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Should I Attend Author Conferences?  AskALLi Members’ Q&A October 2018

Should I Attend Author Conferences? AskALLi Members’ Q&A October 2018

Welcome to AskALLi, the Self-Publishing Advice Podcast from the Alliance of Independent Authors. This week it’s our monthly Member Q&A where ALLi Members’ have their most pressing self-publishing questions analyzed and answered. Join your regular hosts for the Member Q&A: Michael La Ronn and Dan Blank.

The AskALLi podcasts are sponsored by Damonza: Books Made Awesome.

Questions this month include

  • Are book teasers a good marketing tool?
  • Could ALLI recommend a reputable producer of book trailers?
  • How can I better publicize my self-published book The Trivial Tragedy of Hilda the Vegetarian Vampire Bat?
  • How do I find podcasters / bloggers / reviewers to whom to pitch a book for interviews / coverages / reviews?
  • Is Santa Claus copyrighted?
  • How do I copyright a book?
  • Should I create an LLC or PLC to protect myself and my family?
  • Where can I find a good cover designer?

If you haven’t already, we invite you to join our organization and become a self-publishing ally. You can do that at http://allianceindependentauthors.org.

Listen to the AskALLi Members’ Q&A

Subscribe to our Ask ALLi podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Player.FM, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or via our RSS feed:

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Watch the AskALLi Members’ Q&A

About the Hosts

Michael La Ronn is the author of over 30 books of science fiction & fantasy and authors self-help books. His books include the Galaxy Mavericks series and Modern Necromancy series.

Dan Blank is the founder of WeGrowMedia, where he helps writers and artists share their stories and grow their audience. He is the author of the book “Be the Gateway: A Practical Guide to Sharing Your Creative Work and Engaging an Audience.”

Read the Transcripts

Michael: Welcome to the AskALLi Member Q & A podcast and it is October 2018 and we are here to answer your most burning self-publishing questions. I’m your host Michael La Ronn and I’m joined with Dan Blank from WeGrow Media. How are you, Dan?

Dan: Very good. Good morning.

Michael: Good morning. So it’s another great morning. We’re here to answer questions that’s about six o’clock where I am in the morning, seven o’clock where you are. You have a big clock tower next to your office that dings three minutes late, so that means it’s time to get started.

Dan: Indeed.

Michael: So what’s up with you, Dan? What’s new in your world?

Dan: You know, it’s funny, yes, so I just started up, I run a quarterly mastermind group and, you know, it started up, so for me it’s great because it’s kind of like back to school. We kind of come in with a new group of writers, it’s a small group collaboration and it feels like, you remember when you’re like, you know, in elementary school or something, getting to know new people, you’re focusing on like a three month goal, like a semester goal and it’s fun.

I think that this time of year is really exciting for new starts. And I think that that applies to maybe NANO and even applies to what we’re talking about earlier, which is we have a lot of questions this week and people really, I think, wake up and get excited about their goals this time of year, so I just love experiencing that.

Michael: Yeah, there’s something about October, I don’t know what it is. I actually have a friend that the way she runs her business is October is basically the start of her fiscal year.

Dan: Oh, nice.

Michael: Which I always thought that was kind of interesting, you know, there’s really no rhyme or reason to it but she just believes that October is the perfect time to kind of reengage and restart.

Dan: I wonder if like many businesses the last quarter’s her biggest quarter and it’s that way of her starting off the year right because it’s like a big financial quarter.

Michael: That actually makes a lot of sense. Well cool, so I am working on my new book, so I have a new nonfiction book coming out, it was originally for NANOWRIMO but I’ve widened the focus because then I realized, well, then I can only market it once a year, if it’s for an NANOWRIMO, so this one is marketed for beginners and it’s how to write your first novel, basically.

So, I get that question literally almost every week just in my own YouTube channel and so I was like, well, I’ll write a book for that so that way I have something I can send people to and a lot of people been asking me to write a book on it, so I will probably launch that next month or so, probably by the-

Dan: I was going to make a joke that knowing you it will be out next month, but of course, that’s not a joke with you.

