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ALLi’s Ultimate Guide To Indie Author Resources For 2021

ALLi’s Ultimate Guide to Indie Author Resources for 2021

As the Alliance of Independent Authors has grown, so has its resources. Thousands of blog posts, hundreds of podcast episodes and 20+ books, guides, campaign documents and more.  Some of these are member only, and all ALLi members can download all of our ebooks, in the member zone. Others are open to non-members or for sales in the ALLi bookstore. Here is ALLi's ultimate guide to indie author resources 2021.

Member-Only Services

While we offer a number of services like this blog and the podcasts to the general public, there are some ALLi member specific benefits. These include but aren't limited to:

  • Member-only services search.  Search out the perfect vetted and approved team for your next book. ALLi Partners include everyone from Amazon KDP to local freelancers.
  • Discounts and deals for a number of different services across marketing, publishing, production, formatting, design, software and more.
  • Private, member only forum.
  • A global network of advisors to come to your aid via Facebook, or email.
  • We’re not lawyers, but we do offer our members general legal, contractual, and business advice, downloadable agreement templates and annotated contracts, and a contract checking service.
  • A rights desk, rights reachout service, and dedicated literary agent focus on helping our qualifying members to selectively license and sell their translation, TV, film and other rights.
  • Member only magazine and more.

Note: all members services require log in.

This post explains the different types of membership and to find out your membership's particular benefits, and how to make the most of them, check out the posts below:

ALLi Podcasts

The ALLi podcast is broadcast to the wider indie author community, as well as members. Each episode is about 30 minutes in length—perfect while doing chores or on your commute to work. They also contain transcripts if you want to read/scan. The podcast is released on our blog each Friday, at 1pm UK time.

We capture the audio in video first, each Monday, and the live video is simultaneously streamed in the private ALLi forum and on our Facebook page and YouTube channel. Join the video from your favorite location to ask questions and make comments live.

Our advice video/podcast has several streams.

  • Monthly: Foundational Self-Publishing Advice Podcast with Orna Ross and Sacha Black where they look at the foundational elements of self-publishing across both fiction and nonfiction.
  • MonthlyMember Q&A with Orna Ross and Michael LaRonn, answering questions our members have asked us directly.
  • Monthly: Self-Publishing Poetry with Orna Ross and Guest Poet. Orna discusses a new theme with a different poet each month, focusing on developing prosperity for poets through self-publishing poetry books and building a community of poetry lovers.
  • MonthlyAdvanced Self-Publishing with Orna Ross and Joanna Penn covering more advanced aspects of publishing, marketing and business.
  • Monthly: Self-Publishing News with Dan Holloway and Howard Lovy: What happening in the indie author world: a monthly news and analysis show.
  • Weekly: Inspirational Indie Authors Interview with Howard Lovy and a guest. Howard Lovy, ALLi’s Multimedia Manager, runs weekly interviews with ALLi members whose books or personal stories are inspiring and educational for other indie authors.

It's a short time commitment for long-term information. You can find out more by searching for “AskALLi” on your podcatcher, or check out our podcast homepage here.

The Self-Publishing Advice Conference (#SelfPubCon)

The Self-Publishing Advice Conference (#SelfPubCon) is an online author conference. It runs free of charge twice yearly, in association with the Alliance of Independent Authors and attracts the cream of self-publishing experts and advisors as speakers and sponsors.

#SelfPubCon offers 24 sessions over 24 hours of excellent self-publishing webinars and presentations, so you can watch the conference unfold live, from wherever you are in the world. And join in the chat on Twitter at #selfpubcon. Connect directly with our experts and ask them your self-publishing questions. We also bring you competitions and giveaways, as well as presentations, interviews, panel sessions, debates and more.

Join us. It's all free, fun learning from the very best. ALLi members get free access for the duration of their membership. To get access, log into allianceindependentauthors.org and navigate to ADVICE > CONFERENCE for details.

