amazing custom covers we designed for a few of our successfully published authors at Outskirts Press.

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:

“The cover is awesome and the replies were highly responsive.” — Sue Westgate, author of Pawwell Jensten The Galaxy of ELL

 

How to Capture the Once-in-a-Lifetime Event of Becoming a Published Author

Today is the day! You’ve been writing your book for months, years, and possibly even decades. But now it is finally published. And according to the UPS tracking number, today is the day you finally get to see it, the day your first published book arrives on your doorstep. You hear the doorbell ring and rush to the door. There it is! The plain brown box containing published copies of your masterpiece. You grab the box, shut the door, and rush to a table to open the box and revel in your accomplishment.

Whoa! Not so fast!

This is a once-in-a-life time event you’re about to experience. Are your family members there? Are your friends? Will you want to relive this event later?

No, no, and yes are probably the answers to those questions. But here’s another question: Do you REALLY want to wait?

That’s probably a resounding NO, also, isn’t it?

What is an excited, newly-minted published author to do? How about this? Grab your smart phone and record yourself opening your box of books. This is the fastest, easiest, and best way to commemorate your accomplishment, memorialize it for future viewings, and share it with your loved ones — you know, those people who may have told you it was never going to happen…

Not only does having a video of you opening the box containing your freshly published book make sharing the event with others via email or Facebook easy, but it gives you a leg-up in marketing and promotion. Book videos are a great way to get your name and book title onto YouTube and give you something to augment your Amazon sales page and Author Profile page. Readers and writers alike will enjoy basking in the glow of your amazing accomplishment.

So, when your author’s copies finally arrive at your doorstep, take a moment to get that smart phone ready, and record the moment forever. You’ll be grateful you did.

Here’s an example of an Outskirts Press author doing exactly that. And it still touches our hearts every time we watch this, even ten years after he recorded it. Way to go, Victor!

Are you anxious to receive your first box of published books? Start publishing with Outskirts Press today.

 

2019 Self-Publishing Retrospective. A Year in Review and a Look Ahead

2019 was another banner year for self-publishing and for Outskirts Press authors specifically. Thanks to the talents and determination of the writers who published with us in 2019, many were rewarded with multiple awards and recognitions, which as we all know can be next to priceless when it comes to marketing a book in this competitive industry, where once again, the quantity of self-published books overshadowed the 5 large publishing houses.

If our authors’ accomplishments in 2019 are any indication, 2020 will be an amazing year indeed.  With so many authors publishing so many stellar books, and receiving so many awards, selling so many copies of books, we can’t possibly identify them all. So if we aren’t able to name you personally, please know that we are equally impressed with all you’ve accomplished this year.

Outskirts Press Author Awards

The Colorado Independent Publishers Association holds the annual EVVY Awards every year and once again Outskirts Press was honored to receive the most finalist nominations and the most awards among participating publishers. Winning an EVVY Award is a prerequsitte to winning the Outskirts Press Book of the Year Award and claiming its $1500 Grand Prize.

Three First Place EVVY Award winners were in contention for the Book of the Year:

E.J. Gandolfo won a 1st Place EVVY Award in the Mystery/Crime/Detective fiction category and was one of three finalists for the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year for her mystery To Paint a Murder. E. J. Gandolfo is a former advertising agency copywriter and sales executive. She is an artist, antique dealer and world traveler and resides in the Boston area.

Amy Jordan, author of Dance Because You Can, won a 1st Place EVVY Award on her way to becoming the second of three finalists in the Book of the Year contest. Her professional company, The Victory Dance Project, has honored legends of dance and stage including Chita Rivera. Jordan’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, NY Post, and FORTUNE magazine among others. Amy is an in- demand motivational speaker and coach speaking for groups from ten to ten thousand, including corporations, organizations, youth programs, leadership development, health organizations, and schools.

The Third Finalist, Andrew Ceroni, is no stranger to 1st Place EVVY Wins, or Book of the Year awards, for that matter, having won both for his previous two books, Snow Men and Meridian., He completed his hat trick by claiming the 2019 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year with The Red Shore. 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.

andyevvy2019
Outskirts Press President Brent Sampson joins Three Time Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Winner Andrew Ceroni at the 2019 CIPA EVVY Awards Banquet where Andy picked up his 1st Place EVVY Award for The Red Shore in person.

