Self-Publishing Author Success Story: Maureen Scanlon

author (5)Outskirts Press takes great pride in celebrating the accomplishments of our successful authors, and today we celebrate all the media and marketing success author Maureen Scanlon has enjoyed since publishing her book, My Dog is More Enlightened Than I Am last March.

Maureen Scanlon is the founder and CEO of Maureen Scanlon Life Coaching. She is an author, relationship expert, motivational speaker, positive change integrator, and spiritual coach who has successfully helped many people, from experienced professionals to young adults, make positive changes to overcome past experiences and negative thinking. When Maureen is not working to change the world, you can find her at home relaxing in Mesa, Arizona, with her husband, Dennis, and her furry babies, Jade and Brodie. She is also the mother of three adult children and grandmother to three grandchildren whom she adores.

TV appearances:

Radio, podcasts:

Magazines and Features:

About the Book:

cover (39)My Dog is More Enlightened Than I Am

Most of us go through our daily routines oblivious to the beauty of life and others around us—oblivious of the impact we have on the world. So it’s only natural that we consider patterning ourselves after our pets! These beautiful furry creatures are fully connected to their highest selves while giving unconditional love to those who cherish and care for them. By taking our lead from the animals in our lives, we learn how to live our best and fullest lives as well.

My Dog Is More Enlightened Than I Am examines the ways we all struggle and experience difficulties in our journey. You will learn to understand the lessons and meaning behind each past moment you have endured thus far and how to change your mindset and focus on the change you can make. You will come to admire the ways our animals live a life of purpose and how to be more like them.

This heartfelt, enlightening guide also offers tips on relaxation, spontaneity, developing an appreciation for our differences, caretaking, and nurturing relationships. Readers will feel a renewed sense of well-being and knowledge of how to embrace the journey like the pure souls of our furry companions.

Congratulations, Maureen! You’re an inspiration.! And so is your book!

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?

Start Publishing Today

Resolutions Every Author Should Have for the New Year!

Structured and manageable goals are important to those of us who consider ourselves works in progress. Well, it’s that time of year when we all start thinking about those goals — in this case, New Year’s resolutions. They’re especially necessary to moving a book from an unknown publication to a chart-topper. It’s a big project!

But, whether you’re just starting to figure out marketing or already a best-selling author, there are simple things you can resolve to do in 2020 that will make you an even better at selling … or simply a better you. Here are resolutions for published authors or anyone bent on self-improvement.

  1. Set goals. “Wait, I thought a resolution was a goal!” Well, yes, it is, in a sense. Ideally, your New Year’s resolution is the culmination of your goals throughout the year. It’s important — and ultimately more productive — to make goal-setting a habit, not just a tradition we do once a year and promptly forget. So set lots of small, attainable goals rather than one insurmountable to-do you never actually do. For example, if your resolution is to sell 2,000 copies, break it down into smaller goals. Resolve to promote one giveaway in January, schedule a book-signing in February, then a book fair in March and so on for the entire year. Or, set a goal to schedule 20 book-signings next year and average 10 sales per event. Way less intimidating, right?
  2. Facilitate goals. If you’ve resolved to sell big in the new year without so much as a marketing calendar in the house, you’ve not facilitated your goals or your year’s resolution. Remove barriers to progress and instate conditions that help you achieve. Buy an entry-level PC for getting on social media to promote or gather a list of bookstores you can call to set up events. Then, resolve to reach out until you get the bookings you need to fulfill your resolution.
  3. Make marketing a priority. Once you’ve divided your marketing resolutions into smaller goals, it’s much easier to give them top priority. Knock out those little to-do’s first thing in the morning!
  4. Read, read, read. Top-notch authors are always top-notch readers. Get to know your genre not just by practicing it but by being an avid consumer of it. That way, you’ll get to know your audience and what appeals to them.
  5. Master the basics of social media. No matter what your stripe, there’s are many others with similar interests on social media. Facebook “friend” other authors and readers, and learn from them. Follow publishers. Rub elbows with book clubs. You’ll find kindred spirits in the virtual world who can enlighten you with real wisdom. Use that wisdom to refine how you communicate with potential readers.
  6. Try something new. Make 2020 the year you branch out. Start a blog. Meet new people with similar interests. These new experiences will all enrich and inform so many other aspects of your life. At the very least, you’ll be a more social and well-rounded person. Hey, you might even discover a whole new audience for your book!
  7. Just do you. Yes, you should be reading a lot, meeting people and making connections that pay off in sales. Ultimately, you’ll assimilate all these influences into a voice that is uniquely yours, and you’ll find your true audience. Don’t fight it — feed it.
  8. Consider “cheating” a little. Many of us are afraid to ask for help. It feels lazy, like we’re cutting corners. Let us put your mind at ease: It’s not cheating to ask for help reaching your marketing goals! In fact, it’s pretty smart, if you ask us. And, if you’ve tried new things, delved into social media and checked off other goals, you likely have crossed paths with new people who may be able to help you get past the hump. Reach out to friends and family to help you get the word out or purchase inexpensive marketing service options to help you reach the goals you set on the road to your resolution. (Even full-time professionals parse out their duties from time to time.)

