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Self-Publishing Advice & Inspirations

Sep 28, 2016

Ep#46: Orna Ross and Joanna Penn answer members' questions on writing, publishing and promoting books. Each month, Joanna and Orna answer Members’ self-publishing questions during our regular Ask ALLi event.

We’ve also included a summary of the questions that were asked and answered this month.

  • Is there an advantage to using both Create Space and IngramSpark, and why, does one offer something the other one doesn’t?
  • Should you purchase your own ISBN numbers, even if the first book is an e-book?
  • And if someone submits a PDF to Ingram, do they generate an ePub, should you use IngramSpark for e-books?
  • I’m finding it hard to get any writing done with so many tasks. Any tips for that?
  • I write music based fiction or many books in my series follows series or songwriters and includes lyrics I’ve written. I want to bring other named titles and songwriters/singers into this story line. Is it legal to do this?
  • I’ve bitten a bullet, commissioned an audio version of my first book. What advice do you have about going wide or exclusive with Audible bearing in mind different royalty rates and contract terms?
  • How long before you publish should you start your marketing plan?
  • I don’t have time to write and schedule my own Facebook ads, can you recommend someone to do this for me?
  • What is your advice to a first time author with one book hitting the market in the next few months, does KDP Select make sense as a strategy or does that set up KU reader expectation that your remaining books will be free?
  • What is the best way to make a review e-book copy of your book from a word document?
  • What are some of the innovative ways Indie authors of YA are attracting young readers? Are those authors also targeting adults and if so what is the strategy?
  • I have an edited manuscript, I plan to self-publish, what is the next step to get me from computer to bookstore?

Our weekly Self-Publishing Advice broadcast is brought to you by ALLi, the Alliance of Independent Authors. This Advanced Self-Publishing Salon is one of four regular shows, which include an ALLi Member Q&A, 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 the 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