Michael: No, no, it’s already scheduled with my editor and it’s basically done at this point so-

Dan: That’s awesome.

Michael: That’s kind of what’s up with me, but what we wanted to talk about this week for our theme was the importance of author conferences, because a question that we often get is “Well, why should I even attend? You know, I’m going to pay a ridiculous amount of money for a plane ticket. I’m going to pay a ridiculous amount of money for a hotel. I’m going to have to pay a conference fee which is usually several hundred dollars and I’m going to have to pay for my meals while I’m there and help me understand why I need to go to a physical author conference, right?”

And so Dan and I both had some experience in this space and we thought it would be a really good opportunity to talk about why the conferences are important and why the networking that comes out of the conferences is so important as well. So-

Dan: Indeed. I come to this place with one statement first, which is if you don’t have colleagues, you’re not a professional and I look at an author conference as not so much about the information as about you developing relationships and professional connections, you showing up and being engaged kind of fully, almost challenging yourself of whether “Is this a hobby? Is this something that I toy with, I play with because it makes me feel good and it’s always going to be a little hobby or do I want something more with that?”

And I think this is a really great place to challenge yourself and consider, “Do I know any other writers? Have I talked to any editors, any people in marketing, any people in the various aspects of publishing?” If you haven’t, it’s one of those kind of litmus tests of “Is this a hobby or is it a profession?” That’s the first place I come to this from.

Michael: Now and that’s really smart because I actually just attended the IndieLab conference by Writer’s Digest and I was there on behalf of ALLi and, you know, I gave the speech but for the most part I was there just kind of representing ALLi and sitting in on a lot of the sessions and a lot of the writers that I met there were just so driven, you know, there were nonfiction writers there who, you know, did freelancing on the side, there were novelists there and almost all of them, if not, actually I think almost all of them, either had published a book or literally had a book on the way, like publishing within several months and they were there because they wanted those connections and because they wanted to know the cutting edge industry news and there’s something to be said about that, right?

I mean, anyone could write a book, right? Actually, I shouldn’t say that, but I actually do believe that anyone can write a book but most people can’t follow through with it, you know, and it’s the few people that do that become authors and so those people form some connections there, you know, and that’s an important thing. So they they’ve been made friends with each other. They’ve got to know some of the speakers. The speakers often offer, you know, special deals or discounts or, you know, one of things I offered was the ability to review anyone’s website for free, so just shoot me an email and I offered to do that as as a member of the conference, just as a value add-

Dan: That’s generous.

Michael: It’s the sorts of things that help you stand out.

Dan: Yeah, I mean one thing, I’ve spoken at a lot of conferences and attended a lot and I mean, the other place I came to with this was that, take this with a little bit of a grain of salt, but I feel like most people attend a conference wrong.

Michael: Yeah.

Dan: They don’t come with a plan of any sort. They come, they will get the book and they’ll be highlight the sessions they want to go to, they come with a passivity that I think is detrimental to them not just getting something out of it from a business sense but actually finding joy in it. And I think when you don’t have a plan it means that you don’t have a way of actually breaking out of what a lot of us have, which is most of us are introverts, most of us go to the same job, have the same family members, the same friends, we don’t put ourselves in these situations.

So you bring yourself into a big ballroom in whatever city you want to name and you’re sitting next to someone, maybe you talk to the person next to you and I’ve done this in the past, you kind of make that friend early on and then you cling to them. Then they’re your buddy and that’s the person you attend the conference with but you don’t really have a plan of saying “This is what I’m going to be about, this is how I’m going to introduce myself to people,” which is going to be challenging for a lot of writers.

These are questions I’m going to ask to get to know people, even strangers, people that I might be nervous to talk to. These are the specific three people I want to meet who I know are going to be speaking at this event and I’m going to maybe prep that ahead of time and then maybe, you know, try to see them in the hall, go to conference and email them after or even saying things like, “If I could walk out the conference with these three things, wow, would that have been money well spent.”

