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.

Are you an author looking for help to market your self-published book?

Learn More

Book Reviews: Do Self-Published Authors Really Need Them?

There are long and short answers to this question, but the general gist of both is yes. Yes, self-published authors most definitely should make book reviews a part of their larger marketing strategies, and yes, this is a need, an absolute necessity. And an entire industry has sprung up around meeting this need! When readers are polled to find out where they most often discover the books which they’re buying, an overwhelming majority point to reviews hosted on websites like Amazon and Goodreads, as well as on private blogs or professional websites.

Readers searching online for new books often credit these reviews—and their average star rating—with playing a decisive role in whether or not they actually click the “buy now!” button. Even brick and mortar bookstores have been known to get in on the trend, both at Amazon’s pilot physical bookstores and in local independent shops, where handwritten tags often point readers to well-reviewed books. These reviews help everyone—whether a reader or a bookstore owner—narrow down the available options to those which are more likely to strike the right note.

Book reviews are the most effective publicity a book could receive, since they are easily shared both online and offline, using social media and word of mouth to spread into new markets. Reviews are easily transferred between people, and their content is easily accessible to readers of all shapes and sizes! Reviews are a badge of credibility, and the building blocks of your reputation as authors of self-published works. Even poor reviews are good publicity, so it’s a win-win situation. They are also a major time-saver, since the burden of the work is shifted onto the shoulders of the reviewer instead of the author in this particular circumstance, freeing up more of your time to do what you love most—writing your next book!

At Outskirts Press, we recognize the value of reviews and want to make them accessible to you! We offer a guaranteed book review service for Kirkus as well as for Blue Ink Reviews. And since it’s always a good idea to keep spare copies of your book on hand to ship off to potential reviewers, we recommend taking advantage of our discounts and other services in order to do so!

Our guaranteed book review services are just two of many options that we offer to help our authors market their books! For more information about our book marketing services, log into your Publishing Center and select Marketing Solutions from the menu.

Login to Your Publishing Center

Make Smart Use of Smartphones by Adding a QR Code to Your Book!

Let’s face it, we live in an increasingly mobile society. If you take a moment to gaze up from your own smartphone in a crowded room, you’ll see most people are absorbed in their screens–checking up on social media, reading some news headline or maybe even just shamelessly taking a selfie. Why not take advantage of the ubiquity of smartphones by putting a path to your book everywhere they are?

That image right there is no Rorschach test, it’s a QR code, and with a quick scan of that on the back cover or inside your book, voila—readers and potential readers can navigate instantly to your website or other web address of your choice. This is a fantastic way to lead current fans to your site for news, or for new book buyers to make on-the-spot smartphone purchases while you’re still fresh in their minds.
With a QR code, you get some pretty nifty advantages toward the marketing of your book, as this provides a quick and easy way to get readers to your website–or any webpage you want them to land on. It also encourages an active engagement with you and your fan base, which you can monitor via your website and adjust your marketing strategies accordingly. Lastly, you have a cost-effective marketing tool to add to your arsenal! It’s a win-win-win!

How do you get one of these newly offered QR codes? First off, you must be logged in to your Publishing Center and have purchased a publishing package with Outskirts Press. Your Publishing Consultant can help you to add this option to your book. To learn more about adding a QR Code to your book, click here. If you have any questions, your Publishing Consultant or Author Representative can help.

Corporations, publications and sellers worldwide use QR Codes effectively in their marketing every day. Level the playing field by putting this powerful technology to work for your book!

Log In

Author and Actress Kim Weiler Talks Book Marketing Success with Outskirts Press

As an actress, Outskirts Press author Kim Weiler waged a singular battle with psoriasis that carried a special significance in her life. The painful condition is characterized by over-multiplication of skin cells that causes raised, red plaques on the skin. It can wreak havoc on an individual’s life and health, and tackling the disruptive disease is never a simple or straightforward process – especially during a career in the public eye.

The years-long journey led Kim to self-publish her memoir, Ps – It’s All About Love, chronicling the pain of this condition and her inspiring path to wellness. Her compelling personal journey has resonated with readers … and her marketing efforts have paid off. With determination, and help from Outskirts Press, Kim has already made remarkable strides in publicizing her book.

Recently, Outskirts Press sat down for a Q&A with Kim Weiler to learn more about her experiences since the publication of Ps – It’s All About Love.

Outskirts Press: A lot has happened since you published Ps – It’s All About Love earlier this year! Give us the highlights of the attention the book has gotten in the last few months.

