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The Self-Publishing Advice Blog: How to Self-Publish A Book

Welcome to ALLi’s Self-publishing Advice Center, a community outreach service from the Alliance of Independent Authors (“ALLi”, ally with an i), all about how to self-publish a book.  If you’re an indie author, we are your self-publishing ally. We have a daily blog, weekly podcast and lots of other services and guidance too. See below. How To Self-Publish A Book: The Seven Stages of Publishing Our blog is written by ALLi Members and offers daily advice across the seven processes of publishing. There’s also advice on making a living as an author and running an author business, as well as weekly news bulletin about all that’s happening in the indie author world. How To Self-Publish A Book: ...
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Journey To The Perfect Book Cover

Journey To The Perfect Book Cover

Getting a look at your first book cover is one of the most exciting parts of the publishing journey. It’s often the first time your book ‘feels’ real because you get to see it in a tangible way. But it’s also scary because we all want the perfect book cover for our book. ALLi prides itself on its approved partner directory and services vetted by our Watchdog Desk. Author member Helen Baggott tells us about her experience of finding the right designer for her cover. The Cover Concept I doubt I’m the only author to visualize their book’s cover before the first draft has been completed. In my imagination, it was a random montage of postcards, of the handwriting and cancelled ...
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Self-Publishing News: The Value of Libraries

Self-Publishing News: The Value of Libraries

ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway In this week’s Self-Publishing News, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway fills us in on the latest with big publishers changing their ebook terms for libraries while libraries offer new opportunities for indies, a look at what Libra means for indies, and new markets for audiobooks.  This has been one of those weeks when two parts of my life intersect that are otherwise separate. After a selection process that makes Kindle Scout look orderly and considered, Oxford has a new Professor of Poetry, Alice Oswald. This is also one of the few times poetry hits the mainstream media, and a good reminder that poetry is Ingram Spark’s bestselling genre! Ebooks in Libraries Photo by Ivo Rainha ...
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Book Marketing from a Standing Start as an Indie Author

Book Marketing from a Standing Start as an Indie Author

The longer you’re in an industry, the more knowledge and information you build.  It’s hard to remember those early days of no readers and single-sale days. But there’s a huge number of debut authors publishing every day. ALLi experience shows that it can take up to seven years for an indie author to earn a living from their books. Author member Alastair Crombie has just launched his first book and explains what book marketing from a standing start is like in the current market. Book Marketing From a Standing Start – The Beginning “I’m an author.” It’s taken me a long time to work towards saying that sentence. I know most authors will recognize the feeling. Over the five years I’ve been ...
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Inspirational Indie Authors: Steff Green Writes a Book About Bullying, Gothic Style

Inspirational Indie Authors: Steff Green Writes a Book About Bullying, Gothic Style

On today’s Inspirational Indie Authors interview, I talk to New Zealand author Steff Green. She’s a paranormal romance author, teaches self-publishing courses, and is also a children’s author who just Kickstarted a Gothic Picture Book. It’s a book about bullying called Only Freaks Turn Things Into Bones. Steff talks about how she was bullied as a child due to her blindness, which gave her a deep understanding of how a bullying victim feels. And, like the main character in the book, she was a Goth kid. Steff also discusses how she successfully launched a Kickstarter drive to fund the book. The New Zealander is a successful indie author with many interests and talents. Plus, she talk about her previous life as ...
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ALLi Launches the Indie Authors' Copyright Bill of Rights

ALLi Launches the Indie Authors’ Copyright Bill of Rights

Copyright law, policy, and practice is fundamental to an author’s ability to publish and trade in books, create successful author-businesses, and earn an income from their work. Thus, changes in copyright law are of deep concern to the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). Independent authors are both writers and publishers, actively managing their own publishing rights. Indie authors need to understand the importance of copyright and how to assert their rights in the digital age. And those in the broader publishing industry, policy makers and lawmakers need to consider the unique needs, perspective, and environment of the independent author as they refresh, update, or create new copyright policies and laws.   Helping the broader community — as well as the indie ...
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Self-Publishing Solutions to Low Author Earnings

Self-Publishing Solutions to Low Author Earnings: ALLi Members Respond

Another month, another report about poverty-level author earnings, this time from the UK parliament’s All Party Writers Group (APWG). ALLi Director Orna Ross made a deposition to the parliamentary group’s hearings, and ALLi is cited as a source in the report, but none of our organization’s self-publishing solutions to low author earnings were included. There is no analysis of the impact of self-publishing on author earnings in the report.  Boni Wagner-Stafford, ALLi’s communications manager, shares some responses and ideas from ALLi’s private member forum [with permission], including thoughts from ALLi advisor Jane Friedman who has previously questioned the rationale behind the framing of such reports Boni Wagner-Stafford, ALLi Communications Manager Authors, advisors and the team at the Alliance of Independent Authors are puzzled ...
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A New Book Blurb Could Revolutionize Your Sales

