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What Control Really Means for Indie Authors

For an indie author, maintaining control over our work is often one of the reasons we choose to be and stay independent. We want control of our covers, our plots, our characters. And why not, it's our business. Author member JJ Toner explores what control really means for indie authors. What Control Really Means for Indie Authors When you board a plane, you place yourself in the hands of the pilot. For the duration of the flight, you place your absolute trust in the pilot, handing over control. It’s the same with books. You are the pilot of your book, and it’s essential that the reader feels she is in safe hands from page one right through to the end ...
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Opinion: Future Audiobook Trends

The audiobook market has grown in double figures for six straight years with a 37.1% growth in the USA in 2018. If you haven't entered the audiobook market yet, now is the time. Author member Dawn Brookes is here with a look forward at where she thinks future audiobook trends are heading. Reasons for growth As technology advances, so does demand. Smartphones, tablets, and more recently the growth in artificial intelligence have all contributed to the rise and fall of different markets with physical products taking a hit. The original audiobook provided a welcome way of reading for those with visual problems and the elderly. The CD market for audiobooks formed 54% of sales in 2010 with digital downloads at ...
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Poetry Marketing on a Budget

Poetry is an age-old art for writers, and at last, it seems to be gaining widespread popularity. But with the boom in poetry business, the market, like all others becomes saturated. So how can you do poetry marketing on a budget? That's something author member Jessica Cotten is here to explain. Forty-eight hours after I released my first poetry book, Sea Between: A Collection, I was roasting a sheet pan of veggies for dinner while pondering some deep life issues (as one does). It was late in the evening, I was tired, a bit sad about a few things, and quite irritated that all we had to work with for dinner were a couple of cans of tuna, some cauliflower and ...
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Help! Someone is Pirating My Book; More Questions Answered; AskALLi Member’s Q&A with Orna Ross and Michael La Ronn; News with Daniel Holloway

Help! Someone is pirating my book. This is among the questions answered and concerns addressed in this week's AskALLi, the Self-Publishing Advice Podcast from the Alliance of Independent Authors. Other questions answered this month include:
  • My publisher went out of business and took my book with them. What do I do?
  • How do I get an editor to read my fantasy book?
  • I’m writing a children’s book and looking for an illustrator. What are the most important questions I should be asking the illustrator
  • Should I create a coloring book as a companion to my children’s book?
And More! Also, News Editor Dan Holloway and Howard Lovy bring you the latest self-publishing news. Today, they discuss the war between ...
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Self-publishing News: Rise of the Podcast

In this week's Self-Publishing News, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway fills us in on the latest with moves from Pandora and Spotify that will make it easier to promote your podcast, and a great showing from ALLi members at the DigitalBookWorld awards.  Over the weekend I had the honour of taking part in the Novel London festival at the legendary Foyles bookstore. I gave a “live edit” to one brave author. It was remarkable how well the intimacy of the conversation between writer & editor transferred to a wider audience. It was as though we all became part of those very private exchanges of thoughts. I would never have considered doing it but now I have thoroughly recommend it for ...
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Ten Nonfiction Elements That Boost Your Business

Years of experience make an industry expert. But it's often when you publish a nonfiction book in your expertise area that you propel your business into the limelight. But should all businesses have nonfiction books? Partner member Karen Williams, from The Book Mentor, thinks that if you do write a book in your expertise area, there are ten nonfiction elements that boost your business which should be included. When it seems that everyone around you is writing a book, how do you ensure that yours is the one that stands out and makes an impact? Although it’s the in-thing to do, it’s not working for everyone. There are 10 principles that I believe you need to follow to get to that end goal of ...
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Stories About Women

Inspirational Indie Authors: Carmen Klassen Writes Books About Women Who Reboot Their Lives After a Crisis

Canadian author Carmen Klassen has personally gone through transitions that became the inspiration for her series of books about women and how they cope with crisis and change. We live in uncertain times. Professions appear and disappear with changing needs and technology. Our political systems are in turmoil, creating a need for all of us to have some kind of contingency plan for when things go wrong. In this podcast, Carmen talk about the importance of a good support system and how she lacked one in her first marriage. She also discussed her fascinating background as a professional organizer, which gave her unique insight into psychology, insight that she would later use in her characters. And, like many fiction writers ...
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reduce reverb selfpublished audiobooks and podcasts

