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The Indie Author Rights Program

The Indie Author Rights Program

The Alliance of Independent Authors, in association with Michael and Judith Anderle of LMBPN and 20Books to 50K, launched an exciting Indie Author Rights Program, which ran across six months in 2019-2020. The program was launched at the Self-Publishing Advice Conference. Here's a sneak peek of what happened and who participated.

What was the Indie Author Publishing Rights Program?

The Indie Author Publishing Rights Program was an Alliance of Independent Authors program created to educate and encourage indie authors to selectively license publishing rights to trade publishers at home and overseas, TV and film producers and other rights buyers.

The program aimed to open up the rights industry to indie authors through publicly accessible education and coaching programs and services.

How Authors Sell Publishing Rights book

How Authors Sell Publishing Rights Guidebook

Based around ALLi's guidebook, How Authors Sell Publishing Rights, the program worked with indie authors to properly pitch translation rights at the London Book Fair 2020, with the hope those meetings and potential deals would lead to the sale of translation rights.

Indie Author Publishing Rights Program: Rights Experiment

ALLi’s panel of authors and experts met once a month from September 2019 to  March 2020 for coaching sessions recorded on video and posted on YouTube (see the introduction below) on the Self-Publishing Advice blog, so that other indie authors could share in the learning and following along.

Between sessions, the authors worked independently to prepare their rights guides, pitching materials and set up meetings and proposals.

The Indie Author Publishing Rights Program: Introduction

The rights panel comprised of:
  • Jon Malinowski, President, Combined Book Exhibit / Founder and Managing Partner Pubmatch
  • Ethan Ellenberg, of the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency and founder of Royalty Reminder.
  • Judith Anderle, Chief Marketing Officer of LMBPN®


  • Michael Anderle, as well as being President of LMBPN® is a multi-genre bestselling author on Amazon and founder of the popular indie author group 20BooksTo50K.
  • Sacha Black is a fiction and non-fiction indie author, Manager of the #AskALLi Self-Publishing Advice conference and blog. Sacha also writes advice guides for authors.
  • Joe Cawley is an award-winning travel writer and best-selling author of five books. His first memoir, More Ketchup than Salsa: Confessions of a Tenerife Barman was voted ‘Best Travel Narrative of 2007’ by the British Guild of Travel Writers.
  • Barry Hutchison, a former trade-published author turned indie, has written childrens’ books (under a pen name), a comedy sci-fi series which has sold more than a quarter of a million ebook copies worldwide, and in 2019 began publishing bestselling crime thrillers.
  • Dakota and Danielle Krout run Mountaindale Press, which focuses on LitRPG and GameLit titles, drawing on Dakota's experience in the military to create vast terrains and intricate systems in his bestselling books.
  • Orna Ross is an award-winning novelist and poet and Director of the Alliance of Independent Authors

More details of the panelists below.

“Selling translations, TV& film and other such rights is always a challenge for authors,” said Ross. “Yet we know there are many rights buyers all over the world who are interested in author-published books right now. We hope this program will allow our members to take hold of the international rights scene in a new way, to reach out to agents, publishers and other rights buyers abroad, have a coherent rights guide, and be part of ALLi’s push to get rights buyers’ attention for our members.”

How Authors Sell Publishing Rights book

How Authors Sell Publishing Rights Guidebook

Meet the Panel

Orna Ross

self-publishing advice bookshop

Orna Ross, Director of ALLi

As well as being a member of the coaching panel in her role as Director of the Alliance of Independent Authors and Orna is a former literary agent, author, and poet.

“As soon as an indie author has success selling ebooks, print and audio in English around the world, their thoughts turn to the translation, TV and film rights and other rights embedded in their books. A number of our members are successfully trading rights, independently and we have a guide to the process, How Authors Sell Publishing Rights. We wanted to demystify this arena of publishing that is so often shrouded in mystery.”

Find out more about Orna one her Website, Facebook, Instagram or Patreon.


Ethan Ellenberg

Ethan Ellenberg, President Ethan Ellenberg Literacy Agency

Ethan Ellenberg is the lead agent at The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency which he established in 1984. He was previously a contracts manager for Berkley and associate contracts manager for Bantam. Since its inception, the agency has represented several bestselling authors, career novelists, and professional writers. In addition to new and published authors, the agency also represents rights on behalf of publishers and literary estates. The agency is an independent full-service agency with robust sales in subsidiary rights and partnering agents all over the world.
Royalty Reminder is a SAAS software startup built on the software the Ellenberg agency created to manage all of the intellectual property in its care–contracts, licenses, etc. Version 2.0 will include an enterprise suite that will enable hybrid and indie Authors to manage the production, distribution, marketing and licensing of their books.

Find out more about Ethan Ellenberg here.


Jon Malinowski

Jon Malinowski, PubMatch

Since 1983, Jon has been President of Combined Book Exhibit, which has facilitated thousands of publishers at book fairs around the world. Jon now oversees 15 international and domestic events annually, and has successfully led groundbreaking publishing missions to China, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Cuba. He also was instrumental in establishing the Middle East Library Association in partnership with the American Library Association and the Sharjah International Book Fair. Perceiving a growing need in the publishing industry for a global rights resource, in 2008 Jon founded PubMatch – the first online rights toolkit for publishers, agents and authors. In partnership with Publishers Weekly,  Pubmatch has grown to over 10,000 authors, publishers and agents in over 150 countries.

