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Opinions: Self-published Authors’ Thoughts On ALLi’s Second Birthday At The London Book Fair

Opinions: Self-published Authors’ Thoughts on ALLi’s Second Birthday at the London Book Fair

A round-up of ALLi members' personal posts about their experience of London Book Fair 2014

Group photo of ALLi authors and supporters at London Book Fair

Excited or what?! Dan Holloway's superb selfie taken straight after the launch of the Opening Up To Indies book, endorsed by self-publishing superstar Hugh Howey, second from the left at the back.

Readers of this blog who live outside the UK may be forgiven for wondering why ALLi members have been getting so excited about last week's London Book Fair, because it is, after all, just one of many major publishing trade fairs that takes place around the world, albeit one of the biggest. But we had special reasons to celebrate, because it was at the London Book Fair two years ago that our organisation, the Alliance of Independent Authors was launched.

So Much Progress in Just Two Years

Lorna Ferguson's post last Tuesday made it clear just how low authors were on the Fair's agenda two years ago, whether self-published or trade.

While LBF's organisers still haven't allowed us enough space physically (standing room only in Author HQ for every event), no-one could deny the confident mood and enthusiasm of the authors in attendance, or the conviction that the best is yet to come. 

My post last Thursday about the launch of Opening Up To Indie Authors now includes links to speeches by Orna, Dan and me.

ALLi Authors Share Their LBF Experiences

Since then, many ALLi members were moved to post their own experiences of the Fair on their author blogs, and I've added links below to those that I know of so far.

Do take the time to read as many of these posts as you can. The posts represent authors in different genres at various stages in their self-publishing journey – and most include fun photos. This was definitely the year of the author selfie!

Click on the authors' name to read their posts. Read Orna Ross's post first – a moving piece entitled “How Self-Publishing Saved My Writing Life“, to set the scene and get the bigger picture of the growth of ALLi since she launched it at LBF12.

The rest of the posts are in alpha order by first name (sorry, Michael!) Just click on the author name to read the post.

Any ALLi members who have also blogged about the show but whose posts are not mentioned here, please feel free to message me the link and I'll add it in now.

And if you're not an ALLi member, and are a self-publishing author, I hope reading these posts will make you really want to join us!

Here's an easy tweet to help you share all these great posts via your Twitter account: “Indie authors share their views on #LBF14 & industry's attitude to #selfpublishing via @IndieAuthorALLi: http://wp.me/p44e6Y-1NM”  


This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Wow! It all sounds really positive. We (self-publishers) have come a long way in a relatively short time and ALLi has played a significant part in our advancement. I enjoyed reading the LBF blogs by members listed above. One day maybe I’ll make it all the way down to the Fair. In the meantime I appreciate this high quality link. Thanks to all who contributed.

    1. The 2014 London Bookfair was the most enjoyable ever for me – and I’ve been going to the event on and off for 20 years. Why? Because for once I engaged with people who had the same interest as me at heart; namely self-publishing. I heard many honest assessments of the tasks involved in reaching readers, beginning with the basics such as proofreading and ending with the message we are all now practising at Alli – going out to meet the people, those will be interested in reading your work.

      I felt now, after a couple of decades of writing in the dark that there was light at the end of the …well, you know the cliche, but it isn’t or wasn’t a tunnel of love. Now I know, via Alli, that there are people like me prepared to work together to make self-publishing a respectable occupation and not a covert and faintly queer hobby.

      Coming from a rather repressed Methodist background of honest, worthy and self-deprecating parents, I’ve only now accepted that self-assertion is no crime. I’d like to encourage others to do likewise. Tell yourself ‘I’m as good as the next man or woman’ and quietly think, ‘Sh.sh, maybe even better.’ Give it a go, and encourage others to de likewise.’

      To this end I have just returned from my local library, maybe the only place where my books are displayed, and distributed posters to encourage writers to submit for The Quagga Prize for Independent Fiction. I am also arranging with Sutton Library to give a talk sometime soon about self-publishing, in which Alli and the s-p scene will be trumpeted. Someone has to do it. Why not me?

      1. That’s all fabulous news, David – go, us! Brilliant to be giving a talk at your local library too. Don’t know what your timescale is for that, but the paperback of “Opening Up To Indie Authors” will be available from about September and will be a really good book to get into libraries – not only because it includes a chapter about libraries, but also because at the beginning there’s a detailed description of what modern self-publishing really is. If you’re in Sutton, you might also be interested in the proposed ALLi London meet-up, currently being discussed on the ALLi Facebook forum. All great stuff!

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