Review Blurbs for Self-Publishing Authors

Positive book reviews are great for any book, and they are particularly helpful for self-published books, where the quality from book to book can be so disparate that readers often rely upon online reviews from either 3rd party readers or established reviewers to help them make their purchasing decision.

Enter Kirkus, Foreword, and Blue Ink, three established magazines that cater to book buyers, wholesalers, libraries, and readers as the sources for unbiased book reviews. All three offer guaranteed book reviews, if you know how to get them. And as we’re about to demonstrate, getting a positive book review from a source like this can provide an author with an arsenal of promotional power.

See Exhibit One, below, the Blue Ink review of Brad Anderson’s When Is Sylvia Wallace? (Outskirts Press, 448 pages).

when_is

How many blurbs or excerpts can you extract from this review for the purposes of marketing? Let’s see…

“…adrenaline-fueled thriller…”
“The pacing is relentless…”
“…a highly appealing fusion of time-travel adventure and post-apocalyptic thriller…”
“…impossible to put down.”

Can’t you see any one of those excerpts featured predominantly above the title? Or all of them on the author’s webpage and used in all promotional material (blurbs like that are particularly effective on posters). We can! What’s more, once you’ve received a review like this, with blurbs like that, you can parlay them for the remainder of your career to further enrich your author biography on future book covers, your author webpages, and your online social media author profiles — all of which helps you promote your “author platform” and all your future books, too.

Speaking of books, Brad Anderson is the author of 9 books (so far) with Outskirts Press, including the award-winning Guardians Trilogy. Brad Anderson lives and works in San Antonio, Texas. He spends most of his longer vacations hiking and camping in America’s National Parks, including Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Anderson is the author of Ribbon Falls, After the Falls, and The Janus Project, among others. Visit him at https://outskirtspress.com/guardians.

Congratulations on a great review, Brad, and on an amazing writing career. We’re with you.

To join us, and Brad, on your own writing, publishing, and award-winning adventure, visit OutskirtsPress.com today.

 

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

The Top 10 Reasons to be Thankful for Self-Publishing

As Thanksgiving draws near, it’s time to take stock of everything there is to be thankful for. Family, friends, love, laughter … and being a published author (or the opportunity to be published soon). There’s never been a better time to be a writer. Here are just a few reasons we should all be thankful to be self-publishing in these exciting times:

  1. eBooks. Just having the ability to offer books in an easy-to-order format has opened up a massive sales channel for independent authors. As readers move from hardcopy to electronic books, the ability for anyone to get their book in front of these customers is priceless exposure — and offering an ebook is easy.
  2. Social media. When knocking on doors, making phone calls, buying ads and getting media coverage aren’t on your busy holiday calendar, reaching out to large audiences is still achievable, thanks to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and more. Author pages can be set up quickly, so you can let others know about your book from the comfort of your home.
  3. Author webpages. An author website can be created for free on many drag-and-drop website building platforms and most full-service self-publishing companies, such as Outskirts Press, provide a webpage to every author who publishes with them. You can easily provide this link to prospective readers so they can purchase your paperback, hardback, eBook, or even your audiobook on iTunes.
  4. Blogging platforms. The advantage of being an author is that you can put your writing skills to great use in your marketing. A personal or professional blog is a great way to raise your profile online, interact with readers and make valuable connections with others in the publishing industry. If you don’t have a blog, start one today for free on WordPress.
  5. Power of the press. Book announcements have come a long way in recent years. In an instant, a press release distribution service can get your book announcement to thousands of relevant news organizations worldwide. Plus, with the internet as a valuable research tool, an author can very quickly gather specific publications and broadcast media to target with personal contact.
  6. Goodreads. Self-published authors can easily make use of many selling tools on the Goodreads platform to foster relationships with readers, promote their books and sell more copies.
  7. Support when you need it. Traditional publishing houses typically provide a marketing push upon a book’s release but withdraw support as time goes on — especially if a book falls short of lofty sales goals. This doesn’t mean the window for success has closed; it only means the publisher no longer supports the author. Many of those authors now have the flexibility to pursue self-publishing when their rights revert back to them from the traditional houses. And they’re discovering that when they’re in charge — as all self-publishing authors are — they have the power to tweak their marketing approach, and keep more of the profits at the same time. It’s never too late to self-publish and market your way to success!
  8. AudioBooks. Back in the day (like 4-5 years ago), eBooks were all the rage. But the Internet never sits still, and what was a rising wave for eBooks just a few years ago has turned into a tsunami for AudioBooks as we enter the third decade of this new millennium. And no wonder! Between iTunes and Amazon, finding and listening to Audiobooks has never been easier, and publishing an audiobook is just as simple.
  9. YouTube. Everyone knows the number 1 search engine on the Internet is Google. But Google also laid claim to the number 2 search engine when they purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006 (granted, YouTube wasn’t the juggernaut it is today).  Video is quickly overtaking text as the medium of choice on the Internet, and YouTube is leading the way. Fortunately for self-publishing authors, it’s easier than ever to create a book video and upload it to YouTube to grab some of those viewers (and potential book buyers).
  10.  Amazon. Nowadays, the world’s largest retailer may be more concerned with making money than supporting authors (as revealed in this New York Times article), but there is still something to be said when a self-publishing author can be a #1 bestseller on the world’s largest bookselling website.

