As 2021 draws to a close, many of us start to look to 2022. Planners get purchased, memberships renewed, goals refreshed. If you're looking to the future, today's post outlines how the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) can help you reach your writing and publishing goals in 2022, with a list of ALLi's top tools and resources.
Hey folks, as a long term member of ALLi, it always surprises me how many of ALLi's resources members don't know about. I've been turning my mind to 2022 and planning the year, so I thought it was a timely point to share some of my favorite ALLi resources that you might find useful for next year.
ALLi has a range of tools and services that can help you self-publish and market your books. Some are member-only but ALLi is a non-profit community interest company that also offers free services to the wider self-publishing community. I've labeled the tools and resources below as member or non-member.
Oh, and of course, if you're not already a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors then what on earth are you waiting for? You can join by visiting here.
NB: To access member-only services, log in here, and navigate as indicated below.
I Want to Publish My First Book in 2022
Okay, for those of you who are coming to self-publishing for the first time, then this section is for you. If your 2022 goal is to publishing your first or first few books, ALLi has a wealth of services, guides and information to help get you on your way.
General Help with Publishing for the First Time
Community Service: If you're like me and you love binge listening to audio, then I recommend ALLi's monthly foundational podcast with Orna Ross and Dan Parsons. Each month they cover a basic topic to help you on your way to publishing. And don't forget there are years of episodes to catch up on. If you join them live, you can even throw a few questions their way!
To access the podcast, subscribe here
If you prefer to read, then ALLi Members get free digital downloads of all of our published guides. (member-only service)
To access: Log in and navigate to: PUBLICATIONS > GUIDEBOOKS. If you're not a member, you can purchase a copy in our shop here. Print copies are available on Amazon and ALLi's first audiobook guides are currently being released.
For a specific recommendation, I'd suggest first-time publishers, read the guide book: 150 Self-Publishing Questions Answered: ALLi’s Writing, Publishing, & Book Marketing Tips for Authors and Poets. If you have a self-publishing question that you can’t seem to find the answer to, this book will help. Michael did a smashing job of covering all questions you might feel silly asking. They're not silly! If you're thinking of the question then trust me, someone else is too. In the book, they cover all kinds of topics, from writing, editing, and writer's block, how to publish, how to sell more books, how to market effectively and much more.
Specific Help with Publishing for the First Time
You might not know this, but The Alliance of Independent Authors has excellent relationships with all the key platforms, services and professionals in the publishing industry. So much so, many of those services have produced guides to using their services for ALLi members.
Member-only service: If you need specific help working with some of those key partners, eg. Apple Books, Kobo, Bookbub, PublishDrive, Amazon KDP, then download our guides created by those services specifically to help ALLi members better distribute and market books.
To Access: Log in and navigate to: APPROVED SERVICES > KEY PARTNER GUIDES.
I Want to Find an Editor / Designer / Formatter / Another Service
Whether you're publishing for the first time, the fifth time or the fiftieth, you need to work with professionals. That lone wolf analogy always gets me, I don't know about you guys but I work with a huge array of professionals to get my books to readers. The Alliance of Independent Authors has a host of tools to help you find the perfect service, including editors, designers, distributors, marketers and rights licensing professionals. I regularly use the discounts and deals and have found cover designers and editors via the portal.
Member-only service: Discounts and Deals
ALLi is proud to provide a curated list of approved service partners and to alert authors to bad actors, though a watchdog desk. ALLi's partner members generously provide author members with a host of discounts and deals.
To Access: Once logged in, navigate to: APPROVED SERVICES > DISCOUNTS AND DEALS. There you can search by service type or scroll through all the deals.
Member-only service: Approved Partner Search
Member-only service. Once logged into the member portal, you can search for a vetted, trusted Partner Member using the Approved Partner List. Navigate to: APPROVED SERVICES > SEARCH FOR A SERVICE. Here, you can put together the perfect team for your book. You can search by either service category or territory, keyword, or you can search by a combination.
Community Service: Approved Partner Directory
The Self-Publishing Service Directory is a magazine showcase of ALLi Partner Members: vetted author services that comply with ALLi standards of ethics and excellence. Members can view, download and print by logging in and navigating to: APPROVED SERVICES > PARTNER MEMBER DIRECTORY.
Non-members: you can view only (no download)..
I Want to Find My Writing Community
I know I just said the lone wolf analogy was a myth, but equally, writing really is a single-person job. Over lockdown I had a strange mix of being suffocated by family constantly in my personal space and feeling deeply lonely because I was separated from all my writing buddies. ALLi fosters an amazingly supportive community between its members and if you're not part of it, you should be.
The ALLi Facebook forum is a focal point for members. With thousands of authors from across the globe, the member forum has a wealth of people and experience. From new and unpublished authors through to six and seven-figure authors, there's always someone willing to give a response, suggestion or answer to any question an author has. You can access the forum once you're a member.