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Perennial EVVY favorite and prolific novelist Gabriel F.W. Koch learned that he was once again a finalist in the Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards when he scored a Merit Award for his latest novel And Comes Day’s End.  He walked away with a 2nd Place EVVY Award a few years ago for his science fiction novel Paradox Effect (not to mention an Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year nomination). Last year he picked up an EVVY Merit Award for Emma and the Dragon Tooth Sword

Speaking of repeat EVVY Winners, Jeanne Blanchet discovered that she won 3rd Place in the Science Fiction category at the EVVY Awards, for her book Forger of Empire. She won last year for her book, Cursed.

What’s Coming in 2020?

With global distribution through Ingram and worldwide availability through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere, it’s easy to think your Outskirts Press publication is everywhere (because it is!). But sometimes the most loyal readers and most engaged customers will be right on your street, at your church, on your softball team, or listening to a local radio program.  One of our most exciting marketing services in years launches in 2020 and focuses specific, surgical targeting on the full gamut of local media like newscasts, morning shows, radio programs, newspapers and magazines. But that’s not all. We’ll also locate influential bloggers who write about the same subject matter as you and pitch your book for an article, feature, review, or interview. Playing a big role in the Media Marketing Blitz is a new series of webinars and videos. Consider it a master class on publishing and marketing. Keep an eye out for the launch of the Media Marketing Blitz coming soon.

We will be attending the annual CIPA EVVY Awards, of course, and holding our own Best Book of the Year Awards.  Once again, many of our books will be on display and represented at the world’s leading book fairs and events including London, BEA, Bologna, Frankurt, and Beijing.

Come and join us! And to our growing family of writers, thank you for an amazing 2019!

How would it feel to publish in 2020 with the A+ Rated and 1-Rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively? Find out more about publishing, marketing, promoting and submitting your book for publication, reviews, and awards.

Today’s Self-Publishing Offer Includes Over $500 of Savings

What’s better than publishing your book with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively? Receiving over $500 of savings and inclusions, that’s what!

When you start publishing your book today with Outskirts Press, you can instantly save 15% on the Ultimate Black/White or Full-Color package. That’s up to a $300 savings right there! But it gets better. You’ll also receive 30 free paperbacks with the Ultimate or 15 free paperbacks with the Full-Color. Depending upon the length of your book, that could easily save you another $200-$300.

But it doesn’t end there! ‘Tis the season to save even more, so both packages also include a free Amazon Kindle e-Book edition (a $249 value), bringing your total savings to over $700.

A deal like this can’t last long, so enter Promo Code: Save15-3x into your shopping cart when you order today with that extra $700 in your pocket.”

Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

“My Author Representative was extremely patient with me since I’m not technologically competent. She exposed me to new applications for communicating large documents and to enlarge photo images. She was very professional, extremely responsive and answered my questions by email immediately. If I write another book, I’d like to have her again as my Author Rep. I love my book.” – Virginia Lohmann Nodhturft, author of F.W.E. Lohmann Elizabeth Van Lew’s Civil War Spy

 

Black Friday Blues? Here’s a second chance to save big on publishing.

Is the idea of publishing your book stressing you out during the holiday season? Are you interested in spending more time with family and friends? Outskirts Press can help with this massive after-Black-Friday publishing promotion.

You can receive an instant $350 savings with your purchase of the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color Publishing Package (and receive a free Kindle e-Book edition 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 Save350 into your shopping cart when ordering the Ultimate or Full-Color.

Or enter Promo Code Save500 when ordering a One-Click package.

But hurry! This offer is good November 30 – December 1 only.

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:

“My Author Representative’s professionalism, knowledge, and dedication guided me during my first publishing experience. I appreciate her patience!”– Rebecca Mountain-Pazell, author of Ziggy: The Pig Who Loved Sushi

 

It’s Time for NaNoWriMo!

50,000 words.
Just let that sink in for a moment:
50,000 words!

(That’s a lot of words.)

November is here, and for some of you, that means National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has officially begun with its 50,000 words looming on the horizon.

NaNoWriMo isn’t just a vanity project; this is a chance to tackle many of the thorniest issues related to writing and authorship, specifically as self-publishing authors, that emerge when we settle into a long and sustained attempt to generate material. These issues include (but are not limited to) finding inspiration, maintaining motivation, vanquishing writer’s block, and navigating an author’s complicated relationships to editing.