Kim Weiler: The exciting news is that the minute I had leverage that I would truly have a book published to support my story and self-healing journey, along with the fact that I had been in the TV and film industry for years, I got accepted to attend a very exclusive NYC Publicity Summit. This jump-started my success by getting media contacts who wanted to schedule me the minute my book got published. While writing the book and working on creating a marketing hook, I also worked hard at getting my website re-vamped and polished, reaching out to people I knew and starting to schedule group events to share my story, my business healingmyskin.com and my book. All these actions have gotten attention for me.

As of now, here are some of the amazing opportunities I can share:

  • I’ve had almost 10 radio station interviews from Fox Sports Radio with Dr. Veronica Anderson to Maggie Linton on Sirius XM Radio.
  • I’ve had the pleasure of writing articles for various publications: everything from newspapers to magazines to blogs. I just got the news that USA Today Magazine will be publishing an article I wrote some time in the near future, which is fantastic!
  • I’m extremely excited to have completed my very first TV talk show appearance on a show called “Beyond My Crisis” for public access TV in New Jersey. It’s the start to so much more.
  • I have big goals to be on “Dr. Oz” … one day! Most importantly, I’ve been hearing from lots of people with wonderful feedback about how well-written and beautiful every part of my book is but more importantly that it is helping them; even people without a skin condition. That’s really the best result of all!

OP: What inspired you to share your story through a book in the first place?

KW: I’ve always loved to write and have been blogging about my healing journey for almost two years now. My heart really goes out to all those millions of people suffering in the world from skin disease, and I was ready to give back and do something where I contributed to the world. My dad once said, “Helping people makes your soul feel good.” It really does! It’s so rewarding when you help someone feel relief and hope, sometimes for the first time in their life.

In the end, I healed my skin naturally but the 21 years of struggle, confusion, pain, medications and doctor visits was such a hard journey that I don’t want other people with skin conditions to suffer the way I did. My goal is to get my book into the hands of as many people as possible so that they, too, can take control of their health and heal! Outskirts Press is making all this possible!

OP: What was the most difficult part of that process?

KW: Finding patience when it came to the moments where I had to “hurry up and wait.” My patience wasn’t tested so much in the writing of the book – that was the easier and more enjoyable part. It was when the book was out of my hands and in the editor’s hands or Outskirt’s hands that I found myself really wanting it to be done. [But] good work takes time! After each and every re-read of the final manuscript, after each correction, and correction after that, I ended up with one incredible book! Did I mention it was all done in less than a year?

OP: When it came time to publish, how did you go about choosing a publishing company? What were the deciding factors that led you to choose Outskirts Press?

KW: My writing coach recommended Outskirts Press to me from the start. She was aware of their wonderful reputation, and she shared how many delays would be involved if I went the traditional route with a large publisher. We researched their publishing packages and loved what we saw! It wasn’t until my manuscript was approved that we realized what a great decision that was.

OP: It sounds like the partnership with Outskirts Press has worked out for you. What’s been the best part of self-publishing with Outskirts Press?

KW: The best part was the team of people who helped me along the way and are still helping me! Everyone at Outskirts Press has been so supportive, efficient, and overall amazing to work with. I’ve felt very safe the entire time with my baby in their experienced hands!

OP: What advice would you give authors who might be on the fence about publishing their own stories?

KW: The world needs to hear your story! No one else can tell it like you can. Just write. Don’t overthink anything about structure or outline or chapters – just write and see what happens! Just know that your writing can and will help someone! If you have any desire to write a book about your story, that means the universe is nudging you to do so … It needs to be out there. Start with a blog or email to friends or a journal, but whatever you do, WRITE.

Want to learn more about how to authors like Kim Weiler are achieving success through Outskirts Press? Call a Publishing Consultant at 1-888-672-6657 (OP-BOOKS), or chat with us using the live chat option on our website for information about our affordable, effective publishing and marketing options.

Learn More

He Strived to Aspire by Okechukwu Ogori

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, Okechukwu Ogori, who is taking his latest book, He Strived to Aspire, 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, Okechukwu 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 He Strived to Aspire.

OP: Tell us a little bit about He Strived to Aspire. What is it about?
Okechukwu:  My book is mainly about a boy who grew up as part of a poor family, and who worked incredibly hard to achieve success despite enormous obstacles. His story demonstrates the fact that success can be achieved by hard work and determination, and shows how one can always triumph over poverty by being optimistic and removing from oneself the spirit of despair.

OP: Why did you decide to write this story?
Okechukwu: It is written to encourage everybody, and to show that hard work, patience, and optimism are key to success. That fear of the unknown and self-defeat are what bring failure. That if I can move from grass to grace, despite my socio-economic background and mountainous obstacles, then everyone can succeed as well. It is only a matter of time.