How to Reduce Reverberation for Better Self-Published Audiobooks and Podcasts

Self-published audiobooks and podcasts can and should sound great. Whether you’re narrating your audiobook, hosting a podcast, or being interviewed for a podcast or other broadcast medium, and you’re doing it from your home office, there’s a lot more to consider than microphone quality and diction. John Wagner-Stafford leverages his background as a professional musician and recording studio producer to offer these tips for getting great sound. Good quality sound is important for your self-published audiobooks and podcasts. In fact, it could make or break your audio project. When you are setting out to work in audio format, any audio format, there are a few tricks to getting studio-quality sound. These are tricks that can make an inexpensive microphone ...
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A Simple Book Marketing Timeline for Holiday Sales

Most people look forward to holiday season, but for indies, the price of advertising goes up and sales are harder to come by because the market is more competitive. But if you spend time building a sustainable business and reader-base then you can set yourself up for success. Partner member from  Author Marketing Experts, Penny Sansevieri, talks us through a simple book marketing timeline. A Simple Book Marketing Timeline We all want to sell more books around the holidays, right? Whether it’s targeting events, Black Friday, Cyber Monday or the last-minute shoppers, this is one of the biggest times of the year for book sales and a great time to implement some fun and creative book marketing strategies. Because with ...
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When to Break Writing Rules as an Indie

I'm sure if we all looked hard enough, we'd be able to find a bit of rebel inside us. But there's a time for rebellion and a time for sticking with writing rules. After all, some of them stop sentence errors and awkward reader emails. But one of the many luxuries of being an indie author is being able to selectively break the rules. Rosalind Minett, author member, is pulling out her inner rebel to talk about when it's okay to break writing rules as an indie. Expulsion I was once expelled from school aged eight. We were lined up in the playground and each child was individually asked if s/he had booed an unpopular teacher at Prizegiving. “No Miss P.” ...
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Book Branding and Author Branding: What’s in a Name? #AskALLi Self-Publishing Fiction and Nonfiction Salon with Orna Ross, Boni Wagner-Stafford, and Adam Croft

In the first of our new shows comparing the perspectives of fiction and nonfiction, Orna Ross, Adam Croft, and Boni Wagner-Stafford discuss book branding: when you should brand the author versus when the branding should focus on the book, or the book series. What are the factors to take into account? And what about pen names? Should you have one? Or maybe even more than one? What are the implications? Tune in for this session on branding best practice. Here are some highlights:​ Adam Croft, on Branding Fiction vs. Nonfiction I think, if you're marketing yourself as a fiction writer,  you're looking to immerse readers in a world that you've created. Whereas with a nonfiction you position yourself, or I ...
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Self-publishing News: Taxing Ebooks

In this week's Self-Publishing News, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway fills us in on the latest with a campaign to cut tax on ebooks in the UK, Wattpad's new publishing partners, and Barnes & Noble's new owners.  Strange but interesting things seem to happen a lot. I am not sure whether I notice them because I'm a writer or they happen because I am. But as this update goes to press I will be talking to an American indie band, Whitherward, who got in touch because they're filming a documentary of their tour. They are asking people "is music a language?" It's a great idea, and a fascinating question. And as a writer who regularly collaborates across media, I still ...
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Opinion: The Trials and Tribulations of DIY Audiobooks

Audiobooks are the flavor of the month. But getting one recorded by a professional doesn't come cheap. However, Andrene Low author member, is here with a hilarious take on the trials and tribulations of DIY audiobooks. The Trials and Tribulations of DIY Audiobooks If the constant plotting, writing and editing weren’t enough, add in the never-ending promotion and my plate wasn’t just full, it was overflowing. So of course, I added recording my own books to the teetering pile that was my to do list. There’s a saying about leaving no money on the table, and it was this that made me dip my toe into the audio book waters. Actually it wasn’t so much dipping as diving in from ...
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Young Adult Climate Fiction

Inspirational Indie Authors: H. N. Deeb Writes Young Adult Climate Fiction With Strong Female Protagonists