Michael: Yeah, that’s such a good point, because I think when people think about going to a conference with like an agenda, what they usually think about is “OK. Who can I meet? You know, who can I…What can I get from this person and so on and so forth?”

Dan: So you mean that either the way of “Can I meet someone who is-

Michael: Yeah, who’s going to help me get to the next level.

Dan: Well, no, or a transactional which is “I’m going to go and give our 400 cards and if two percent of those people call me back, it’s a win.” Like it’s a transaction.

Michael: Exactly, you nailed it. You nailed it and that’s and that’s the wrong way to do it. So I met J. Thorn at the conference and J. Thorn is a well known Indie author, super well respected, he’s an awesome guy. I’ve been following him off and on, you know, on the on the internet since like 2012, so, like, I’ve watched his career really grow and he’s just doing some amazing things right now and so I wanted to meet him in person because, you know, we have chatted on Facebook every once in a while, like via posts and things like that but never had a chance to formally meet him and so when I met him, you know, he was just as nice as could be, right? Exactly what I expected and so the first thing out of his mouth was, “Yeah, what’s going on, man? How can I help you?” And that just stuck out with me, right, because it wasn’t, “Oh yeah, how are things going?” it was, “How can I help you?”

You know and I think that not enough people think about that when they’re interacting and networking with other writers is that maybe you have something to offer someone else. Go with the idea that you can give something to someone, not take something and I think that’s so fundamentally important.

Dan: I love that. I also feel like maybe a part of why he asked that question to you is also that framing of “Here we are at a professional event, we all have skills, we’re all here to do the work. How can I do that work?” And, you know, I have, you know, when I’ve spoken, it’s so amazing to meet people. But there is that thing where there are some people who are not prepared, so they, you know, you meet them, they tell you this a long story about how they got there, and then you ask about their work and they haven’t really thought about how to describe their book so, you go on this long, you don’t hear about the book, you hear about all the ups and downs of the journey for them and it’s sort of like, after a while, you’re sort of like this is great, but there’s four people behind them, there’s an event coming up in ten minutes and you’re like, well there’s nothing, there’s no structure to it, so the idea of “How can I help you?” is a wonderful framing advice too, of like, “I’m happy to help but let’s get to it.”

Michael: Exactly and so what are…What’s your… Because, like, I’m an introvert so and I imagine that most people listening to this are going to be introverted and just the idea of going to a conference like this and eating lunch like, lunch, meal times make me the most nervous, like I can deal with crowds, I can deal with one on one interactions but it’s, I don’t know what it is. it’s just about my personality, that the mealtimes always make me nervous.

For someone that is going to a conference and they’re nervous about whatever it might be, networking, meeting new people, what’s one piece of advice that has worked for you in the past in terms of connecting with people in a way that makes them open up and makes it a little less awkward?

Dan: I’m trying to think of whether I should give you the the radically honest answer. And I’m going to because if-

Michael: I suspect I know what this answer is.

Dan: It changes the question. So I’m an introvert and you’re talking to me in my studio. I basically don’t leave my town. I leave my town a little bit, I’ve actually stopped going to conferences, not because I don’t believe in them, love conferences, I don’t want to be away from my family. I enjoy my work, I enjoy my routine so to bring it back to your question, how I’ve done this, because I understand that nervousness and I’m fine, I love public speaking, I can walk into a room and feel that nervousness but not like cave or anything, but what I’ve done is I use e-mail. I use Skype. I use questions online so something that I would do is I would email people ahead of time, I would find other ways, like my Creative Shift Mastermind group is all about a way of finding collaborators without having to travel to St Louis on these dates, walk into that room with you little tray of food and feel nervous.

But to go back to your specific question, as well, as I don’t want to overlook that. A lot of times I think that, yeah, I’ll go with a question in my mind so it’s the idea of anyone I sit down to I can ask them, you know, like, “What are you most excited about here?” Or, you know, it’s like, you know, “Is anything blowing you away yet?” Or, you know, something where I can ask this question of anyone and it’s immediately about them and it’s also kind of framing it too about the event or about something specific that they’re really passionate about, because if you just say “Where are you from?” It’s like then you’re stuck in a conversation about some random city.

