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Should I Create A Limited Liability Company? More Questions Answered By Michael La Ronn And Sacha Black In Our Member Q&A Podcast

Should I Create a Limited Liability Company? More Questions Answered by Michael La Ronn and Sacha Black in our Member Q&A Podcast

In this month's AskALLi Member Q&A with Michael La Ronn and Sacha Black: Should I create a limited liability company? 

Other questions include:

  • If I hire someone to illustrate 3D models for illustrations, do I own the copyright?
  • Any advice on distributing children’s books?
  • How can I connect with other ALLi members who are local to me?
  • Is it worth entering my book into a literary contest?

And more!

Find more author advice, tips, and tools at our Self-Publishing Author Advice Center, with a huge archive of nearly 2,000 blog posts and a handy search box to find key info on the topic you need. And, if you haven’t already, we invite you to join our organization and become a self-publishing ally.

Now, go write and publish!

Listen to the Podcast: Limited Liability Company

In this month's AskALLi Member Q&A with @Michael LaRonn and @sacha_black: Should I create a limited liability company? Click To Tweet

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Show Notes

About the Hosts

Michael La Ronn is ALLi’s Outreach Manager. He is the author of over 80 science fiction & fantasy books and self-help books for writers. He writes from the great plains of Iowa and has managed to write while raising a family, working a full-time job, and even attending law school classes in the evenings (now graduated!). You can find his fiction at www.michaellaronn.com and his videos and books for writers at www.authorlevelup.com.

Sacha Black is a bestselling and competition winning author, rebel podcaster, speaker and casual rule breaker. She writes fiction under a secret pen name and other books about the art of writing. When Sacha isn't writing, she runs ALLi's blog. She lives in England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son. You can find her on her website, her podcast, and on Instagram.

Read the Transcripts to the Podcast: Limited Liability Company

Michael La Ronn: Hello and welcome to the AskALLi Member Q&A, Self-Publishing Advice and Inspirations podcast where we answer your most burning self-publishing questions.

I'm Michael La Ronn and I'm joined with Sacha Black. How are you, Sacha?

Sacha Black: Hello. Hello. I am good, thank you. How are you?

It's actually my launch day today.

Michael La Ronn: Is it? Okay. So, tell us more.

Sacha Black: So, I have launched the third and final book in the Girl Games trilogy, and this one's called A Game of Deceit and Desire. This is the last book in Ruby's first trilogy. So, this is under my Ruby Roe pen name. So, it's like the sapphic fantasy.

I'm really, I don't know if you ever feel this, probably not because you launch much faster than me, but this year I've done three launches, and I get a little bit of launch blues, a bit like when you run a marathon and then you get to the end, you go past the finish line and then it's all, oh, you know, but also excited hysteria.

Michael La Ronn: Yeah. It's like you want to collapse on your couch, but it's a good collapse. That's awesome, congratulations.

Where can people find it if they're interested in checking it out?

Sacha Black: So, this one is on Amazon only at the moment, but the new series that I will be releasing next year, all of the exclusive stuff I'm going to do direct. This is exciting news. I'm going to do some special stuff next year. But at the moment, this is the one series that I have that's in KU. So, it's all on Amazon at the minute, but paperbacks can be gotten anywhere.

Michael La Ronn: Okay. Everybody knows, now they can go out and grab it. Congratulations.

It's a big deal. Launch day is always a big deal. The more I do it, the more I forget how big of a deal it is. It just feels good. It's like you exercised all your muscles.

Sacha Black: Yeah, my favourite bit in the process is getting to hold the first physical copy; there is no sweeter moment. Only because my favourite thing is to watch the book stack of the books that I've written increase, and I just like to see visually how big that pile has gotten. My aim is to fill a whole row of my bookcase of just my books.

Michael La Ronn: Oh, that would be awesome, and for people who are listening, you can't see it, but Sacha has the most amazing bookcase behind her. All of her books are colour coded. It's like a rainbow spectrum behind, I've never seen a bookcase like that.

