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Ethical Author

I'm an ethical author Medium

A Campaign Facilitated by the Alliance of Independent Authors

(“Author” being a writer who has published a long-form work of fiction or non-fiction, or equivalent, either via a trade publisher or self-publishing platform.)


Ethical Author Code

Guiding principle: Putting the reader first

When I market my books, I put my readers first.  I don’t engage in any practices that have the effect of misleading the readers/buyers of my books. I behave professionally online and offline when it comes to the following practices in my writing life:


I behave with courtesy and respect toward readers, other authors, reviewers and industry professionals such as agents and publishers. If I find myself in disagreement, I focus on issues rather than airing grievances or complaints in the press or online or engaging in personal attacks of any kind.


I do not hide behind an alias to boost my own sales or damage the sales or reputation of another person. If I adopt a pen name for legitimate reasons, I use it consistently and carefully.

Reviewing and Rating books

I do not review or rate my own or another author’s books in any way that misleads or deceives the reader. I am transparent about my relationships with other authors when reviewing their books.

I am transparent about any reciprocal reviewing arrangements and avoid any practices that result in the reader being deceived.

Reacting to reviews

I do not react to any book review by harassing the reviewer, getting a third party to harass the reviewer, or making any form of intrusive contact with the reviewer. If I’ve been the subject of a personal attack in a review, I respond in a way that is consistent with professional behaviour.

Book Promotions

I do not promote my books by making false statements about them or me, or consent to anyone else promoting them for me in a misleading manner.


I do not attempt to artificially manipulate reviews, downloads, or sales in any way. I understand that the promotional services I hire are an extension of my reputation, so I take the time to verify they use only legal and ethical methods.


I know that plagiarism is illegal and unfair, and I don’t intentionally try to pass off another writer’s words as my own.

Financial ethics

In my business dealings as an author, I make every effort to be accurate and prompt with payments and financial calculations. If I make a financial error, I remedy it as soon as it’s brought to my attention.


I take responsibility for how my books are sold and marketed. If I realise anyone is acting against the spirit or letter of this Code on my behalf, I will refer them to this Code and ask them to modify their behaviour.

Ethical Author Resources

Below you can download the Ethical Author badge, in a variety of sizes.

And if you’d like to tell us your opinion, or add your name to those who are signing up, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.

Ethical Author Badge – Small

– Use the following code to embed in your site:

<a href=""><img src="" alt="I'm an Ethical Author Small" target="_blank"/></a>

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