A post to celebrate the successful launch of ALLi's new guidebook, Opening Up To Indie Authors, written to help self-publishing authors engage effectively with all parts of the publishing trade, and to encourage the publishing trade to recognise and value the ever-growing quality, scale and importance of the indie sector
Having co-written ALLi's new guidebook, Opening Up To Indie Authors, with our fabulous community builder Dan Holloway, under the sage editorship of ALLi's founder Orna Ross, I was privileged to be part of the exciting launch event, generously hosted on Kobo's stand at the London Book Fair.
For the duration of the fair, this groundbreaking new book is available exclusively from Kobo here.
Kobo will soon be posting on their website some professional photographs and videos of the launch event, enabling all those who weren't there to share the experience. We are very grateful for Kobo's support, spearheaded by the wonderful Diego Marano, who is also coordinating a global launch that provides opportunities for ALLi members to read from their books in their local Kobo stockists' stores wherever they are in the world.
In return, we have made the book initially available exclusively as a Kobo ebook in the immediate period after the launch. In due course it will be made available in other formats and on other platforms, including print. We'll keep you informed of those new formats, via this blog, as they're rolled out.
In the meantime, Orna, Dan and I have posted on our own author websites the text of our speeches here:
- click here to read Orna Ross's speech
- click here to read Dan Holloway's speech
- click here to read Debbie Young's speech
At the start of Dan's blog, you'll also find his fabulous group “selfie”, taken moments after the launch, capturing the excitement of the event, which was compounded when self-publishing icon Hugh Howey congratulated us for “the best talk I'm going to hear this year!” (and I have his permission to quote him on that!) On my blog, there's a photo of me with Hugh, kindly captured on my phone by Jessica Bell.
To whet your appetite for your copy of the book, here's the closing chapter, which I read immediately after our speeches at the launch event.
CHAPTER 10 – TOWARDS AN OPEN FUTURE
Aside from the key areas covered in previous chapters in which more work is needed to open up the way for all authors to be treated equally, there are many other avenues by which all self-published authors may actively demonstrate the quality of their books to the public at large.
Every piece of marketing activity that you undertake not only helps sell your books, it also furthers the cause of the self-publishing sector as a whole. Every new reader won over, every good book sold helps persuade the reading public, and the old guard of the publishing establishment, of the quality and value of self-published work. That means we all have a responsibility to make our books the best they can be before publication.
Then we can stand up, be counted and wear our self-published author badge with pride – even if you are one of the growing numbers of writers whose books, by their very quality, are indistinguishable from trade-press publications. Nothing will be more powerful than your own pro-active involvement in moving the self-publishing community forward on the road to equal opportunities.
Share your achievement wherever you can, online and offline. Engage with your local media and reach out to books groups. Connect with your neighbourhood libraries and bookstores and festivals. Reach out further via free book missions: BookCrossing, Books on the Underground and Books on the Subway. Aim high and help each other.
Every self-published author is an ambassadors for the Open Up To Indie Authors campaign, and no self-published author is an island. Spread the word of our great movement, however you can. You have much of which to be proud.
Whatever lies ahead for the book trade as it continues to evolve at high speed and in tandem with technological advances and innovations, one thing is certain: self-published authors are here to stay, championed by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), and all who support them within and outside the author community.
In this book we have addressed the most important areas in which self-published authors seek recognition on an equal footing with their trade-published peers. We hope that the candid and constructive overview offered by this book will encourage all parties discussed to work together for their mutual benefit.
We all share a common bond: the desire to bring great books to readers, who are the ultimate judges of our work and its merit.
Please sign the Open Up To Indies Petition
No matter where you fit in to this jigsaw, we warmly invite you to sign our petition to help us further the Open Up To Indies campaign. You can do so here: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/open-up-to-indie-authors/.
We also welcome any comments, clarifications, updates, or additions to any section of this book, so that we may update it regularly and keep it representative the current state of the industry. You can contact us any time through our contact form on the ALLi website.
To close on a light and up-to-the-minute note, here’s one indication of the ever-strengthening foothold of self-publishing within the book trade. In the new remake of the long-running television series, Murder, She Wrote, the amateur sleuth heroine will be not a trade-published writer, like the original Jessica Fletcher, played so memorably by Angela Lansbury, but an author who has just self-published her debut novel. We’re hoping she’s signed our petition…
Like to help us spread word of this important new book on Twitter? Here's our suggested tweet to copy and paste into your Twitter status box:
“Important new book from @IndieAuthorAlliance, just launched at #LBF14 with @Kobo http://wp.me/p44e6Y-1Lt #publishingopenup”