When is the next Member Q&A?

Which, you know, that's actually a really good segue into the next thing we have to announce, is that Sacha and I are going to be live next month. So, you'll be able to see Sacha's beautiful bookcase. You have to see this; this is a wonder of the world.

If you want to see Sacha's bookcase, come and join us Saturday, November 18th, 7pm London, 2pm New York, 1pm. Chicago, 12pm Los Angeles. So, we organized, we got the date, Saturday, November 18th, 7pm London, 2pm New York, 1pm. Chicago, 12pm Los Angeles.

Just make sure you are a member of ALLi or on our newsletter, and we'll be sending out a link to where you can watch us live. We're going to do a live show and we're going to answer questions live. We're going to have some fun. Yeah, it'll be fun. What do you think, Sacha?

Sacha Black: Yeah, I'm excited. Everybody needs to come. They need to prep their questions because we will answer your questions live. This isn't just, send in your questions in advance, you can come with questions on the day, and we will answer your questions. So, it will be live feedback for you.

So yeah, I'm excited.

Michael La Ronn: Yeah, it's going to be fun.

I mean, the only thing we probably won't answer is, what do you think about X Y Z service? That kind of thing where we haven't had a chance to review it, or our Watchdog hasn't had a chance to review it.

There's going to be some personal questions that we might not be able to quite answer, but f we've answered it on the show, it's fair game, and if you want some more specific advice to your situation come and ask, and we can ask you some follow ups, and we can try to give you some more directed advice. So, that's going to be fun.

It's going to be part of a quarterly kick-off that we're going to do. So, we're going to end the year with it and then we're going to pick it up next year. So, we're going to do this quarterly. That's going to be fun. So, I'll say it again just for everybody, so everybody has it. Saturday, November 18th at 7pm London, 2pm New York, 1pm. Chicago, 12pm Los Angeles.

We were conscious to try to make it on a weekend so that the most people possible could attend.

Can I use an old photograph without worrying about copyright?

Okay, let's get to our question, Sacha. The first question is from member Mike, and Mike says, if I want to use an old 1930s professionally taken photograph, is it likely that the copyright will have expired?

Sacha Black: I don't think so, because even if that person died in 1930, that's only 90-years-ago, and copyright lasts for 70 years after somebody's died, depending on the country. Sometimes it's 50. It's roughly, it's a good bet to go on 70 years after the person's death. So, if that person was only in their 30s, they may not have passed until much more recently, at which point the copyright still won't be expired. So, I would say that it's unlikely.

Michael, from a legal perspective, not that you are giving legal advice, because I know that you're not, but is copyright across any form of creative media? Is it the same for photographs as novels?

Michael La Ronn: Yes, it is, but here's what I will say. We'll talk about that in a second. With copyright, there are so many variables. It's going to depend on the nationality of the photographer.

So, works created before January 1st, 1978. Okay. So, everything Sacha said is true for work created in the United State after January 1st, 1978. It's your life plus 70 years. Before that, I believe it was, I don't remember the exact number, but it lasted a certain amount of time and then you had the option to renew the registration. So, what I would recommend that you do is go to, if you're in the United States, go to copyright.gov.

If you're in the UK, what is the copyright? Is there a copyright or, there's not, okay. So, you have to look at it if you're in the UK, but you'll want to see when exactly, when it truly does expire, because if it's before January 1st, 1978, here in the United States, there's a different set of registration, and it's possible that it could have expired, but it's not guaranteed.

So, you're going to have to do a little bit of due diligence, unfortunately to verify that.

There's a great book I recommend that people read regardless of your nationality. It's a very good book, and that is The Copyright Handbook by Steven Fishman. It is a tome, and it will put you to sleep at times, but there's no better resource on copyright.

There's also a free series of YouTube lectures by Harvard. I think it's called Copyright X. You can look it up on YouTube. It's like an eight-hour course and it's just a guy talking. It's a law professor, one of the top law professors in the world on copyright, talking about what he knows. So, you could check out those things and that will also help you learn a little bit more about copyright.

