Ask ALLi January Self-Publishing Q&A Video & Podcast

Your Self-Publishing Questions answered by Joanna Penn and Orna Ross

Ask ALLi Event Square Logo with PenEach month Joanna and Orna answer Members’ self-publishing questions, and we’ve recapped the video and podcast event for you. But before we dive into a summary of the Q&A segment, here’s a review of the self-publishing and indie author projects that have been absorbing their time.

Orna Ross Author Profile

Orna has been working with ALLi Legal Advisor, Helen Sedwick on “How Authors Sell Publishing Rights” (which is currently available on pre-order). This new ALLi guidebook looks at taking a rights-perspective on your author career, and covers translation, TV and Film rights.

The ALLi team have also been focused on clarifying the author journey into three clear segments:

  1. Making your book
  2. Selling your book
  3. Selling your book rights

And to support this vision, we’re hanging our author advice and education around these three pillars. This theme continues through to our online Indie Author Fringe Conferences (that are free to attend).

  • Indie Author Fringe Online conferenceOur London Book Fair fringe Event will feature sessions on making your book, design and editorial
  • Our BEA fringe Event will feature sessions on selling your book, marketing and book promotion
  • Our Frankfurt Book Fair fringe Event will feature sessions on book rights, how authors spend their time and make money as a working indie

Visit our Indie Author Fringe Home page for more information

Joanna Penn Author ProfileJoanna has returned to writing her Arkane series and is working on book #8 in the series. She’s increased her word count from 2k to 3-3.5k per day, by replacing the pounding of the keyboard with dictation.

(Listen to Joanna’s latest podcast “Writing As A Business And The Magic Of Dictation With Elle Casey”)

January Ask ALLi Q&A Video via YouTube

Here’s the YouTube and Podcast recording that goes into more detail of the above activities and features the Self-Publishing Q&A with Orna and Joanna.

See below for a summary of the questions posed in this month’s Ask ALLi.

January Ask ALLi Q&A Podcast via SoundCloud

Subscribe on iTunes

Ask ALLi Self-Publishing Questions

Q: Is ALLi still working with Ingram Spark for 2016 and are they still offering ALLi members the same discounts as last year?

You bet! Members can view the Ingram Spark offer (as well as all of the other companies offering discounts) on the Discounts and Deals page in the member’s zone (log-in required)

Q: Does ALLi recommend using iUniverse Services?

iUniverse is included in the roundup of services evaluated in our brand new edition of “How to Choose a Self-Publishing Service”.

All ALLi members can download the book for free in the member’s zone, and this Self-Publishing Service guide is also available via all major distribution channels.

How to Choose a Self Publishing Service

Click here for more information

As well as evaluating different services, it also provides advice to authors about how to evaluate services for themselves. We believe in the adage “Knowledge is Power“, and this book empowers authors to make smart and informed decisions.

We’re also working on extracting key chapters and converting them to free downloadable PDFs (more information about this in the near future)

Q: What are the legal issues with using a personal publisher imprint?

Self-Publisher's Legal Handbook Helen SedwickOrna discusses the difference between establishing yourself as a business or company and creating a personal imprint.

A great author-resource for legal questions associated with self-publishing, is Helen Sedwick’s “Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook

Q: What’s the difference between distribution of Print Books through Amazon’s CreateSpace and Ingram Spark?

Joanna and Orna provide a succinct summary of CreateSpace vs. Ingram Sparks. Our recommended approach for self-published authors is to use both of these services in tandem. Use CreateSpace for print books in the Amazon universe and Ingram Sparks for all other distribution channels.

Want to read other recent blog posts on this topic?

Q: What about publishing a Hardback version of my book?

CreateSpace doesn’t offer a Hardback option, so this should be an indication of the financial viability of a print option! (but if you have your heart set on a hardback .. Ingram can print it.)

Orna and Joanna discuss the legacy of Hardback version in the publishing industry, and why a hardback version may make sense for certain niche genres.

Q: Does ALLi keep a listing of manuscript editors? and… Q: How do I find an editor for my Children’s books?

ALLi has a Partner Member directory with Editorial Service listings:

Editors are the great unsung heroes of publishing

Q: I’m overwhelmed with publishing my first book, are there “Book Shepherds” who can help an aspiring author?

There are lots of courses and books to help aspiring authors, and Orna and Joanna discuss how to get past that feeling of being overwhelmed by using fellow authors as a wisdom hive.

Q: I have some poems in Hindi, can I get them published?

Books in local languages doing really well at the moment, and both Orna and Joanna are featuring the Indian market in upcoming events. ALLi are hosting an ALLi Insights on February 16th which will help authors understand this emerging market, and how it is different from other international markets.

Joanna provided an insightful pricing strategy when you list your book on Amazon India.

Q: Where can I find my ALLi Member seal to add to my website?

Member’s can find their seal and affiliate codes in their profiles on the Member’s zone.

Q: Why does my POD book show out of stock (or a long delivery lead time) on Amazon?

Distributors co-exist, but don’t always play nicely with each other. Find out how to overcome this distribution challenge by going direct with CreateSpace.

Q: What is your #1 marketing tip for a new author?

Know your genre and your reader… Orna

Your #1 marketing asset is your book cover… Joanna

This is just a taster of the discussions in this month’s Ask ALLi, please watch the video or listen to the podcast for all the good bits I’ve edited out.

Monthly Ask ALLi

Our monthly Member Q&A is part of our “Ask ALLi” Campaign: in which ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors) commits to answering any question about self-publishing.

If you are an ALLi member, click here to submit your questions

Where can I watch or listen to more Ask ALLi?

Interested in Joining ALLi? Besides being able to submit questions to this monthly Q&A, there are lots of other benefits of being an ALLi Member. Click this banner to find out more.

ALLi Banner Reasons to Join us

Meet the Ask ALLi Hosts

Joanna Penn Author Profile

Joanna Penn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author, as well as writing non-fiction for authors. She is also a professional speaker and entrepreneur, voted as one of The Guardian UK Top 100 creative professionals 2013.

She spent 13 years as a business IT consultant in large corporations across the globe before becoming a full-time author-entrepreneur in September 2011.

Connect with Joanna on Twitter @thecreativepenn

Orna Ross Author ProfileOrna Ross launched the Alliance of Independent Authors at the London Book Fair in 2012. Her work for ALLi has seen her named as one of The Bookseller’s “100 top people in publishing”.

She also publishes poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and is greatly excited by the democratising, empowering potential of author-publishing.

Connect with Orna on Twitter @OrnaRoss


Did we answer your #selfpublishing questions? Check our Video & Podcast Author Q&A.… Click To Tweet

, , , , ,


  1. ALLi Insights Going Global: Publishing in India Video | Self-Publishing Author Advice from The Alliance of Independent Authors - February 18, 2016

    […] In last month’s Ask ALLi Q&A, Joanna talked about pricing strategies for book releases in India, and her sentiments were mirrored again by Rasana on today’s call. She gave the following advice: […]

Leave a Reply