Even if, I mean, you can ask about what they’re writing because as a writer you might be interested, but really think about what you want most and also think about what connects you to someone. I think that one aspect here is that a lot of people go to these events and they think about “I want to meet Michael. I want to meet J. Thorn. I want to meet Joanna Penn” and what they do is they ignore the writers around them and I think that you have to look at them as people who are going to be potentially colleagues for the rest your writing career. So you want to get to know them, you want to establish for a rapport and you want to follow up with them.

Michael: Yeah, that’s yeah, that’s kind of what I was getting at. What I thought you were going to say was “I just forced myself to do it, you know, like, I just throw myself out there and get to know people even if it feels, you know, weird at first because ultimately it gets better.” But yeah, that’s not where I thought you were going.

You know, it’s duly noted on not attending author conferences. I think it can eat up a lot of your time, right? Having attended IndieLab I think the most important takeaway for me was just trying to make sure that I connected with people regardless of who they were.

Dan: Love that. Love that.

Michael: So anyone who came up to me, I always made sure to get to know them, not so much what they wrote, but just kind of what drives them and what fuels them and I had some really great conversations with a lot of the attendees there and I just think you have to, even if there are certain people you want to talk to, just open yourself up to the possibility that you’re going to meet people that you didn’t know would be there and that’s awesome.

Dan: That’s such a great point. I started by saying, “Have a plan,” but I think your point, too, is such a great counterbalance to that, which is some of my greatest professional relationships I’ve had or memories of conferences are from that unexpected thing, the meeting someone in the hallway, striking up a conversation and now I’m still connected with them or I remember them. I don’t remember who the keynote speaker was, but I remember that conversation in that weird hallway of the Hilton.

Michael: Yeah and one of the conversations I remember the most was I was eating lunch with with an author named Phil and I’d seen him around the conference and, you know, we had we said hello and those sorts of things, but so I just started chatting with them and started asking him kind of what he wrote and what his story was and he actually has lived in Africa for the last, I don’t know, twenty, thirty years and has traveled all seven continents and basically runs a nonprofit with his wife to stop human trafficking and he was telling me about how dangerous that is when you when you live in other countries and you’re trying to help protect other people and trying to protect those resources and so his book was about that in trying to raise awareness for human trafficking and I thought that was fascinating, you know, just getting to know someone and where they’re coming from.

Dan: Love that, that is awesome.

Michael: Alright, so any last parting tips you would offer other than author conferences are important and it is important to go network.

Dan: Do your research. I would hate for someone to go to a conference assuming “I’m going to go and I’m going to get this level thing” and it’s a different conference. You’re talking about, you know, the conference you just went to as well it sounds like they had vetted people in a certain way, where a certain kind of author went there, so if you want, you know, you’ve got to really vet this and maybe talk to people who have gone to that specific event in years past. I would hate for you to go to an event expecting one thing but you didn’t do your homework enough, you made some assumptions and it was the wrong event for you, because then you sour on conferences altogether and that’s not good for anyone.

Michael: Yeah and I would also say, make sure you follow up on the contacts that you make at events. So one of the things that I do that works well for me is when I meet someone, I always at the end of the night, every night I’m there, I take their business card and I write on their business card what we talked about, you know, so that way I can remember everything that we discussed and then for those people that I felt that I really connected with, more than just the superficial level, I always, the day after the conference, emailed them and just thank them for their time, that it was nice to meet them, I follow up on the things that we talked about if it was sending them away to a book or a resource and you know, just keep the door open and-

Dan: Super smart.

Michael: Yeah, you’d be amazed, I mean, you’d be amazed how many podcast interviews you can book from at the end of an author event or just people that want to chat with you, you know, for thirty minutes or people you can chat with on Skype for thirty minutes and yeah, you just don’t do with any expectation of return, you just do it to connect with people.

Dan: I love that.

Michael: Alright, so let’s move into our questions, we have a lot of questions this month, so we’re going to have some fun.

