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Self-Publishing Advice & Inspirations

May 29, 2016

Ep#37: Orna Ross and Joanna Penn answer members' questions on writing, publishing and promoting books.

Here’s the questions posed to Orna and Joanna this month:

  • Q: How would you define the difference between a non-fiction writers and a journalist?
  • Q: In a previous Ask ALLi Joanna mentioned that she was moving from direct with Nook to Draft2Digital distribution, I thought the advice was that it was best to go direct?
  • Q: When a book is finally finished… what is the right order for all of the follow up activities to get it to market?
  • Q: Do you need to send hard copies to the British Library?
  • Q: I have a new book I’m working on, Should it be completed before I decide on a company to do the ebook formatting?
  • Q: What is the current best practice on formatting?
  • Q: What’s your input on Amazon Affiliate accounts?
  • Q: My book is written and produced, what is the best way to market it? I’ve been approach local books stores and TV stations, as well as local historic societies.
  • Q: My illustrator is having problems uploading my book to Amazon, who can I contact for uploading to Amazon?
  • Q: I’m on my first book. My first publishers when out of business and I accepted their replacement publisher. How do I take my published book to a new printer and create an ebook?
  • Q: As a new authors about to engage an editor and proofreader, I have concerns about sending copies to people I haven’t met. Can I protect against this piracy and copyright infringement?
  • Q: I’m considering engaging a book publicist, what advice do you have?

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