Before we dive into the different resources available for each function and process of publishing, this post explains the three elements (book making, book supply and book selling) and seven processes of publishing.


  • editorial
  • design
  • production


  • distribution
  • marketing


  • promotion
  • licensing publishing rights

ALLi resources, partner member services, guidebooks and this blog are all categorized by the seven processes of publishing.

Our blog posts take two forms. Long “Ultimate Guide” posts that cover a key topic comprehensively, with case studies and the most up to date research. Or shorter individual case studies and opinion pieces that are generally 500 words or less. Quick reads so you can learn what you need to learn and move on.

Element One: Making the Books

Process 1: Editorial

The first process in publishing is editorial: revising, amending, rearranging and improving the words and flow of a manuscript, aiming for clarity, simplicity,  brevity and artistic effect. Here are ALLi’s most current blog articles on editing your book and below are some of the top ALLi resources to help you with this process:

The Ultimate Guide to Self-Editing  When you open your completed manuscript to start editing, it seems like a monumental task. But like any project, if you break it down into stages, the baby steps are much more manageable. This ultimate guide is all about self-editing your manuscript. 

The Ultimate Guide to Creating Good Prose In this post, we’re digging deep into wordcraft with an ultimate guide to writing good prose. 

The Ultimate Guide to Editing Fiction Getting your first book edited can be an overwhelming experience. There’s different types of editors, huge swings in price ranges and that’s all before you receive the feedback itself. ALLi partner member and CEO of Fictionary.co Kristina Stanley, explains everything you need to know about fiction editing.

Editing Terminology  Is your manuscript in need of substantive editing, developmental editing, copy-editing, or line editing? When is it ready for a proofread? ALLi partner member Richard Bradburn of editorial.ie helps demystify the terms.

Other Resources

How to Create and Use a Style-sheet to Keep the Details in Your Book Consistent by ALLi Blog Editor Debbie Young

Process 2: Design

The second process in publishing is book design: configuring the cover and interior text to consolidate the content, style, format, and sequence of the book into a coherent visual unit. Here are  ALLI’s most current blog articles on cover design and below are the top ALLi resources to help you with this process:

The Ultimate Guide to Book Covers   Getting a look at your first book cover is one of the most exciting parts of the publishing journey. It’s often the first time your book ‘feels’ real because you get to see it in a tangible way. But it’s also scary because everyone knows first impressions count. What if the cover is off genre, what if it doesn’t resonate? We all want the perfect book cover for our book. ALLi prides itself on its approved partner directory and services vetted by our Watchdog Desk, if you want to search for trusted cover designers, start there. This post is all about finding the perfect book cover. 

The Ultimate Guide to Book Illustrations Writing and publishing any book can be a complex process. But what happens when you want to include illustrations and you’re not an artist? Don't forget, you can use our approved partner directory to search for trusted partner services like illustrators. In this post, Partner member Karen Ferreira, CEO of Get Your Book Illustrations provides a comprehensive explanation of everything you need to know about getting book illustrations.

Other Resources

 8 Pet Hates in Book Cover Design by various ALLi Members

 The Importance of Design & Formatting (Book) by ALLi Partner Member JD Smith

Process 3: Production

The third process in publishing is book production: assembling the book in audio, electronic, or print format. Here are  ALLI’s most current blog articles on ebook and paperback formatting and below are some of the top ALLi resources to help you with this process:

12 Reasons why Book Production for Indie Authors means thinking Digital. Digital publishing doesn't just mean ebooks but also audiobooks and print-on-demand. In this extract from How to Choose the Best Self-Publishing Services, John Doppler explains why you need to think digital

The Ultimate Guide to Premium and Hardback Books While the digital age combined with Covid-19 lockdown has seen an increase in ebook sales, there are a huge chunk of readers who are staunch paper lovers—specifically, hardback or premium books. With thanks to our partner services in particular, IngramSpark and Blissetts who helped author this post all about how to create premium and hardback books.   self pub service guide

The Ultimate Guide to ISBNs for Author Publishers:  Everything you could ever want to know about ISBNs, why you need them and when to use them.