But to answer your question, I would just go to copyright.gov, and just check out the requirements there. That'll tell you what your due diligence needs to be.

So, Sacha, your question about copyright, can you repeat your question?

Sacha Black: It was essentially just saying, is copyright standard across medium?

Michael La Ronn: Yeah, I believe it is. I'm not aware of anything different for like music.

I mean, there are certain little nuances with music versus texts and things like that, but copyright is copyright. If you've created it, then you're going to be subject to the general copyright law.

Cool. We love copyright questions. It's good because it really tells me that more people are thinking about it. We didn't get these questions five, six years ago, and so I think it's really cool that we're getting more copyright questions.

How do I distribute my children’s book?

The next question is from Neil. Neil asks, any advice on distributing children's books?

Sacha Black: We have a guide for members, and I can't remember the exact name of the guide, but perhaps you'll be able to find it, but we do have a children's book guide. We have many posts on children's books as well on the blog.

But we also have a member who is our advisor, I think is the right title. So, Karen Inglis is our children's book advisor, and she also has written her own book, which has the title, How to Self-Publish and Market a Children's Book. This is on edition two. It's recently come out and that has a ton of advice in.

Michael, do you know the title of our book?

Michael La Ronn: I'm getting it as we speak.

Sacha Black: Okay. So yeah, essentially, distributing is distributing, regardless of the genre.

If you want to distribute on Amazon, then you will sign up to KDP and they will distribute your eBooks and paperbacks.

What we tend to advise in ALLi is not to click expanded distribution on Amazon, and that's in the paperback section. What we advise is that you then go to IngramSpark and that you use their system. You will need your own ISBN if you are using IngramSpark for your paperbacks and hardbacks, and then if you go through their system, all libraries have access to them. We believe bookstores have access to them, though I know I've personally had some issues with bookstores trying to order books through their system recently.

The other one that you can use is BookVault. BookVault is very good at integrating with Shopify. So, if you wanted your own store, I mean, this is my personal experience, is that BookVault is very good at working with Shopify and enabling you to sell your print books.

Now, the other thing with children's books is obviously that lots of people do work with schools and organizations who focus on children's campaigns, activities, all that stuff.

I'm not a children's book expert. We do have an advisor in ALLi who is Karen Inglis, and we do have our books and our resources. Michael, have you found the title?

Michael La Ronn: I have. It is Self-Publishing a Children's Book, ALLi's Guide to Kidlit Publishing for Authors.

Sacha Black: Perfect, and if you are a member, you get it free. You can log into allianceindependentauthors.org and navigate to publications, and you can download your free copy. If you are not a member, you can still get a copy. You just need to visit selfpublishingadvice.org and then go to the bookstore, and then you can buy a copy.

Michael La Ronn: Perfect, and I'll also plug the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. They're one of our organization members. They also provide a lot of great resources on distributing and creating children's books as well. So, be sure to check them out.

How do I find a good translator for my books?

Okay. Next question is from Tony. Dear Sacha and Michael, I am from Germany and just started writing in English. All my other books are in German, and I need a service or some advice on how to find a good translator. Any thoughts? So, German to English.

Sacha Black: The thing is, I've never gone to search for translators, but we have so many different providers of services, I'd be astonished if we don't have translators in there.

My first bit of advice would be to go and log into your ALLi membership portal, so allianceindependentauthors.org, and then navigate to services or providers, I can't quite remember the exact title, and you can then search for the type of service that you're looking for.

The other thing that I would do, if that doesn't turn up the kind of thing that you're looking for, is to go into the Facebook group and ask in the forum, because one of the best types of recommendations you can get is a recommendation from other authors.

Now, I know that David Penny, he's one of our members, long-time member, has used a particular service by an author who set up a translations business, and I will search for that in just a second.

But getting recommendations from other authors is basically the best way to go in my opinion. So, I would go and find somewhere where there is lots of authors in some kind of forum that you can then ask.