Whatever your resolution, the important thing is to keep moving, to take whatever steps necessary to move you toward fulfilling the great things you planned for your life.

Need help moving toward your New Year’s resolution? Consider hiring a Book Marketing Specialist for 5 hours of expertise and a Custom Marketing Plan. You can log into your Publishing Center to see what book marketing options are available to you or chat with us using the live chat option on our website (www.outskirtspress.com).

 

FREE! Custom Cover, Cover Text Refinement and Kindle eBook Edition when you publish today!

Human beings are visual creatures — so make sure your book has all the ingredients to turn casual shoppers into buyers. Purchase the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package and we’ll give you a Professionally Designed Custom Cover (a $499 value) AND Cover Text Refinement (a $199 value) absolutely FREE!

The best covers instantly pique interest with captivating images and riveting copy that communicate the character of your book. No matter who your audience is, readers should get excited the moment they see it on a shelf or online.

To get Free Custom Cover Design PLUS Cover Text Refinement that will help you sell, purchas ther Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package today and enter promo code CustomRefinement at checkout. Your free custom cover and cover text refinement services will be added to your account in 48 hours.

When you start today, we will also publish and distribute an Amazon Kindle eBook Edition (a $299 value) of your book for free.

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:

 

5 Top Tactics for Successful Book Marketing

We talk a lot about book publishing on this blog. We cover promotions, discounts, new publishing options. Sometimes marketing takes a backseat because, let’s face it, every book and every author is slightly different. It’s challenging to arrive upon hard and fast rules that will work for everyone (although 5 hours with a personal marketing assistant is pretty close, because of the personal nature of the marketing plan and 1-on-1 follow-up).

But given our nearly two decades of experience helping writers become published authors at Outskirts Press, we have been able to identify five top marketing tactics that can help authors find the success they are looking for. Here they are…

