Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: The Alliance of Independent Authors

#SelfPublishing Writers Need All the Help They Can Get


I’ve periodically shared various writing tools and different writing software… 

Selfpublishing Writers Need All the Help They Can Get

Image Courtesy of Ivan Soares Ferrer ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/ivanferrer-35808

I’ve never quite known what to say about these writing aids, mostly because writers are so different in their needs and habits

One thing I think I do know, since I am a self-published author, is that we Indie-types really do need a lot of help (I mean, we’re up against the Big Houses with their huge staffs and loads of money…).

So, when I saw, Writing and Editing Tools for Self-publishing Indie Authors, on the ALLi site, I decided to share a few links (do check out the full article for more info on these tools…).

As indie author, Karl Drinkwater, says at the start of the article, he’s giving a summary of Writing Analysis Tools

editMinion (Free) which checks on such things as adverbs, “weak” words, dialogue “said”s, passive voice, prepositions, homonyms, and cliché.

And, another free tool that also helps you spot various “problems” in your writing

Hemingway App “Select the sample text, delete it, paste in your own. The tool is live…”

And, something a bit different than those first two…

Online Consistency Checker “As the name suggests, this is purely for consistency…”

And (perhaps to encourage you to go to the full article) here are the others with no commentary…

AutoCrit

ProWritingAid

WordRake

Grammarly

Finally, just before Karl shares four valuable Tips, he says:

“Tools are not a cure-all, and amongst the useful suggestions there will be many false positives. Tools are also not a replacement for the human touch. However, they invariably provide some useful insight. Why not try some of them out on your current or past works and see what they flag up? As indie authors it’s easy for us to edit and upload improved versions of our books at any time.”

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Is It Really Worth Being a Self-Published Author ?


I need to make my use of the term “Self-Published” clear—mostly because of another term—“Indie Author”… 

Back in 2013, in the post, “What IS An Indie Author?”, I quoted a question I’d asked The Alliance of Independent Authors concerning something said on their site about membership:

“I notice the first ‘definitive’ statement is:
‘You have self-published at least one book.’
What is ALLi’s definition of ‘self-published’?”

Orna Ross, the Founder of ALLi, made this reply:

“Essentially, that the author paid and was the creative director of the book.”

I thanked her, then received another reply:

“You’ve actually sparked an entire debate in the office, Alexander…”

So, I gave this post I’m writing the title, Is It Really Worth Being a Self-Published Author ?

And, I’m going to give a partial answer to that question by sharing excerpts from an article by Joanna PennPros And Cons Of Being An Indie Author—I feel “Self-Published” and “Indie” are interchangeable—other folks don’t think they are and, perhaps within another decade or so, opinions will achieve some coherence

Whew!

So, here are Joanna’s Pros and Cons for Being an Indie a Self-Published author:

PROS

Total creative control over content and design

Empowerment

Faster time to market

Higher royalties

Sell by any means in any global market, as you retain the rights

Niche books can reach an audience

Use it to get into the game

{ Joanna, by the way, in her discussion of that last Pro, actually uses “Indie” and “Self-Publish” somewhat interchangeably…}

CONS

You need to do it all yourself or find suitable professionals to help

There’s no prestige, kudos or validation by the industry

You need a budget upfront if you want a professional result

It’s difficult to get print distribution in bookstores

Most literary prizes don’t accept indie books and most literary critics for mainstream media

Even with a bit of confusion over what to call authors who don’t do it traditionally, Joanna’s article is worth a full read—she goes on to talk about being a “Hybrid” author and shares other publishing options

One thing is certain—there are more options for authors now then ever before in Human History.
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Book Awards for Self-Published Authors


Blue Ribbon

Image courtesy of Billy Alexander ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/ba1969

Can winning an award give a self-published book a boost?

Well, it is one form of book promotion…

And, even though book promotion can seem like too much hard work for creative writers there are so many ways to promote books that anyone should be able to find a bearable combination of tasks to aid sales…

And, lest you think that getting a contract from a big publisher will take care of all the business of book promotion, consider this statement on Joe Konrath’s blog (which includes book promotion, along with other legacy “services”):

“…the vast majority of us who sign with legacy publishers, hoping for the ideal experience legacy can offer, have our expectations dashed.

“Imagine going to a restaurant, paying $50 for a steak, and getting a tiny bit of gristle and a single sprig of undercooked broccoli. Wouldn’t you be mad at the restaurant?

“Actually, if you were starving to death, no you wouldn’t. You’d be grateful for the shit they served you, and you’d pray to the universe they would deign to serve you again.”

Also, you may want to check out the 39 posts I have on book promotion

So, can winning an award give your self-published book a boost?

Like all things in the world of books, maybe………

But, in case you have been or are considering self-publishing and you want to investigate the possible benefits of winning an award, The Alliance of Independent Authors have an article called 50 Book Awards Open to Self-publishers.

I’ll list the links they offer but also include their Warning:

“As ever on the internet, be scam savvy when considering awards, since competition fees can be quite hefty. Check out the Writer Beware site.”

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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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Why Would An Author Want To Be Independent?


O.K., about that title up there

Most authors have quite a bit of independence about them, except the poor souls who crank out formulaic genre bestsellers

Let me clarify—I’ve certainly read formulaic genre bestsellers—read them and found them wanting

But then, I’m an independent reader :-)

So, as the publishing field has adopted digital, all hell has broken loose—writers have a plethora of options and pundits keep inventing new names for the “new” authors

“Indie” is one of those names that has stuck and gained respectability—Independent as opposed to Traditionally published.

There’s an organization I’m thinking about joining called The Alliance of Independent Authors—>here’s a link to their blog.

About a week ago, I made a comment on a post they had on Google Plus and the Founder, Orna Ross, responded by telling me my comment had sparked a debate in their office

Perhaps tomorrow I’ll publish a post about that :-)

The Alliance, known as ALLi, has an impressive group of advisors and I was pleased to see two of them are folks I’ve featured quite a bit on this blog—Joel Friedlander and Jane Friedman.

Another of their advisors, who’s also been featured here, is the Founder of Smashwords, Mark Coker.

I’ll get back to Mark in a second but, last night, in a virtual world I hang out in, a women mentioned getting ready to self-publish some of her poems. Another person there mentioned Amazon; and, my Best Friend mentioned that I published with FastPencil.

The interesting thing about it all was how folks thought Amazon was the only place to do free self-publishing

Back to Mark Coker.

Check out the past post, Is Amazon The “Only” Place To Publish An E-Book?—it’s about Mark and Smashwords.

So, Mark and Alli?

Here are two videos with Orna Ross and Mark Coker, long videos (for those who truly desire to be an Independent Author)

The first is all about successful self-publishing and the second is about how to sell books in the Apple iBooks store.


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