Today's guest is author HN Deeb, a TV writer who also writes young adult climate fiction or cli-fi. His path was a winding one to Hollywood, where he noticed California's water crisis and wanted to write something that both warned and entertained. Deeb and I discuss why he switched careers from law to writing, and how he's helping to change sci-fi from its sexist past. Along the way, we talk about the real root cause of much conflict around the world: water and access to it. A few highlights from our interview On How Water Issues Affect Our Lives As we know with the rising oceans, there are places in the world where tens of millions of people are already being ...
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Social Media for Authors: How to Avoid Wasting Writing Time

Social media. Love it or hate it, there’s no getting away from it. Whether you’re using it because you feel you have to or because you’re a social media addict who can’t get enough, there is a role for social media for indie authors. In today's post, author member Rachel McCollin teaches us how to avoid wasting writing time. Social media can be a great place to engage with readers, to carry out research and to get support from other writers. But it has its pitfalls. Research has found that the average US adult user spends 58 minutes a day on Facebook, 28 minutes on WhatsApp, 53 minutes on Instagram and 3 minutes (just three!) on Twitter. Of course this doesn’t represent ...
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How to Create and Run an Indie Author Podcast

If you've hung around the indie sphere long enough, then the audio boom isn't news. The question is, are you capitalising on it? Creating an author podcast is work, but it's good work that will reap benefits for the long term. Author member Holly Lyne from The Great Western Woods Podcast is here to teach us how to create an indie author podcast. Why I Run an Indie Author Podcast I've only been podcasting for a few months. The whole thing started with a slightly surreal exchange with my writing bestie, Angeline Trevena, in which I suggested we collaborate and she replied that she had been thinking the exact same thing. And so our joint venture was born. Angeline already ...
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Amazon's Unwritten Print Pricing Rule

Amazon’s Unwritten Print Pricing Rule

KDP has had a longstanding print pricing requirement that ebooks sold through the platform may not be sold for more than the list price on other retailers or websites. When Amazon folded its CreateSpace print-on-demand services into its KDP platform, few authors realized that this restriction was applied to print books as well. If you priced your paperback at $14.99, but it was available on other retailers for $12.99, Amazon could take disciplinary action against your account. This condition was once buried in the text of the Print Pricing help page: You must set your Print Book's List Price (and change it from time-to-time if necessary) so that it is no higher than the list price in any sales channel ...
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Artificial Intelligence and the Indie Author: AskALLi Advanced Self-Publishing Salon with Orna Ross and Joanna Penn

Artificial intelligence sounds like a very futuristic term but you have already experienced it in your author business, from the Amazon algorithm to Google translate. In this Advanced Self-Publishing Salon, ALLi Director Orna Ross and Advisor Joanna Penn of thecreativepenn.com look at some of the AI tools that are already available to us as indie authors and those that are likely to prove most useful in the years ahead. Our advanced salon is brought to you by specialist sponsor IngramSpark, professional-grade publishing services at prices self-publishers can afford. Here are some highlights: Orna on the Future of Translation At the moment, translation is in the hands of literature societies who pay  grants to translators to do months of work to ...
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Self-publishing News: Self-publishers’ Romance Award Success

In this week's Self-Publishing News, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway fills us in on the latest with self-published success at the Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITAs.  One of the weird things that has happened twice over the past week or so is being approached by documentary makers. Next week, I will be talking to an indie band touring Europe asking people about whether music is a language. And the following week I'm being filmed reading. Neither documentary has to do with the book world. But it is yet more evidence just how pervasive people's interest is in the magic we seen to create with words. Self-publishing Success Inevitably the fight between libraries and publishers has dominated the news again this ...
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ALLi Launches 2019-2020 Broadcast Season

ALLi Launches 2019-2020 Season of #AskALLi Broadcast Salons

After taking a break for the month of July, 2019, the #AskALLi broadcast salons are back for a new season. As ALLi Communications Manager Boni Wagner-Stafford tells us, there's a bunch that's new: new shows, new co-hosts, and a new sponsor for the 2019-2020 broadcast season.  The New 2019-2020 #AskALLi Broadcast Salons Lineup The new 2019/2020 #AskALLi broadcast salons lineup includes Facebook Live video and audio podcasts and reflect the two most notable trends in self-publishing: the rise in poetry as a commercial genre through self-publishing and trade publishing; and the rise in audio through both podcasting and audiobooks. Beginning in August 2019, today in fact, ALLi brings a weekly advice broadcast, each co-hosted by Orna Ross, in Facebook live ...
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