Ryan Dreher, PubMatch

Ryan Dreher is Business Development Director for PubMatch. He began his career in the publishing industry as a junior literary agent and subsequently as Foreign Rights agent for Rights Unlimited Inc. Subsequently, he worked in the area of Cuban and Latin American tourism, international music festivals, entertainment and publishing tradeshows and consulting.

Find out more about PubMatch here.


Let's Meet the Authors…

Michael and Judith Anderle, LMBPN

Michael Anderle

Michael Anderle is a Dragon Award finalist as co-author with Mr. Craig Martelle for the Best Military Science Fiction novel of the year for 2018. As an independent author, he is usually ranked in the top 100 authors in the Amazon store and in 2017, Apple news posted an article by BookRiot naming Mr. Anderle among the top 20 fan favorite independent authors. Mr. Anderle is considered an industry expert, recently been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, and is asked to speak or lead several industry panels including in conferences such as WorldCon, DragonCon, SelfPubCon and the conferences run by 20Books to 50K, a Facebook group he established two years ago which now has over 27,000 author members.

Mr. Anderle has sold over 3,000,000 books worldwide either under his name alone or as a collaborator with other well-known authors.

Find out more about Michael and his team here: Website, Facebook.


Barry Hutchison

Author Barry Hutchison

Barry Hutchison is a man of many faces. Having spent a decade writing children's books under several different pen names, Barry switched to indie publishing in 2016, and has never looked back. His ‘Space Team' comedy sci-fi series, written under the name Barry J. Hutchison, has sold over quarter of a million ebook copies worldwide, and has spawned a spin-off series, several audiobooks, and even a range of merchandise. A comic book mini-series is currently in development.

In May 2019, Barry published his first crime thriller, ‘A Litter of Bones,' under the name JD Kirk. Soon after publication, the book started outselling all his other books combined, and has since become a #1 Amazon Bestseller. OK, it was #1 only in Australia, but he insists that still counts. The third book in the series is published on August 31st, and has double the personal pre-order record set by book two.
Barry (or whatever he's calling himself this week) lives at the foot of Ben Nevis in the Highlands of Scotland with his wife, two children, and one annoying dog. He regularly speaks about writing at schools and festivals across the UK, sharing his love of stories with audiences of all ages.
You can find out more about Barry Hutchinson here:

Dakota and Danielle Krout

Husband and wife team Danielle and Dakota Krout

Dakota and Danielle Krout, a husband and wife team, strive to create as well as publish excellent fantasy and science fiction novels. Together they own and operate an indie publishing house, Mountaindale Press, which focuses on LitRPG and GameLit titles.

Dakota is a best-selling author, drawing on his experience in the military to create vast terrains and intricate systems. His history in programming and information technology help him bring a logical aspect to both his writing and his company while giving him a unique perspective for future challenges.

Danielle earned a PhD in Pharmacology, and now puts her research skills to use in all aspects of publishing. From market research to multi-platform marketing, she works tirelessly to ensure the future success of Mountaindale Press.

You can find out more about Dakota and Danielle Krout here:

Website, Twitter.


Joe Cawley

Author Joe Cawley

Joe is an award-winning travel writer, best-selling author of 5 books, ghostwriter, and under-appreciated taxi driver for his two teenage children.

He splits his time between the UK, and a tiny village on the western slopes of Tenerife where he retreats with his family and an assortment of other wildlife.

Joe’s words have appeared in just about every national newspaper in the UK, including The Sunday Times, TelegraphGuardian and Express, plus some Johnny Foreigner publications such as the New York Post and Taipei Times.

His first memoir, More Ketchup than Salsa: Confessions of a Tenerife Barman was voted ‘Best Travel Narrative of 2007’ by the British Guild of Travel Writers.

You can find out more about Joe on his:


Sacha Black

Sacha Black headshot

Author, Sacha Black

Last but by no means least, is me! I'm organizing the program and ensuring we deliver any and all lessons learned on this journey. I'm also making sure that authors who aren't quite ready to sell rights but are keenly interested in the process are also represented on the panel.

Sacha Black is a bestselling and competition winning author, developmental editor and writing coach. She’s the author of the popular YA Fantasy ‘Eden East’ novels and a series of non-fiction books that are designed to help writers develop their craft. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and son.
Find out more about me on my website, Instagram, Patreon, Facebook.


What are you most interested in learning about when it comes to rights sales and translations? Have you sold rights already? If so, tell us about the process.
If you enjoyed this post, you might like these from the ALLi archive:

Author: Sacha Black

Sacha Black is a bestselling and competition-winning author. She writes the popular YA Fantasy Eden East novels and a series of non-fiction books that are designed to help writers develop their craft. Sacha is also a developmental editor, wife and mum. Website: www.sachablack.com


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