  1. Social Media – We know, we know. We mention this a lot. And you’re either already interested in social media marketing, or you aren’t.  And by interested, we mean, you find yourself engaging in social media in your free time.  If you naturally gravitate away from social media, you won’t have success marketing your book this way because, even though it is mostly free, it is also time consuming. And the only way time consuming things are profitable or “successful” is if you’re having fun doing it anyway. Fortunately, the term “social media” has become so broad nowadays that you have a pretty good chance finding something you like. You might find success on one platform but not another.  Lots of people spend lots of their free time on Facebook when they can’t imagine anything more annnoying than Twitter.  You’re usually either a Pinterest fan or a SnapChat fan. So instead of trying to cover all the social media platforms simultaneously, engage onlywith  the platform(s) that you want to be on when you’re not promoting your book.  Your fans or followers or friends will start to get to know the writer behind the book and before you know it, casually promoting your book from time to time won’t strike them as quite so gratuitous.
  2. Blogs – In some circles, blogging can fall into the more broad catch-all term of “social media” but blogging is a special kind of artform, and therefore a different opportunity, especially for writers.  Since blogging already features the medium you are promoting (the written word), blogging is a natural promotional platform for many authors.  Writers typically love to write, and most people are by defition of the “instant-gratification” variety.  Well, blogs are the perfect combination of those elements.  You can be writing at 9am and be “published” on your blog at 10am. And the more followers or subscribers you have, the more (and more immediate) the feedback is that will you receive. This, in turn, often fuels bloggers/writers to submit content to their blogs even more frequently, which, in turn, feeds the voracious appetites of their growing subscriber lists.  Talk about a virtuous circle!
  3.  Email – If you read any “cutting edge” marketing articles, or find yourself speaking with a marketing expert under 30, you might think email marketing is dead.  Statistics show, however, that nothing can be further from the truth. For one, if your potential customer doesn’t use their email account anymore, they also aren’t going to read your book. If their attention span is only capable of 140 characters at a time, what chance do you have to attract them to your 700-page book? Those aren’t your buyers, so don’t try to pursue them.  But your buyers probably WOULD be attracted to a newsletter or free ebook or whitepaper that you offer from your website or social media account in exchange for their email address.  Just remember to always include an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom, always give them valuable content, and always treat their time with respect.  Building an email subscriber list takes time and is not a get-rich-quick scheme, but once you have one comprised of loyal and appreciative recipients, you’ll rarely feel disappointed by the results of sending them some valuable (and, yes, promotional) information.
  4. Online Reviews – If you’re a writer, you’re probably also a reader. So take a moment to write a book review on Amazon after finishing reading that latest page-turner. You can sign your review with your name, and add that you’re the author of such-and-such.  Amazon gets so much traffic, often writing a valuable, thoughtful review for a very highly-ranked and popular book will lead to a noticeable uptick in the traffic to your book (just make sure your sales page turns browsers into buyers). You can also systematically (and respectfully) target the top 100 Amazon reviewers and offer to send them a free review copy. They get inundated with offers, so don’t press it or become belligerent; but if they like your query, and think they’ll like your book, they’ll almost certainly request a copy, read it and write a review for it. This is an actionable way to gather more online reviews for your book and you want as many reviews as you can get.  Think about it. If you’re thinking about taking a new book to the beach, are you going to try the one with 100 reviews, or 2?
  5. Publish Another Book – Sure, coming from the A+ Rated and #1-Rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectfully, this tactic sounds a bit self-serving (remember that valuable and promotional tactic mentioned above?), but in addition to sounding self-serving it is also true. Our authors who publish a series of books have a built-in audience for every book after the first one. And when they take advantage of other opportunities (like mentioning their previous books and reviews and blurbs in the pages of their new ones), it’s like getting free advertising to a very select, very desirable market. This is leverage. It simply does not take three times as long to market 3 books as it takes to market one.  And the more leverage you have, the faster and more successful your book marketing is going to be.

 

 

Self-Publishing, Independent Publishing, Hybrid Publishing?! Oh, My!

Nowadays there is so much activity in the non-traditional publishing space that authors sometimes become confused by all the seemingly random terms being thrown around by various companies.  And who can blame them? For one, many of the terms are so new or broad that it seems like many companies fall into more than one category.  And the non-traditional publishers are not doing themselves any favors by sometimes mudding these waters in their marketing efforts to broaden their potential client base.

In spite of some of the liberties that many of these companies take, there are some generally agreed-upon, broad stroke definitions that may help writers successfully navigate this tricky terrain of the wild-wild publishing west.

assorted books on shelf
Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

“Traditional Publisher” is the most commonly-used term to define publication whereby the author submits a manuscript (typically through an agent) and if the manuscript is accepted (a big if), the publisher not only foots the entire cost of the publication but in many cases also rewards the author with some kind of an advance.  In most writing circles, this is far and away the most desired type of publication.  But did you see that big “if” up there?  That “if” is why traditional publication now trail non-traditional publication for the majority of books being published.

