Prepare for National Poetry Month this April

Did you know that the month of April is, among other things, National Poetry Month? This makes April the perfect month to publish that book of poems you’ve been thinking about for a while, and not just because this month provides some great marketing opportunities; it’s also the perfect month to think about the reasons why we write, and the ways in which we put words together on the page. It’s a month to re-envision our craft as wordsmiths!

First, I might point you to the experience of Mirtha Michelle Castro Marmol, whose first book of poems, Letters, to the Men I Have Loved, did more than moderately well … it did so exceptionally well as to remain on Amazon’s bestseller lists for months! Mirtha Michelle Castro Marmol published through Outskirts Press, and in our interview with her on our blog, she said that the most rewarding part of being published “is and will always be” the ability her book had “to touch people.” Said Ms. Castro Marmol, “It’s crazy because I didn’t think people really read books anymore. But for me, having these girls go and buy my book, and spend their twenty dollars or so on Letters … it’s amazing, that someone believes in things still.” Readers have been snapping up copies of her books, both in physical and digital forms, at such a rate as to firmly prove that people still “really read books” … including poetry!

So how do successful poets do it?

Success as a self-publishing poet is all about consistency, commitment, and personal development. To help you become the best poet you can be, here are three ways to improve your writing as well as self-publishing your work.

  1. Read, Read, Read! Any time you want to improve your skills and become more successful, reading can help. Read poetry! Read books and articles about writing and publishing poetry! Read information about self-publishing! Read anything that inspires you to write and become the best poet you can be, but don’t limit yourself to poetry and industry-related books. Read fiction, non-fiction, magazines, newspapers, blogs, and advertisements. Read everything and anything you can get a hold of. You never know what will inspire you!
  2. Stay Committed: If you want to be successful, you need to commit yourself to your craft. Make time to write every day. Look for ways to continue to learn and grow. Figure out what motivates you and include those motivations in your daily life. Share your goals with others so they can help you accountable. Never give up on dreams.
  3. Be Consistent: Whether you are writing, editing, or marketing, be consistent. Work on your poetry every day. Set a schedule for when you will write, edit, or market your work. Set goals for yourself, and make a plan to achieve them. Successful writers don’t write sporadically; they work on their craft in some way every single day.

Supposing that these three suggestions have provided you with the motivation you need, what next? Well, turn this list on its head and consider it a starting point … and a list of tips for starting your next book! The path to publication may not always be smooth, but there are ways to make sure it is well-lit and passable. And that’s why we’re here to provide you with the services and resources you need to move from a grand idea for your next book to a finished, published book of poems for the next generation.

Not sure what you need to get started publishing your poetry? Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com to chat with a Publishing Consultant or call us at 1-888-672-6657 to find out how to finish your manuscript and get it ready for publication. To see our staff picks of amazing poetry books from many of our authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here.

The Best Reasons to Self-Publish … Are Free!

While print books are likely to always have a place with readers, ebooks are more than just the wave of the future … they’re the wave of the now. Each year, the market share for ebook publishing and consumption grows, and self-publishing authors like you are leading the way. And during the month of March you can take advantage of this trend by receiving a free Kindle eBook Edition and a free Barnes & Noble Nook eBook Edition with the purchase of an Ultimate, Full-Color or Basic publishing package from Outskirts Press.

If you’ve spent much time researching the ins and outs of self-publishing, you already know there are more benefits to ebooks than just market share and the ability to tap into the massive international popularity of the Amazon Kindle store and the device’s many millions of users.

The true magic of the Amazon Kindle and other dedicated e-readers is that they allow avid readers to instantly download books and newspapers, and carry a large library of reading materials with them in one compact device. Only books that have been submitted to the Amazon Kindle using their required process and in their required format are available for Kindle readers to purchase and enjoy, so professionally formatted ebooks are essential to success in the Amazon Marketplace. This holds true for the Barnes & Noble Nook Store, as well. Kindle editions of books appear on Amazon and in Amazon search listings just like hardbacks, paperbacks and any other format out there. More formats on Amazon means more exposure on Amazon, and the Kindle is heavily promoted by Amazon. Thanks to Google search rankings and algorithms, ebooks also have a better chance of showing up in general web indexing. Practically speaking, it’s always a good idea to take advantage of the Internet’s invisible paths to promotion.

Providing an ebook edition of your book is an important and valuable step towards rendering your book accessible to those readers who can’t read regular print — including children and seniors — and to whom an e-reader’s text size and other various graphical controls make the difference between reading and not reading. Ebooks are also far more accessible an option to readers of impaired mobility and to whom a trip to a physical bookstore or library is prohibitive, and to readers whose work schedules and home life likewise prevent them from making it into a store. There’s also the matter of the commuter, to whom ebooks are the only truly portable option in a busy day spent running from bus or train to work and back again. When you look at the various annual reports breaking down ebook readership, these groups lead the pack. And to these readers, an ebook edition is more than just a nice gesture … they’re necessary!