Michael La Ronn: Yeah, I agree. This is one area where word of mouth is really important.

You could check Reedsy or somewhere like that also would be somewhere I probably would trust, but I would definitely try to find somebody who is tried and tested. That would be the most important thing.

Did you find that name, Sacha?

Sacha Black: I know that the name of the person who set up the company is Joseph Alexander, the chap who does all the guitar books. He set up a company, because he translated all his books into other languages and then found that there were lots of other authors who wanted the service, and I know that David Penney has used it.

So, I haven't found the name of his business, but I know his name. So, perhaps if we do the next question, I'll come back to it.

Michael La Ronn: Okay. Sounds good.

How can I connect with local ALLi members?

So, the next question is from Chris, and I can take this one too while you look at it, Sacha. Hi, I live in Dublin and would like to connect with other local ALLi members to build a support community, like a coffee group. Is there a list of members in Dublin? Should I use ALLi's Facebook page to ask, or is there another way I might see who's around?

So yeah, this is a great question, and we always love when members want to find little communities within our own community. So yes, I would recommend going to the ALLi Facebook page and just posting what you want to do.

If you want to meet up in person, if you want to just create a virtual support group. I know we have other writers in Dublin who would probably be interested in that.

So yeah, that would be my first port of call, and go to our Facebook page and just post what you're looking for and see who resonates.

So, I think that's such an important part of being a writer, just finding other people that you can connect with. I know when I first started, I met with a couple of local writers, and we just chatted and talked about stuff, and then we all went our separate ways, and then I found a community online.

But I think finding that person in person was really helpful for me, because it made me accountable. Like I knew every Thursday at seven o'clock, I had to show up at Starbucks because there were a couple of other writers who were waiting for me and wanting to hear my progress.

So, hopefully we can be helpful and of assistance in connecting you with other writers.

What do you think, Sacha?

Sacha Black: Yeah, no, I agree with everything that you said.

I have found the translation website. It is translatebooks.com.

My hesitation is that I think it focuses on English to German, whether or not they are also then able to go from German to English, I'm not sure, but I do think it would be worth getting in touch to find out. They probably do.

When I had a look at the website, they have the ALLi partner badge. So, it is a good recommendation. We know that they have been independently assessed and verified. So, they are one of our trusted partners. So, translatebooks.com, and then you will maybe just have to ask them if they can go from German to English, because it looks like it's predominantly English to German.

But yeah, I would have a look at that. That's the only service I know of.

Michael La Ronn: Awesome, and we'll include that link in the show notes as well. So, Translate Books is pretty easy to remember, but we'll put it in the show notes for folks as well.

How do I manage copyright with my designer?

Okay, next question is, I am illustrating a book series and would like to hire someone to do 3D models of my characters and buildings so it will be faster to trace different angles of them. Will I have to worry about the 3D designer trying to claim copyright down the road?

I can take this one. The answer is no, if you do a contract that says otherwise. So, it sounds like you're illustrating a book series and you're using 3D models as a way to make your illustration a little bit easier.

So essentially, what that means is you have a piece of copyright and then there is another piece of copyright within your copyright that you don't own. If you don't sign a contract, it does mean that the potential illustrator does retain the copyright to their images. They're just licensing those to you.

So, what you would need to do is you would need to create a contract that says that you own the copyright to that work.

That's going to come with you having to compensate the illustrator, maybe a little bit more than what you already pay them if you didn't agree, in order for them to waive their rights to all the copyright, so that you own it entirely, and you want to make sure that you do that.

Again, this is not legal advice, folks, I'm not giving you legal advice, just common knowledge. The reason you would want to do that is so that, because you're probably going to sign a contract with the writer that says that you warrant that all of the content that you give them, you own the copyright to, it doesn't infringe on the rights of another person. Just look for that clause. It's probably in almost every contract you sign, you probably don't even think about it.

So, if you don't get the clearance to that copyright, then you could potentially be in violation of that clause. So, that's the short-long answer to your question. I would just make sure you get a contract in writing and that'll just be a good thing for the writer that you're working with as well.