To help you prepare, we’ve created a to-do list for all self-publishing authors participating in NaNoWriMo!

  • Read a couple of pep talks, all of which are available on the NaNoWriMo website, to boost your motivation to get started–and to succeed
  • Add a NaNoWriMo badge (also available on nanowrimo.org) to your website, as a fun way to let everyone know that you are taking the challenge
  • Spend some time before the writing doing the things which refresh your will to write: listen to music, people watch, drink coffee, and read books!
  • Relax: NaNoWriMo is inevitably hectic, so prepare your mind and body by practicing relaxation techniques such as exercising, meditating, or doing Sudoku
  • Bring your friends and family on board! You will need their support during this process, so remind them of your goals and writing schedule
  • Have fun. NanoWriMo is a fun process, so just enjoy it.

Good luck to all of the self-publishing authors who are participating in NaNoWriMo. We can’t wait to see your books in print, and we hope you’ll keep us posted on your progress throughout November if you choose to pursue the project. And, as always, we hope you’ll turn to us if you find yourself looking for encouragement or support.

When it’s time to publish your masterpiece, choose the Better Business Bureau A+ rated and Top Consumer Reviews #1-rated self-publishing company. Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

 

3 free digital editions and triple the paperback copies when you publish your book today!

Having extra paperback copies of your book on hand lets you nimbly respond to promotion opportunities and make plenty of unanticipated sales. Right now when you order the Ultimate Black & WhiteFull-Color, or a One-Click package, you’ll be eligible for our new Triple-Triple Promotion. You’ll receive at no extra cost:

  • 3 times as many free paperback copies upon publication
  • 3 free digital editions of your book (The Amazon Kindle edition, Barnes & Noble Nook edition, and the Digital Download PDF edition from your author webpage)

Simply order your selection from among our best packages before the promotion expires by entering the promotion code 3xKindNook into your shopping cart.

So, are you ready to publish your masterpiece with the Better Business Bureau A+ rated and Top Consumer Reviews #1-rated self-publishing company? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

“I’m thrilled and delighted to be among the finalists for the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award. As my second book in the series, A Tale Of Deceit, has just been printed, I’m content in the knowledge that the fine team I’ve been working with at Outskirts on these two books have enabled me to realize my dream to publish. To win First Place at the EVVY CIPA award in my category is frosting on the cake.” – E.J. Gandolfo, author of To Paint a Murder and A Tale of Deceit

 

Publish today and get nearly $1000 of extra editions for FREE

Outskirts Press wants to help you reach your reading audiences — all of them. When you purchase the Ultimate Black and White or Full-Color publishing package now, we’ll give you a free:

  • Amazon Kindle eBook edition
  • Barnes & Noble NOOK eBook edition
  • Apple iBooks eBook edition
  • Google Book Preview edition

That’s nearly $1,000 in free publishing options to make your book instantly available to millions of readers worldwide!

To claim your 3 FREE eBook editions plus Google Books Preview, purchase the Ultimate Black and White or Full-Color publishing package while this limited-time offer lasts and enter promo code ReceiveMore at checkout. The free eBook editions will be added to your account within 48 hours.

Would you like help choosing your best self-publishing option? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

“With all the butterflies that came with my first publishing, Outskirts Press provided a great environment and helpful services. Their services were first class. Overall grade of A+” – Sean Senovich, author of The Slayer Chronicles: Community: Book 1 of the Homeland Trilogy.

 

Receive a $300 Credit When You Publish Today!

Craving a custom cover for your masterpiece? Got your eye on a Book Video Trailer? Is your heart set on copyediting? For a limited time, we’re giving you a $300 credit when you publish your book with either the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package. That means those not-so-little extras won’t cost much extra!

Use your $300 credit toward additional production options or upgrades to your publishing package, like:

  • Professional Copyediting
  • Professional Custom Cover Design
  • eBook Publishing
  • Book Video Trailer and more!

To claim your $300 credit, enter promo code Free300 at checkout when you purchase the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package from Outskirts Press. You will receive a confirmation email when the credit has been added to your account.

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?

“I give a big 5-star review to my Author Representative and Outskirts Press! The entire Outskirts process has been with people who are courteous, efficient and knowledgeable. I am very pleased with my first book! Thank you to the entire Outskirts Press staff!” – Jimmy Chew, author of Walking Around Lucky: Navigate America’s New Lust for Gambling