Self-Publishing Author Cordell Mitchell, Author of 27 Books (and counting!)

Cordell W. Mitchell, along with his frequent co-author Odena Mitchell, have published 27 books with Outskirts Press since 2013. For those of us looking for a little inspiration, that’s nearly four books a year, or one every three months.

In fact, they take inspiring others very seriously. Cordell and Odena have been evangelists, pastors, and teachers for over 50 years in Texas and Oklahoma. With a B.A in Biblical Studies, Cordell was also the Dean of The Biblical School of Theology in Cleburne, Texas, and the Administrator of the Pacific Mission Training Centre in Matafele, Apia, Western Samoa. He and his wife, Odena, are now officially retired, if you can call writing and publishing 3-4 books a year “retired.” They are truly an inspirational force to be reckoned with.

But as you can see from just a sampling of their vast collection of published works, they also have a firm grasp on what it means to create a “brand” identity for their volume of work.

Take, for instance, this series:

cover cover-1 cover-2

Or this one:

cover-3 cover-4 cover-5

Impressive, right? And that’s only six books out of 27. Then there are their books that simply stop you right in your tracks:

cover-6 cover-7 cover-8

Visit their Outskirts Press website at for more information about them and links to all of their books.  Thank you, Cordell and Odena; you motivate and inspire so many people and we are truly honored and blessed that you have joined with Outskirts Press to share your message.

Get Ready for Independent Bookstore Day

Independent Bookstore Day takes place this Saturday, April 27, and is a nation-wide event celebrated by independent bookstore owners, its patrons, and readers & writers of all ages!  Since independent bookstores are… well, independent, every party/celebration is different! That’s part of the fun, so plan on visiting more than one. At one bookstore you might find authors, singers, and musicians; at another you might experience a scavenger hunt, or a BBQ, or some bouncy houses for young readers.

top view of library with red stairs
Photo by Ivo Rainha on

As such, it is sure to be a day-long event for all the self-publishing authors and book readers in general who want to celebrate these community epicenters that are owned, run, and cared for by passionate book lovers.

And for you self-publishing authors out there, this may even be an opportunity to get to know your local bookstore owners, perhaps arrive upon a time for a book signing in the future, or drop off several books on consignment.  Or, at the very least, show other members of your household the beauty of books, no matter how they are published.

Need help finding indie bookstores in your area? can help.

Need help self-publishing your next masterpiece? can help.



Self publishing book promotion acronyms


As we get closer and closer to the release of THE 7 TACTICS OF SUCCESSFULLY PUBLISHED AUTHORS in April, exclusively provided to Outskirts Press authors, we realize that throughout the plotting, publishing, production, and promotion process, you may run across a few acronyms (not to mention some alliteration).

Here are some common ones, along with their meaning, and how they can help you become a successfully self-published author.

AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

Every promotional step you take should be rooted in AIDA. That includes writing a press release, pitching yourself to a radio station, or trying to get a spot on a television show. First, you have to grab their attention. This usually involves a “hook” or USP (see below). Then, once you have their attention, you have to maintain their interest. Next, you have to build their desire. Make them see what’s in it for them. Lastly, give them an action step. That’s your close, and it leaves them wanting more so they call you, buy your book, or go to your website.

PIE – Plan, Implement, and Evaluate

Promotion is as easy as pie when you following these three simple rules. Plan your marketing, implement the steps, and then evaluate the results. The last step is to Adjust accordingly, but PIEA doesn’t sound as appetizing.

POD – Point of Difference

Very similar to the USP, a point of difference is the special “something” that separates you or your book in the marketplace. Make sure either you or your book ( preferably both) have a strong POD on which to hook readers, or buyers (which includes retail store clerks).

UBP – Unique Buying Proposition

Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. What is going to appeal to him or her? Something unique, most likely. If you emphasize the
UBP for your buyers in advance, they won’t have to occupy their mind looking for it, and instead can concentrate on what you’re pitching.

USP – Unique Selling Proposition

A close cousin to UBP but from the seller’s perspective. What makes your book different from every other book out there? Always be sure that your press release, pitch, or promotional material emphasize the USP. Otherwise, you’re just another book in a very full library.

WIIFM – What’s in it for me?

This is the perspective from which every listener hears, regardless of what you are saying. If you address your proposal, topic, event, or interview with this understanding, you will be able to answer that question and keep your audience riveted (not to mention interested). The next time you write a press release or call a producer to get an interview, remember WIIFM, and if you tell them exactly what IS it in for them, you’ll be amazed at the results.

