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Ethical Author


An Author Program Facilitated by the Alliance of Independent Authors

(“Author” being any writer who has published a long-form work of fiction or non-fiction, 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. This means that 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, for example, their position on bestseller lists, or consent to anyone else promoting them for me in a misleading manner.


I know that plagiarism is a serious matter, 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 notice.


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

- please use the following code to embed in your site:

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

Ethical Author Badge – Medium

- please use the following code to embed in your site:

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

Ethical Author Badge – Large

- please use the following code to embed in your site:

<a href=""><img src="/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/ALLiEthicalAuthor_Badge-large.png" alt="I'm an Ethical Author" /></a>

Ethical Author: Spread the Word

Share our Ethical Author Graphic

(click on the image to view and download)