(A post about one of my writing roles – as Commissioning Editor of the Alliance of Independent Authors’ blog of Self-publishing Advice)
Writing my latest post this morning on the ALLi blog, it occurred to me that many people who read my Writing Life blog will have no idea of the double life I lead.
Well, much more than double, really – I am a classic example of a multi-tasker (and that’s probably why I’m permanently tired!)
What is ALLi anyway? I hear you cry. And what are you doing writing on its blog when you’ve got a perfectly decent one of your own?
A Brace of Blogs
Actually, I’ve got more than one blog of my own. Echoing those car stickers that you see in rear windscreens saying things like “My Other Car is a Porsche”, my other blog is about book promotion, offering tips to authors on how to sell more of their books. Which in itself echoes the title of the book I wrote for Silver Wood Books a couple of years ago called Sell Your Books! See what I mean about the multi-tasking? That second blog is called www.otsbp.com – which is short for Off The Shelf Book Promotions. But back to the ALLi blog…
ALLi for One, and One for ALLi
ALLi (pronounced to rhyme with “ally” rather than “alley”) is the acronym for the Alliance of Independent Authors. It’s the professional organisation for self-published writers and indie authors all over the world, launched by bestselling novelist Orna Ross just over two years ago.
As a self-published author interested in networking with other writers and in improving my writing craft and self-publishing skills, I joined ALLi not long after it was launched. ALLi members may write guest posts for its blog of self-publishing advice (www.selfpublishingadvice.org), and after I’d written a couple of guest posts, I was flattered to be invited by Orna Ross to join her small staff as the Commissioning Editor of the blog. It seemed too good an opportunity to pass up, and so about a year ago I assumed the role, working from home, at hours that fitted in well around my other work and responsibilities.
The job of Commissioning Editor is to, er, commission articles for the blog, adding to its extensive resource of advice and information for authors who self-publish their work. There are specific themes for each day of the week, and I’m responsible for filling four slots each week:
- Opinion (Monday)
- Writing (Thursday)
- Publishing (Friday)
- Reaching Readers aka book promotion or marketing (Saturday)
To fill these slots, I track down ALLi members who have relevant messages and advice to add, and I give them a broad brief on what I’d like their post to be about. I plan the schedule of posts to provide a good variety and range of topics to appeal to writers in all genres, wherever they are around the world. When I receive the copy, images and author bio for each post, I input it to the blog via WordPress and add the necessary metadata and other details.
Keeping Myself Posted
By definition, I have to read every post – so it is a great way of keeping myself up-to-date and well-informed about self-publishing trends and developments, which complements the other writing activities and ambitions in my life.
But it was only when I was looking through the site index that I realised just how many posts I’ve written for the blog myself – some of them composites of comments by other writers, some them exclusively my thoughts. And it occurred to me that they might interest readers of my Writing Life site. So here are links to a few of my favourite posts, for your convenience:
- After NaNoWriMo, how about NoPCMo?
- Charitable Causes as Writing Motivation
- 5 Cures for Self-Published Writer’s Block
- Why Indie Authors Need to Understand the Sub-culture of Amazon Reviewers
- My Review of Grammarly’s Automated Proofreading Service (clue: unimpressed!)
- Spotting the Elephant in the Self-Publishing Room
If you’d like to read all the posts I’ve written for ALLi, this link will give you everything that has been published under my byline on the ALLi blog.
And if you’re an indie author who is interested in joining ALLi, here’s the link to find out more.
But for now, I’m heading off to slip on one of my many other writing hats – working on my new collection of flash fiction, Quick Change, due out next month. If you’d like me to let you know when it’s available, please feel free to sign up to the mailing list for this title.
PS In case you’re wondering, my other car is a Ford Ka – but more about my vehicles another day!