WYSIWYG – What you see is what you get

This can refer to everything from the layout of your book or cover to the design of your webpage. In the land of digital media, it’s easier than ever to provide WYSIWYG proofs. Just because it was fast doesn’t mean it’s not accurate. What you see is what you get — so review carefully.

Already published elsewhere and not getting marketing and book support like this?  Wondering how you can receive The 7 Tactics of Successfully Published Authors next month?  Here’s how…

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It’s never too late to publish right.



And Don’t Forget Father’s Day

Father’s Day falls on June 21st this year and provides one of the single most opportune times to promote any number of applicable books.

Publish in time for FATHER’S DAY

A successful book launch has a lot to do with timing.

Savvy authors rely on holidays, anniversaries, or “awareness months” to get the most out of press releases, media events, and book signings.

Some self publishing book categories that make great Father’s Day gifts are:

  • Autobiographies or biographies
  • How-To’s
  • Reference
  • Sports tales
  • Parenting
  • Humor
  • Military/War
  • History

If you have any manuscripts that fall into the above categories, or any applicable category, now is the perfect time to submit your book for publication with Outskirts Press so that it can be published in time for Father’s Day.  Our publishing time frame is about 10 weeks long, but authors have been known to publish their book with us in as little as 3 weeks. It’s entirely up to you.

If you’ve already published a bookfrom among the categories above, mark your calendar now and prepare
for June  21st early.

If you’ve been thinking about publishing a book, now is the time. In fact, no matter what type of book you have, your grandfather, father, husband, or son will love a gift that features you as a published writer!

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Self Publishing Requires Planning Ahead

Plan Ahead for Promotion

Impeccable timing is one of the most important elements of good book promotion.

Luckily, each month contains several opportunities already, either in the form of holidays, anniversaries, or “awareness months.”

Read the 31 Days of Book Promotion for March by clicking here.

Speaking of book promotion, April is National Poetry Month and provides one of the single most opportune times to promote a published book of poetry. As many published poets will attest, marketing poetry is a difficult endeavor because of the subject matter. The target audience is harder to pin-point than with a non-fiction book, and more narrow than with a fiction

Leveraging pre-existing holidays or events such as “National Poetry Month” puts you ahead of the game.  If you are an Outskirts Press author, you know OP already features Christmas (or holiday) cards featuring your published book and will be introducing additional greeting cards for all occasions in the coming months.

If you’ve already published a book of poetry, mark your April calendar now and prepare early. If you have published with Outskirts Press, we can help you with marketing materials. Just sign-in to your Author’s Center and access your Marketing Options Screen. You may want to order some bookmarks, posters, or postcards since many local and national book retailers (including Barnes & Noble) hold Poetry Reading sessions during the month of April. They’re always looking for local talent to read passages from their published books of poems. If you have a book of poetry, contact the marketing or communications manager of the stores in your area. Having our Optional Retail Returns package is a good idea in advance of pursuing conversations with BN offline stores.

If you’ve been thinking about publishing your poetry, now is the time.  Push the button below to start publishing your book today.

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Outskirts Press authors in the New York Times

Some authors wait their entire lives to appear in the New York Times.

These 12 Outskirts Press authors only need to wait 2 more days.

On December 7th, the New York Times Holiday Edition of the NYT Book Review is distributed to over 5 million people, and in the pages of that edition is the Outskirts Press co-op announcement featuring these books below:

American Indian Mafia: An FBI Agent’s True Story about Wounded Knee, Leonard Peltier, and the American Indian Movement (AIM)

by Joseph H. Trimbach and John M. Trimbach

The Family Bones

by Kimberly Raiser

My Funny Dad, Harry

by Karen Arlettaz Zemek

Secrets of the High Court: On Political Culture, U.S. Constitutionalism, and the Foundations of the Abortion Industry

by Daniel P. Klimek

Memoirs of an Immigrant

by Olof A. Eriksen

King Ego: Clearing The Path To Happiness

by Pnina Yoeli

Thru the Wall

by Rodger Epley

The Sneakiest Pirates

by Dalton James

Universe God’s Jewel

by Nick Kostovic


by Derrik J. McGinnis

The End Result

by Marc Boyajian

How Capitol Got the Beatles: and Then What Happened

by Charles Tillinghast

Our apologies to many of our other Outskirts Press authors who expressed an interest in participating in this amazing opportunity. With limited space, we had to turn so many away. However, keep an eye on this blog for another opportunity with the New York Times in 2009.

Not yet a published author? Start publishing today.

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