Your Self-Publishing Questions answered by Joanna Penn and Orna Ross
Each 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 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:
- Making your book
- Selling your book
- 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).
- Our 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
Joanna 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.
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
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.
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?
Orna 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?
- How to use CreateSpace and Ingram Spark Together by Karen Myers
- Book Production: More Tips on Using CreateSpace and Ingram Spark Together by Jen Lang
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:
- An online version of the Partner Member Directory is available here.
- ALLi Members can download a PDF version of the Partner Member Directory here (log in required)
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.
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 @
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