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

Self-Publishing, Independent Publishing, Hybrid Publishing

Nowadays, there is so much activity in the nontraditional publishing space that authors sometimes become confused by all the seemingly random terms 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 nontraditional publishers are not doing themselves any favors by sometimes muddying these waters in their marketing efforts to broaden their potential client base.

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

“Traditional Publisher” is the most commonly used term to define “publication,” whereby the author submits a manuscript (typically through an agent). If the manuscript is accepted (a big if), the publisher foots the entire cost of the publication and, in many cases, rewards the author with some advance. This is far and away the most desired type of publication in most writing circles. But did you see that big “if” up there? That “if” is why traditional publication now trails nontraditional publication for most 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 nontraditional publishing space. Unfortunately, some terms hold more malice/stigma than others. Hence, we experience the nontraditional publishers’ creative methods of removing said malice/stigma by arriving upon another term, thus, adding to the confusion!

Almost all these nontraditional publishing companies can correctly fall within the broadest term among the bunch: self-publishing. If a traditional publisher does not accept you, 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 offset 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. Some “self-publishing companies” offer these services for a fee, much like when one pays for the services of a doctor, lawyer, accountant, hairstylist, etc. Others are online, computerized self-publishing platforms that offer these services for free. The right choice typically comes down to the author’s budget and 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 to 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 thousands) 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. However, since hybrid publishers often sell their own authors’ book quantities in the thousands, they are more likely to use offset printing to lower per-unit costs. While that helps keep the retail price down, it becomes concerning, for the author is not always confident they have the marketing prowess to sell thousands of books.

Therefore, when it’s time to share your story with the world, call and talk to an Outskirts Press Publishing Consultant who can help you on your journey to publication. They are here and dedicated to assisting you on your walk in this journey!

There are three convenient ways to connect

• Call 1-888-672-6657

• Live Chat at OutskirtsPress.com

• Schedule a free consultation

Go ahead—judge your book by it!

Outskirt Press Go ahead—judge your book by it!

Yes, “judge a book by its cover” is an idiom referring to first impressions and snap judgments about everything, but when we’re talking about literal books and their covers, the idiom holds true.

This is because the human brain processes images faster than it does words. Plus, if your cover looks shoddy, readers and reviewers alike will be right to wonder where else you skimped on quality . . .

Outskirts Press is making it even more affordable to wow! with your cover. Purchase the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package today . . . and we’ll give you a professionally designed custom cover (a $399 value) AND professionally refine your cover text (a $199 value), PLUS include a stunning-looking Amazon Kindle edition of your book (a $299 value) absolutely FREE!

Simply enter promotion code covervalue when you buy the publishing package, and this $897 in total savings will be added.

GET STARTED WITH ULTIMATE B & W PUBLISHING

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Connect with a Publishing Consultant today to learn how Outskirts Press can help you publish your masterpiece:

•             Call 1-888-672-6657

•             Live Chat at OutskirtsPress.com

•             Schedule a free consultation

Save $130 When You POWER LAUNCH Your Book This Month!

PROMO CODE: bklaunbdl


Outskirts Press wants to help you hit the ground running in your marketing efforts. Order our popular Book Launch Bundle today and receive an instant 10% discount on the already discounted-bundled price for four of our most popular and effective marketing options! It’s the perfect way to promote your book effectively and affordably.

The Book Launch Bundle powers up your book marketing campaign to reach multiple audiences on various marketing venues: social media, print media, broadcast, and other formats where readers are introduced to books. These offer authors a multipronged promotional push:

  • Custom Press Release with international distribution
  • Social Media Setup, which lets you market to a large online audience cost-effectively
  • Book Video Trailer with YouTube Distribution to announce your book in a compelling marketing video
  • Book Marketing Specialist who will collaborate with you 1-on-1 to jump-start—or restart—your book marketing efforts!

To take advantage of the bundled discount PLUS an additional 10% off, simply enter promo code bklaunbdl at checkout when purchasing the Book Launch Bundle today.

eBook Publication & Distribution Included with Select Publishing Packages!

Now is the time to get published in print and eBook with nearly $950 in free eBook publishing options from Outskirts Press!

