Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: ALLi

Two Women Writers Convince Me to Experiment on Wattpad . . .


I’ve known about Wattpad for quite awhile but let it linger in the hinterlands of my interest, with all the other wonderful, fabulous, must-engage-on spaces that writers are nearly shamed into using… Wattpad

However, Orna Ross, founder of the Alliance of Independent Authors, and Elizabeth S. Craig, bestselling author of the Southern Quilting mysteries and Memphis Barbeque mysteries and link-curator for the Writer’s Knowledge Base, have convinced me to use Wattpad in a very specific way.

My experiment got its first nudge when I saw an article on the ALLi site about Wattpad Insights for Indie Authors.

There’s a video at the end of this post that was the clincher for my experimental use of Wattpad; but, first, here are some takeaways the ALLi article has from that video:

  1. Wattpad users are very mobile savvy and skew towards a younger demographic.
  2. Authors don’t have to write serially, they just need to publish serially.
  3. The Wattpad mobile app is free, and a Wattpad account is also free.
  4. Set a consistent publishing schedule for your chapter releases.
  5. If you already have a free book, it makes sense to leverage it on Wattpad. Use it as a funnel to your other books.
  6. At the end of each Wattpad chapter you can add an author call to action (e.g. sign up to the author’s mailing list, or letting your readers know where to buy the book if they can’t wait for the next installment).
  7. A demographics tab gives you insights into the age demographics of your readers and their geographic location.
  8. Authors can add images or a video to each chapter to increase engagement.
  9. It’ll take about 4-6 chapters to get some audience traction.
  10. Wattpad increases your opportunity of reaching your share of the 40 Million global readers.

#2 & #5 were the prime reasons I got interested in using Wattpad.

And, in case you’re new around here or you just never noticed, I give away my novel (even though it’s also for sale) over in the left side-bar; so, I decided I’d add a new chapter to Wattpad every Wednesday for the next 20 weeks and append a comment there to draw folks back here…

So, if you’d rather read just a bit of my book each week (instead of downloading it for free and reading the whole thing in about two days {it’s rather short but quite deep…}) Take This Link (you’ll have to register with Wattpad if you aren’t already a member)

I’ll be periodically reporting results

And, now, here’s the video with Orna and Elizabeth that convinced me to do the WattpadExperiment:


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A Professional Association for Authors Who Self-Publish


Self-publishing is not necessarily one writer who does everything themselves; though, there are such amazing people.

Alliance of Independent Authors

Image from the ALLI Site

A self-published author probably has an editor and may engage a cover designer and other freelance talent.

Then, there’s the label Indie Author…

Is Indie different from Self-Published?

I explored that question in a post back in October of 2013—“What IS An Indie Author?”

I also explored a relatively new organization for Indie authors in the post, Why Would An Author Want To Be Independent?, which has two informational videos with Mark Coker of Smashwords and Orna Ross from the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).

In a recent e-mail I received from Orna, these benefits of ALLi membership were shared:

  • A “How To Self-Publish Well” education pack, with free ebooks and seminal articles from our advisors and friends, including Mark Coker, Joel Friedlander, Jane Friedman, David Gaughran, Joanna Penn, Mark McGuinness and more
  • Multiple ways to connect with, and learn from, other members
  • Great discounts and deals
  • Monthly online events, including our “Sell More Books” monthly meetup
  • Watchdog and Rating of Author Services globally
  • Rights & Contracts Advice service
  • Foreign and subsidiary rights services, including a massive discount on Pubmatch and IPR Licence, an agent who’ll assess your books for foreign rights potential
  • Through these benefits, we’ve given hundreds of indie authors the information and skills to publish better and sell more books

Here’s what they say about their Service Directory:

“ALLi’s Self-Publishing Service Directory, which launches January 2015, is the first of its kind: a showcase of vetted services for self-publishers, combined with advice and tips on assembling the perfect team to produce books and literary projects that adhere to ALLi standards of ethics and excellence.”

You can read a preview of ALLi’s Service Directory.

And, you can also get some of ALLi’s Author Guidebooks.

I’d love to have some of you answer these questions in the Comments:

Have you Self-Published?

Are you an Indie Author?

Do you want to Self-Publish?

Are you working toward being an Indie Author?
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Open Up To Indie Authors


I’ve read so much trash in the news about how self-published authors are ruining humanity’s “Literary Heritage” that I’m convinced certain people are quite jealous of Indie writers. Opening Up To Indie Authors

“How dare they decide to publish without the blessing of the Gatekeepers?!”

Well, simply put, they’re quite fed up with what traditional publishers represent.

If you really have no clue about what’s been happening with the Indie author movement, check out my over-100 posts about self-publishing.

And, if you want a more experienced perspective than mine—a writer who’s always been a maverick—you can read what Orna Ross, Founder and Director of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) has to say in, Why Self-publishing Is So Good For Literary Culture.

To encourage you to read her article, let me share a few excerpts:

“Corporate publishers and agents now scour self-publishing sites, hoping to woo writers away from the indie option.”

“Corporate publishing works from a scarcity model, grounded in commercial principles. It selects a very few books to be published, assigns them a value dictated by publishing overheads and supply chain, and protects their value with copyright.”