Here’s where things get messy, because the terms self-publishing, vanity publishing, independent publishing, ebook publishing, hybrid publishing, author-assisted publishing, and others have all been used to define an equally-established, yet rapidly growing segment of the non-traditional publishing space.  Some terms hold more malice/stigma than others, and hence we experience the non-traditional publishers’ creative methods of removing said malice/stigma by arriving upon yet another term, thus adding to the confusion.

Almost all of these non-traditional publishing companies can correctly fall within the broadest term among the bunch: self-publishing.  If you are not accepted by a traditional publisher, you are therefore publishing your book yourself, in one manner or another, and you’re either doing so with your own time and/or money, or both. In this broadest of definitions, you are therefore self-publishing your book.

But among that broad definition exist more specific definitions as companies attempt to carve out marketing- or service-oriented niches in this growing segment of the publishing business. “Vanity publishing” is a term that is falling by the wayside as “self-publishing” becomes more accepted while the traditionalists who introduced “vanity publishing” in the first place are losing interest in participating in a losing battle.

Independent publishing is now most often associated with the process whereby an author wears all, or nearly all, the hats involved in publishing the book without the assistance of a company, online platform, or publishing service.  He/she vets cover designers, vets interior designers, requests quotes from off-set printers, works with wholesalers, distributors, and retailers, markets, and handles all the financials (positive, like book sales and negative, like printer bills and taxes).  That’s a lot of work for most people, especially writers who tend to gravitate toward right-brained abilities. But for the proper author with the right tenacity and author platform, this is still a viable way to go.

Contributing to the slow demise of “independent publishing” is the rise of publishing services and online platforms, which promise to do most of the work (mentioned above) for the author while still leaving all the rights, royalties, and creative control in the hands of the author.  There are some “self publishing companies” that offer these services for a fee, much like when one pays for the services of a doctor, lawyer, accountant, hair stylist, etc.; and there are some online, computerized self publishing platforms that offer these services for free.  The right choice typically comes down to the author’s budget and the author’s own faith in their work or the quality they desire for their masterpiece. It’s rarely difficult to identify a book published by a service-oriented company compared against one published by a conglomerate’s algorithm.

Hybrid publishing is a term cropping up more and more these days and is the closest cousin, in terms of pure business model, to the now nearly defunct “vanity publishing.”  In most cases, this business model requires the author to relinquish their rights (and often the rights of their future books) while also promising to purchase a set number of books (typically in the 1000s) in exchange for “free publishing” on the hybrid publisher’s dime. Like independent publishing, this can sometimes work for authors already possessing a successful author platform and a lot of tenacity since the initial investment is usually roughly the same as with independent publishing. Since hybrid publishers often sell their own authors book quantities in the 1000s, they are more likely to use off-set printing to lower per-unit costs. While that helps keep the retail price down, it becomes channeling for the author is he/she is not confident they have the marketing prowess to sell 1000s of books.

Everything About Book Royalties

When authors decide on the best self-publishing company for their masterpiece, one critical area is sometimes overlooked: author royalties. It can be a confusing topic because many publishers use different definitions to define what “royalties” means and different formulas to determine how author royalties are calculated.

In the simplest terms of definition, “royalties” means the amount of money that is paid to the author for books that are sold.

How are Author Royalties Calculated? The formula used to calculate the author royalties often varies from publisher to publisher and that can make comparing Publishers X, Y, and Z challenging.

For instance, some publishers will pay a percentage directly off the Sales Retail Price of the book, regardless of how much the book costs to produce, or how much the trade discount is. In these instances, it is not uncommon for the percentage to be fairly low (in the 5%-10% range).