Dan: Alright, so the first one is from Liv. Are book teasers a good marketing tool and does ALLi have a list of vetted providers?

Michael: So book teasers, I think what she’s referring to in the sense of this word is something that basically teases your book in like a visual way, so like something that has like a blurb, you know, that has your blurb, that you can easily shared to people that makes it easy for them to interact with your book and then obviously, have a buy link at the end. At least that’s what I think she’s referring to and we do have some partner members that provide those types of services that I alway hesitate to list names because I never know when people are going to listen to this, but the one that I think you would definitely want to check out in our partner member directory would be Bublish, I know that they have a service and it’s a really cool, slick looking app that allows you to really embed, you know, embed your book and share it and make it really attractive to people when you’re marketing it, so that’s the one I would definitely check out.

Dan: Alright, so Anthony asks what I think is a related question, “Could ALLi recommend a reputable producer of book trailers? I’m in need of one.”

Michael: Yeah, I don’t know any off the top of my head in our member directory or our partner directory but I would definitely check that out, it’s always changing, I mean, we always have people that, you know, are applying for partner member status and so I would check there. I’m pretty sure we’ve got some marketing agencies in there that could probably help you put one together. If you can’t find one of those, another good way to do this is to go to a site like UpWork and you can hire a freelancer, basically, you can post a job and say what you need, so, “Hey, I have a book trailer, you know, I want to convey this content, it needs to be this long, you know, I have these photos and these videos that I want to use” and they can help you put it together for a pretty reasonable cost and then people will bid on your job and then you can pick the best freelancer that works best for you and work together and get that put together.

Dan: Yeah, I’d say you can also talk to authors whose book trailers you like and reach out to them and asked them “Was it worth it to you and how did you get this produced? Who did you use?”

Michael: Exactly. Yeah, the key is not to break the bank too much, you know. I’ve seen book trailers where they, you know, people get actors and models and things like that. I don’t know that that’s practical for most people but something that’s super simple, like you can get some stock music and you can get some stock footage from a site like Videoblocks or Story Blocks, and you can see kind of splice those together and you know Photoshop your book in in, you know, a thirty seconds to a minute clip. I’ve seen some people see some success with that.

Dan: Next question is from Beth. “How can I better publicize my self published book and she actually gave the title and I’m going to read it because I think it adds a lot of context. The Trivial Tragedy of Hilda the Vegetarian Vampire Bat.”

Michael: Yes, The Trivial Tragedy of Hilda the Vegetarian Vampire Bat. Try to say that three times really fast. We had to read that name because that’s like an awesome book title, right, it’s funny.

Dan: Totally.

Michael: And so I’m actually on Beth’s website right now, so thank you for your question, Beth and so I’m looking at the book and it looks like, OK, so it says “Every year in Vampire Creek there is an initiation ball for adolescent bats who have not yet tasted human blood. Hilda, a vegetarian, doesn’t quite fit in.” So I’m looking at her website and she’s got a really nice book page, actually so you can visit her website at SilverwoodBooks.co.uk. So she’s got a nice book description, she’s got some buy links, you can get on Apple books. I’m kind of looking at her author bio and she’s also got a press room for this book in particular, which is pretty nice, so just looking at the book cover it’s not bad, it almost looks like, I would say, a book for children and teens, which it is, so I would think, Beth, think about ways that you can reach teachers, you know, is there a way that you can get this book in front of teachers, you know, for the age group that’s appropriate for your book because I think that if a kid saw this, I think that they’d have a ball with it, you know, it just would be funny, because looking at the cover of they would enjoy it.

So is there a way you can get this in front of teachers, are libraries maybe a route that you can go. I’m not sure how a book like this would do on Amazon or in ebook format just because it looks like the audience group is going to be a bit younger. And we all know that kids haven’t quite adopted e-books in the way that we expected them to yet, so it seems like your market is going to be teachers and parents. So how can you get that in front of teachers and parents and maybe that Facebook ads to reach new people. Maybe there’s some sort of a book trailer you can put together. Are there podcast interviews that maybe you could go on that, you know, that have a young adult audience or a middle grade audience that you can can reach, just off the top of my head looking at your website those would be some of the tips that I would offer to you.

