on Self Publishing Advice:
Indie authors are generous in sharing information and paying knowledge forward which has given us real competitive advantages. The Alliance of Independent Authors is built on such author collaboration. Others are entering formal collaboration partnerships in writing and publishing. Here is your Ultimate Guide to Author Collaboration in Writing and Publishing
Ever since Apple set up what was then called iBooks and particularly since Amazon set up KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), soon to be joined by other services like Google Play, Kobo, Nook, and Ingram Spark, authors have shared tech, tricks, and tools with each other.
In traditional, physical bookstore selling, only a handful of titles can be provided for, and the author space is notoriously competitive, but with ebooks, there’s no pressure to sell a certain amount within the first few months. Traditionally published authors may have to compete with each other – for agents, publishing deals, prizes, or co-op as well as shelf space– but self-publishers have nothing to fear from co-operating with other authors. We treat other writers as collaborators, not competitors.
Not just ALLi but the whole self-publishing space is full of entrepreneurial authors opening sharing sales numbers, tools and techniques, promoting each other through blog posts and podcasts, email lists and social networks. When indie authors speak about “author comps”, we mean “comparables” not “competitors”. We enjoy co-optition (co-operating with your perceived competition so that both parties benefit), and know that in working and educating ourselves together, we learn faster, respond and adapt more nimbly. In short, that we do better together than by going it alone.
(As an aside, that’s why our self-publishing association is called ALLi and spelled with a small i and big ALL: our members are like the three musketeers in Dumas’s novel, except there are thousands of us, all working for each (i) and each for ALL)
For indie authors publishing digitally in ebook, audio and POD, readers are not a finite commodity, assets to be kept from other writers. We know we enjoy a global marketplace so large that no writer will ever reach all the readers out there, while the right kind of author collaboration in writing and publishing greatly increases the odds of getting discovered, noticed and read – as authors with shared box-sets regularly demonstrate