Which isn’t to say that tech-savvy readers who simply prefer ebooks aren’t also an important readership to whom you ought to market your book. Plenty of vacationers also prefer ebooks.

In addition to broadening your audience and raising your digital profile, electing to publish an ebook version of your book is a wise choice for authors looking to lower costs (as ebooks cost nothing to print) and lower their carbon footprint (ebooks save paper). Of all the options available to you, ebooks offer the highest return on your investment.

There are so many reasons to publish an ebook edition of your next book … and now there is one less reason not to by erasing the cost and offering you an ebook edition for free! To take advantage of this offer, all you need to do is add the Ultimate, Full-Color or Basic publishing package to your Outskirts Press shopping cart, then enter the promo code Ebooks-Free at checkout. The free ebook editions will automatically be credited to your account. But don’t delay! This offer is only available during the month of March.

For more information about self-publishing and book marketing services from Outskirts Press, visit us at www.OutskirtsPress.com! For professional advice, contact an Outskirts Press Publishing Consultant. There are three convenient ways to connect:

  1. Call us at 1-888-672-6657 (OP-BOOKS)
  2. Live-chat with us via our website
  3. Go online to schedule an appointment

5 Reasons to Fall in Love With Self-Publishing

Times have changed, haven’t they? And self-publishing has changed the world … and the publishing industry right along with it. There are so many reasons why authors, including those who may have previously been traditionally published, are eschewing the old ways and trying something new, and February is the perfect month to try it out yourself. Once you learn more about self-publishing, you may even find that you love this option, too! Here are five reasons why publishing in the lead up to and in the immediate aftermath of Valentine’s Day might just be exactly what your year needs to kick into gear.

1. Timing

It’s a new year, yes, but it’s also not quite brand new anymore. Which is to say, the hectic holidays are past, and the doldrums of spring are opening up before you. What better time of year to knock out that project you’ve always wanted to? Finishing your book and preparing it for publication takes a lot less time than it used to with the advent of self-publishing. The period between mid-February and Memorial Day is an excellent time to finally complete your manuscript and submit your book for publication … just in time for a late spring or early summer debut!

2. Velocity

Traditional publishing is a slow process. There are the dreaded query letters, the time spent waiting to hear back from agents or editors, and the time spent agonizing revising your manuscript to meet someone else’s editorial suggestions. If your book does get picked up by a firm, it can take over a year to see your book in print … and that’s a best-case scenario! The self-publishing process is often completed within a few months, as we’ve indicated above. Not only does this mean you don’t have to wait to see your book in print, but it also opens up even more doors for writing adaptive, timely, and responsive works that touch upon issues still being actively discussed in the public sphere. You can now publish books that are current and in response to readers’ desires!

3. Rights

When a book is traditionally published, its author may have very little control over the fate of the manuscript. Editors and agents decide if a book is print worthy, while a publishing firm decides upon the book’s cover art, layout, and price point … all without consulting you, the author. Once you hand over your manuscript for a traditional publishing company to publish, you are essentially giving up all rights and control over the final product. Meanwhile, should you choose to self-publish your book, you remain in charge, and you decide when your manuscript is ready to be published. The final outcome and the final product are the product of your singular vision, not publication by committee!

4. Quality

The quality of print-on-demand (POD) books has come a long way since the inception of self-publishing more than two decades ago. In addition to higher quality printing methods and a wider variety of formatting options, many self-publishing companies now offer a variety of professional services such as copyediting and cover design to ensure that your book receives truly top-notch, red-carpet treatment. There are no barriers to a high-quality product anymore, and your book will positively shine in both digital and print formats.

5. Individuality

Traditional publishing is all about making money, and traditional publishing professionals end up choosing to publish “sure thing” bestsellers over unique, specialized works in order to cover their corporate bottom line and satisfy shareholders. To do so, they need books that appeal to the mass market, but not all authors are targeting the mass market. Self-publishing allows you to write for a niche market … and better yet, it allows you to print, distribute, and market for a niche market, as well! In the world of self-publishing, blockbuster success doesn’t have to come at the price of your book’s individuality, its unique voice and architecture. Everything special and unique which wrapped you up in writing can still be there in its final form, and what’s not to love about that?

Yes, February is the month of love, and we hope you take a moment to think what options might best suit the book that you have created as a labor of love! Not sure where to get started? Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com to chat with a Publishing Consultant or call us at 1-888-672-6657 to learn more about the self-publishing packages and options available at Outskirts Press.

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