As this decade comes to a close, it is clear that self-publishing has changed in positive ways over the past ten years. We live in exciting times, indeed. And as we begin our 18th year of helping writers become published authors, Outskirts Press is thankful to be a growing part of this modern publishing renaissance — and thankful for authors like you who are paving the way!

How would you feel about publishing your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively?

Very Good!

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-Published Author Ingrid A. Bough Teaches Us All a Lesson in Book Marketing

As they say on a popular HBO series, winter is coming. In fact, winter has come! So, is anyone else interested in taking a cruise to the Virgin Islands? If so, you may be lucky enough to run into successful Outskirts Press author Ingrid A. Bough as she promotes and sells her book, Violet Loves the Letter “V”: Virgin Islands Pride.

Fresh off her appearance at the National Book Festival at the end of August, Ms. Bough will be doing a book signing at the popular UnderCover Books & Gifts bookstore/giftshop on the island of St. Croix in 2 days (November 14th). Readers and residents of St. Thomas won’t be left out. Her delightful illustrated children’s book (available in paperback or hardback) can be found at the Owl and the Seahorse bookstore.

And as you can see from the synopsis of her book (below), there’s a reason Ingrid is targeting the Virgin Islands with her book promotion efforts.

Virgin Islands Adventure in V Words. Violet Discovers Her Virgin Islands Pride

In a story set in a tropical island paradise, we meet Violet who is named after the violet flower. She loves her name and discovers the colors violet and purple have long been associated with royalty and majesty. Violet tries to identify as many V words on her beautiful island and while creating a story using as many V words as she can, discovers her island territories are rich in history and culture.

Violet learns to appreciate her beloved islands even more as she learns that the United States Virgin Islands, once known as the Dansk Vestindien (Danish West indies) have been influenced by faraway places like Africa, Denmark, Spain, France, England, Vieques, Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands and many more.

So many V words, what is a girl to do? Throughout the day, Violet’s imagination takes her on an island roller coaster of twists and turns and she gains a sense of pride in herself and her homeland: Virgin Islands Pride. Violet takes pride that she is from such a unique place surrounded by the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

What is the book marketing lesson to be learned here? “Go where the story takes you,” to quote another maxim. In other words, if you’ve written a book about the Virgin Islands, sell your book in the Virgin Islands. If you’ve written a book about Paris… Texas, then, by all means, sell your book in Paris, Texas.  T-shirts, shot glasses, and spoons aren’t the only memorabilia tourists buy. They also buy books when on vacation to commemorate their travels. This is especially true for children’s books! Bookstores, gift shops, and certainly stores in the airport, are always interested in books specifically about the location they’re located in.

Congratulations on your success, Ingrid! And thank you for offering us a fun way to bring up an important marketing tactic for self-publishing authors everywhere. Happy (and safe) travels to everyone during this upcoming holiday season.

To learn more about the book, or to order it, please visit the author’s webpages at outskirtspress.com/violetlovestheletterv  or  www.noirillion.com .

