Books · Self-publishing

Opening up to Indie Authors: a Plea

allilogo

This week’s post is more like a plea, really. And since pleas are of course vastly annoying, I’ll keep it brief…

The literary world is changing quickly: so quickly that sometimes it can be hard to grasp what’s happening in the present, let alone trying to predict the future. Yet change, for all its unsettling effects, brings new opportunities and new directions.

The core of the book industry, however – not just publishers, but booksellers, critics, and event organisers – are lagging far behind. They often seem not just unwilling to engage with change, but apparently unable even to acknowledge it.

In response to this situation, the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), has launched its “Open up to Indie Authors” campaign, which aims to “encourage and aid literary events, festivals, prizes, reviewers, booksellers and other interested parties to find ways to include self-publishing authors in their programs, events, listings and reviews.” You can find out more about the campaign here.

As part of the campaign, ALLi has organised a petition. The petition is directed at libraries, booksellers, events organisers and book reviewers, and urges them to “find ways to include self-publishing writers as a matter of priority.” If you’re a self-publisher, I imagine you’ll be keen to get behind this initiative. If you’re not, you might want to sign anyway. (But then again, perhaps you won’t. In which case, I’m sorry to have bothered you…)

Petitions rarely achieve much. I’ve known, and signed, several that did little more than allow the disgruntled some outlet for their frustrations. But if you do want to lend your support to the campaign, it’ll only take a few moments of your time…

An addendum: As I sit here typing this post, I’ve just learned that the Guardian is planning a literary prize for self-published novels – see here for details. I applaud any effort by the mainstream media to include self-published works, and this may be of some interest to self-publishing authors out there. My only concern is with the small print of the entry rules, and I’d advise going through them with a fine-toothed comb before submitting an entry…

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7 thoughts on “Opening up to Indie Authors: a Plea

    1. Hi Kingmidget, and thanks for the comment. I certainly hope that self-published works get more mainstream attention in the future. I think things are changing, but very slowly…

    1. Hello Antara, and thanks for the comment. Yes, things are changing very swiftly – for the better, I hope!

      Yes, I’m British, but I live in Northern Italy these days. 🙂

      Thanks for paying a visit. Interesting blog, by the way!

  1. Mari, hi!

    I had not heard of ALLi until your post. The concept of ALLi is refreshing, given the many (many) posts I’ve run across lately that are still (STILL) trying to equate all author-publishers and their work with “unprofessional.” It seems there is a big push to force self-published authors to keep their works only on their blogs, and stop messing up Amazon by glutting the system with too many choices for the reader. I thought the rhetoric was harsh a two years ago, but now it’s just mean. Membership in ALLi probably won’t change the opinion of those sorts of people, but it is proof that the independents are organizing. Organizing, focusing on quality, preparing to bring even more books to the world… hmmm, almost sounds a bit professional, doesn’t it?

    I love the term “author-publisher” used by ALLi to describe authors who self-publish. It is perfectly descriptive, and doesn’t carry the negative weight attached to “self-publish.” It sounds like “indie” publishing is growing up!

    Thank you for being a source of excellent information for all aspects of publishing. I may not always comment, but I do always read.

    -aniko

    1. Hello Aniko, and thank you for commenting!

      ALLi is indeed a refreshing concept and, though I’m not a member (yet), I’ve generally heard good things about it from those who are. And I hope that organisations such as this will help to counter the prejudices that still exist against self-publishers, though I think that those prejudices may be slowly eroding anyway. Very many people now read and enjoy self-published books, so I think there would probably be some very strong opposition to self-publishers taking their work down from Amazon and suchlike!

      Thanks for your kind comments, too – I do try to provide useful information for readers when I can!

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