A Quick Guide to Accessibility Issues for Indie Authors With the rise in advancing technologies, making our self-published books accessible to everyone is becoming easier and easier. In this post, we dive into accessibility issues for indie authors and how you can make your books more accessible. With thanks to ALLi Partner member Jens Troeger from Bookalope for his contributions to this post.

Alongside this post, ALLi have also released a short guide on accessibility. ALLi members can download their complimentary ebook copy of Self-Publishing Accessible Ebooks: Guidelines for Authors in the Member Zone. Navigate to allianceindependentauthors.org and log in. Then navigate to the following menu: BOOKS > SHORTGUIDES. Other formats are available to members and non-members in ALLi’s Bookshop

The Ultimate Guide to Self-Publishing Audiobooks In 2021, the AskALLi team will be covering various aspects of audio for authors. In this post, we’re giving you an overview of what the landscape and industry looks like as well as the strategies you might employ to produce and distribute your audiobooks. This is part one: the ultimate guide to self-publishing audiobooks.

Audiobook Royalties: To Share or Not Share? An Indie Author & a Professional Narrator Answer the Question by ALLi Member Anna Castle. If you're ready to make an audiobook but unsure how to manage the financial split with your chosen narrator, then this is the post for you.

Other Resources

 How to DIY a Nonfiction Index (Part 1) and Part 2 by Denise Gaskin

 Typesetting Terms that Indie Authors Need to Know and Understand by Amie McCracken

How to Print Dyslexia-Friendly Books – and Why by AA Abbott

 Are You Losing Money on KDP Delivery Fees? by ALLi Watchdog John Doppler

Element Two: Supplying the Books

Process 4: Distribution 

The fourth process in publishing is book distribution and sales: circulating the book through channels that make it available to readers for purchase. Here are the top ALLi resources to help you with this process:

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to get your self-published books into physical bookstores, locally and internationally?

Winning Shelf Space: Get Your Self-Published Books Into Bookstores outlines everything you need to know to get your books on physical bookshelves and, more importantly, moving off them and into the hands of new readers.

ALLi members can download their complimentary ebook copy of Winning Shelf Space in the Member Zone. Navigate to allianceindependentauthors.org and log in. Then navigate to the following menu: BOOKS > GUIDEBOOKS. Other formats are available to members and non-members in ALLi’s Bookshop
Are Bookstores Worth it for Indie Authors? For most indie authors writing today, traditional bookstores in the mall and on the high street fueled our writing ambitions and our love of reading as children. But what are the challenges for indie to get their books into stores and does the benefit of reaching bookstores’ customers justify finding a place for bookstores in your business plan? This post asks the question: are bookstores worth it for indie authors?
 Why Indie Authors Should Use KDP Print & Ingram Spark Together to Self-Publish Paperback Books If you want to reach more readers and make more money, ALLi recommends that you use both  KDP Print and IngramSpark together. Debbie Young, ALLi’s UK Ambassador and author of  Winning Shelf Space: Get Your Self-Published Books Into Bookstores explain why and how to use this strategy.

Getting Your Book into Libraries

This Short Publishing Guide from the AskALLi team at the Alliance of Independent Authors tells you all you need to know to get your book onto library shelves worldwide.

ALLi members can download their complimentary ebook copy of Getting Your Book into Libraries in the Member Zone. Navigate to allianceindependentauthors.org and log in. Then navigate to the following menu: BOOKS > SHORTGUIDES. Other formats are available to members and non-members in ALLi’s Bookshop.

Other Resources

Process 5: Marketing

The fifth process in publishing is book marketing: ongoing, repeatable activity which generates awareness of a book and its author among book distributors, retailers and readers. Marketing positions you as an author, and your books, to be what the publishing business calls “discoverable”–so you show up for readers who are searching for a book like yours. Marketing covers ongoing activity like tending to your website, your regular social media activity, growing and communicating with your email list.

