Most people who self-publish will likely look into the big self-publishers first: AuthorHouse, iUniverse, and Lulu. The thinking may be that it is hard enough to get readers for a self-published novel – going with a major self-publisher will make it more likely that you’ll find prospective readers within that publisher’s community.
This is not necessarily true. Just because you’re on Lulu’s site, which gets more traffic than a smaller self-publisher, does not necessarily mean that you’re going to find more takers for your book. While the Lulu community does offer feedback and review requests between Lulu authors, there is no greater guarantee that someone is going to buy your book whether you’re on Lulu or published by a more-obscure self-publishing house.
Outskirts Press isn’t necessarily obscure, but it’s certainly not as well known as some of the bigger self-publishing outfits. But Outskirts Press offers complete self-publishing services for a lower price than competing publishers: including book design, distribution, and marketing.
Emerald, Sapphire, Ruby, Diamond, and Pearl Publishing
Outskirts Press has tiered levels of publishing packages, starting with Emerald, at $199 up to Pearl, which costs $1099 and offers one the most advanced self-publishing packages by any self-publisher.
The Emerald package includes a choice of two cover designs, the ability to set the price, and free author copies. However, this level does not include retail distribution, so the best recommendation is to start with Outskirt Press’s Sapphire Program, which includes more cover-design options, as well as distribution through Ingram Book Group, meaning your book will be on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all online merchants.
The Ruby package includes a custom cover design for $299: competitive among independent designers. A faster option is to choose between a number of pre-made templates, with a choice of 10,000 stock images or your own image. Distribution channels include Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and Books in Print.
The Diamond package is the same as the Ruby package, with more advanced cover design, free press release distribution, and a Library of Congress number so the book can be easily listed in libraries (a major point for sales and difficult with other self-publishing packages. Finally the Pearl package is for those with advanced layout needs: such as cookbooks and children’s books with intense illustrations. Pearl includes intensive interior layout, as well as book cover design, in addition to the abovementioned features.
Outskirts Press Cover Design and Marketing
What separates Outskirts Press from other self-publishers is the quality of the book cover design and the press’s marketing packages. Because it is less widely-known than other self-publishers, their pre-made templates are less widely-used. Even so, these templates look much more professional out of the box than templates offered by Lulu or Xlibris. Because you can add your own image and change the color of the template, a book can stand out significantly from another book using the same template. The likelihood that someone will recognize your template as belonging to another book is fairly small.
Outskirts Press also offers marketing consultation, help getting radio spots, press release distribution, finding book reviews, and other promotional features once your book is released. All told Outskirts Press is full-featured and affordable when compared to better-known self-publishers.