ALLi Ramp Up Open Up To Indies Campaign

Ahead of next week’s London Book Fair, The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) has ramped up its campaign to reflect the importance of indie authors and their books in the publishing industry when it comes to recognition from literary organisations, associations and festivals.

In the last week, The US-based Authors Guild, has appointed indie author C. S. Lyons to serve on its executive council, and will now accept self-published authors into its organisational membership under the following criteria.
The Authors Guild is now accepting applications for full membership from self-published writers who earned as little as $5,000 in 18 months prior to applying. Indie authors who earned even $500 may also apply for associate memberships.
It’s another small step within the book industry—that authors who choose to independently publish their books—must be taken seriously.
The Alliance of Independent Authors will launch a guidebook at next week’s London Book Fair, written by one of the group’s Open Up To Indie Authors campaign coordinators, Dan Holloway, and ALLi blog editor Debbie Young.
Dan Holloway and Debbie Young, our blog editor, are compiling a free guidebook, Open Up To Indie Authors: A Guide, which will offer an assessment of the opportunities for book industry people, including libraries, to work together with indie authors. The guide also offers a basic outline of some best practices and etiquette for both indie authors and their potential partners.


TIPM spoke to Orna Ross, founder and director of ALLi, this morning about the latest progress in the Open Up To Indie Authors campaign:
“We know there are challenges including author-published books in systems that are designed around the trade. Our guide acknowledges those challenges and Debbie and Dan have discussed them in detail throughout — and proposed many solutions.

“What is most essential is that all involved in publishing switch from the scarcity thinking that has provided the model to date to the abundance thinking that’s necessary to now thrive in the space where books are written and read.

“That means a rebalancing from commercial imperatives to creative accommodation and collaboration.

“All—libraries, reviewers, prizes, bookstores, festivals and most importantly readers—benefit when author-published work is included on equal terms.”
ALLi currently has an online petition at change.org requesting all indie authors to sign and leave comments. The text of the petition reads:
To:
American Booksellers Association
UK Booksellers Association
Canadian Booksellers Association
Libraries
Australian Booksellers Association
I, and the Alliance of Independent Authors, urge you to find ways to include self-publishing writers as a matter of priority.

As you know, more and more writers are turning to self-publishing and many such authors are producing work of proven value to readers.

While recognising that there are challenges in incorporating such writers, it has become a necessity, if book stores, libraries,…

I, and the Alliance of Independent Authors, urge you to find ways to include self-publishing writers as a matter of priority.

As you know, more and more writers are turning to self-publishing and many such authors are producing work of proven value to readers.

While recognising that there are challenges in incorporating such writers, it has become a necessity, if book stores, libraries, literary events and reviewers are to be inclusive of writers. And fully serving readers.

I trust you will give this matter the attention it deserves.

With thanks,

Sincerely,
[Your name]
Let’s hope all indie authors see the value in the campaign, the support that is needed, and that things are slowly changing in the book industry for everyone.
Discovering great books and bringing them to a wider readership is as much a responsibility and role for the book industry as it is for ALLi. Publishing, and the right to publish, should never become a walled-garden of selectivity and exclusivity. Publishers, booksellers and literary organisations are quick to fire shots at companies like Amazon for its controlling ‘our way or the highway’ approach to distributing and selling books, but it’s time the established book industry took a close look at the elitist practices and ideas it has propagated under the façade of quality and curation for decades.
You can read the full ALLi Open Up To Indie Authors press release below.

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The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) announces the global launch of the Opening Up to Indie Authors Guidebook & Campaign with Kobo Writing Life (KWL).
With sponsorship from Kobo Writing Life and featuring author publishers across the world, the launch of Opening Up to Indie Authors promises a publishing first.
(LONDON, Apr 2014)  The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) announces an unprecedented global launch for their forthcoming publication, Opening Up to Indie Authors, a guide for authors and publishing industry players as part of their ongoing campaign of the same name.
The launch of the book, campaign and petition, with sponsorship and coordination by Kobo Writing Life, will take place at The London Book Fair, (LBF, Tues 8th April, 2pm), and will be followed by multiple satellite author events worldwide.
The LBF launch will see readings from authors Debbie Young and Dan Holloway, and 50% promotional copies of the book being made available through the Kobo platform for the duration of the fair.
Commissioned by ALLi, the guidebook enables all players, including author-publishers, to meet the challenges of absorbing self-publishing into the wider publishing and literary ecosystem.
Opening Up to Indie Authors has two intended readerships, says ALLi Director, Orna Ross. “On the one hand, it’s encourages industry players, including bookstores and  libraries, reviewers and prizes, festivals and associations to open up to self-publishing authors, and shows them how. On the other, it explains to authors the constraints that the industry must operate within and how they can give themselves the best chance of inclusion. Everyone benefits when author-published work is included.”
In addition to The LBF launch, Kobo is co-ordinating a global launch, whereby ALLi member authors can utilise their extensive retail-partner network, a potential 17,600 locations, to organise e-launches in bookstores across the globe.
These satellite readings will showcase the OUTIA Guide alongside one of the author’s own books, creating events that champion the individual self-publisher and the wider community of self-publishing. And allowing ALLi members to connect with an unprecedented number of retailers and readers.
“The Open Up To Indie Authors program is an important one,” said Director of Self-Publishing & Author Relations at Kobo Books, Mark Lefebvre, an author himself and former bookseller. “What booksellers take great pleasure in is when they are able to put the right books into the right customer’s hands at the right time. When that happens, magic happens. Kobo is eager to work with ALLi on the Open Up to Indie Authors program and publication, thereby continuing to assist authors with navigating the critical yet often complex layers, relationships and processes surrounding the book industry.”
If you believe self-publishing authors should have equal opportunities, please take a moment to sign ALLi’s Open Up To Indie Authors Petition. (LINK TO: http://selfpublishingadvice.org/open-up-to-indie-authors/open-up-to-indie-authors-petition/)

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