Here are ALLi’s most current marketing & promotion blog articles and below are the top ALLi resources to help you with this process:

The Ultimate Guide to Mailing List Series 

  • Part 1 Mailing List Strategy In a three-part series we do a deep dive into author mailing lists. This post looks specifically how to set them up, and the strategies you might want to take with your list.
  • Part 2 Growing your List In a three-part series on mailing list, this second deep dive post looks at how to grow your mailing list once it's established. 
  • Part 3 Maintaining your List  In the final installment of our three-part series on mailing lists, we cover how to maintain them and sustain relationships and connections with your readers. 

The Ultimate Guide to Content Repurposing The term “content repurposing” is used a lot. But what does it mean and how do you “do it”? In this ultimate guide, we answer those questions and many more.

The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing. An influencer is a person with authority and popularity within a specific niche. Influencers have a large or dedicated following who pay attention to what they say, like and recommend. This post tells you how to reach them.

The Ultimate Guide to Authentic Marketing The term “authenticity” is bandied around a lot when it comes to marketing and especially for authors. But what does it mean and how do you tap into authenticity without being discomfort or too much information? That's what we answer in this post.

The Ultimate Guide to Building a Solid Author Platform We’re living in a digital age, which means no matter how you’re published, you need some kind of platform to connect with readers. Author platforms are made more important by international crises like Covid-19. This is an in-depth post on author platforms.

Other Resources

ALLi members can download their complimentary ebook copy of Getting Your Book into Libraries in the Member Zone. Navigate to allianceindependentauthors.org and log in. Then navigate to the following menu: BOOKS > SHORTGUIDES. Other formats are available to members and non-members in ALLi’s Bookshop.

Element Three: Selling the Books

Process 6: Promotion

Here are ALLi’s most current marketing & promotion blog articles and below are the top ALLi resources to help you with this process include:

The Ultimate Guide to Selling Books on your Website Selling books is bread and butter for any author and increasing numbers of indie authors are making their own website the hub of their publishing business, with other online sellers as outposts. This post brings you the ultimate guide to selling books on your author website.

Author Collaborations Indie authors are generous in sharing information and paying knowledge forward which has given us real competitive advantages. Others are entering formal collaboration partnerships in writing and publishing. Here is your Ultimate Guide to Author Collaboration in Writing and Publishing.

AskALLi Advanced Self-Publishing Salon: How to Use Podcasting to Market and Sell Books with Orna Ross and Joanna Penn

Other Resources

Getting the Most from Amazon Advertising with Darren Hardy and Suxanne O'Kelly of Amazon

Process 7: Selective Licensing of rights and formats

The seventh process in publishing is rights licensing: assigning the right to publish, produce or otherwise exploit a book’s content or characters in exchange for royalties (a percentage of sales revenue).

The sixth process in publishing is book promotion: concentrated sales-driven activity behind a particular book for a particular period of time. Promotion takes one book and brings it to its target readers, with enticement to buy. It covers things like advertising, price promotions, blog tours, real-life book tours, media coverage and more.

Here are the top ALLi resources to help you with this process:

Ultimate Guide to Licensing Publishing Rights

Over recent months, ALLi  ran a six-month rights program, to open up translation rights licensing for more self-publishing authors. This post is a summary of the program and, together with our book on the topic, it forms the ultimate guide to rights licensing for indie authors.

Selective Rights Licensing: Sell Your Book Rights At Home and Abroad gives you everything you need to begin successfully and selectively licensing your publishing rights for sale.