So, that gives them some assurance that everything that you're creating, you either own or you have permission to use.

Sacha, any thoughts?

Sacha Black: No, I feel like you may be the copyright expert between us.

Michael La Ronn: And I'm not a copyright expert. I mean, I did take some copyright classes when I was in law school, which was helpful.

Sacha Black: Definitely put you above me.

Michael La Ronn: Yeah, I mean, that was definitely helpful, and I just have an interest in it. I try to learn as much as I can about it, because I just think it's important. But yeah, you're after my heart if he asked me a copyright question, I guess.

Do I need to register a company to self-publish?

All right. Next question is from Kashanta, do I need to register a company to self-publish? Is that a requirement?

Sacha Black: Okay. No, is the answer. However, I am not a financial advisor. Now I'm going to continue.

So, when you publish, the act of publishing puts you in business.

I suppose that's not quite true. I suppose what is true is when you get your first sale, you are officially in business, which means your lovely government can tax you.

So, regardless of what your status is in employment, you need to tell your government that you are selling books.

All I can tell you is my personal experience. I was employed, fully employed, when I published my first book. Therefore, I then registered as self-employed as well as employed. So, I had both of those statuses at the same time. My employer would send a tax return on my behalf for that money, and then I sent a separate tax return for my self-employment income and expenditure.

Then later down the line, I then registered as a business, which means I removed my self-employed status, and at that point I'd left my day job as well. So, I then became a business.

There is no right or wrong. You can be self-employed and publish all of your books or you can have a company and publish all of your books.

In terms of the benefits, that is when you would want to talk to an accountant to find out what, in terms of the amount of money that you're making versus the amount of money that you're making in your employment, those two numbers and those two figures will mean that you will get different advice for what the best path for you is.

So, I don't really want to comment on when it's right to do this or when it's not right to do that. There are lots and lots of different factors and reasons.

But to answer your question very simply, no, you don't have to register as a company, but you do have to do some registration that is appropriate to your company.

So, please do make sure that you check your tax system. Check with your government, check what your systems say in your country.

What are the best-practices when registering copyright?

Michael La Ronn: Absolutely. Okay, next question is from Jean. Can you tell me or direct me to best practices on registering copyright in the US? More copyright questions.

Okay, yes. I would start with copyright.gov. They have quite a bit of tutorials and resources on their site that tell you exactly how to walk through the process. I did put together a YouTube video on my channel that walks through how I registered a copyright for one of my works. I'll put that in the show notes. I think it's like a 10 or 15-minute video. You can check that out as well.

Yeah, it's not hard. There's some little technical stuff that you have to know, and it'll take you 30-minutes to do the first time, and then it takes about 20-minutes after that.

Okay, so we'll put that in the show notes.

Should indie authors operate as a sole trader or a limited company?

Next question is from Julia, and this is similar to the question that we just answered Sacha, but just a little bit different. Do you provide any advice about indie authors and whether we should operate as a sole trader or a limited company, please?

Sacha Black: Officially, no, we don't, because it's very much an accountant and personal finance question, and therefore the best thing to do is ask an accountant who is in your country, because they will know your tax systems and your legal systems local to you.

Also, it's so different. It depends on the goals. What is your goal? It might be that one is better than the other for you.

What you could do is ask in the forum to ask what other people did, but again, even doing that, you'll get a multitude of different answers and a multitude of different reasons why people did what they did.

Michael La Ronn: Yeah, I'll say that Orna used to answer this question a lot when Orna and I co-hosted the show, and what she always told people, and I think it's always a good answer is, most people typically start as a sole trader or a sole proprietor, as we call it in the United States.

That means there's no legal separation between you and your business, and there are benefits to doing that and there are downsides to doing that, but that's the easiest business entity to start because all it requires is just a quick trip to the local county recorder or whatever it's called in your region, you pay a couple of bucks, fill out a form, and then you've got a business.