A New Book Blurb Could Revolutionize Your Sales

First impressions matter, both in person and for selling books. But when you’ve finished your 70,000-word fiction masterpiece, the prospect of condensing it into a 150-word blurb is overwhelming enough without also needing a one-line tag to catch a reader’s eye. Partner member Adam Croft explains how to create a new book blurb or hook that could earn you thousands in additional sales. One of the main advantages of being an indie author is being able to be flexible and adaptable. We can make small, immediate changes and alter entire strategies by turning on a sixpence. But what if I told you the most powerful change you can make is free and will take less than an hour? It’s generally ...
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Ten Business Models for Indie Authors

Ten Business Models for Indie Authors

This post outlines the ten business models for indie authors that are working right now, those most widely used by members of the Alliance of Independent AuthorsThe first four of these business models for indie authors are those most typically employed in the first few years of the self-publishing journey. Models five through ten are employed by more established authors, once they have amassed a following and have a high-traffic author website. All indie authors should have a transactional website: not just a brochure site that shows books but a shop where readers can buy books and other products. Our Self-Publishing 3.0 Campaign explains the opportunities and encourages readers to buy direct from authors. Traditionally only a few authors, writing in ...
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Self-Publishing News: Author Earnings (Again)

Self-Publishing News: Author Earnings (Again)

ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway In this week’s Self-Publishing News, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway fills us in on the latest with UK Government’s report into Author Earnings, Indie Bookshop Week, the enormous potential for ebook growth across Africa, and a mixed week for Amazon initiatives.  At the weekend a writer friend of mine asked a really interesting question. Would there ever be a level of opportunity for indies like we saw in the early years of Kindle? Would we, specifically see author earnings for indies reach those levels? Obviously we could fill a book with answers, but it made me think. Maybe the big opportunity we have now lies not in new technology but in new markets. That’s certainly ...
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7 Ways You Can Make More Money from Your Book

7 Ways You Can Make More Money from Your Book

It takes so much time and effort to become an indie author. Now, how about a little ROI? Truth is, now that you’ve crystallized your ideas into book form, there are multiple ways to spin your book into gold — aka make more money from your book — by exploring different formats and unique paths to market. In this post, Leslie Lam Miller has seven suggestions to help you do just that. From professional audio to guided journals to keynotes, repurposing your content to suit the needs and wants of different readers is a terrific way to build on a strong foundation to increase your book’s reach and revenue. Yes, I’m talking about ways to make more money from your ...
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Inspirational Indie Authors: Yvonne Caputo Rediscovers Her Father Through World War II Stories

Inspirational Indie Authors: Yvonne Caputo Rediscovers Her Father Through World War II Stories

Not everybody agrees with me on this, but I think the best use of indie publishing is to tell true stories that otherwise simply would not be published, and World War II stories are a perfect example. It is important now to make sure these firsthand stories are told before they are lost forever. Legacy publishers are not necessarily interested in them, but each World War II story is unique in their own way. Each individual had his or her own private war. Today’s guest, Yvonne Caputo, told her father’s World War II stories, but also the tale of how the telling, itself, brought father and daughter together. The result was her book,  Flying with Dad: A Daughter, A Father, and ...
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What is the Best Way to Brand a Self-Help Series? Other Questions Answered: AskALLi Member's Q&A with Orna Ross and Michael La Ronn

What is the Best Way to Brand a Self-Help Series? Other Questions Answered: AskALLi Member’s Q&A with Orna Ross and Michael La Ronn

Welcome to AskALLi, the Self-Publishing Advice Podcast from the Alliance of Independent Authors. This week it’s our monthly Member Q&A where ALLi Members’ have their most pressing self-publishing questions analyzed and answered. Join your regular hosts for the Member Q&A: Michael La Ronn and Orna Ross, where they discuss how to brand a self-help series, among other topics. Questions this month include:
  • What are the best and ethical methods to do a giveaway without using Goodreads or Amazon giveaways?
  • If I’ve self-published my business advice book but want to submit it to a publisher, do I still need to write a book proposal?
  • What is the best way to brand a nonfiction self-help series?
And more! Highlights Orna ...
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Switching from MailChimp to MailerLite for Budget-Conscious Indie Authors

Switching from MailChimp to MailerLite for Budget-Conscious Indie Authors

Mailing lists are the bread and butter of indie author marketing. With the recent changes at Mailchimp, the prospect of paying extra fees may lead you to consider switching providers. ALLi author member Rachel McCollin talks about switching from MailChimp to MailerLite for budget-conscious indie authors. Rachel McCollin. If you’re running a WordPress author website and you’ve connected it to MailChimp, recent changes at the mail-service-provider-turned-marketing-company likely mean you’re facing a price increase. If that’s the case, what should you do? I’ll try and steer you through the maze. I’ll give you tips on whether the time is right to make the switch, and if so, I’ll show you how. I’m going to look at:
Indie author tips for Amazon KDP

