Today on Self-Publishing News: Book bans vs. hate literature. Librarians are accusing the Hoopla platform of distributing antisemitic and other conspiracy theory books, including Holocaust denial titles. But where is the line between "banning books" and establishing standards?
My ALLi author guest this episode is Jennifer Helfand, who writes under the pen name Jordana Chana Mayim. Jennifer specializes in writing stories for children and adults about people who don't quite fit in, who long for something more in their lives. It's a subject she knows well because she spent a childhood not really fitting in, herself, until she found travel, writing, and indie publishing. Jennifer hopes that her books help others find where they can fit in, too. I'll let Jennifer tell her story.
My ALLi author guest this episode is Ivan Wainewright, whose second book, The Other Times of Caroline Tangent, recently won the 2022 Selfie Award for fiction. It was presented to him at the Author HQ corner of the London Book Fair in early April. He was so surprised that he had won the award that acknowledges the best self-published books of the year, he had to run across the hall to fetch his book. But, as we'll hear in this episode, Ivan has been preparing to write this book for most of his life. I'll let Ivan Wainewright tell his story.
Today on Self-Publishing News: Indie publishing is a great news story! I've given ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway the month off while I focus on the 10th anniversary of the Alliance of Independent Authors. I recently flew from my hometown of Traverse City, Michigan, to London to attend the London Book Fair, where my colleagues at ALLi were celebrating a decade since our founder, Orna Ross, launched the self-publishing group at 2012's book fair. I come from a journalism background, so I did what I enjoy doing at events like this. I interviewed people. And, today, I'll feature many of their voices about where indie publishing has been, where it is today, and where it's going.
My ALLi author guest this episode is Dharma Kelleher, a trans writer who believes it is important, especially in these troubled times, to portray trans characters as just as human as everybody else. Since her childhood in Georgia, Dharma has known what it is like to be marginalized. Today, she has a great deal to teach about empowerment through her fiction and nonfiction.
My ALLi author guest this episode is Julie Bonn Blank, who suffered from domestic abuse during her first marriage, but now uses that experience to help others through the pain and recovery of abuse and human trafficking. Her indie publishing journey is part of her overall mission to show victims the way to a better life.
Brandon Sanderson, a sci-fi/fantasy author, raised more than $30 million on Kickstarter. And, for some reason, people are really, really outraged that an indie writer, of all people, should attract that much attention and money.
My ALLi author guest this episode is Orna Ross, director of the Alliance of Independent Authors. I'm having her on as a special guest to celebrate ALLi's tenth birthday. It was at the London Book Fair in 2012 that Orna announced the formation of a group to help, and advocate for, the growing number of indie authors who were demanding to be heard. And in the last decade, ALLi has grown far bigger than even she had imagined.
My ALLi author guest this episode is Harriet Hodgson, who is eighty-six years old and spent most of her life as an educator. Then, one by one, she lost important people in her life. The way she coped with grief was to write about it. And then to create art. Since 2007, Harriet has specialized in writing literature on how to deal with loss.
Who makes money from subscription services? Also, Draft2Digital acquires Smashwords. These are among the topics discussed on Self-Publishing News with Alli…
My ALLi author guest this episode is Jim Merryfield, who lived what he called the British version of the Wolf of Wall Street. He was rolling in dough from his sales job for a company that really didn't care about the impact it was having on the world. Jim decided it wasn't a life for him. So, he bought a motorcycle, saw the world, and wrote about how others can do the same. Midlife crisis? Not quite. Jim Merryfield is only twenty-seven years old.
My ALLi author guest this episode is Rachel McLean, winner of the 2021 Kindle Storyteller Award who enjoys writing crime thrillers that also make you think. The key to Rachel's success, she says, is to strike a balance between what you enjoy writing and what you know readers will buy. I'll let Rachel explain in her own words.