You can always upgrade to a limited liability company or a limited company, because they're different I believe in the UK. A limited company is actually a full corporation, whereas in the United States, a limited liability company is not, it's not the same thing.

But there are benefits and downsides to doing those, but if you're going to create a limited company, or a corporation in the United States, that's when you really need some advice.

It wouldn't hurt to talk to a lawyer as well, and I know people don't always like to hear that answer, go talk to your accountant or talk to a lawyer, but my opinion is that if you want to run a business, you have to run a business, and a business cannot operate without those things.

I mean, you wouldn't start any other business in the world without talking to an accountant or lawyer; writing is no different, and yes, it's going to require some time and it's going to require some money up front, but wouldn't you rather build a foundation and get that right out of the gate than have to change it down the road?

So, I'll get off my soapbox now about that, but this is going to be the foundation of your business for the rest of your life, and so you don't want to just do something and then find out five to seven years down the road that you did it wrong, and then you've got tax consequences to pay for it, or some other legal consequence or inconvenience that you have to do because you didn't do it right.

Just take the time and talk to somebody the first time and do it, and it'll just make your life a lot easier.

Can I use a P.O. Box to register an LLC?

Okay, next question is from Mark, and Mark says, I live in Indiana in the US. Like most states, you must register your LLC with a physical address. I understand that it's legal to use your home address, but I also use a P.O. Box for my business. What should I do? Okay. So, there was a little bit more to this question, but yeah, that's the gist of it.

Sacha Black: Okay. What's interesting is that you actually probably need to check. If you own your own house, you need to check your mortgage, not your mortgage, your house lease, what's the official term?

The deed, thank you. The deed to your property.

Because I'm not allowed to run a business from this house, so my business is not registered here.

Yeah, it was like pre-COVID. You're not even allowed to work from home, and every single person in this area, it's some ridiculous way back thing that was like donkeys ago, and then of course everybody who owns their houses in COVID had to work at home and technically, it's against our deed. Nobody's coming to do anything about it, but it's not the point, I probably shouldn't be admitting this live, anyway.

So yeah, you need to check your house deed to see what that says, because you could be in violation potentially of your house deed.

The other thing you need to do there. Go on, Michael.

Michael La Ronn: No, I'm just blown away by that. Okay.

Sacha Black: I'm also not allowed a caravan.

Michael La Ronn: Oh, okay. That makes a little bit more sense, but okay, keep going. I'm going to pick my jaw off the floor. That has to be a UK thing. Okay, keep going.

Sacha Black: It was like just this area, and of course, the developer is not going to come back and check. They've been gone 20 years from this area, it's not a thing, but the point is you do need to check and be aware.

So yeah, I've lost my way. Maybe you want to pick up the rest of the question?

Michael La Ronn: Okay. So yeah, I mean, I guess I need to check my deed now because that never crossed my mind.

I was just thinking of something a little different. So, I live in Iowa, and I think Iowa is very similar to Indiana in that, when you register in LLC with the state's Department of Commerce or Secretary of Commerce, a lot of people like to use P.O. Boxes because they're cheap, they're easy, everybody knows how to create one.

A P.O. Box, it's like a post office box. You go to your local post office, and you have a mailbox there. I believe there's something similar in the UK, right, Sacha?

Sacha Black: There is, but they are extremely expensive in the UK.

Michael La Ronn: They are? Okay.

Sacha Black: Yeah, it's £300 to £500 a year, just to have it.

Michael La Ronn: Oh, wow. Here in the states, it's not quite that expensive.

Sacha Black: Yeah, I think it's extraordinary here.

Michael La Ronn: Somewhere around $200 a year, depending on the size of the box. It's much cheaper, but the problem is that a lot of secretaries of state will not allow you to register your LLC or corporation with that.

So, what a lot of people have to do is they have to make this really uncomfortable choice of, do I use my home address, which shows up in the public records, or do I find another box?

Sacha Black: That is the same here. A lot of people use their accountant’s address.

Michael La Ronn: Okay. I'll tell you what I do.

