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Self-Publishing Advice & Inspirations

Mar 19, 2016

Ep#28: Orna Ross and Joanna Penn answer members' questions on writing, publishing and promoting books.

Here’s a summary of the questions in this month’s Ask ALLi with Orna and Joanna:

  • Q: What should you do when you feel badly served by a self-publishing service provider? And do you have a list of book formatters?
  • Q: How do you create front matter and chapter headings, so that they look good on Kindle?
  • Q: What company would you recommend for a Non-Ficiton Hardback?
  • Q: There’s still so many really bad Indie Book Covers, do you think they’ll every become a thing of the past?
  • Q: Is there any good tools out there that can help you chart the months leading up to a book release?
  • Q: I’m publishing a book about rural libraries in Zimbabwe, how can I have them published widely?
  • Q: Once you’ve self-published, what would it take to get an agent interested?
  • Q: How can I get estimates of adding illustrations to my KDP file?
  • Q: Should manuscripts be proof-read after you’ve completed the interior book layout?
  • Q: Do I own rights to my book cover designs?
  • Q: Do I need a separate ISBN for my audio format?
  • Q: How long does it take for Amazon to price match my book price after I’ve reverted from a free price-point?
  • Q: What are your thoughts about Archway? I’m looking for assisted publishing for a memoir.
  • Q: I have a signed contract with Matador to publish and market my book. What should I beware of, and what should I do myself?
  • Q: Should I do a book tour to actual physical books stores, or pay for an online blog tour or a publicist? 

Our weekly Self-Publishing Advice broadcast is brought to you by ALLi, the Alliance of Independent Authors. This Member Self-Publishing Q&A is one of four regular shows, which include a more advanced salon, a beginners' salon and a special guest highlight presentation from the Indie Author Fringe, ALLi’s free online author conference.

Find more author advice, tips and tools at our self-publishing advice center, And, if you haven’t already, we invite you to join our organization and become a self-publishing ally. You can do that at

Now, go write and publish.

About your hosts

Joanna Penn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author, as well as writing non-fiction for authors. She is also a professional speaker and entrepreneur, voted as one of The Guardian UK Top 100 creative professionals 2013. She spent 13 years as a business IT consultant in large corporations across the globe before becoming a full-time author-entrepreneur in September 2011. Connect with Joanna on Twitter @thecreativepenn

Orna Ross launched the Alliance of Independent Authors at the London Book Fair in 2012. Her work for ALLi has seen her named as one of The Bookseller’s “100 top people in publishing”. She also publishes poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and is greatly excited by the democratising, empowering potential of author-publishing. Connect with Orna on Twitter @OrnaRoss