skip to Main Content
New Horizons For Our Blog Editor And Self-Publishing Advice Center Manager Debbie Young

New Horizons for Our Blog Editor and Self-Publishing Advice Center Manager Debbie Young

Orna Ross Director Alliance of Independent Authors

Orna Ross pays tribute to Debbie Young

ALLi Self-Publishing Advice Center Manager Debbie Young is leaving to become a full-time author-publisher. Director Orna Ross pays tribute to her work for ALLi with a fond farewell.

When the Alliance of Independent Authors was a few months old, it was clear that we needed a daily blog to tease out all the issues that arise for self-publishers. And so we were in need of a blog editor.

Philip and I had planned a break in the west country and, operating on the kind of feeling some people call a whim, I arranged to meet one of our most active members while I was down there, with the idea in the back of my mind that she might just be the person for the job.

Debbie Young with her books in bookstore with Waterstones brand clearly visible

Debbie Young speaking at Ness Book Fest 2018 in the Inverness, Scotland branch of Waterstones

Acting on such intuition has always yielded the best possible outcomes and so it was here. Debbie Young responded enthusiastically, invited me to meet the lovely literary people who worked where she then worked, the children’s reading charity, Read For Good, and we had a delightful lunch discussing all things indie.

Within a few weeks, she had joined us, taking a bet on what was then a very fledgling organization. Since then Debbie has, as you all know, run the self-publishing center and moderated the author forum with dedication and aplomb, but she has been so much to ALLi, and to me, than a fantastic editor, moderator and manager.

From the very start, she “got” ALLi, its unusual mix of community and campaigning, its push for ethics and excellence in self-publishing. Together with Dan Holloway, she penned one of our core titles Opening Up to Indie Authors, followed later by How To Get Your Books Into Bookstores. Her wise counsel and super-smart leadership leaked into every corner of the organization, and has been an incredible support.

Photo of Debbie and Orna having a laugh over lunch together

Debbie and me, still having fun six years on at this year's London Book Fair (Photo by Sue Wickstead)

She was also great fun, unfailingly positive, and a nifty problem solver. Whenever we would hit a dastardly dilemma, we'd find ourselves saying “Let's ask Debbie.” She quickly became a dear friend and well as an outstanding colleague.

If all this sounds very elegiac, and you’re getting worried that she might be leaving us forever, no. Debbie will still be an active ALLi member and volunteer, continuing as ALLi's UK Ambassador and Advisor. She has also kindly said I can still call on her when I hit one of those dastardly dilemmas. But yes, as you have read in the introduction, she is stepping away from the daily responsibilities of running our busy blog and moderating our busiest forum.

This represents a step up for her, as she will be taking up her dream job (a dream I know many of you share). From May 1st, Debbie will work full-time as an author-publisher, growing her super-successful cozy mystery series, launching a new series and expanding into new territories.

Future Plans for the ALLi Blog

Sacha Black

Sacha Black will manage the blog in partnership with Boni Wagner-Stafford, our Communications Manager

photo of Boni Wagner-Stafford, author coach

Boni Wagner-Stafford

The blog and advice center will now be managed by Sacha Black, who did such an amazing job on our last Self-publishing Conference, together with Communications Manager Boni Wagner-Stafford.

And as I said, Debbie will still be around, continuing to shower us with her unique brand of wit and wisdom.

I will forever bless the day that she and I met at that restaurant in Stroud and all the days we’ve worked together since. And I know you’ll join me in wishing her a super-successful career as an authorpreneur.


As @DebbieYoungBN leaves her role as our blog editor, @OrnaRoss pays a fond tribute. Debbie will still be part of ALLi as UK Ambassador and advisor. Share on X

From the ALLi Author Advice Center Archive

Author: Orna Ross

Orna Ross is a bestselling and award-winning author of historical fiction and inspirational poetry, and a creativity facilitator. As founder-director of the Alliance of Independent Authors, she has been named one of The Bookseller’s Top 100 people in publishing. 


This Post Has 10 Comments
  1. Debbie,
    That’s a bit sad, saying goodbye—then again, there’s a time for everything.
    It’s grand—spreading your own wings further.
    Thank you for all your input and insight!
    And welcome to Sacha Black!

  2. Oh Debbie,
    as a writer I’m very very sorry to let you go. As a reader I, greedily, think… I’ll be reading more of Sophie and all your new characters and books to come.
    Gosh, it’s such an important moment in an author’s life, wish you all the best!

    (and to be able to follow your steps, one day)

  3. Debbie, I’ve only been a member of ALLi for a few months, but I’ve already gotten to know your name, expertise and personality from your posts. Thank you for the wisdom and encouragement you have shared here!

  4. So pleased that you are going to realise your dream. With your drive and energy you will do well. Thank you for all the help over the past few months.

  5. Debbie, I always look for your response to posts seeking answers, as you always have the answers! Being a first time author, I selfishly hate to see you go, but I am excited you now have the opportunity to put the time into your writing. I don’t even have to wish you good luck—I know you will have a wide readership. Thank you for taking the time to respond to us newbies and to help us find our way on this exciting writing/publishing path. I look forward to hearing more about you in the publications world.
    Martha Louise

  6. Congratulations! You’ve paved the way for so many and I’m delighted for you in this next exciting step in your publishing travels! Thanks for all you’ve done…and do.

  7. Oh, Debbie. So sorry to see you go! But then you’re not going far, so your friendly face will still be popping up in Indie author circles. Good luck on your exciting road ahead. Great for you to be able to fully focus on your own writing life! Enjoy!

  8. Congratulations Debbie, I’m so happy for you, and so proud of you – how brilliant (but not surprising) that you can write full-time! You will be very much missed though! xx

  9. Well done Debbie, for helping to lead ALLi through its first few years! You’ve been a great presence on the blog and the FB group. I’m sure Sacha and Boni will grab the baton and run hard with it, but we’ll miss you.

    On the other hand, I’m really happy to know your writing is doing so well that you can go full-time. It doesn’t surprise me. I look forward to seeing how your career develops.

  10. Thank you so much, Orna, for that generous and touching tribute. I have had a wonderful time working for ALLi, and I would not be where I am now without the practical advice, moral support and confidence that I have gained from being a part of this unique and invaluable group of indie authors. (It’s not for nothing that my first novel was dedicated to Orna!) It has been a joy to work with Orna and the rest of the core team, and also to befriend so many wonderful indie authors all over the world, all fellow members of ALLi. I will be proud to continue as ALLi’s UK Ambassador – while finally having time, at last, to be what I always wanted to be when I grew up: a full-time writer! And, thanks to ALLi and the indie movement, there has never been a better time to be one. Go, indies! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest advice, news, ratings, tools and trends.

Back To Top
×Close search