OP: How did you get your book published?
Okechukwu: I wrote the book myself and prepared the manuscript before I discovered Outskirts Press, where I was given a lot of encouragement.  After the manuscript passed through the design and proofing phases, my book was then published. I performed a vigorous self-edit beforehand as well.

OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?
Okechukwu: My book is meant for everybody, but especially those who have met with a lot of obstacles in life either as a result of natural causes, personal mistakes, and unknown forces, as well as young people who may be dwelling in the world of illusion and fantasy.

OP: What is special about your book?
Okechukwu: I hope it inspires anyone who reads it; it will surely change one’s perception of life. Moreover, it’s filled with authentic life experience which I hope will captivate and move readers to greater aspirations for industriousness, not laziness.

OP: What differentiates it from other books in the same category?
Okechukwu: Inasmuch as it is a true-life story, my book was written with a touching and stimulating style of writing so that readers immediately grasp the heart of the matter. I wrote it to encourage those who may think that they cannot succeed again in life because of so many drawbacks, not merely for commercial purpose or to amass wealth.

OP: Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?
Okechukwu: Yes, I have published a science textbook which focuses on the fundamentals of integrating science and work.  It is comprised of multiple choice questions and answers. I intend to make some adjustments to that book soon, and I have three other works of fiction which are still at the manuscript stage.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Okechukwu Emmanuel Ogori was born on 15th August 1963. He hails from Abia state of Nigeria. He has a wife, Anna and two children: Okechukwu (Jr) and Joanna. He had his elementary education at Otumoye primary school Fegge Onitsha Anambra state, Nigeria; High school at Bishop Shanahan College, Orlu, Imo state, Nigeria, and institute of continuing education Asaba Delta state, Nigeria. He later went to Lagos state College of Education (now Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education) Lagos, Nigeria, where he acquired Nigeria certificate in Education majoring in Physical and Health Education. He went further to acquire Bsc. in Accounting from Olabisi Onabanjo university Ago-Iwoye, Ogun state, Nigeria. He is a certified internal control Auditor (CICA) from Institute of internal control, Chartered Accountant and Chartered Administrator (ACAA) from Institute of Chartered Accountant and Administrators, Delaware, USA; Texas, licensed insurance Agent. More so he has worked with Lagos state Ministry of Education as a Tutor in High and middle schools respectively for twenty-three years, worked with Decan Concepts ltd, Nigeria, as an internal Auditor (Part time) for twelve years. Currently a Teacher in Alief independent school district, Houston, Texas, USA. He is also a writer of fiction and non-fiction books.

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

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.

Are you an author looking for help to market your self-published book?

Learn More

Self-Publishing on a Budget? We’re Here For That

If you’re watching your wallet as you dive into self-publishing for the first time and are feeling a little self-conscious over that fact, don’t worry! You’re definitely not alone. In fact, many authors pursuing publication today are constrained by tight finances, or balancing a variety of different concerns. That’s why, at Outskirts Press, we work hard to make sure all of our publishing packages and services are accessible to everyone, including you.

Looking for flexibility? We allow payments through PayPal and by credit card, allowing you to take advantage of the financing options these resources create. Check out PayPal’s 0% interest options with flexible terms, or inquire if the credit card companies you’re already using offer extra points when paying for a publishing service. (Many do.)

Or, if you’re looking for something even more tailored to your situation, we offer our own 0% financing payment plans! Simply get on the line with your dedicated Publishing Consultant, and together you’ll develop a monthly payment plan that balances your financial situation with your desire to publish. This option is particularly useful for first-time authors looking to break into the world of indie publishing!

And last but not least, we offer bundled services, such as our One-Click Publishing Packages, special discounts and promotions to assist you in finding and affording the absolute best in publishing and marketing services. After all, just “getting by” isn’t good enough when we’re talking about your masterpiece. Getting it “just right,” with professional editing and an eye-catching cover design, is an important part of making sure your book becomes a success!

For more information on financing options or Outskirts Press self-publishing promotions, call us at 1-888-672-6657 to speak with a Publishing Consultant. You can also visit our website at www.outskirtspress.com and chat with a Publishing Consultant via the live chat option.

View Publishing Services

Win a free copy of Around the World from Outskirts Press #AmazonGiveaway

Outskirts Press author, Brodrick Lacy, is giving you a chance to win a free copy of his book, Around the World!

AmazonSweeps368598A_web

Even if you don’t win one of the free copies, you can still order it from Amazon for an amazing price!

Do you want to promote your own Amazon Author Sweepstakes to tens of thousands of readers for your book? Click here.