Navigate / search

Watchdog Desk

John Doppler
John Doppler-Schiff

Victoria Strauss
David Vandagriff

The ALLi Watchdog Desk closely observes the self-publishing industry, issues warnings about predatory companies and oversees our Partner Member facility.

The Watchdog desk is headed by Orna Ross and John Doppler-Schiff and ALLi Resources Director, Philip Lynch, with assistance from ALLi members and other members of the author community, including Jim Giammatteo, Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware!, activist David Gaughran, Mick Rooney, editor of The Independent Publishing Magazine.

For advice on choosing a good self-publishing service, see our book: How To Choose A Self-Publishing Service

We also offer general advice on publishing contracts and rights licensing

Our contract recommendations are commonsense observations from a pro-author standpoint, drawing on our members’ experiences, pro-bono contributions from legal advisors Helen Sedwick and David A Vandigriff and Orna Ross‘s previous experience as a literary agent. Our book How Authors Sell Publishing Rights by Helen Sedwick and Orna Ross also offers guidance.

None of our services constitute legal advice and if in doubt, authors are recommended to get legal counsel on their own individual cases.


Partner Member Review Process

JOHN SAYS: “After a company or individual signs up as a Partner Member, our Watchdog desk begins an assessment process, to ensure its approach, customer service and pricing complies with ALLi guidelines.

If there are any questions or issues arising, we get in touch to discuss proposed adjustments to the service.

Should the service fail to satisfy the assessment process, for whatever reason, fees are refunded and membership reversed.

Self-publishing service companies applying to join our alliance are vetted against a range of criteria, including customer service and value for money, and the decision to confirm Partner Membership is based on many factors, depending on the type of service offered.

We rely on our own assessment, feedback from ALLi Advisors and the wider author community, Internet research and sometimes mystery shopping to make our evaluations.

Considerations include:

  • Do business practices comply with the ALLi Code of Standards? (http://allianceindependentauthors.org/code-of-standards/)
  • Does the service have connections to businesses that fail to comply or have previously been denied Partner Membership?
  • Are rates appropriate to service level, reach and reputation?
  • Is the business presentation contemporary, professional and reflective of the service being offered. (Editors – is your copy scrupulously edited? Designers – does your website look good and work well?)
  • Are there positive testimonials from credible author clients?
  • Only services we believe are doing a good job for authors are admitted as Partner Members.”



    Author Members

    If you have feedback about any ALLi Partner services, or any other self-publishing service, please email John:
    Send Mail

    Partner Members

    Please contact John here, if you wish to discuss any aspect of your membership.

    All communications, from authors or partner members, are strictly confidential.