Dan: Alright, the next question is from Matty. “Can you provide any guidance or point me to any resources for finding podcasters, bloggers, reviewers to whom to pitch a book for interviews, coverage, reviews?”

Michael: Yeah this is kind of a, this is a tough question just because I don’t know that there’s a network out there that you can go and look for a podcast interviews. I know that there are services out there that promise to help you get podcast reviews. I’ve always seen those as a little dubious, personally. I think the best tip I would offer you, Matty, is just look at the podcast currently in your niche. And pitch them, you know, if your book is a good good fit for their podcast, you know, reach out to them and just see if they would be interested interviewing you. Now there’s an art to that, you know, podcast interviewers every day get pitches from authors that, you know, that want to that want their books to be featured.

I would focus on the audience and what it is that you can offer to them that’s going to entertain them or educate them on what it is that you’re trying to write about and you would be surprised if you can land one podcast interview how many podcast interviewers actually listen other podcasts in their niche. I honestly can say most of the podcast interviews I’ve received were because another podcaster heard me on another podcast and so they wanted to have me on theirs and it’s the same thing with bloggers and reviewers as well.

Dan: Love that. Alright, so our next question is from Haley. “I’m writing a Christmas story involving Santa but I’ve invented his wife and her name plus a couple other characters using some well-known characters from Santa, the North Pole, the elves, reindeer. Is this OK or do I need permission and if so how would I go about getting permission?” I’ll kind of end it there, it kind of keeps going, she didn’t know if they’re in public domain or not.

Michael: Yeah, I’m not one hundred percent sure and Dan and I aren’t lawyers but I think and nothing we say is legal advice, always have to get that out there, I’m pretty sure that the The Santa Clause lore and the reindeer and the North Pole and all that stuff, I’m pretty sure that’s public domain. I don’t think you have to worry too much about using Santa Claus in a story or inventing a name for his wife. I think you’ll be fine with all of that. The only thing you have to be a little bit careful of is just make sure you’re not infringing on the copyright of anyone else’s Santa Claus. So there are thousands of different versions of Santa Claus out there, just make sure that you’re not, you know, if there’s a Santa Claus movie that you really like, just make sure you’re not, make sure that the details of your story and the things that you’re doing in it don’t hit home a little too close to those. But yes, Santa Claus as a character, I think you would be fine.

Dan: Next question is from Ed, “How do I copyright a book?”

Michael: Yes, so this is a question we get fairly often, but I don’t know that we’ve answered it recently so I thought that it would be a good idea to cover it again, so just with caveat that Dan and I aren’t lawyers and nothing we say is legal advice, but you know, copyright, at least in most countries of the world, they’ve adopted a uniform approach to copyright so it’s reciprocal. You’re for the most part playing on the same field in most countries of the world and the simple fact is that the moment you create something, it’s automatically copyrighted, you know, copyright is the right of expression, so once you finish your book, it’s copyrighted.

What people think about when they’re when they say “I want to copyright a book” is registering it with the government so that if someone else infringes on your copyright you have the right to stop them from doing it or to basically deter people from infringing your work because registering it in the government basically provides notice to the world that this book is copyrighted by you. So it’s an added layer of protection and it gives you some rights to assert if someone were to ever, you know, infringe on your copyright and so in the United States, the way you do that is you can register your copyright through the United States Copyright Office and there’s just a fee of thirty five dollars, you upload your manuscript, you get a nice little receipt and so on and so forth and you get some legal benefits from doing that here in the states.

In the U.K. the process is pretty similar and in most countries it’s going to be pretty similar. You just need to find the copyright office of the country that you live in and there’s usually a nominal fee that you pay. And that’s how you register and protect your work and the book that I would recommend to you, and it’s the book that really made light bulbs go off over my head, is The Copyright Handbook by Steven Fishman. It’s a fantastic book that has everything that you need to know about it, it’s I think it’s like thirty-five or forty dollars, so it’s a little on the pricey side but it’s money well spent and it will walk you through everything you need to know.

