Change is the only constant here at the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). This week, we introduce a new team member, Holly Greenland, who is stepping into the role of Content and Communications Editor as part of our blog team changes, taking over from Sacha Black who moves into a more strategic role.
I'm thrilled today to welcome Holly Greenland to the ALLi organisation in the pivotal role of Content and Communications Editor, succeeding the brilliant Sacha Black at the helm of our Self-Publishing Advice Blog.
If Holly's name looks familiar, that’s because her research contributed to our recent Big Indie Author Data Drop. She has worked as a content and communications writer for almost two decades, in house at the BBC and UK Parliament, and as a freelancer for various charities and bodies… and of course, like all our team, is an experienced self-publisher. We’re delighted to welcome her aboard and she introduces herself more fully below.
The brilliant Sacha Black, who has been at the daily helm of the blog for the past four years, has worn many hats with flair and finesse over that time; continually raising the bar with her dedication, insights, and passion. As part of our blog team changes, she will transition into her new role as ALLi's Content and Communications Strategist, I know I speak for all of us when I say we are eager and excited to see where her vision will lead us next.
A new transition to lead us forward
This transition reflects ALLi's ongoing commitment to serving the indie author community with renewed zeal and fresh perspectives. You can look forward to continued excellence in content, seasoned with Holly's unique voice, perspective and wealth of experience. I'm confident that under her guidance, the blog will thrive and continue to be a beacon of information and inspiration.
In tandem, Sacha's new role as Content and Communications Strategist will empower us to expand and refine our offerings across the Self-Publishing Advice Centre, including our podcast, guidebooks, member handbooks, and ratings pages.
With her visionary approach, we're anticipating innovative strategies, fresh content angles, and even more valuable resources.
At the heart of these changes is you, our cherished indie author community. As the publishing landscape evolves, so too will ALLi, ensuring that we provide the authoritative information you need and championing the cause of independent authors everywhere.
Here's to new beginnings, continued growth, and an even brighter future for the Alliance of Independent Authors and our amazing authors, partners, and friends.
Holly Greenland delighted to take on the Self-Publishing Advice Blog
Holly Greenland is a content producer, communications strategy consultant, and indie author of fiction and non-fiction. Find out more about Holly on her website.
I’m delighted to be joining ALLi this summer to produce the Self-Publishing Advice Blog.
Self-publishing is booming, and I’m excited to be part of arming authors with the knowledge they need to self-publish successfully, spotlight the emerging challenges and opportunities we face, and celebrate the many successes of fellow ALLi members.
Alongside my new role, I am heading into my final year of a Publishing PhD at Kingston University. My research investigates how the work of indie authors continues to challenge the traditional publishing industry. I’m also aiming to build a profile of the successful self-published author, based on their shared characteristics, personality traits and behaviours. I’m most excited to discover what authors can learn from the results to increase their own chances of success. I shared some early results through ALLI at the Self-Publishing Show this year, and when I release more data, ALLi members will be among the first to know!
My self-publishing journey: from BBC to PhD
My own self-publishing journey began back at the beginning of my career, when I was producing campaigns and content at the BBC. The role gave me the opportunity not only to write and edit content, but then manage the full publishing process until the product was in my hands (or on our screens).
Each day I could produce anything from guidebooks and school packs to interactive games, short films or historical interpretation. Writing, editing, proofing, briefing creatives, collaborating with designers, managing suppliers, and coordinating marketing was all part of the job. Without realising it, I was becoming a one-person publishing house, and this was a role I continued to develop throughout my career.
When lockdown hit and I finally got around to finishing my murder mystery novel, I realised the skills I had built during my career had given me the knowledge to self-publish without the intervention of an agent or traditional publisher. To my surprise, I loved the process. I have since taken on a range of non-fiction commissions and self-published a middle-grade adventure book written with my son, which also began its life during those dark days of lockdown.
This positive experience, alongside meeting fascinating people across such an active and inspiring indie author community, led me to my PhD topic and the fantastic Publishing team at Kingston University. Studying again as a working parent is both terrifying and hugely satisfying – although with far fewer pot noodles and toasties this time around. I'd recommend it to anyone.
I have further tales (slowly…) in development for both of my series’, but for now my work behind the scenes of self-publishing, both at ALLi and for my studies, will keep me very busy.
What's next for the blog?
It's great to pick up the blog in such fantastic shape from Sacha and the team, and I'll be jumping straight in to production, continuing the regular topics and themes across the weeks. As I settle in, I'll also be looking to cover new areas and ideas based on what our members need.
I have a particular interest in how self-publishing can support inclusivity in terms of author voice, equal access to readers, and increasing the range of stories we share. This is something I’ll be looking to explore further through the blog at ALLi. If you have any thoughts on this, or in relation to another challenge, opportunity, process, or skill that you’d like to see covered in the blog, I’d love to hear from you. All ideas are welcome: [email protected]
Sacha Black moves to new strategic role at ALLi as part of our blog team changes
Working as the Blog Manager for the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) has been an incredible four-year journey filled with learning, growth, invaluable industry education and a fair few giggles along the way.
As I sit here writing this, I can't quite believe that it's been four years since I left my day job. I was a different person back then; a far more corporately injured, shell of a human. And now, thanks to a little healing and a lot of love from the ALLi team, I'm thriving both personally and professionally. So I really do have both ALLi and Orna to thank for so much of where I am.
I still remember the call I had with Orna when she offered me the role. I proceeded to squeal like a four-year-old, panic, cry, and flap my hands as I walked home from the school run with a bemused five-year-old in tow.
Reflecting on my time at ALLi so far
I wanted to share a few things I've appreciated about this journey.
First is bearing witness to the raw power of the indie community. This unique community truly is an ineffable force to be reckoned with. We are independent, free, masters of our own fate. It's both a privilege and a power that we harness the ability to react quickly, pivot, rise up to challenges and move with the changes in society rather than being restrained or restricted by other powers.
Second is the sheer kindness and generosity of this community. We are special. We do not stand by and harbour knowledge. We do not compete in Machiavellian ways. Those at the top hold their hands out to help lift those behind them up. That's special. It's powerful, and it's an honour to witness. ALLi is included in this. There's a huge amount of work and time that goes in behind the scenes; lobbying all the big services we use, the governments, and organisations. It's an honour to be part of that.
Third is that there is no good time to take a leap of faith. Just like having a kid or starting a business, there's no perfect moment. We can spend months waiting, learning, thinking. But unless we actually execute and get to the ‘doing', we'll always stay stationary. The problem is, we get comfortable, we get secure and safe, and none of those things lead to dreams. I made that mistake in my corporate life. I held on too long before I quit to work for myself. Which is exactly why I'm taking the leap to a new role, and shifting more focus to my own writing now, before I get comfortable.
Moving on at ALLi and focusing on my writing
Honestly, I think this move might be even more terrifying than quitting the day job because now, I am the safety net. That fills me with terror and delight in equal measure.
I've loved every moment of working with the team and our members on the blog, which is why I'm filled with a bitter sweetness to be moving on.
Thankfully, you can't get rid of me that easily! While I'm leaving one role, I'm remaining part of the team by taking on another. I am excited to move to the new position Orna introduced, as Content and Communications Strategist. Taking on this new challenge to look across our communications and content plans will help build our offer for the future. And taking it on in a reduced-time capacity means I can also focus on my own writing; the right balance for me.
I look forward to being able to contribute to and influence ALLi in positive ways for many years to come.