For a limited time, when you purchase the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package, you will receive FREE publication and distribution of your eBook editions through the Apple iBooks Store, the Amazon Kindle, the Kindle Unlimited, and the Barnes & Noble NOOK bookstore. That means you can make your eBook accessible to a world of readers perusing Amazon, Apple Books, iTunes and Barnes & Noble bookstores — for FREE!

Enter promo code ebooksfree at checkout to take advantage of this MASSIVE offer as well as enjoying high quality print publishing with the #1-rated self-publishing company according to Top Consumer Reviews.

For more information and help choosing the best self-publishing services, contact your Outskirts Press Publishing Consultant today. There are three easy ways to connect:

“The thing I enjoyed the most with Outskirts Press was the amazing creative flexibility they were able to accommodate. They were patient with me as I worked through the publishing process.” — Gary Graham, author of Parallels That Cross

 

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!

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 2021 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 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 2021 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? Visit our website for our complete list of book publishing and marketing services and to schedule a consultation with a Publishing Consultant.

 

Crisp Cover Copy That Crackles & Pops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Congratulations to the Outskirts Press Bestsellers!

While every book we publish is a masterpiece in its own right, some of our books really move off of the shelves, and we like to recognize those authors for their hard work and dedication as well as thank them for choosing to publish through us at Outskirts Press. With no further ado, here are the current top ten books in terms of sales numbers!

The Iron Triangle: Inside the Liberal Democrat Plan to Use Race to Divide Christians and America in their Quest for Power and How We Can Defeat Them by Vince Everett Ellison
Confessions of a Former Fox News Christian by Seth Andrews
The Process: A Proven Strategy for Creating Emotionally Healthy Leadership in Relationships, Business and in Life by Bill Hoffman
Chasing Bushido: How I Learned to Just Say Osu by Richard Amos
We Will See Our Pets In Heaven: The Afterlife of Animals from a Biblical Perspective by Brian Burgess
Note To Self: Chapter I by Chidozie E. Osuwa
Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2 by Bernard J. Nebel, Ph.D.
COMMUNICATION CONNECTION: Enrich Communication in your Marriage and Family by Ellen Dean
Living Life to the Fullest with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: Guide to Living a Better Quality of Life While Having EDS by Kevin Muldowney, PT
A Special Gift by Bob Benson, Josie Safir, and Nathan Safir

Outskirts Press wishes to congratulate these authors for their compelling books and for their selling successes.

These titles and many others are available from major online retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, Books-A-Million and elsewhere — not to mention through the Outskirts Press Bookstore at a considerable discount. To learn more about our products and services, as well as upcoming and current promotions, visit us online at www.OutskirtsPress.com!

A 20% Off Publishing Deal So Good It’s SPOOOOKY

We realize navigating all your self-publishing options can be frightening for first-time (or even previously-published) authors. Other publishers startle you with spine-tingling fees, frightening customer service, and horrifyingly sparse publishing packages. It’s enough to make you scream for your mummy!

Outskirts Press wants to make sure your self-publishing experience is a treat so we’re offering an instant 20% savings on our most popular packages — the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color.

No tricks! Only treats! Just enter promo code halwntwpct for your instant 20% discount when you purchase the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package today.

Don’t delay, this sweet, limited-time offer expires before the stroke of midnight on October 31st.

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:

“This whole experience has been brilliant. I have never written a book so didn’t know what to expect. Uphill is incredibly emotional. The stories are real and I have been torn to pieces. Writing it, editing it and editing again for printing was hard work. We got there. I am just in awe, honestly. Speechless… Thank you. It has been a privilege. I have written the first chapter of my next book, a fictional thriller. Fantastic. I am shocked and humbled.” — Geoffrey Bott, author of Uphill: An Inspirational Story of Suffering, Greed, Carnage, Immense Courage and Gut-Determination

 

Publish today and get $1000 of extra editions

Outskirts Press wants to help you reach your reading audiences—all of them. When you purchase the Ultimate Black & 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
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That’s over $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 & White or Full-Color publishing package while this limited-time offer lasts and enter promo code ebksgoogle at checkout. The free eBook editions will be added to your account within 48 hours.

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:

“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