This formula sometimes works to the author’s detriment, however, since book printing and trade discounting play such an enormous role in the book’s overall profit and the author has no say in what the Suggested Retail Price is. Without any say in the matter, authors are often left at the publisher’s mercy.

On the other end of the spectrum are publishers that pay a percentage of the book’s profit, which is the amount left over after the printing costs and trade discounts have already been accounted for. In these instances, you will more often see percentages in the 50%-100% range.

Yes, there are some self-publishing companies, such as Outskirts Press, that pay the author 100% of the net profit of the book when it is sold through wholesale channels, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

That royalty formula looks like this:

Suggested Retail Price – Trade Discount – Printing Cost = Book Profit

What is the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) of a Book? It’s just what it sounds like – the cover price as suggested by either the publisher or the author. While nearly all traditional publishers and almost all self-publishers set the SRP for the author there are a select few self-publishing companies that allow the author to set their own Suggested Retail Price. Outskirts Press is one of them; the only requirement is that the price being set by the author is above the sum of the trade discount and the printing cost. In other words, the Suggested Retail Price cannot be below what it costs to produce and sell the book. Makes sense, right?

Of course, the reason this is called the suggested retail price and not the final sales price is because retailers have the discretion to decrease the price (in the form of a sale) or increase the price (to improve their bottom line) if they choose to. But doing so has no affect on the amount the author ultimately receives, which is always set on the SRP.

What is the Trade Discount? This is the percentage of the book’s SRP that the retailer, wholesaler (if any), and distributor take to “handle” a book. It’s how they make money in the book industry. Every book that is for sale with a retailer has given a cut of its retail price to all the parties involved in the form of a trade discount.

What is the Printing Cost? In simplest terms, the “printing cost” is the per-unit cost of producing one book. The reason there is such a discrepancy between offset printing and print-on-demand, one-at-a-time printing is due to “economies of scale”. While that topic is beyond the scope of this article, we have a whole blog posting about the role economies of scale play with your printing costs, and you can read all about that here.

The benefits to choosing Outskirts Press don’t end with 100% author royalties, as important as that is. You also retain 100% of your book’s rights, and receive unlimited wholesale and retail availability thru channels including Amazon & Ingram. Our flexibility and adaptability to your needs, coupled with our phenomenal services and staff, is just one of many reasons Outskirts Press is the only A+ rated and #1 rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively.

You can schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our consultants at https://outskirtspress.com/consultation.html or you can select your package to start publishing right now at https://outskirtspress.com/self-publishing.html

Get started today. People are waiting for your bestseller!

Introducing the Finalists for the 2019 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year

And the Winner of Best Book of the Year is… determined by YOU!

Congratulations to our three finalists for the Outskirts Press 2019 Best Book of the Year award: The Red Shore by Andrew Ceroni, Dance Because You Can by Amy Jordan and To Paint a Murder by E.J. Gandolfo. All three books took home first place awards from this year’s EVVY Awards, qualifying the authors for Outskirts Press highest honor!

While each of these books have achieved great heights, the highest honor of Best Book of the Year is determined by… YOU! So, study your choices, order their books, visit their webpages and social media and cast your vote. Public voting will begin Monday, September 9th on Self-Publishing News and will close promptly on Friday, September 13th at 5:00 PM Mountain Time.

These works are impressive and it’s going to be an interesting sprint to the finish! Here’s a recap of the finalists:

The Red Shore

Dave McClure arrives in Bar Harbor, Maine, for some rest and relaxation before returning to the CIA-a world he left behind years ago. But he is unaware of the danger he’ll face in the days ahead as he discovers the secrets that lie in the deep ocean trenches of the Atlantic. Deadly secrets.

