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AskAlli: Self-Publishing Advice Podcast

Jun 25, 2015

Ep#16: 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: I’m toying with the idea of using Facebook ads for 1) collecting email subscribers by offering some free content and 2) promoting my books directly. I’ve been through Mark Dawson’s 3 free videos and probably have enough information to try this .. should I do it?
  • Q: Google Play: What is it? Should I put my books in there or not? What royalty revenue could I expect?
  • Q: Now that I’ve published my first book, I am getting contacted by book promoters who promise to publicise my book for a fee. How can I tell which are effective and which are not?
  • Q: After hitting some technical problems loading my books onto Ingram Spark, I missed the promo offer (open to everyone). Can you advise when and if a new offer for Alli members will be launched soon?
  • Q: When hiring a proofreader is it best to engage them for two sets of proofreads – digital and print or just digital?
  • Q: As a self-publisher/writer should I purchase my ISBN’s directly from Bowker? I see there are other sites offering ISBN’s for less money, but are they legitimate?
  • Q: Are there any book cover designers available who can format a color design for a modest book who do not charge lots of money to do so?
  • Q: How can I get review copies of my book at a discount?
  • Q: What publisher would you recommend to do a self-published non-fiction book that has both black and white and color pages?

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