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Choosing A Self-Publishing Service. The Alliance Of Independent Authors (ALLi) Guide.

Choosing A Self-Publishing Service. The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) Guide.

ALLi's new self-publishing handbook


BUY in our shop HERE

Also available on Amazon

FREE to ALLi members (access by logging into member area on main ALLi Website)


There are sharks out there in the literary waters… This guide gives you the skills and information you need to comparison shop — and if you are planning on successfully self-publishing, comparison shopping is essential.” ~ Victoria Strauss (Writer Beware!)


Compiled by the Watchdog team at The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), this bang up-to-date guide tells you all you need to know in order to choose the self-publishing pathway that's right for you.

Drawing on recommendations from ALLi members, warnings from our Watchdog Services, other community word-of-mouth, and in-depth research, the book compares twenty of the most significant SP service providers — from single service suppliers to package providers; from large big brand names to smaller sole traders; from off-the shelf providers to bespoke services.

We evaluate these players, compare one to the other, tell you what they do and don’t do, what they charge and for what. Offerings are categorised, prices examined, royalty structures broken down, terms and conditions trawled, small print scrutinised, and claims checked against the experience of real-life authors who have actually used these services.

The process shows you how to do such a comparison yourself: the good and bad signs to look for, the questions to ask. The aim is to demonstrate all the options you are likely to encounter and show which services are doing a good job — and why you might avoid others.

Most importantly, in a landscape where things change rapidly, the Guide provides the criteria by which you can evaluate any SP service.

This book:
~ Defines the questions you, as an aspiring (or previously burnt) self-publisher need to ask, of any service you are considering and also of yourself.
~ Introduces the basics of self-publishing ebooks and pbooks
~ Tells you the questions to ask and the good and bad signs to look for
~ Gives each provider a rating by two different independent assessors.
~ Offers a resource pack for the indie author, including a Directory of our Partner Members, all vetted by ALLi's Code of Standards.
~ Demonstrates eight very different pathways to self-publication, including author co-operatives, crowdsourcing and agent assisted self-publishing.

This organic guide to a volatile industry is updated every twenty weeks or so, in both p-book and e-book formats, by ALLi's Watchdog team, so all the information is bang up-to-date.

It provides everything you need to know to harness the creative power and potential of self-publishing.


Choosing A Self Publishing ServiceGet your copy HERE or on Amazon HERE



This Post Has 15 Comments
  1. This the book I needed five years ago. So glad it is out now though. It’s a must for both established and new authors. Packed to the gunnels with things I wished I known but thanks to this book, I do now 🙂

  2. This invaluable guide reflects the aims and values of the Alliance of Independent Authors. Written with fairness and firmness and recommending that you take your business elsewhere whenever you meet with sharp practices and false promises, it is a reassuring and informative read. It covers advice on whether to take the self-publishing route and how to understand the terms and processes of bringing your book to the public. A large section is devoted to an analysis of twenty service-providers: this pulls no punches and is worth the price of the book alone. It will also be updated regularly, which is an excellent idea. You can read it straight through or dip into it as and when you need to. I recommend it very highly.

  3. As an indie author, it’s so hard to get information all in one place. I was delighted when the Alliance of Independent Authors (of which I am a member) released ‘Choosing A Self-Publishing Service.’ I had to do without this practical advice when I started publishing and I wish I had this kind of help at hand. The book covers Editing to Formatting, to everything else in between. By having this advice to hand, and by the alliance comparing companies’ costs for you, it takes the hassle and legwork out of the process, leaving you more time to concentrate on writing.

    I will be blogging about this book on my site. Given the amount of experienced people that have contributed to the book, writers would be hard pressed to find something better.

  4. This is an outstanding book and a showcase for the expertise on offer to members of the Alliance of Independent Authors (of which I am one). I wish this book was available when I first started. This is my review from Amazon.co.uk:

    As well as writing the best book that you can, there are so many other hats an independent author has to wear – from editing to book design, formatting and production, the list goes on and on. It could take you months of research to find the answers to all the questions that an independent author might have – when it is all contained in this handy guide.

    Self-publishing is a rapidly changing industry and there are companies out there who are taking advantage of that by offering services to authors, charging them a fortune, often for work that you could have done yourself. This guide compares and rates companies that offer author services so that you don’t have to.’

  5. I just got it from Amazon. It’s an important, needed and useful book — but needs more editing.

    The mix of American prices plus British spelling and vocabulary is disconcerting.

    This section on copy editing needs editing. It mixes British and American money in one sentence: “Professional Copy Editing: Down payment is £ 210, and then $ 0.014 per word, paid in advance.”

    In this sentence, I assume someone neglected to remove the “x” after 2000. “Promotional Materials, such as 2000x bookmarks . . . .”

    This definition is useless: “Manuscript Evaluation: A review of your manuscript.”

    The definition of Offset Printing says: “Common printing technology that applies layers one at a time.” What’s a “layer?”

    The definition of proof says: “An electronic copy of the book galley or cover submitted to the author for review.” A proof may be on paper, not electronic. A galley may _be_ the proof. Proofs are often submitted to several people — such as a proofreader — not just the author.

    The definition of discount says: “In the context of a publishing agreement with a bricks-and-mortar bookstore . . . . ” It also applies to online booksellers.

    “Copy Editing” is also spelled as “copyediting.”

    “Ingrams” should be “Ingram.”

    The book mixes “e-book,” “eBook” and “ebook.”

    The discussion about MS Word is missing a period after the second sentence and says: “Word does not generally convert well into ebook platforms, the formatting often goes awry, and is not accepted by most . . . .” Word works fine with Amazon KDP.

    The book says: “The Mobipocket ebook format is another cross-platform, open standard format, and is the favoured format for Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).” I’m not an expert on formats, but I’m pretty sure that mobi was used for the first Kindle but later models use other formats.

    Americans are familiar with Suggested Retail Price (SRP). Brits know Recommended Retail Price (RRP), but this book uses both Suggested and Recommended. It also uses SRP to mean Set Retail Price (but not all of the time).

    AuthorHouse and some other SP prices are shown in pounds, but iUniverse and some other SP prices are in dollars.

    This sentence mixes both: “Books prices are set by Xlibris at a standard of £ 19.99. If an author wishes to set their own price, they can buy the ‘Set Your Own Price’ package, costing $ 249.”

    Commas in 4-digit numbers are inconsistent.

    Be aware that “blurb” has different meanings east and west of the Atlantic.

    I admit that I am imperfect, and am probably more of a nitpicker than most readers, but these problems could have and should have been taken care of before publication. Books about publishing must be produced with _great_ care. I should not encounter both “program” and “programme.”

    I know that it’s difficult to create a cohesive collaborative effort, but a book like this needs an editorial “style” that all contributors will follow — and a copyeditor who will enforce the rules and fix the violations.

    You can’t simply copy a piece of text from one side of the Atlantic and paste it on the other side.

    The mix of British and American prices makes the book much harder to use. Readers in London, England and New London, USA, should not have to have calculators handy while reading.

    A book like this should either include pricing for both sides of the big pond, or be published in multiple editions.

    You taught me a new word: “notionally.” Thanks.

    Michael N. Marcus

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