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What is ALLi?

A Non-Profit Association for Self-Publishing Writers

What is ALLiThe Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi, “ally with an i”) is a professional membership organization fostering ethics and excellence in self-publishing.

ALLi  is a diverse, supportive and friendly community of thousands of authors, collaborating with other author organizations and service partners. 

In addition to an active, engaged, and growing membership, alongside with a healthy social media presence, ALLi has credibility and influence in the publishing and self-publishing industries with its founder-director, the award-winning novelist and poet Orna Ross, repeatedly named one of the “Top 100 people in publishing.” (The Bookseller)

As the only non-profit representing independent authors globally, with members on all seven continents, the association has become the most trusted voice in self-publishing. And its outreach education programs and campaigns ensure its impact is felt beyond its membership designations and borders, influencing the wider author community at every level.

About the Alliance of Independent Authors: Origin

about the Alliance of Independent Authors

Orna Ross

ALLi was founded by Orna and her husband and co-director Philip Lynch at London Book Fair 2012, born out of Orna’s prior work as a poet and author, creativity facilitator, and literary agent, and Philip’s prior work as a company director at a large multinational.

about the Alliance of Independent Authors

Philip Lynch

The catalyst was Orna’s own experience of digital self-publishing which she describes as “transformative”, not just for her publishing but also for her writing. (see below)

Its genesis was the need for a professional association, with a focus on excellence and ethics in self-publishing, for the independent, entrepreneurial author emerging alongside digital publishing technology.

The kind of authors who see themselves as the creative directors of their books and their author businesses, who consider trade publishing to be just one route to market, who value creative and commercial independence above validation from others.

Those now best known as indie authors.

About the Alliance of Independent Authors: Features

MEMBERSHIP: There are three membership levels for authors and two for partners.

REACH: ALLi members are everywhere. Since its inauguration, ALLi has grown rapidly and now has thousands of members, and many more thousands of followers, across the globe.

ADVICE: ALLi runs a popular Self-Publishing Advice Center, with a daily blog; bi-weekly podcast (#AskALLi), quarterly member magazine (The Indie Author), and a bi-annual, free online conference (#SelfPubCon).

MEMBER BENEFITS: In addition, the organization offers a great number of benefits to its paid members, including free guidebooks, downloads and resources, a contract review service, and a wide variety of discounts and dealsSome Member Testimonials Here

WATCHDOG: An important aspect of ALLi’s work is overseeing the self-publishing services sector: the organization runs an active Watchdog desk, overseen by indie author John Doppler, that vets self-publishing and author awards and contests.

ADVOCACY: ALLi also advocates within the publishing industry and at government creative-industry level in eight key territories around the world.

CAMPAIGNS: ALLi runs ongoing campaigns to promote the interests of self-publishing authors and collaborates with all the main services in the self-publishing sector.

About the Alliance of Independent Authors: Formation

I had published fiction with a corporate publisher,  non-fiction with an indie press, and had successfully self-published a consignment print book before embarking on digital self-publishing, back in 2011.

At first, it was a tentative experiment. I didn’t know what to expect but I found the experience completely wonderful in every way.

In the years before landing a good deal for my first novel I had been through 54 rejections. Though I was thrilled to sign that two-book contract, I was soon frustrated by the processes of corporate publishing through Penguin, especially having no input into branding, marketing and reaching readers. After spending years writing this novel, and more years in the effort to find a publisher, I wanted to build my readership slowly, one right reader at a time.

They had other ideas. Where I saw my book as page-turning, thought-provoking novel about family and national histories and the ties that bind, they saw what was then called “chick lit”. They made the book an instant bestseller… but at a price. A headless woman on the beach wafting about among neon pink lettering.

The comment I heard most often from readers who loved the book was: “I never would have bought the book except it was recommended to me.” You can read more about this on my author website, I bring it up here only to say that landing a contract with trade publisher was not, as I then thought, the end of it all, the golden winning ticket in the literary lottery.

How lucky we all are that there is now another way.

For my first attempt at self-publishing, I decided on a poetry chapbook. It would be shorter and easier than a novel and, I reasoned, as nobody bought poetry anyway, I could make all the mistakes I was undoubtedly going to make without too many people noticing.

Wrong again. Turned out people did buy poetry books in greater numbers than I thought. I was astonished when my little book started to sell. I soon self-published again, a non-fiction book this time, and this time I put it on all the other major platforms: Apple, Kobo, IngramSpark as well as Amazon.

Soon I wasgetting my rights back to my novels from Penguin and earning far more money from books than I ever had before. And–just as important to me–enjoying far more creative freedom and commercial control. 

I instantly loved being the creative director of my books and soon loved being the creative director of my business. 

Being a joiner, I looked around for a professional association but there wasn’t one with a focus on the two aspects of self-publishing that seemed most important to me. Excellence (an indie authors’ association should encourage best practice in book production, selling and business, I felt). And ethics (an indie authors’ association should take action against the many poor and exploitative services now rushing to make money from self-publishing authors)

I had a heart and soul-searching night or two. I’d just been through a serious illness and time was precious. I had many books I wanted to write. Did I really want to do this? Turned out I did. When the coming generations would ask me where I was during this transformative period in publishing, I wanted to be able to say: Right at the heart of it, beating the drum for authors.

Then Philip said he was in too, which gave the organization the business underpinnings such an endeavor would need.

He discovered we could structure as a nonprofit, community interest company (CIC), which was the ideal configuration. And so, at The London Book Fair 2012, ALLi, the Alliance of Independent Authors was born. And my enthusiasm for author-publishing has grown with each passing year.

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