The forum is also the fastest way to solve a problem. If you have an urgent issue, there are members from around the globe in the forum and therefore always someone on hand to help answer your question.
The Alliance of Independent Authors is a global organization, which is why we have an ambassador program with ambassadors in several regions such as New Zealand, Italy, and Nordic areas to name just three. Find out more about the ambassador program here.
ALLi Ambassadors are volunteers who take time out of their busy author businesses to mention ALLi where it makes sense, and in the method that is most comfortable to them.
We don’t pressure authors to join ALLi (or to become ambassadors!) because that’s not what we’re about. Instead, we focus on being helpful—sharing ALLi’s many amazing resources and leading by example in our daily writing and publishing lives.
I Want to Learn About Self-Publishing
The Self-Publishing Advice Conference (#SelfPubCon) is an online author conference. It's run by us, free of charge, once a year, 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. Presentations, interviews, panel sessions, debates and more.
It's free to all for three days and then moves behind a paywall. ALLi members get lifetime access for the duration of they membership.
Obviously I am wildly bias, this is the bit of ALLi I work on. But still… The Self-Publishing Advice blog is here to help you learn more about the seven stages of publishing. From writing and editing to marketing, selling and pushing your business to a higher level. Each week, we publish articles, news bulletins, podcasts and ultimate guides to topics you need to help you grow your author business. And it's rather good even if I do say so myself.
Alongside the foundational and advanced podcasts, each week the AskALLi team brings you array of shows to help you in your author journey, including:
- The AskALLi Q&A with Orna Ross and Michael LaRonn. The duo answer ALLi members’ current self-publishing queries. All are welcome to listen and learn but only ALLi Members can submit questions. You can do that here.
- Self-Publishing News Podcast is monthly. ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway and Multimedia Manager Howard Lovy. Together, they keep you up-to-date with the latest self-publishing news and views.
- Bi-Monthly: Inspirational Indie Authors Interviews. Howard runs bi-monthly interviews with ALLi members whose books or personal stories are inspiring and educational for other indie authors.
The Alliance of Independent Authors has published a number of guide books and short guides covering an array of topics like:
- Self-Publishing Children's Books
- Creative Self-Publishing
- How to Sell Publishing Rights
- Choosing the Best Self-Publishing Service
- Getting Your Book into Bookstores
- Book Prizes and Awards
- Your First 50 Reviews
- Podcasting for Authors
- and more
ALLi members can download free digital copies of all of ALLi's publications by logging in and navigating to PUBLICATIONS. Alternatively, non-members can still get copies of our books by visiting our bookshop here.
The Member Magazine
Three times a year, ALLi produces a member magazine to keep you abreast of our most important campaigns, blog posts, podcast episodes, and member news, as well as key articles about the most pressing topics of interest to the community. (Member Only)
To access: Log in and navigate to PUBLICATIONS > MEMBER MAGAZINE
I Need Help, I've Been Scammed or Have a Problem
This is the moment we hope you never experience. But sadly, it happens. If you've been scammed, you're worried about an approach or you're considering a particular service, then I advise checking out the watchdog and ratings service so that you can assess the best options for you and your business.
If you're stuck, you can't find an answer and you need help, then members can reach out to the AskALLi Helpdesk.
To Access: Members, email your issue directly to the head of the watchdog desk, John Doppler: [email protected].
ALLi spends a considerable amount of time running national campaigns and lobbying on behalf of all authors. You can find details of our ongoing campaigns here and we are currently supporting an author campaign against Amazon ACX-Audible.
I Need Help With a Contract I've Been Offered
When I started out I never dreamt I'd have any offers from publishers. It sounded like one of those far off things that only the titans of the indie world experienced. But over the summer to my absolute shock, there was an offer in my inbox. True story — I thought it was spam! If it weren't for the rights desk I'd have ignored it completely. I sent it off to the desk only to discover that apparently, it wasn't spam at all. If you ever find yourself in receipt of a rights query, the ALLi rights desk is here to help.
A rights desk, rights reachout service, and dedicated literary agent focus on helping our qualifying members to license translation, TV, film and other rights. If you've received an approach, pitch, contract, option, or other offer, and you're unsure whether it's a good deal, ALLi's dedicated literary agent and rights desk can help. (Member-only)
To Access: Just submit your question and contract to Member Support Desk. (Member-only)
I Need Help With Advanced Business Topics
But wait, even if you're not a first time author, but a seasoned pro, ALLi is still here to help you. Like the main ALLi Facebook Forum, there's a dedicated business forum for like-minded authorpreneurs in more advanced stages of their careers where you can business questions, thoughts and news.
For those who know how to self-publish and want to expand their income, impact and influence, this podcast is for you. It has top tips and tools for running a successful author business, plus analysis of the latest self-publishing news and trends.
That's it. These are some of my favorite resources ALLi has, I'd love to hear what your favorite resources are in the comments.