McClure is unexpectedly thrust into the middle of a vicious Russian plot and a harbor town’s lethal intrigue, each as perilous as they are startling, and struggles to make sense of all the jumbled pieces in this deadly puzzle. Is there a connection between Russian drone submarines probing the U.S. coastline, a Top-Secret, advanced technology Navy torpedo program, and the sinister secret behind Tamarack Harbor’s missing boys? Another brutal murder is the catalyst that finally leads McClure to the juncture of high-stakes espionage and an impending attack on American soil. As the CIA and the U.S. Navy race against time and the Russian threat, the powerful pull of emotion will test the limits of Dave McClure’s skill, strength, and courage.

About Author Andrew Ceroni

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.

Watch the book video

Buy from Outskirts Press: https://outskirtspress.com/redshore
Buy from Amazon: https://amazon/com/dp/1977207006

 

Dance Because You Can

Have you ever felt pinned down by life? Have you ever had a moment when you thought things would never get better? Guess what? You are not alone.

Dance Because You Can is a direct pathway to getting through any obstacle and transforming trauma into triumph. The book from Amy Jordan, critically acclaimed award-winning author, speaker, coach, and choreographer, walks you through her five-step system of D.A.N.C.E In the end you have a tool kit that works for pretty much any adversity in life.

The book is poignant, funny, tragic, and truthful. Jordan parallels her dramatic and life-threatening experiences, proving that value can be created from any situation. She challenges and triumphs life with difficult-to-manage type 1 diabetes, recovery from an eating disorder, a dream of dancing professionally, or challenging an MTA bus.

Whatever you are facing right now, no matter how tough it seems, this book will help you feel better and create answers. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

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.

“This is an amazing book. Amy’s message is empowering and impactful. Thank you for sharing your message to encourage everyone to never give up.”- James Malinchak, Star of ABC’s hit show ‘Secret Millionaire’, World’s premiere speaker, trainer and coach.

“This book: Dance Because You Can, simply says if you reach a point of impossibility, a seemingly unfixable challenge, this 5 Step system will help anyone facing any adversity to Transform Trauma into Triumph and dance your victory dance!” -Kevin Harrington, Original Shark on ‘Shark Tank,’ Inventor of the infomercial: Sold over $5 Billion on TV

“Dance Because You Can. I love that message. Thank you for inspiring the world.”
– Leeza Gibbons, Emmy winning journalist, Former Host: Entertainment Tonight

“This is an amazing woman with an amazing story. If you would like to take your life to the next level and move through what you think is stopping you; Amy Jordan can help you do that.” -Jack Canfield, New York Times Best Selling Author 
Chicken Soup for the Soul and The Success Principles, Star of the breakthrough movie: ‘The Secret’

To learn more about author Amy Jordan, visit her website at http://www.amyjordanspeaks.com

Watch the book video

Buy from Outskirts Press: https://outskirtspress.com/dancebecauseyoucan
Buy from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HM9PJ49

 

To Paint a Murder

E. J. Gandolfo weaves a mystery story about art theft, deception and murder in a small seaside town on the North Shore of Boston. Middle-aged Veronica Howard is drawn into events when she opens her longed for vintage-antique shop and becomes an unwitting sleuth and accomplice. If you love vintage jewelry and clothing and the Art Deco and Victorian eras, you will be fascinated by the descriptions. The people Veronica trusts are not what they seem and she relies on her common sense and spirit of adventure to find answers. She has fought long and hard to be a success in the business world and now she must put her inquisitive nature to work in this tale of insatiable greed among some collectors of fine art. Caught between the affections of a long-time love and a new, glamorous mystery man, she has to decide if her trust has been misplaced.

About Author E. J. Gandolfo

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.

Buy from Outskirts Press: https://outskirtspress.com/veronicahowardinvestigates
Buy from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1977203116

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The Best Book of the Year winner will receive a Grand Prize of $1,500 as a direct result of your choice at the polls. So, come back on Monday, September 9th, to cast your vote!

Are you ready to publish your own award-winning book and perhaps find yourself in the running for next year’s Best Book of the Year award? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you: