Achieve Your Summer Reading Goals While on Vacation

Reading is one of the best things writers can do to improve their own work. Reading offers inspiration, teaches the craft, and provides insight into what is (or isn’t) successful right now. I frequently encourage writers to set reading goals — read a certain number of books per month. Your summer vacation is the perfect time to achieve those summer reading goals.

Years ago, when you went on vacation you’d pack a small stack of books to enjoy on the plane or as you laid by the pool. Once those books were finished, your reading was done. Obviously for space reasons (and wonderful suitcase weight limits), it just wasn’t possible to pack all the books you wanted to read. Luckily, times have changed.

E-readers make reading while traveling easy. You can download books to reader before leaving or wait and download books as you need them. This offers countless reading possibilities.

While you probably already have a reading wish list, I encourage you to read something you wouldn’t normally read. This is a great way to step outside your comfort zone and discover a new writing style that might just inspire your own work. For book suggestions, check out bestselling lists such as Outskirts Press Top 10 Kindle Books.

I’d love to know, what are you reading on your summer vacation?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

3 Ways to Maximize Your Book Sales Potential on Amazon

Amazon is the single largest book retailer. By taking advantage of all of the tools and services Amazon has to offer, self-publishing authors can enjoy higher sales, increased revenue, and more satisfied readers. Here are three easy ways you can maximize your book sales potential on Amazon.

1) Adding an Amazon Kindle edition

Kindles are a popular e-reader. Offering an Amazon Kindle edition of your book increases your potential buyer market and offers readers an easy, quick way to purchase your book. Be sure to market your Kindle edition as well as your print edition.

2) Adding the Amazon Search Inside the Book feature

This is the online equivalent to readers picking your book up off the shelf and flipping through the pages. The “Look Inside” option provides an icon over your book’s cover image and allows readers to browse through portions of your interior content. Amazon states that books utilizing this option see considerably higher sales over those that do not.

3) Maximizing your book description for search engine optimization

You need to make sure your book description is well-written for two reasons: one, readers don’t want to buy a book with a boring or unprofessional description. Two, readers won’t be able to find your book if you don’t use strong keywords in your description. In the world of the internet, keywords are essential. They help readers find books on the topics they are searching for. When writing your book’s description, spend time considering the appropriate keywords and be sure to proofread the final copy.

I’d love to know, what is your favorite Amazon feature?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 3/11/14

As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

8 Lessons I’ve Learned By Self-Publishing 3 Kindle E-books

This self-publishing author shares her publishing experience. In hopes of helping other writers avoid costly mistakes, she discusses the mistakes she made early in her career. The article covers many aspects of the self-publishing process, including cover design, price, and more. This is an excellent read for anyone considering self-publishing.

10 Reasons Self Published Authors Will Capture 50 Percent of the Ebook Market by 2020

Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, estimates self-publishing authors will capture 50 percent of the market by 2020. In this article, he offers 10 great reasons why. This is an encouraging read for anyone considering self-publishing.

The Key to Self-Publishing Your Memoir: Be Confident with Your Story!

Memoirist Dorit Sasson talks about the importance of being a confident author when self-publishing a memoir. She also discusses the importance of building an online presence and offers tips on gaining an audience. This is a must read for memoir writers.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Comparison of Outskirts Press and Trafford’s Self-publishing Packages

Deciding which self-publishing company to go with can be a real challenge. To assist you with this process, I’m writing a series of posts where I do the leg work for you! I’ll prepare a side-by-side comparison of two similar publishing packages from two self-publishing companies. I’ll strive to keep it as simple as possible to help cut through the vast amount of information out there by giving you an easy to read chart and a brief summary of my impressions on the comparison.

This installment of the series is a comparison of two of the most robust self-publishing packages available: The “One Click for Coaches & Speakers” from Outskirts Press (which you can enjoy even if you’re NOT a coach or speaker, by the way) and the “Scroll,” from Trafford. The information shared here is current as of the date I completed the comparison (19 December 2012) and is dependent on what I could located on the websites without contacting representatives.

Outskirts Press One-Click Publishing For Coaches & Speakers
$4,497
Trafford Publishing Scroll Publishing Package
$5,749
Production Options Paperback Format
Custom Cover
Professional Interior Formatting
Copyright registration
Library of Congress Control Number
Interior Elements Up to 20 images Up to 60 images
Copyediting Up to 75,000 Words Up to 250,000 Words
Author Copies (Paperback) 10 Copies 40 Copies
Expedited Service
Cover Scribing
Your ISBN/ Imprint or ours
Hardback Format
Author Copies (Hardback)
Indexing Up to 500 entries
Additional Formats Secure EBook Edition
Amazon Kindle Edition
Espresso Book Machine Edition
Marketing Services Book Video Trailer & Distribution
Custom Press Release
Author Webpage
Barnes & Noble See Inside
60 Second Book Video Trailer 1 of 3 choices
Social Media Marketing Setup PMA
Post-Publication Marketing Assistance Marketing COACH (2 years) Learning Center (1 year)
PR Publicist Campaign
Personal Marketing Assistant (PMA)
Submission to 10 Reviewers
Electronic Clipping Service
Publication Press Release
Streaming Audio
Amazon Cover Enhancement
Amazon See Inside the Book
Bookseller’s Return Program
Marketing Promotional Materials 100 pieces

With Outskirts Press, for $1,252 less you receive expedited service, a private label (optional), the Amazon Kindle edition of your book, the Espresso Book Machine edition, a PR campaign, 10 Book Reviews, a clipping service and 5 hours of personal marketing assistance with a professional book marketing expert, among other benefits.

There are a few options that come with Trafford’s Scroll package that are not included with the Outskirts Press package such as a hardback format and more author copies.  Although, you could order most if not all of those services a la carte with Outskirts Press and likely still come in at an overall lower cost.

My vote? Outskirts Press! See all the benefits and features of the One-Click Package for Speakers & Coaches by clicking here.

I’d love to know, which option would you choose and why?

The Bestselling Self-Published Kindle Books of 2012

Amazon recently announced its Top 100 Kindle Books for 2012. I was very excited to see that 15 of those books have self-publishing origins! One of the most notable titles is the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, which was originally published by an Australia-based e-book and print-on-demand establishment. Many of the other self-published titles were also in the romance genre. However, several of the titles were from other genres. Here is the complete list:

2012’s Bestselling Kindle Books (Self-Published Origins)

1. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

2. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James

3. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

4. Bared to You by Sylvia Day

5. Reflected in You by Sylvia Day

6. On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

7. Snake Skin by CJ Lyons

8. Wool by Hugh Howey

9. The Sweetest Thing by Barbara Freethy

10. The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted by Andrew Kaufman

11. Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee

12. The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden

13. Blood Stained by CJ Lyons

14. Secret Lives by Diane Chamberlain

15. Down to You by M. Leighton

This list is great news for self-publishing authors! It proves that you don’t have to go the traditional publishing route to be successful, and it provides significant insight into the types of books that have been successful. If you are considering self-publishing, you may want to check out some of these books to see what makes them hits among readers. However, never feel obligated to follow trends. Just because 2012 was a huge year for the romance genre, does not mean you must write romance novels, and it doesn’t guarantee that the genre will remain popular.

I’d love to know, what is your favorite self-published e-book?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Three Ways to Find Free and Low-Priced Books to Read on Your Kindle

One of my favorite things about reading books on my Kindle is finding free and low-priced books. As a book lover, my reading habit can get pretty costly, but these three awesome lists save me tons of money and help me find new books to read. To take advantage of all the free and low-priced books available on your Kindle, check out these three great lists on a regular basis as they are updated frequently.

Amazon’s Top 100 Free Kindle Books – This list is great because it is updated all the time, and it is based on what readers are actually downloading.

Amazon’s 100 Kindle Books for $3.99 or Less – While these books aren’t free, you still can’t beat the price! Most paper versions will cost you at least $10 to $15.

Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deal – Each day this list features amazing deals on Kindle books. When I was researching this post, I found a book for 88% off! It was originally $16.99, but for one day only you could get it for $1.99.

As you can tell by the number of available Kindle books, e-book reading devices are becoming extremely popular, and Kindle books aren’t limited to Kindle owners.  Even iPad users can take advantage of the great prices on Amazon by downloading the free Kindle app for iPad.  More and more people are choosing to read books on some kind of e-book reading device, and more and more self-publishing authors are realizing that offering a Kindle version of their books can help increase their overall royalties. If you are self-publishing a book, you must consider offering your book in Kindle format. By offering both hardcopy and electronic editions, you can increase the exposure for your book and reach a larger audience. This will ultimately result in greater sales potential for your book.

I’d love to know, do you plan to offer your book in Kindle format?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

The New Kindle Fire: The Next Hottest Thing in Publishing

In just two days (on September 14, 2012), the new Kindle Fire will be released. This handheld device will change the way people read and the way authors publish books. Here are a few of the details.

  • 40% faster performance, twice the memory, longer battery life
  • Perfect portability – thin, light, and durable
  • Over 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and
    popular apps and games
  • Ultra-fast web browsing over built-in Wi-Fi
  • Free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content
  • Kindle FreeTime – a personalized tablet experience just for kids. Set
    daily screen limits, and give access to appropriate content for each child. Free
    on every Kindle Fire.
  • Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – Kindle owners can choose from more than 180,000
    books to borrow for free with no due dates, including over 100 current and
    former New York Times best sellers and all seven Harry Potter books.
  • No Set-up Required
  • Read-to-Me — With Text-to-Speech, Kindle Fire can read English-language content out loud to you, when available from the publisher.
  • 1-Click Shopping

Readers are sure to love the convenience and upgraded technology offered by the Kindle Fire. Thanks to Kindle FreeTime, even children will be able to enjoy the hot , new device.

E-readers are already changing the way consumers buy and read books, and they are becoming increasingly popular. It is important that self-published authors offer a Kindle version of their books to meet the needs of readers who prefer using e-readers. By offering both a print and electronic version of your book, you can target a larger market and reach more customers. This will ultimately lead to more sales.

To learn more about the Kindle Fire, click here.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.