As an author member of the Alliance of Independent Authors (known as ALLi, pronounced like the word “ally”), you’ve self-published at least your first book and are looking to hone your skills, perhaps building your author business and author brand. How sure are you that you’re getting the most out of your ALLi author membership and that you know about all the resources available here? ALLi Communications Manager Boni Wagner-Stafford offers some insight.
The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) continues our growth and expansion across the world with the announcement of our Organization Membership and our expanded Ambassador Program. Both programs will be run by ALLi’s Outreach Manager, Michael La Ronn. These programs are run as part of ALLi’s ongoing Open Up to Indie Authors Campaign. This is the Alliance of Independent Authors’ Organization Membership.
Alliance of Independent Authors: Organization Membership
ALLi’s membership currently consists of associate, author, authorpreneur, and partner memberships. We continue providing our myriad benefits for those individual author memberships. Authors are, and always have been, ALLi’s core cohort and this new program does not change that.
A number of authors have contacted us over the years expressing interest in how ALLi can help the different writing associations and organizations they belong to. And we have also been approached many times by local and genre author organizations that have independent authors within their ranks, for assistance in how they might serve their self-publishing needs.
This new organization membership is designed to meet these needs.
Both the Organization Membership and Ambassador Programs will be run by ALLi’s Outreach Manager, Michael La Ronn, who will be responsible for driving new membership and also finding new ways for ALLi to support the self-publishing community.
In too many organizations around the world, self-published authors continue to be excluded. Given
Self-Publishing 3.0, independent authors are rapidly expanding their reach, building strong micro-publishing businesses across a variety of formats, territories, and publishing platforms. This diversification is advantageous to all authors, removing the need for exclusive arrangements with any single trade publisher, or any single self-publishing service.
This trend is delivering increased income and influence for far greater numbers, and a far greater diversity of authors, than was allowed by the closed publishing systems of the last century. Furthermore, successful independent authors (also known as authorpreneurs) have many strengths that can benefit and help grow existing author organizations.
While becoming more inclusive undoubtedly raises questions about how to handle quality control and other issues, ALLi contends that self-publishing authors should no longer be excluded from any author organization. The publishing landscape has changed, irrevocably, and practices must change accordingly.
ALLi is pleased to offer this partnership to fellow and sister writing organizations who align with our mission of ethics and excellence in author-publishing–and who want to empower independent authors to make better books and reach more readers.
We believe that a rising tide lifts all boats—when organizations do well, so do their members, and so does the indie community–and vice versa–and we want to partner with affiliated organization to integrate indie authors into local, national, genre and other special interest organizations.
Author organizations generally take one of the four following approaches to membership applications from indie authors:
- To decline membership unless the author is trade-published
- To offer membership only to those indies who can prove sales over a certain quantity (sometimes in specific formats only, e.g. paperback but not ebook or audio)
- To offer a reduced version of membership to indie authors e.g. non-voting associate
- To welcome authors who support their organization however their books are published
“It makes no sense for author champions to ignore or denigrate a movement that is empowering so many authors,” says ALLi director Orna Ross. “ALLi’s Open up to Indie Authors campaign offers best practice advice to literary enterprises and organizations on how to include self-publishing authors and books in their projects and programs. No organizations are more important in this regard than the author organizations and we are very pleased to partner together with aligned organizations.”
While it does require a significant change to principles and practices, evidence shows that author organizations who have already opened up these realities and included indie authors in their membership have found it a positive experience for all parties, helping to sustain and future-proof the organization, while fostering a more diverse and inclusive membership.
Opening up to Indie Authors: The Challenges
Nonetheless, there are challenges to overcome. Firstly, self-publishing is a complex, diverse, multi-faceted sector that, contrary to many outsiders’ beliefs, extends far beyond e-book publishing on kindle. Keeping up with the changes in this fast-paced, global, publishing movement can be daunting to those who have no practical experience of author-publishing.
Secondly, quality control issues loom large in the mind of many organizations. The existence of so many books which are not published to professional standards can be a deterrent to blanket acceptance for organizations–but ALLi has a number of recommendations for evolving the admissions process which can be found in our book, Empowering Independent Author Publishers: A Guide for Author Associations and Organizations.
“Author organizations can increase their fee income by accepting self-published members,” says Michael La Ronn. “But they need to be able to provide access to quality information about self-publishing to their members, and they also need to serve their members with the latest trends and developments. Becoming an organization member of ALLi will make this easy.”
At ALLi, we believe that it is in the best interests not just of individual authors but of the author organizations themselves, to move to the more inclusive fourth option above, and open up to indie authors.
If you belong to a writing organization that feels like a fit, ALLi would love to hear from you.
What Is an ALLi Organization Member?
An Organization Partner of ALLi is a national, local, genre or special interest author organization that aligns with ALLi’s advocacy for ethics and excellence in self-publishing and believes in the power of collaboration and co-operation.
We developed the new organization membership at ALLi as a way to partner with such organizations and empower them to meet the needs of their self-publishing members.
Membership offers organizations access to ALLi’s specialized self-publishing industry expertise through the following benefits:
- A downloadable digital handbook Supporting Independent Author-Publishers: A Guide for Writer’s Associations and Organizations.
- ALLi’s quarterly periodicals: our member magazine The Indie Author to keep members up to date with the fast-changing world of author-publishing (published three times a year), and our partner member directory of self-publishing services, from freelance editors and designers to large, multi-service companies, all vetted and approved by ALLi. (published in January each year and updated online quarterly).
- An affiliate program where the organization is rewarded if any of its members join ALLi (30% off the first year’s subscription).
- Access to ALLi’s Author Member Forum for a representative of the organization
- Concierge service with ALLi’s Outreach Manager for any urgent issues that may come up with its members.
- Infusion of creative, bold, and innovative ideas and energy from its self-publishing members that the organization can use to adapt to today’s digital publishing landscape.
To support our global outreach to organization partners, we are also expanding our Ambassador Program. Ambassadors are the link on the ground that further co-operation between ALLi and local, national and genre organizations, government bodies, awards and prize bodies and the creative industry sector.
We are seeking volunteers for the ALLi ambassador program.
- Are you an ALLi member?
- Has ALLi made a difference to your self-publishing business?
- Do you live in Australia, Canada and Commonwealth, EU, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom, or the United States?
If so, then you’re a perfect ALLi Ambassador candidate!
The ideal Ambassador is one who can speak to the value that ALLi offers in the publishing community and who wants to advocate for the interests of indie authors withing the publishing and creative industries.
Our Ambassador Program is not time-intensive nor does it require a lot of work. You’ll partner with Michael La Ronn to develop a quick and easy plan to weave ALLi’s message into your everyday interactions with writers and influencers.
Ambassadors can also take advantage of 30% affiliate commissions,
If you would like to apply to be an Ambassador, reach out to Michael La Ronn for more information.