7 Game-Changing Tips for KDP Authors

One of the highlights of my day is learning something useful from the indie author community, and passing that along to other authors. With that in mind, here are seven of my favorite tips that permanently changed the way I publish on Amazon’s KDP. 1. You can place multiple phrases in each keyword field. The way Amazon handles keywords has changed over the years. Most authors look at the seven fields that KDP provides for keywords and assign one phrase to each slot, as CreateSpace required: serial killer
llama protagonist
animal detective
police procedural
murder mystery
international manhunt
peru That’s a wasted opportunity. Amazon’s search algorithms will now match any of the words you enter, in any order, even across ...
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Indie Authors Set Paperback Prices

How Indie Authors Set Paperback Prices

Recently on the private ALLi Member Facebook Forum there’ve been a couple of active comment threads with questions about how indie authors set paperback prices. Here’s a compilation of the responses so you can see for yourself what some of the options are for pricing your own books.  How do I set paperback prices for my books? Is there a magic formula? This question, or a version of it, was posed by two different author members recently. Of course how one indie author answers that question might differ from another. Do you set it based on what profit margin you want? What other books in the genre are selling? Do you close your eyes and blindly choose a random price? ...
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Self-Publishing News: Barnes and Noble Finds a Buyer

Self-Publishing News: Barnes and Noble Finds a Buyer

ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway In this week’s Self-Publishing News, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway fills us in on the latest with Barnes and Noble, awards for indie authors, Twitter and books — and blockchain is back in the conversation too.  This weekend I finally made it out racing on the trails for the first time this year. I have been injured for several months and, although I now hurt in ways I didn’t think possible, I feel fabulous. Running long distances on steep hills makes me feel like being a writer makes me feel. It’s incredibly difficult, and frustrating, but a place I feel truly at home. Barnes and Noble Finds a Buyer The travails of Barnes and Noble ...
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Indie Author Blog Tour

Why Do an Indie Author Blog Tour

In an ever-changing industry, lots of marketing tactics go in and out of fashion more often than I have hot dinners. But sometimes marketing isn’t about generating sales, but growing awareness and building an audience. ALLi author member and children’s book author Sue Wickstead explains why you should do an indie author  blog tour. Children’s book author Sue Wickstead Since November 2018, I have experienced two indie author blog tours and a blog blitz and enjoyed the experience immensely. I appreciated all the hard work that went into it. It’s not all about making sales, but of course we all hope for that. The reviews and feedback are just as valuable as sales. Plus I’ve loved the experience and appreciated all ...
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Inspirational Indie Authors: Frankie Picasso Paints a Picture of an Immigrant Success Story

Inspirational Indie Authors: Frankie Picasso Paints a Picture of an Immigrant Success Story

Today, I’m happy to feature an immigrant success story. I interviewed Frankie Picasso, an author who released a book called For Want of 40 Pounds: From Persecution to Perseverance, What Would You do For Freedom? It’s the story about her father, the patriarch of her family, who escaped the Holocaust and then went on to become a successful immigrant and entrepreneur. Frankie says the book is about “resilience. independence, freedom, courage. It’s about being an immigrant, an entrepreneur, his rise and fall and rise again. It’s about love and family.” I think it touches upon many reasons people self-publish. Often it’s to preserve family memories before they’re lost forever. And it’s the kind of book that a mainstream publisher might ...
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How to be a productive writer

How to Be a Productive Writer and Publisher: AskALLi Self-Publishing Fiction and Nonfiction Podcast with Orna Ross and Dan Blank

ALLi Director Orna Ross and Author Dan Blank survey seven ways to be a productive writer so you can write and sell more books. Expect lots of research-based advice about how best to prepare body and mind, setting daily priorities, Block out time and shut out distractions. Plus: ways to map and log your progress and give yourself rewards. Here are some highlights: Orna on Surrounding Yourself with Support Surround yourself with other people who get it, who understand what you’re trying to do. It’s hard to do this stuff in complete isolation. It really does help to have a supportive group around you who get it, who understand and who are there to pick you up when you fall ...
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How to Organise a Book Signing Event

How to Organise a Book Signing Event

When we first start writing, many of us dream of having a book signing event. We also cower at the prospect of having to talk to ‘real people.’ But for the most part, meeting readers is what we want. Organizing and delivering a book signing day can be daunting. ALLi Author member Eileen Omosa, from Africa now living in Canada, explains how to organize a book signing day. How long should it take to launch your book after publication? You might think it’s immediate, but it took me close to three years. I’ve written this article to help shorten the time it will take you. On May the 11th, 2019, I was at the Coles Southgate store in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada promoting ...
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