“Self-publishing works from an abundance model, grounded in creative principles. All books can be published and it is writers and readers who decide on value, based on a wide variety of considerations.”

“This apparent cri de coeur about literary values is actually fear of change, often from those who are invested in the old order. And fear of the creative. Creativity is never orderly and neat; it’s colourful and chaotic and kaleidoscopic and we need a publishing scene that acknowledges, and is prepared to be more reflective of, that truth.”

This past April, Alli launched their Opening Up To Indie Authors Campaign.

Here’s the campaign in a nutshell:

“Festivals, awards, libraries, bricks and mortar bookstores and writing associations all are traditional bastions of the world of letters and with good reason. Finding ways to build positive connections and relationships with these places can be of huge benefit for you and your books – as they offer your work the crucial exposure to readers who are just waiting to discover their next good read.”

Obviously, the “you” in that statement is the self-published or Indie author; and, they’ve published a Guidebook for Indies to help them engage the traditional arenas of literary activity.

How the Guidebook aids writers:

  • “By helping indie authors better understand how the book trade operates, including retailers, events organisers, libraries, awards programmes and reviewers
  • “By making clear that the best modern self-published books meet the quality standards expected from the best trade-published work”

This guide is also aimed at those who work in the literary, publishing and books industries: award bodies, book fairs and conferences, libraries, literary festival and event organisers, retailers, reviewers and anyone who acts as a bridge between writer and reader.”

And, I especially encourage you to Sign Their Petition.

After you sign it, the page changes to an opportunity to widen your influence with a contribution that helps spread the word on Change.org.

Even if you don’t read the book or sign the petition, your ideas and feelings about this movement are very welcome in the Comments :-)
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The Ethics of Publishing


Readers, Writers, Publishers… 

Publishing

Image courtesy of Zsuzsanna Kilian ~ http://www.sxc.hu/profile/nkzs

Each depends on the other two

Yet, Traditional Publishing has taken little real account of who they depend on and is experiencing no end of problems

Yesterday’s post featured a call for authors to stand up taller and demand long-overdue change in the publishing industry.

And, the Self-Publishing Phenomenon is learning to walk and may yet run rings around the Legacy Gatekeepers.

I’ve even written a post called, Are Readers Going To Be The New Gatekeepers?

So

Turning to an article on the Alliance of Independent Authors‘ blog—Opinion: Orna Ross asks “What is publishing for”?—we find this statement:

“Neglect of authors has never run higher in publishing, revealed in language like ‘slush pile’ and ‘list culling’. Free market ideologies run the show and supermarkets and bookstore chains dominate, deciding in advance which books will have the best chance of success, on purely commercial grounds; telling publishers what price to sell at, how many copies to print, what to put on the cover, what to call the books and even what to put inside them.”

And, lest self-publishing authors gloat, she also says:

“But this is not a trade-only phenomenon. Indie authors also talk too often in commercial, and not often enough in creative, terms. Constant checking of stats, a cyber flurry over the latest indie to make a killing on Kindle and, most worryingly at the moment, a  relentless pressure to work faster and longer, that is at odds with creative rhythms, and that is no guarantee of success.”

And, putting Readers right where they belong—as prime movers of the best promotion method in the world—she says [bolding by me]:

“An over-emphasis  on money is a  distortion of our business, of what we do and why we do it. The publishing business is a creative business. That means it’s changeable, mercurial, hard to pin down. The only thing that sells books for sure is word-of-mouth and what sets that off for a particular title is, to a large degree, a mystery.”

Reading the whole article would be educational for Readers, Writers, and Publishers—if they desire a dose of clear Reality :-)
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One Official SLEW of Opinions About Self-Publishing . . .


Back in October of 2013, I published the post “What IS An Indie Author?”.

Defining “Indie Authors” or “Self-Published Authors” is still a work in progress

Yet, that post of mine explores how an innocent comment of mine on Google Plus sparked a vigorous round of discussions at The Alliance of Independent Authors (“Founded in 2012 by author turned indie, Orna Ross, ALLi’s  advisors include Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords; book designer, Joel Friedlander; author gurus Jane Friedman and Joanna Penn; legal eagle David A Vandagriff (Passive Guy); and watchdog Victoria Strauss, among others.”).

Since I’ve featured Mark Coker, Joel Friedlander, and Jane Friedman on this blog many times and since David Vandagriff has featured me on his blog, I strongly suspect ALLi is a decent professional organization.

My small military pension keeps me from joining the Alliance and taking advantage of ALLi’s services

However, there is ALLi’s Self-Publishing Advice Blog, which is free for the taking :-)

Last week, my email in-box had a message from ALLi with a link to A Year of Opinions about Self-Publishing, with the explanation:

“Once a week, the ALLi blog serves as a soapbox for one of our members to speak out about an aspect of self-publishing that excites or enrages them.The more controversial the post, the better! At least in terms of fuelling debate about issues that are key to the success of us all and of indie authors everywhere. These Opinion pieces often fuel lengthy comment threads, and here are some of those that stirred the greatest response.”

And, for those who don’t want to take that link (or, the link that leads to all of ALLi’s Opinion Pieces), here are those Roaring Opinions :-)

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