ALLi members can download their complimentary ebook copy of Selective Rights Licensing in the Member Zone. Navigate to allianceindependentauthors.org and log in. Then navigate to the following menu: BOOKS > GUIDEBOOKS. Other formats are available to members and non-members in ALLi’s Bookshop

How to License Your Publishing Rights: podcast episode with Joanna Penn and Orna Ross

Orna and Joanna attended the Brand Licensing Show in London and bring back advice and information on publishing rights, deal-making, negotiation, and collaboration for everything from stationery to video, TV to merchandise.

Other Resources

Other ALLi Publications

Choosing the Best Self-Publishing Service

Authors: Want to know which self-publishing services are reputable, which to avoid, and which offer the best return on investment?

Choose the Best Self-Publishing Services: ALLi’s Guide to Assembling Your Tools and Your Team gives you everything you need to take control of the fast-changing world of self-publishing, produce a great book, and sell more copies around the world.

150 Self-Publishing Questions Answered

Do you have self-publishing questions that you can’t seem to find the answer to? We’re here to help.

150 Self-Publishing Questions Answered: ALLi’s Writing, Publishing, & Book Marketing Tips for Authors and Poets brings author best practice as honed by the experiences of our members and the thousands of authors, novelists, nonfiction writers and poets who visit ALLi’s Self-Publishing Advice Centre each month.

Glossary of Self-Publishing Terms

Like every profession, publishing has some mystifying jargon. With this glossary in hand, you will understand all the terminology and learn to “speak publishing”, from a-books to zero rating, like a pro.


Don't forget ALLi members can download their complimentary ebook copies of all these books and guidebooks in the Member Zone. Navigate to allianceindependentauthors.org and log in. Then navigate to the following menu: BOOKS > GUIDEBOOKS (or SHORTGUIDES). Other formats are available to members and all formats non-members in ALLi’s Bookshop

ALLi Campaigns 

Self-Publishing 3.0 

Self-Publishing 3.0 is a concept and a publishing era defined by the concept: that any author (with the requisite skills) now has the means to establish a sustainable and scalable business.

It is also a campaign from the Alliance of Independent Authors (#selfpub3.0) that works with authors, readers, literary organizations, and creative industries to support independent authors in acquiring the three necessary skills: writing, publishing and creative business.

Copyright Bill of Rights

Copyright law, policy, and practice underwrites the publication and sale of books. The income that every author and publisher receives derives from copyright law. Independent authors, who are both writers and publishers, and who actively manage their own publishing rights, need to understand the importance of copyright and how to assert their rights in the digital age.

How can we ensure that copyright law remains robust and flexible enough to offer the incentive, protection and reward it promises for self-publishing, indie authors? How can we ensure that authors understand and avail of their economic and moral rights in the rapidly changing, technologized, and digitized publishing environment?

We present our answers to these important questions in the form of a Copyright Bill of Rights that builds on the work of previous copyright activists to take into account the experience of self-publishing authors.

Opening Up to Indie Authors

You’ve self-published a book and you’d like to see it in your local library or bookstore or the review pages of your favourite newspaper. You’d like to speak or read at a literary festival or event. You’d like to enter it for a book award or prize.

This Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) guide will tell you how to recognise opportunities, work with publishing partners and open doors, and keep them open, for your own benefit — and that of all indie authors.

Authors and Blockchain

Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that underlies cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, is widely regarded as a once-in-a-generation technological revolution. So far, it is blockchain’s potential in the finance industry that is attracting most excitement and investment but it has implications for every business, from the smallest startup to multinational giants with centuries of transactions behind them.

ALLi, the Alliance of Independent Authors, believes that blockchain technology warrants the attention of publishers, and self-publishing authors in particular. The way that blockchain reconfigures digital text, books and media, legal agreements, monetization of content, and payment pathways makes it a technological breakthrough for publishing.

It can be used to maximize the value of the authors’ intellectual property and moral and monetary rights. It could also deliver an author-centered financial model for the first time in publishing history.


Discover the latest in the #audiblegate campaign on ALLi's main campaign homepage. The campaign's aim is to demand fair treatment for authors and narrators at Amazon ACX / Audible.


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