Why Should I Join A Self-Publishing Association?
Professional associations exist for almost all industries and employment sectors. Such associations encourage members’ collaboration and mutual learning, working together for each other.
Here are four reasons why you, a self-publishing indie author, might join a self-publishers’ association.
- To Gain Respect
Professional organisations encourage high standards. Membership says “I am serious about my writing and publishing”, which encourages others to take you seriously too. For example, ALLi members and advisors are prominent at book fairs, literary events and in press and online media. Members receive a badge which can be displayed on websites and author blogs.
- To Receive World-class Information and Advice
Most importantly, to receive that advice from a trusted source: other indie authors and their trusted advisors. Learn about the latest developments and resources in the publishing industry, attend free online seminars and conferences, become part of our closed forums and groups. You gain many shortcuts and insider advice that helps you self-publish well and sell more copies of your books.
- To Save Money
But doesn’t joining a professional publishers association cost money? Yes, but membership benefits mean you recoup that money immediately and go on to save a great deal more than the annual fee. There’s even an earning opportunity if you spread the word about the organization.
- To Open Up to Opportunities
Professional association provides opportunities for you to network with other authors, publishers and book industry professionals.
Why *This* Self-Publishing Association?
There are other associations but ALLi is a nonprofit, founded and run by indie authors for indie authors.
ALLi’s outstanding achievements were recognised last year when founder, Orna Ross, was named “One of the 100 Most Influential People In Publishing” by publishing trade magazine, The Bookseller, alongside people like JK Rowling and Tom Weldon, CEO of Penguin/Random House.
Who is involved at ALLi?
Our organisation was founded by author and former literary agent, Orna Ross, as a nonprofit endeavour, in response to her personal experience of taking her rights back from her trade publisher (Penguin) to self-publish. We have an Advisory Board of world-class authors and educators, bloggers and service providers, all of whom hold the author-publishing choice in high esteem and all of whom generously share their exceptional knowledge and skills.
Their contribution is supplemented by our Campaign Team, Watchdog Team and Literary Community Builders. And of course our members, advisors and friends, from leading indies to the writers who are just starting out on their self-publishing journey. Together, we are powerful.
For more about who is involved in ALLi see: Our Team
Can’t I find what ALLi offers elsewhere free of charge?
There are many free forums and information streams online (including our own Self-Publishing Advice Blog) but ALLi brings together a dedicated team that helps to promote and elevate our members’ books as well as offering a campaigning voice and contacts within the industry. These contacts offer discounts to our members that repay the cost of subscription many times over. And many of our members earn more than they pay through our affiliate programme, by bringing their author friends into the organisation. Hear what our members have to say over here.
What is ALLi’s attitude towards trade publishing?
It is one of many services now available to the indie author who, as creative director, will consider each book project on its own merits and choose the best available publishing service for each project.
A publisher that is willing to take account of a writer’s self-publishing credentials, and to acknowledge the writer as the creative director of the book and — crucially — reflect this mutual collaboration in royalties and terms (not just lip service) can be a good partner for a successful indie author. A trade publisher who pays poor royalties (as most trade publishers still do on ebooks) can still be a good choice for an indie, if the scale and publishing and marketing plan is good.
For the writer who wants bookstore distribution, trade publishing is still the best option but too many authors part with lucrative rights (world rights, e-book, print and audio book), without asking necessary questions about territory, subsidiary rights and reversion clause, to name but three crucial areas of consideration. [For more on this see How to Choose A Self-Publishing Service and How Authors Sell Publishing Rights.
Many of our members have trade publishing contracts for some books while self-publishing others. Some have a trade publisher for the print edition while retaining the lucrative ebook rights for themselves — and there is much room for exploration between indie publishers and indie authors here.
Through our ongoing “Open Up To Indie Authors” Campaign and other guides, campaigns and associations, ALLi is helping to facilitate mutually beneficial partnerships between authors and the publishing industry and book trade – publishers, bookstores, libraries, book clubs, festivals, literary events, as well as reading agencies all over the world.