So, obviously everybody knows UPS. They have UPS stores, at least across the United States, and they have, basically it's the same thing. It's like a PO box, but you get a real address with a mailbox. The secretaries of state will accept that, at least they do in Iowa.

They accept a UPS store address, because that's one of the big selling points of the UPS store is that, hey, we'll give you a real address that you can use. So, I do that. It's probably closer to the £200 or £300. I think I pay like almost $300 for mine per year, but that gets me around that requirement, and I'm able to register that with the Secretary of State.

So, Mark, you may want to look into that, and you may want to check your deed too. Although that might be a little bit more trouble if it's in the vault or something like that.

Sacha Black: Maybe don't check it, plausible deniability.

Michael La Ronn: Yeah, we're not lawyers here, we're not accountants, we're just giving you our own information. But Sacha, I'm 100 percent checking my deed, because I need to know because I work from home. I don't think my local government is that crazy, but stranger things have happened, right?

Are competitions worth entering for indie authors?

Okay and then the next question is our last question, and the question is, the cover of my second novel is getting a lot of positive comments. Is it worth the time and effort to enter it into a contest, especially if there's a fee?

Sacha Black: I think that's a great question. I think that is one of those completely personal questions that we can't really answer because we don't know what your circumstances are. I mean, do you have the money? Can you afford the money? Can you justify the expense? If you can justify it and you think the cover is good, then why wouldn't you do it?

I just entered into a competition, a LGBT one, with my first book. It was like $35, and I was like, ah, you know, but actually I did it because I do stand a chance and you never know. So, if you think you stand a chance then why not? You might as well.

If you can't afford it though, then don't do it, because the thing with these awards is that they don't necessarily produce super tangible results for you. It's very nice to have a trophy. It's very nice to get the badge and put the badge on the cover, or whatever on your website, but it is very hard to give you a tangible output that you can measure from winning an award like that.

So, I would just say, do you have the time, money, energy to enter and if so, then yeah, go for it. Why not? Says the number one competition.

Michael La Ronn: Yeah, no, that's good advice. As with all things, there are nuances and there are different variables that we have to talk about.

So, the first variable, is this your second novel, meaning it's a standalone or is it a second book in a series? I wouldn't enter a second book in a series into a contest. I would enter the first, but I'm assuming it's a standalone novel.

The second thing, is it a reputable contest?

That's the first thing, and we would highly recommend that you check our Watchdog. We'll put a link to the show notes. We have a database, it's very similar to our service ratings directory. We don't share it nearly as much on this show, but it has a database of contests.

So, look up that contest and just make sure it's a reputable contest, and if we haven't heard about it, we'd love to know, let us know, and we can look into it for you. But vet the contest, make sure it's a reputable contest.

Then assuming that it is, then the next question is, how much is it going to cost, and you really have to weigh the cost with, let's just say it's $70, can you make that $70 more efficient in advertising or would this be a good way to do it?

So, it's up to you. There's no right or wrong answer, and then just make sure that it makes sense, and then it's as Sacha said, sometimes it makes sense to go for it.

Sacha Black: Yep. So, a reminder for everybody about the live.

Michael La Ronn: Yes. The live is Saturday, November 18th at 7pm, London. 2pm, New York. 1pm, Chicago. 12pm, Los Angeles, and be sure to join the ALLi newsletter. If you're a member, you'll get a notification.

If you're not a member, you can still join our non-member newsletter, and I believe that will go out there as well with a link to where you can join us live and we'd be happy to answer your questions.

So yeah, it's going to be fun. It's going to be fun. This is our November episode. We'll see you guys on November 18th. Otherwise, we will be back next month in December with another exciting show.

So, thanks a lot and have a wonderful week and happy writing.

Author: Howard Lovy

Howard Lovy is an author, book editor, and journalist. He is also the Content and Communications Manager for the Alliance of Independent Authors, where he hosts and produces podcasts and keeps the blog updated. You can find more of his work at https://howardlovy.com/


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