Each month, Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn and Orna Ross, ALLi Director, answer ALLi Members’ self-publishing questions. If you missed our live Q&A session you can catch up with the video, listen to the podcast or read a summary of this month’s questions and answers below.
Orna and Joanna always begin the Ask ALLi discussion by sharing updates about their own creative work and challenges, before moving onto the members’ questions.
Orna is working on her Go Creative! series and books and ALLi is coming out of their teaching phase to let authors focus on their writing and selling books over the festive season.
ALLi Member updates: Ingram Spark is compiling a catalogue which is going into all the UK bookstores in January. Any Professional ALLi Member who wants to be included in this catalogue should drop Orna an email. This is a milestone event for our Opening Up to Indie Authors Campaign, and you'll see and hear more info about this ALLi campaign in 2017.
Joanna was away recently in the States and then Israel, and used that time to think about getting serious about Print and setting up her own imprint. Her thriller novel “End of Days” is currently with her editor. It's on pre-order on Amazon at the moment and will be available January 31st.
December Ask ALLi Author Q&A
Watch the You Tube video to find out the answers to the self-publishing questions that were raised at this month’s Ask ALLi Author Q&A, or listen to the podcast here:
Listen to the Ask ALLi podcast
Subscribe to our Ask ALLi podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud of via our RSS feed:
Ask ALLi Questions
Here’s a recap of the Questions and a brief summary of the responses. To hear the answers in full, watch or listen above. A caveat worth mentioning – the real meat of this month's Ask ALLi was the conversations between Joanna and Orna that were tangents from the Member questions.
Make sure you take the time to listen to the entire podcast (or watch the video) so you don't miss out on the potential nuggets that could positively impact your writing or self-publishing activities.
How do you assert copyright if you're intending to self-publish under a pseudonym? And how does this pseudonym link back to the real-life person?
Copyright can go into the pseudonym or real name. It's a writer's right. You just decide how little or how much you want to use your pseudonym. But … if you commit liable or any other legal offence under your pseudonym, you are on the hook for it.
How can you benefit from Foreign Rights requests but protect yourself from potential scams?
This is one of the strengths of an organisation like the Alliance of Independent Author's. We're able to look into companies on your behalf and determine whether the company contacting you is legitimate.
Don't sign anything unless you fully understand the ramifications of your decision.
It's better to let an opportunity pass you by, than risk signing a contract you don't understand. Orna
If you are an ALLi member you can ask us for self-publishing and rights help or assistance, and you can also check out our book How Authors Sell Publishing Rights that gives you a useful overview of rights management.
I'm close to publishing my first novel. I'm confused about the ISBN, what pricing should I ask my designer to put on my book's cover?
Don't worry too much about printing pricing on your books. If you're just starting out and printing via POD, you're more likely to be selling online than in bookstores.
Note: this discussion went down a technology rabbit hole that is relevant to any indie author who self-publishes. (start listening at 31:06 to take the journey) – when was the last time you checked the validity of your old ebook source files?
Be a consumer of your own work. Orna
If I'm publishing via Amazon for Kindle, can I also publish via other services like Ingram Spark and Lulu?
Our ALLi guidebook How to Choose a Self-Publishing Service will give you a full view of the distributor and direct networks, and gives you tips on how to choose the services that is right for you. This guidebook is free to ALLi members, and available to others at your favourite online ebook seller.
Our ALLi Watchdog John Doppler also recently published the ALLi Service Ratings page here on the blog. If you have personal experiences with any of these service providers, don't hesitate to get in touch and let us know about your interactions with them – good or bad. Why not give this new page a spin by checking out the ALLi rating for Kindle, Ingram Spark and Lulu?
I'm having trouble getting PR opportunities for my books. How can I find a publicist?
Publicists are primarily useful if your books are in bookstores, but when you're releasing ebooks a good content marketing strategy is more beneficial than a publicist.
If you have written a non-fiction book, create a workbook. Joanna (on the surface this may seem like a conversation tangent, but listen to the full broadcast to hear the seamless transition from PR to workbooks!)
Listen to Orna and Joanna as they provide updates on the exciting activities planned for their author brands for 2017. There are also continual updates to existing ALLi guidebooks and plans to create new self-publishing ALLi tools throughout the year. Time waits for no … indie author.
Where can I watch or listen to more Ask ALLi?
- You can catch up on all of our videos on ALLi’s YouTube Channel
- You can listen to all of our podcast recordings at ALLi’s SoundCloud Channel
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.
Meet the Ask ALLi Hosts
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 @
She also publishes poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and is greatly excited by the democratising, empowering potential of author-publishing.
Connect with Orna on Twitter @