 

Self-Publishing + Crowdfunding = Everybody Wins!

There is no doubt that self-publishing your book with a self-publishing company that charges fees in exchange for quality, service, and customization will result in a better book, statistically speaking, than publishing with a DYI online platform. So why do so many authors gravitate toward the latter?  Cost.

But imagine if there was a way to self-publish your book with a high quality self-publisher without spending a dime of your own money…

Enter crowdfunding. Wikipedia describes crowdfunding as: “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet… In 2015, over US$34 billion was raised worldwide by crowdfunding….This modern crowdfunding model is generally based on three types of actors: the project initiator who proposes the idea or project to be funded [that would be you, the author], individuals or groups who support the idea [friends, family, and even strangers who like your idea], and a moderating organization (the “platform”)[Kickstarter, for example] that brings the parties together to launch the idea.”

round silver and gold coins
Photo by David McBee on Pexels.com

As of this writing,  exploring the “publishing” subcategory on Kickstarter reveals over 47,000 active projects seeking funding.  And that’s the rub. While it’s easy to post a new project on Kickstarter, it remains somewhat challenging to secure the necessary funding. In fact, according to a recent article in Publishers Weekly, publishing projects currently experience a 37% success rate on average.  “Success” is defined as a project that meets its minimum necessary monetary investment in order to move forward.  And when your book  is competing against 47,000 other projects in the publishing subcategory, it is easy to understand why authors may find it challenging to secure the necessary funding.

But there is hope.  The Publishers Weekly article (which you should take the time to read in its entirety here) mentions several tactics a proactive author can take to increase his/her chances for success. One is to set your investment needs relatively low. Many of the 47,000+ projects have investment requirements in the tens of thousands of dollars, while self-publishing packages with Outskirts Press, for instance, begin at just $849. Which project has a higher chance to succeed in securing its necessary funding? The one costing $10,000 or the one costing $1000?

Another tactic is to publish a children’s book, which experiences a 57% success rate on Kickstarter (that’s right, better than 50-50)!  Yet, another is to market your Kickstarter campaign just as aggressively as you plan on marketing your book. Tell your friends and family before, during, and after the project posts on Kickstarter.  Market and promote your project heavily during its entire run.  Communicate with backers during and after, and especially during your actual publication process. Keep them informed of your progress as your book nears publication.  They’ve just invested money in your book — they’ll be excited to read it. Which is to say, you already have a built in audience demanding your book. To say that puts you a leg (or two) up when the marketing phase kicks in would be an understatement.  Kickstarter itself has lots of great ideas about promoting a Kickstarter campaign here.

Once you’ve secured your Kickstarter money, it’s time to self-publish your book.  Outskirts Press can help you. Here’s to your great success!

 

 

 

Another Award-Winning Self-Publishing Author From Outskirts Press

Outstanding-Fiction-2019-sCongratulations to George Yuhasz for his extraordinary wins at the Independent Author Book of the Year Awards, where his Outskirts Press book Imagine That was a finalist in the Children’s Juvenile Fiction Category and a winner in the Outstanding Children’s Fiction Illustrated Category.  (Just take a look at his book to see why!)

George Yuhasz is a passionate advocate for the preservation and protection of our natural world. A proud father and grandfather, lifelong learner, and world traveler, he especially delights in sharing with children his knowledge and enthusiasm for appreciating the joy and wonder of connecting with nature. George lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and is currently working on another children’s book and a suspense novel.

 Book Details for Imagine That: The Magic of the Mysterious Lights

On a night when the sky is full of stars, sometimes there appears light that cannot be explained, even by the smartest astronomers…

Evelyn is a little girl who lives with her parents and brother in a house with a big backyard. On nights when the sky is filled with brightly shining stars, she loves to go outside before bed to see the Milky Way and the Big Dipper and dream about the planets.

But Evelyn has a secret: She is able to see flashes of light streaking across the night sky that no one else can see. And she’ll soon learn that her secret is actually a wonderful gift!

What an accomplishment, George!

Visit the Outskirts Press bookstore to save up to 50% when you order this award-winning full-color children’s book today.

Ready to publish your own award-winning full-color book? Browse our packages here to choose the right publishing package for you.