Dan: Alright, next question is from David who says “I heard somewhere about a writer being sued due to unintentional similarities between their protagonist and a member of the public. It seems you could have lost everything in a defamation of character case. So what answer they received from someone else was publishing the book by registering but they call a P.L.C. I guess in the States it would be an L.L.C.

Michael: Yeah it’s, like, it would be a limited company.

Dan: So if this is the case, how does one go about setting up a P.L.C./ LLC and would it be better to set it up as a publishing house.

Michael: Yeah, I mean, the first thing that goes off and it goes through my mind as, you know, just because you have a PLC or an L.L.C. it’s not going to stop you from getting sued in the first place. I suppose there is some protection, you know, by having a publishing house instead of doing it as a sole proprietor or sole trader as it’s known in the U.K. but that’s definitely something you want to talk to an attorney about because there’s other things that you have to consider too.

I mean there’s tax implications for starting a limited company, there’s, you know, who owns the rights to your books, do you need to do a contract between yourself and the P.L.C. so that the company owns your books and there’s all kinds of other considerations, but yeah, in general, I would definitely recommend putting your publishing company into a company, not necessarily a corporation, but definitely a limited liability company or a P.L.C. because it does give you that added layer of protection, because, yeah, if you do get into trouble someone could potentially come after you personally and all of the personal assets that you and your family own and so if you want to protect those it’s definitely worth talking to an attorney to see what they can do for you, so that you can create that added layer.

Dan: Alright, next question, final question from Colin, would you be able to recommend some trusted quality book cover designers or services? I’ve used Create Space cover designer but it has limited options and images.

Michael: Alright, so it’s our third plug of the day for our ALLi partner member directory, so if you are an ALLi member be sure to go to the ALLi website and on the dashboard you’re going to see under, I believe, it’s services, partner member directory and just click on that and that will basically give you a database and you can filter that database by what you’re looking for.

So you can filter it by cover designers, so you can see who’s our current partner members and you can basically be reasonably assured that those cover designers have to meet our standards of excellence. If they don’t, they’re not in the database, right? So that would be where I would start, that would be where I would recommend any ALLi member start in order to find a good cover designer.

You can also check our discounts and deals section and that’s under our blog if you look under the discounts and deal section. What that will have is any services that are offering discounts, particularly for ALLi members and so you may be able to find a cover designer that has a discount through there, but would be remiss not to recommend our sponsor of our show Damonza.com.

So, just listening to this episode you’ll hear a nice little discount that they offer for ALLi members, so definitely lots of resources to use if you’re an ALLi member and so definitely, we always recommend that you take advantage of that because it’s the little things like that, the little discounts and savings that you can get as a part of your membership that will actually help pay for the cost of your membership.

Dan: Alright, that’s all we have this month.

Michael: Alright. Yep, so we cleaned out our questions, so this has been the Ask ALLi Member Q & A podcast. We love to answer your questions and don’t forget if you are an ALLi member and you can ask your question on our form, just go to your ALLi dashboard and look around for the link and if you ask your question, you just might hear it on the air from Dan and I.

Dan: We’ll see you guys next month and thanks for listening.

Howard Lovy

Howard Lovy is an editor and writer with more than 30 years of experience in journalism, from newspapers to magazines specializing in business, science, and technology. He has spent the past few years guiding coverage of independent publishing, amplifying voices of the marginalized. Howard is also a book doctor who enjoys working with authors to get their work ready for publication.

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  1. Thanks for the insights and answers, Michael and Dan! Michael, I love the idea of jotting down what you talked about on a person’s business card, that would be a helpful memory cue. I’m hoping I can put it into practice…

  2. On the 3rd October you called for questions for this podcast. I asked, ‘I contacted IPR License to ask if their web based rights platform catered to micro/self publishers and they said no. Are there any companies who service micro/self publishers as a one stop shop regarding rights sales currently?’
    This question was not included in the podcast. Can you answer it here?

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